Thursday, 20 November 2014

HV Wines: The 100 power list of wines 2014

It is going on for some years, but yeah the world of wine to has a list of the most powerful wines. It comes down to what is most in demand and what wine hits the spot, but to what criteria exactly do they judge it.....not much, a price and hype is where it comes down to. Don't get me wrong, in this list are truly a lot of hotties in taste, charm en achievement. It pulls you to all corners of the world but does it truly sign what is annually the best wine globally of the year.........? No, that is not what this list is all about. This list had come to life from the moment wine became an investment asset.

Wine Spectator tries to achieve a list of the top 100 wines of the year, I have bought their top 100 of the year edition on several occasion and truly not clean and accurate to my thoughts. It is truly really difficult to achieve such a thing as you should in that case taste all the worthy contenders from around the world. Anyhow we are not here for that, here below do you have according to the Live-ex report the top 100 wines of power 2014.

  1. Pavie. In 2013, 1. In value and volume; 10 
  2. Cheval Blanc. In 2013, 38. In value and volume; 14
  3. Sassicaia. In 2013, 39. In value and volume; 12
  4. DRC (Domaine Romanee Conti). In 2013, 15. In value and volume; 48
  5. Haut-Brion. In 2013, 5. In value and volume; 7
  6. Petrus. In 2013, 3. In value and volume; 37
  7. Mouton Rothschild. In 2013, 7. In value and volume; 2
  8. Guigal. In 2013, 13. In value and volume; 13
  9. Latour. In 2013, 15. In value and volume; 4
  10. Yquem. In 2013, 22. In value en volume; 23
  11. Beaucastel. In 2013, 19. In value and volume; 38
  12. Margaux. In 2013, 9.3 In value and volume; 3
  13. Ornellaia. In 2013, 37. In value and volume; 41
  14. Gaja. New. In value and volume; 22
  15. Dominus. In 2013, 67. In value and volume; 97
  16. Opus one. New. In value and volume; 34
  17. Penfold Grange. In 2013, 10. In value and volume; 76
  18. Lafite Rothschild. In 2013, 18. In value and volume; 1 
  19. Leoville Poyferre. In 2013, 23. In value and volume; 17
  20. Cristal. In 2013, 28. In value and volume; 26
  21. Bouchard Pere & Fils. In 2013, 36. In value and volume; 67
  22. Pape Clement. In 2013, 4. In value and volume; 20
  23. Chapoutier. In 2013, 11. In value and volume; 57
  24. Le Pin. In 2013, 17. In value and volume; 87
  25. Masseto. In 2013, 33. In value and volume; 56
  26. Angelus. In 2013, 2. In value and volume; 24
  27. Dom Perignon. In 2013, 34. In value and volume; 36
  28. Ponsot. In 2013, 50. In value and volume; 63
  29. Ducru Beaucaillou. In 2013, 30. In value and volume; 18
  30. Armand Rousseau. In 2013, 63. In value and volume; 97
  31. Giacomo Conterno. In 2013, 76. In value and volume; 119
  32. Mission Haut-Brion. In 2013, 11. In value and Volume,11
  33. Pontet Canet, In 2013, 27. In value and volume; 6
  34. Smith Haut-Lafitte. In 2013, 26. In value and volume; 29
  35. Joseph Faiveley. In 2013, 75. In value and volume; 102
  36. Palmer. In 2013, 47. In value and volume; 32
  37. Montrose. In 2013, 8. In value and volume; 7
  38. Cos d'Estournel. In 2013, 35. In value and volume; 16
  39. Ausone. In 2013, 41. In value and volume; 65
  40. Jean Louis Chave. In 2013, 83. In value and volume; 114
  41. Evangile. In 2013, 43. In value and volume; 40
  42. Lynch-Bages. In 2013, 44. In value and volume; 5
  43. Comte Vogue. In 2013, 45. In value and volume; 77
  44. Screaming eagle. In 2013, 88. In value and volume; 135
  45. Clos Fourtet. In 2013, 31. In value and volume; 35
  46. Fleur Petrus. In 2013, 60. In value and volume; 47
  47. Trotanoy. In 2013, 32. In value and volume; 70
  48. Pichon Baron. In 2013, 23. In value and volume; 21
  49. Leoville Barton. In 2013, 61. In value and volume; 27
  50. Alain Hudelot Noullat. New. In value and fortune; 93
  51. Leoville Las Cases. In 2013,20.  In value and volume; 9
  52. Pegau. New. In value and volume; 91
  53. Eglise Clinet. In 2013, 6. In Value and volume; 12
  54. Domaine Leflaive. In 2013, 45. In value and volume; 82
  55. Henschke, New. In value and volume; 122
  56. Lafleur. In 2013, 14. In value and volume; 61
  57. Meo Camuzet. New. In value and volume; 102
  58. Georges Roumier. New. In value and volume; 145
  59. Sylvain Cathiard. In 2013, 52. In value and volume; 140
  60. Bruno Giacosa. In 2013, 40. In value and volume; 149
  61. Vieux Chateau Certan. In 2013, 21. In value and volume; 55
  62. Solaia. New. In value and volume; 49
  63. Clinet. In 2013, 68. In value and volume; 60
  64. Gruaud Larose. In 2013, 84. In value and volume; 43
  65. Louis Jadot. New. In value and volume; 132
  66. Calon Segur. In 2013, 73. In value and volume; 29
  67. Troplong Mondot. In 2013, 51. In value and volume; 81
  68. Clos Papes. In 2013, 79. In value and volume; 96
  69. Beausejour Duffau. In 2013, 57. In value and volume; 95
  70. Dujac. In 2013, 66. In value and volume; 140
  71. Vega Sicilia. New. In value and volume; 99
  72. Rauzan Segla. New. In value and volume; 57
  73. Almaviva. New. In value and volume; 50
  74. Taittinger Comtes. In 2013, 25. In value and volume; 33
  75. Beychevelle. In 2013, 89. In value and volume; 19
  76. Tignanello. In 2013, 53. In value and volume; 75
  77. Gazin. In 2013, 74. In value and volume; 99
  78. Grand Puy Lacoste. In 2013, 78. In value and volume; 38
  79. Pichon Lalande. In 2013, 49. In value and volume; 24
  80. Figeac. New. In value and volume; 78
  81. Salon. In 2013, 48. IN value and volume; 107
  82. Clerc Milon. In 2013, 87. In value and volume; 43
  83. Mondotte. In 2013, 96. In value and volume; 123
  84. Emmanuel Rouget. New. In valye and volume; 102
  85. Monbousquet. New. In value and volume; 93
  86. Macchiole. In 2013, 89. In value and volume 111
  87. Talbot. In 2013, 65. In value and volume; 31
  88. Henri Boillot. New. In value and volume; 83
  89. Joseph Drouhin. New. In value and volume; 146
  90. Jacques Frederic Meugnier. In 2013, 58. In value and volume; 125
  91. Tertre Roteboeuf. New. In value and volume; 159
  92. Conseillante. In 2013, 70. In value and volume; 105
  93. Domaine Chevalier. In 2013, 95. In value and volume; 65
  94. Krug. New. In value and volume; 190
  95. Duhart Milon, In 2013, 69. In value and volume; 14
  96. Belle Epoque. New. In value and volume; 70
  97. Lascombes. In 2013, 87. In value and volume; 67
  98. Giscours. New. In value and volume; 63
  99. Cano Gaffeliere. In 2013, 81. In value and volume; 101
  100. Guado Al Tasso. New. In value and volume; 74
So as you can see France still hold hugely the top spot (in numbers and as nr 1), Italy stands second, then America a few, Spain (really interesting that Pingus is not in the list) Australia (2) one Chilean. Interestingly no German wine like Egon Muller, fabulous wines, but then he could stand just outside the top 100, who knows.
The List above are the wines that trades hot on the planet. So it is simple, find a wine and start hyping it, more people want it, then as with all it should hit the list.......or not?

Think about it

Till next please do drink responsibly. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

HV Wines: The Perfume of Wine Dominant plant part 10/ take 2 dry plants


The absolute of hay comes of a concrete, itself extracted from dried herbs. The composition of these dried herbs are herbs meant to feed, hay is found on all continents since millennia.Many different hays used in perfume come from the high-Alps. One of its particularities of hay is its inflammability, who was often at the origin of many great fires. Amongst one of the worst fires and most likely caused because of hay in a massive warehouse is the great fire of Chicago, who started the 8th of October 1871 and burned for three days. it destroyed close to 10 square kilometres and 18,000 houses were brought to ashes. 

Principal Components 


Hay: Coumarine, Acetophenone, Palmetic acid, Linoleic acid

Wines containing relevant notes of Hay
The notes of hay are often associated with the evolution of a white wine. But sometimes it can be perceived in young wines such as the Pineaux des Charentes, as well noted in wines made from grapes as, Freiburger, Muscadet, Pinot Gris.......

Smells close to Hay
Ambegris, Cinnamon, Camomile, Castor, Beeswax, Tonka Bean, Broom, Iris, Jasmine, Lavender, Narcissus, Carnation, Green Tea, Black Tea.


The absolute of Fucus is extracted from several species of dried brown algae. It is present on all sea rivers and oceans, there are many number of species in fucus. In perfume they use notably "Fucus vesiculosus" harvest in the North sea and the Baltic sea, as well in the Atlantic ocean and Pasific. A natural remedy against hunger it is often used in diet cures, and on top it has a high concentration of trace-elements, which fills some of the gaps; it is capable of hydrating and swell in the stomach when in contact with liquids. ingested before a meal, it provokes rapidly a sensation of satiety.

Principal Components 


Fucus: Iodine, Nerol, Cymene

Wines containing relevant notes of Fucus
Unveils iodine notes, the smell of fucus reveals for example in wines elaborated from grapes such as: Arneis, Muscadet, Picpoul, Vernaccia.....

Smells close to Fucus
Blackcurrant bud, Orange flower, Iodine, Lime, Peony.


The essence of patchouli is produced by steamed distillation of dried leaves of the "Pogostemon patchouli"  This tropical plant originated from Asia is principally cultivated in Indonesia, and the Philippines. You find it as well in Malaysia, Madagascar and China. Patchouli is a raw material often used in the formulation of the modern perfume. Today relatively expensive, there was a time where it wasn't such. Patchouli has often been associate with the Hippie movement as many of them sprayed themselves with the scent.

Principal Components 


Patchouli:  Alpha bulnesene, Patchoulol, Beta patchoulene, Norpatchoulenol, Caryophyllene

Wines containing relevant notes of Patchouli
The smell of patchouli present woody and mineral facets. You can find it back  in wines elaborated  from grapes as; Barbera, Cabernet-sauvignon, Grenach noir, Petit verdot, Syrah.....

Smells close to Patchouli
Blackcurrant bud, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black Pepper, Thuja, Peat, Vetiver.


The composition of the perfumer in reproducing the smell of licorice "glycyrrhiza glabra" a vegetable plant originally from Italy or China. It is especially cultivated in the surroundings of the Mediterranean, Middle-east, and in the south of the Untied States.
Licorice contains "glycyrrhizine" an acid possessing a sweetness fifty times superior then sucrose. The Pastis, a very famous French drink, contains licorice. Other Anise components accompanying notably Anise itself.

Principal Components 


Licorice: Glycyrrhizine, Cyclotene, Anethol, Maltol

Wines containing relevant notes of Licorice
Licorice and its spiced notes accompanying the bouquet of many grapes; such as; Cabernet franc, Mansois, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Negrette, Nielluccio, Pinot noir, Poulsard, Syrah, Touriga may also appear in wines matured in oak barrels.

Smells close to Licorice
Anise, Cacao, Coffee, Toffee, Cedar, Oak, Lovage, Toasted bread, Pine, Soybean.

Blond Tobacco

The composition of the perfumer. The common tobacco "Nicotiana tabacum" Originally from Central America, can be found today on al continents. Many countries producing it in huge quantities, such as, China, Brasil, India, United States as the front runners. Blond tobacco and brown tobacco are distinguished by the varieties used, but also by their way of drying; steamed and sun dried as one way or air dried followed by a fermentation. The American soldiers are for big part at the origin for this craze of blond cigarettes in Europe, at the end of the second world war they were carrying on them as part of their kit in 1944.

Principal Components 


Blond Tobacco: Damascone, Damascenone, Tabanon

Wines containing relevant notes of Tobacco 
Close to the smell of hay, blond tobacco likes to participate to the bouquets of Champagne and white and red Port. It mingles itself also in the perfume of wines issued of grapes like; Chardonnay, as well as many wines raised in oak.

Smells close to Tobacco
Box tree, Figs, Rose, Brown tobacco, Black tea, Green tea.

Brown Tobacco

The absolute of the leave of brown tobacco is done by extraction  from a concrete, this happens by alcoholic extraction of the leaves of different species of " Nicotiana"  principally from the common tobacco "Nicotiana tabacum". Originally from Central America, tobacco today is found on all continents, of which China, Brasil, India and the United States are the biggest producers.
Tobacco has for a long time been used in religious rituals, the Indians of America south and north smoke tobacco for over three thousand years. It helped them to see visions, permitting them to exchange thoughts with the spirits.

Principal Components 

Brown Tobacco: Phenylacetic acid, Damascenone

Wines containing relevant notes of Brown Tobacco
As for the white tobacco, the characters of the brown tobacco are to be found as well in wines raised in oak. You  also find hints of it in red natural sweet wines, as well as in wines vinified from grapes as; Merlot, Mouvedre, Pinot noir, Syrah.....

Smells close to Brown Tobacco
Blackcurrant bud, Oak, Hay, Blond tobacco, Black tea.

Black Tea

We obtain the extract of black tea by Carbonic extraction (CO2), of the leaves of the tea "Camellia sinensis" a shrub originally from the far east. It is found in countries with warm tempered climates, even tropical. The principal producing countries of black tea are India, China, Sri Lanka and Kenya.
Black tea distinguish from other types of tea by the complete oxidation of the leaves. Tea as a drink is very ancient, it comes from China, legends tells us that the Emperor from the XXVVIII Century before J-C, Chen Nung, discovered it by drinking hot water; when he was resting in the shadow of a tea shrub, leaves fell into his hot water and so tea was discovered.

Principal Components 


Black Tea: Damascone alpha, Farnesol, Coumarine

Wines containing relevant notes of Black Tea
Black tea can show a big complexity olfactory and aromatically. Its facets is to been found in many wines, such as those vinified from; Aglianico, Grenache noir, Pinot noir...sometimes the Xeres wines are characterise with notes of black tea, even in old red wines.

Smells close to Black Tea
Camomile, Tonka Bean, Fig, Hay, Broom, Lavender, Rose, Blond tobacco, Green tea, Linden.

Green Tea

The composition of the perfumer in reproducing the smell of green tea, is elaborated from the leaves of different varieties of the tea "Camellia sinensis"  a shrub originally from the far east. The tea is to be found in countries with a warm climate even tropical, especially Asia. The principal producing countries of green tea are, China, Japan, India and Sri Lanka.
Green tea distinguish itself from other types of tea, by heating up and the absence of the oxidization of the leaves.
Presenting many benefits for your health, green tea is rich in tannins. These have a very efficient action against cardiovascular diseases. It seems that green tea is also capable of reducing cancerous cells, but this faculty is less well established.

Principal Components 


Green Tea:  Damascone alpha, Acetophenone, Coumarine

Wines containing relevant notes of Green Tea
More vegetal then black tea and sometimes animal, green tea is noticeable in wines elaborated from grapes such as: Chenin, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon blanc, Vernaccia.....

Smells close to Green Tea
Box tree, Camomile, Castor, Fig, Hay, Broom, Rose, Blond tobacco, Black tea.


The essence of Vetiver is obtained by steamed distillation of the cleaned roots, dried and chopped of the Vetiver "Chrysopogon zizanoides"  a herb originally from India.
You will find in most tropical and sub-tropical zones, like in South-east Asia, India, Haiti, la Reunion, Madagascar, Brasil, China, Angola.
Renowned for its used in perfumery, Vetiver present an evidently agronomic interest, thanks to its network of dense and profound roots, it helps fighting efficiently against the erosion and drying of the soil. Planted as hedges it is also an excellent windbreak.

Principal Components 


Vetiver: Vetiverol, Khusimol, Alpha vetivone, Beta vetivone

Wines containing relevant smells of Vetiver
Vetiver exhale notes of wood, minerals, and spices, that we can find back in wines made of grapes as: Barbera, Gamaret, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Syrah, Tannat.

Smells close to Vetiver
Cedar, Incense, Patchouli

Muchrooms, Minerals and defaults are left to explore. So very close to all the elements important to know in wines. I know this has been a long journey, but I do translate it all from French text but trust me it will be all worth while.

Till next time please do drink responsibly.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

HV Wines: The appellations of France:Champagne


It has often be criticised by many for so many reasons, but whatever those tongues trying to say to topple Champagne of its pedestal, it has not worked and it will never work. 

You see Champagne has worked through the decades on a couple of key factors, to make sure that its product is unique and competition is pretty much zero. They have succeeded what many other regions have never been able to do.

They have brand their product in such a way that there is no other way then Champagne, and you think about all the occasions a bottle of the most known wine region has been opened.......indisputably without any denying you felt always something when the cork of a Champagne bottle was opened.

From nightclubs to weddings, to anniversaries, to victories, special occasions....yes even Napoleon was at it, after winning a battle he celebrated with a bottle of Jacquesson. So let us look at the appellation that is Champagne


Appellation: AOC Champagne

ColoursWhite sparkling
               Rose Sparkling

Size: 30,900 hectares

Production: 2,700 600 hectolitres

Creation of the AOC: 1936

The most northern of the wine regions in France, it is stretched over several counties, la Marne, l'Aube, l'aisne, Seine-et-Marne, and Haut-Marne.
The vines are planted on a chalky soil of which the permeability and the richness and the fundamental minerals bring refinement, quality, complexity to the wines of Champagne.
The region is cut into four principle areas: la Montagne de Rheims, Cote de blancs, Vallee de la Marne, and vignoble de l'Aude. Despite the single name, there are an infinite number of Champagnes. Sure they are white wines or rose's, but it is inside this production that we have distinctions, the blancs de blancs (made from Chardonnay only), blancs de noirs (made out of Pinot Meunier, Pinot noir, or a blend of both), white wines made out of the three principle grapes, or out of the lesser known one (Pinot blanc, Arbanne, Petit Meslier).
Then there are the different dosage, the most known are the Brut NV (none-vintage), Extra Brut or Brut Zero Dosage (no added sugar, extra dry), Demi-secs (much sweeter), les Doux (sweet, but very rare), the vintages, the cuvee prestiges, cuvees speciale.

A Champagne de harvesting, Negociant, Cooperatives
On the label of every Champagne bottle is indicated in little characters, by initials the status of the producer, (in general at the bottom on the side).  There are 6 different types,
RM: Recoltant-Manipulant (harvesting-handling), elaborate his Champagne exclusively from his harvest crop.
NM: Negociant-Manipulant ( negociant-handling), elaborate his Champagne from buying up grapes and eventually as well from his own harvest crop.
CM: Cooperative -Manipulant (cooperative-handling), elaborate their own Champagne.
RC: Recoltant-Cooperative (Harvesting-Cooperative), elaborate his or her Champagne by a cooperative.
SR: Society of Harvesters, they have a registered firm minimum two grower, with a winery where they make their own Champagne.
MA: Marque d'acheteur (Buying brand), big brand distribution, restaurant, supermarket......who buys already made Champagne. (This is in general brands that buy from a cooperative or big house their Champagne but stick their own label to the bottle, always check the origin house on the back of the label)

Champagne bottle sizes

*Quarter: 20 cl
*Half: 37.5 cl
*Bottle: 75cl
*Magnum:  2 bottles 1.5l
*Jeroboam: 4 bottles 3l
*Mathusalem: 8 bottles 6l
*Salamansar: 12 bottles 9l
*Balthazar: 16 bottles 12l
*Nabuchodonosor: 20 bottles 15l

Pinot Blanc
Pinot Noir
Pinot Meunier
Petit Meslier

Nature of the soils
Image result for brut nv champagne

Brut none vintage Champagne
The brut NV is the most represented Champagne of almost every house (some houses just do a vintage like Salon). Due to the Northern position of the wine fields in Champagne,it does not really permit to produce a vintage Champagne every year that is of the quality to be seen and accepted as a vintage, (a vintage is that in the bottle will be a Champagne with grapes made out of the year mention on the bottle). To compensate the deficiencies of a poor vintage, the Champagne houses have created a bank of wines named " les vins de reserve" (reserve wines), with these wines the Cellar master can then work to balance his Champagne year on year creating an identity of the house, as the houses are judged a lot on how consistent they can make their Brut NV. In this case they are not allowed to name their Champagne after a vintage as several vintages are blend together. Of course each house has its own secret of how they work their Brut NV. This Champagne by law has to rest for a minimum of 15 months of which 12 on its lees. For the vintage it is minimum of three years.

The eye:
When the Chardonnay grape is dominant in the blend of the Brut NV, The Brut shows nuances of straw gold, or a golden brilliant nimbus with green reflections. If the Pinot Noir or Meunier are the dominant grapes in the blend then a golden white imposes, It can be that tiny hint of rose taints the dress of the Champagne. When the Champagne has taken on some age, a golden yellow appears more prominent.

The nose:
The carbonic gas energises the aromas. According to the composition of the wine, the palette is more or less marked by the dominance of the Pinot Noir or the Chardonnay, (except is the wine is made predominately or 100% Meunier). In first instance there are fruits, secondly the citruses followed by notes of flowers and toasted bread. Then the nose declines towards butter, brioche, lemon, lemongrass, quince jelly, apple and apricot, peach, pear, white flowers, Violette, blackcurrant, hawthorn, hyacinth, honey.

The palate:
The black grapes are at the origin of fruit, the white grapes confer, finesse, excitability. The art of the cellar master is to create balance and harmony.  

Potential ageing time:
Brut NV: up to 7 years from the time its produced. (most Brut NV take 3 years to make)
Vintages: up 20 years and more (according to the vintage quality of course, but it takes about 4 to 7 years to produce a vintage Champagne)

Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius 46.4 Fahrenheit
Image result for champagne method
The method Champenoise
Called method traditionelle in other wine regions, the expression of method champenoise is statutorily reserved for Champagne. This mode of preparation consist of making a sparkling wine from a still wine by forcing it to go through a second fermentation afters it has been bottled. For that we add to the still wine when it is bottled a "liquor de tirage", it is composed of dissolved sugars in wine and yeast. After the second fermentation there is only left to remove the dead yeast from the bottle and adding a liquor the dosage to the lost wine when extracting the dead yeast (liquor the dosage is often a wine with more sugar dissolved).
The proportion of sugar in the wine, expressed in g/l, defines the dosage of the Champagne and from its style  and usage, we talk of a Brut NV, a demi-sec, the first one be more drier so less sugar then the demi sec. So a Champagne is measured by grams per litre. When they talk about a brut zero or brut absolu, Here there is hardly any sugar in the Champagne, here we add just wine after the second fermentation.

Table of dosage for Champagnes
Brut nature or zero: less then 3 grams of sugar litre
Extra Brut: between 0 and 6 grams of sugar litre
Brut: between 6 and 12 grams of sugar litre
Extra-Dry: between 12 and 17 of sugar litre
Sec: between 17 and 32 grams of sugar per litre
Demi-sec: between 32 and 50 grams of sugar per litre
Doux: more then 50 grams of sugar per litre

So whatever one says to you in regards of Champagne for what it is, is most simply because he/she envy it so much; 1, If he/she is a foreigner, wished Champagne was a region of their country, 2, Can't except that there is and only will be just Champagne to hold the crown, 3, or because they can't stand that the French hold so much good in the world of wine.

Well it is a bit strange to envy France as Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy the three master in  the world of wine, have given so much to the world as without them it would look much bleaker and less joyful. I myself are not French, but I find Champagne a truly wonderful product and it has given me wonderful, beautiful, amazing what is so wrong with that?
At the end of this thought, we walk our line only once, so why not take as much of the beauty with you!

Champagne has come through many roads and alleyways, fighting of the copycats, defending its rights, and proving its authenticity. Deep inside we all agree, we all accept, it is the darling of drinks.

Until next time please do drink responsibly.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

HV Wines: The Perfume of Wine Dominant plant part 10/ take 1

This long journey through all subjects smell is coming to a close, but the dominant plants is a very important one. Here as much as for the fruit chapter, plant is really important in wine as it appears in many wines you will examine. 14 different fresh plant smells play in red, white, and rose, but there are the dry plants and the mushrooms smells as well, so much more to take in.
Image result for aromas of plants in wine

The essence of Garlic is done by steamed distillation of the crushed bulbs of the "Garlic Allium sativum".
Most likely it has its origins from the East of the Caspian sea, today you find garlic on every continent of the globe. After China who is the first producer in the world, it is followed by India, South Korea, and Russia, then it is followed by the Mediterranean countries.
It is told that garlic was the first social conflict of humanity. It was provoked by the cancellation of the rations of garlic given to the Egyptian workers constructing the pyramid of Kheops, in the XXVI Century before J-C.
A recurrent symbol, garlic has always been considered as a protector against bad influences.
In the Odyssey for example, the messenger of the god Hermes, supplied Ulysses, to serve him as an antidote against the maleficent of the magician Circe, who had transformed his companions into swine.

Principal Components 


Garlic: Methylmercaptan, Disulfure d'allyle, Syringol, Trisulfure d'allyle.

Wines containing relevant notes of Garlic
Very quickly perceived as a default, the smell of garlic is a characteristic of some wines who have suffered a strong reduction, independently from the grapes, nevertheless, in very soft intensity, it can participate to the complexity of the bouquet of the wine.

Smells close to Garlic

Blackcurrant bud

The absolute of the blackcurrant bud is obtained by extraction from a concrete. Thereof it is itself extracted from the buds of the blackcurrant " Ribes nigrum", a shrub originally from Northern Europe. Preferring colder climates, it finds itself principally in Russia, Poland, Great Britain and France.
More known for its fruit and liquor, the blackcurrant is at times destine to the production of blackcurrant bud, which principally goes to the perfume industry.
To do this the plant is pruned just above ground to finally reap the branches. You can detect small glands filled with liquid on the buds, as well on a much more discreet level on the leaves and at the extremities of the berries.

Principal Components 


Blackcurrant buds: Methyle mercaptopentanone, Damascenone, Cymene, Caryophyllene, Carene.

Wines containing relevant notes of Blackcurrant bud
At the same time fruity as plant wise, the notes of blackcurrant bud are often noted in wines made of grapes like Sauvignon blanc, as well as Cabernet sauvignon, Colombard, Manois, Regent, Torrontes....

Smells close to Blackcurrant bud
Box tree, Cinnamon, Blackcurrant, Cloves, Fucus, Juniper, Nutmeg, Grapefruit, Patchouli,  Black pepper, Green sweet pepper, Brown tobacco.

Box tree

The composition of the perfumer in reproducing the smell of the leaves of Box tree. The common box "Buxus sempervirens" is a persistent leave shrub originally from Europe.
The box is renowned for its fine wood, for a very long time used to fabricate jewellery and music boxes. In another register, since the XVII Century it is imposed as a ornamental plant thanks to Sir Le Notre, the sun king Louis XIV gardener at Versailles.
The intake of box tree as well as it leaves, have a lesser good reputation, because of its toxic properties.

Principal Components 


Box tree: Methyle mercaptopentanone, Damascone alpha.

Wines containing relevant notes of Box tree
Close to the smell of Blackcurrant bud, box tree like to appears in many wines made of grapes like, Alvarinho, Colombard, Elbling, Sauvignon blanc, Scheurebe, Trousseau......

Smells close to Box tree
Blackcurrant bud, Figs, Ivy, Grapefruit, Rose, White tobacco, Black tee, Green tee.


The extract of celery is obtained by carbonic gas extraction, from the grains of the "Ombellifere Apium graveolens". 
Originally from the humid zones of the Mediterranean basin, celery is to be found principally in Europe, especially in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, also in Asia and the United States of America.
Before celery was called Ache, a word coming the Latin word  Apia which means "who believes in water"  in reference to the marshland and other humid zones in which celery naturally develops.

Principal Components 


Celery: Sedanolide, D-limonese, Selinene, Apiol, Carvone

Wines containing relevant notes of Celery
You can find back facets of celery, in wine elaborated from grapes such as, Carmenere, Chardonnay, Furmint, Garganega, Greco, Grenache Noir, Gruner veltliner, Pinot blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon blanc, Verdejo, even in the Xeres wines.

Smells close to Celery
Bergamot, Lemon, Lemongrass, Estragon, Cumin, Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Lime, Orange, Fennel, Grapefruit, Parsley, Thyme, Lemon verbena.


The composition of the perfumer. The cabbage "Brassica oleracea" is originally from Sout-west Europe. Especially cultivated in China, you find it also in Russia, United States, as well as in Asia and of course Europe.
In wine, the smell of cabbage is often linked to reduction problems, important and akin to a fault in the wine, However it may be found for other reasons and look positive but in small doses.

Principal Components 


Cabbage: Sulfure the dimethyle, Methionol

Wines containing relevant notes of Cabbage
Very light touches of cabbage are noticeable in grapes such as; Cabernet franc, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo....also on the old wines, especially red ones. If they are intense then they are not welcomed as they are signs of problems, in general reduction.

Smells close to Cabbage
Stagnant water, Ognion, Truffle.


The composition of the perfumer. The cucumber "Cucumis sativus" is a creeping plant originally from North India. Today you find the cucumber on all the continents but cultivated largely in China.
Originally the  cucumber was very bitter, but since time it has evolved to become much nicer to consume. Partially owns the cucumber in Europe its success due to Louis XIV, he adored the cucumber a lot as he used it often in his soups. It is also around this time that they started to cultivated the cucumber in green houses.
Cucumber and gherkin are part from the same family, following distinctive selection varieties, men has accentuate their difference.

Principal Components 


Cucumber: Nonadienal, Nonenal

Wines containing relevant notes of Cabbage
Cucumber reveals its key vegetal and watery notes in wines vinified from different grapes such as; falanghina, Feteasca neagra, Muscadet, Picpoul, Rulander.

Smells close to Cucumber
Figs, Iodine, Melon, Water melon.


The essence of sweet fennel is produced by steamed distillation of the grains of the fennel officinalis "Foeniculum Vulgare dulce" Originally from the Mediterranean basin, this umbellifer is to be found principally in Europe  and especially around the Mediterranean periphery.
In mythology, fennel was for Bacchus a sacred plant, god of wine, drunkenness, and orgies. He waved a big piece of fennel, the phallic emblem, during his famous religious feast, called the bacchanalia.
The Greeks used also a rod of the fennel as ceremonial baton in the culte of Dionysos, Greek name as that of the god himself.

Principal Components 


Fennel: Anethol, D-limonene, Alpha phellandrene, Estragol, Fenchone

Wines containing relevant notes of Fennel
Presenting one of the most spiced smell in the fresh plant species, fennel is detected more or less in intensity in several grape varieties, such as, Cabernet sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin, Grenache noir, Gruner veltliner, Pinot blanc, Rolle, Sauvignon blanc, Syrah....

Smells close to Fennel
Anise, Basil, Bergamot, Celery, Lemon grass, Estragon, Eucalyptus, Elder flower, Magnolia, Grapefruit, Pine, Black pepper, Licorice, Lemon verbena.


The composition of the perfumer on the smell reminding that of fresh cut grass. It is in general constituted of a mixture of selected grasses essentially grasses such as fescues and bluegrass, both originally from Europe.
In wines this smell is principally due to a lack of ripeness in the grape and the stem. The green parts of the grape and the stem can emit hexenal, from which forms hexenol, the principal component of the smell of fresh grass.
This note is often perceived as a fault from the moment it smells to strong.

Principal Components 


Grass: Hexenol

Wines containing relevant notes of Grass
You can perceive discreet touches of fresh grass in many grape varieties. Some wine are representative then others, such like the Vinho verde, or grapes like Aligote, Chasselas, Muller-thurgau, Muscadet, Vernaccia, Zweigelt......

Smells close to Grass
Redcurrant, Ivy, Carnation, Green olive, Garden peas, Green apple.


The composition of the perfumer. The common ivy "Hedera helix" is a creeping plant originally from Europe and the Middle-East. Henceforth planted on all continents, mostly you will find ivy in the northern hemisphere. Ivy is one of the rare plants dating from the tertiary era, a period extending from 65 to 2.6 millions years before J-C. It has conserve the same vegetative rhythm well almost. The flowers appear in the winter, mild and slightly humid, while summers were particular hot and dry. Today the Ivy, flowers in October grows at the end of the winter.

Principal Components 


Ivy: Hexenol

Wines containing relevant notes of Ivy
Like grass, Ivy can be a sign of a lack of maturity in the grapes. A weak intensity however participate to the complexity of the bouquet of the elaborated wine, which will come from grapes like, Bondola, Bonarda, Cabernet franc, Kerner, Merlot.

Smells close to Ivy
Box tree, Grass, Carnation, Green olive, Garden peas, Green pepper.


The composition of the perfumer. The onion "Allium cepa" is probably originally from central Asia. Cultivated to be consumed fresh or dry, it is to be found on all continents, and in particular in Asia, Russia and United States.
The onion has this particularity to provoke tears while we peel a bulb. A molecule irritable for the eyes, who produces at that moment "oxide propanethial".  Tears appear to dilute the molcule when they come in contact with the eye.
The expression "se mettre en rangs d'ognons (getting in a row)" seems to date from the XVI century, at occasion of an exceptional assembly demanded by the King of France in Blois. The ceremonial master, the Baron of Onion, loved to sort out the participants according to well precise rules set by him.

Principal Components 


Onion: Ethanethiol, Syringol

Wines containing relevant notes of Onion
The same way as the smell of garlic, those of the onion is quickly perceived as a default. It is often noticed on wines who suffer from a high volume of reduction. However a weak intensity and staying in the back and not disturbing other smells, it can be a participant to the whole assembly of the bouquet.

Smells close to Onion
Garlic, Cabbage, Stagnant water

Garden pea

The composition of the perfumer. The garden pea is a composition of the harvest pots before maturity from the garden pea "Pisum sativum".  Cultivated on all continents, the garden pea is originally from the Balkans and the Middle-east. The garden pea is one of the plants the most ancient cultivated. In Turkey, they have found back remains of picking peas and the cultivation of garden peas dating back to about 7500 before J-C.
Thomas Jefferson, third U.S president from 1801 to 1809, was passionate about agronomy, he was greatly interested in viticulture and as well to garden peas. He cultivated them personally and did many early precocity tests.

Principal Components 


Garden pea: Isopropyle methoxypyrazine, Beta pinene, Alpha cadinol

Wines containing relevant notes of Garden Pea
Well representing the vegetal smells, that of the garden pea is generally discreet and can be detected in wines like the Vihno Verde or in wines from grapes such as, Canaiolo, Greco, Petit verdot, Regent.....

Smells close to Garden pea
Basil, Box tree, Grass, Ivy, Parsley, Black pepper, Green pepper.

Green sweet pepper

The composition of the perfumer. The green sweet pepper is a fresh variety, of the "Capsicum annuum", plant belonging to the potato family and the tomato and is originally from Latin America.
Especially cultivated in China, you find it today on all continents.
There exist many different peppers in colour and size, like the cucumber and the gherkin, the chili and the green sweet pepper are part of the same species.
The term green sweet pepper comes from pepper initially, after Christopher Columbus mistakenly thought when he found the green sweet pepper it was pepper, during his discovery of the Americas, at the end of XV Century. He was in reality in the presence of chilli peppers, but the word pepper stayed, the word sweet green pepper appeared later at the end of the XVIII Century, to define the chilli non spicy.

Principal Components 


 Sweet green pepper: Isobutyle methoxypyrazine

Wines containing relevant notes of Green Sweet Pepper
Sometimes a sign of deficit in maturity from the pits of the grape. The green sweet pepper harmonise with the other perfumes of the wine when it is little intense. You can discover sweet green pepper in wines elaborated from grapes like, Caberent franc, Caberent sauvignon, Lambrusco, even Sauvignon blanc......

Smells close to Green sweet pepper
Ivy, Earthy musty taste, Peat.


The composition of the perfumer. Rhubarb is a herbaceous plant of the gender "Rheum", originally from northern Asia. It is now principally cultivated in Europe and Asia.
The term "rhubarb" comes from the Latin word "rheybarbarum" , derived from the word "rheum barbarum" which signify "barbaric plant of the Volga"
Effectively rhubarb was found growing spontaneously on the banks of the Russian river before being cultivated in the rest of Europe.

Principal Components 


Rhubarb: Acetate de styrallyle, Mercaptohexanol.

Wines containing relevant notes of Rhubarb
With notes as much vegetal and fruity, rhubarb lends its facets to different grapes, such as Falanghina, Freiburger, Lambrusco, Petite arvine, Rulander, Torrontes.......

Smells close to Rhubarb
Box tree, Passion fruit, Grass, Magnolia, Green apple.


The oil of soybean is extracted by steamed distillation, pressed from the soybean "Glycine max". Originally from the hot regions of South east Asia, soybean is hugely cultivated in the United States, Brasil, Argentina, it is also found in Europe and Asia.
We know soybean under many different forms, such as Soybean sauce. Another food wrought from Soybean is tofu. Issued from clothing the milk of the soybean, which has been created in China, in the 2nd Century before J-C, by "Liu An, King of the Huainan under the Dynasty of the Han". 
Buff with alchemy, he had created the tofu by pure coincident along an experiment.
Soybean is often mingled with mung bean, which is abusively called "beansprouts".

Principal Components 


Soybean: Methional, Maltol

Wines containing relevant notes of Soybean
The particular accents of soybean, well recognisable in sauces, likes to reveal itself in wines such as Madera, Xeres and old wines, even is some grapes such as Nebiolo, Pinotage......

Smells close to Soja
Oak, Toffee, Toasted bread, Licorice, Cocoa.

In take 2, I will talk about the dry plants and the mushroom, which will leave us with the minerals and the defaults dominats to go. Then after that you will have all the facts that contains in wines.

Until next times please do drink responsibly.

Monday, 3 November 2014

HV Wines: The appellations of France;Beaujolias and Beaujolias Villages

In a series of many, I will unveil the appellations of France. As you will see there is a 450 page book dedicated to it. Today I start with the Beaujolais as soon the Beaujolais nouveau is about to come out. For some this wine is a yearly fun experience, in Japan they truly make it an occasion, for others it is an old tradition that seems to catch the eye and attention less by the years.


Appellation: AOC Beaujolais.

Colours: Red

Size: 9 400 hectares

Production: 458 200hl

Creation of the AOC: 1937

As an extension of Burgundy to the south of Macon and stretch for 50 km just to the level of the hills of Lyon, Beaujolais is officially attached to the wine region of Burgundy. The region, already with a meridional character, owns its name to the Lords of Beaujeu who were the holders until 1400 AD.
The appellation Beaujolais produces essentially red wines made from the Gamay grape, vinified out of whole bunches of grapes, so no mechanical harvest are permitted. This method brings the typical Baujolais character, flower en fruity wines.The ancient terrains of the north-west are geographically the best terrains and so destine to the 10 Crus known to Beaujolais and Beaujolais-Villages. The vines of the AOC Beaujolais are planted on sedimentary soils. Here the vines cover the hills en the borders of the Massif Central ( a mountain plateau in the south central part of France), and go up to 500 metres altitude.

The Eye
The ideal Beaujolais shows an intense vivid red colour, limpid and shiny, Its dress can be purple, carmin, cherry, vermilion or many ruby nuances. It can also be garnet but never to dark, It often pairs with violet colours a sign of youth. A Beaujolais is never really aimed to stay laying down for maturing, Beaujolais is meant to drink young.

The Nose
The charm of the Beaujolais sits in it intense fruity composition, which imposes from the first sniff. You will recognize alone or combined, Raspberry, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, or Strawberry. In the most subtle of wines some light touches of flowers and vegetal nuances, will blend with the fruits, composing a nose of great freshness. Beaujolais nouveaux distinguish itself by the amylic notes, ripe banana, English candy.

The Mouth
The fruity aromas are to be found back on the palate, with a great persistence in the best of the bottles. Beaujolais is generally vivid and tender, however when the vinification is successful the wine appears fleshy and give you almost the feeling of biting a fruit. The other side of the coin is, that it has a very short life, 1 to 2 years for the normal Beaujolais, up to 5 years for the crus. The Beaujolias nouveau in the three months of release until spring next year.

Red and Rose: Gamay
White:  Chardonnay

Nature of the soils:
Limestones, clay and limestones predominately, Crystalline rocks in the upper valley of Azergues.

Ageing potential:
1 to 2 years

Serving temperature:
Red: 11-12 degrees
Rose and White: 10 degrees

Beaujolais Nouveau
Wine en Prmeur, the Beaujolais nouveau takes in about 50 to 60 % of the harvest of Beaujolais, it is always released some weeks after the harvest around mid-November. It is a wine tender and gouleyant, a result of short steel tank cycle, and a semi-carbonic maceration, which permit to develop the fruity aromas.


Appellation: AOC Beaujolais villages or Beaujolais followed with the name of the town where it is made.

Colours: Red

Size: 6 300 hectares

Production: 312 600 hl

Creation of the AOC: 1937

A selection of the best hills in Beaujolais, the appellation gathers 38 towns in the Northern part of the Beaujolais appellation. The demarcation marks the transition between the clay-limestones from the south of Beaujolais to the limestone soils of the 38 towns up North. From the Gamay the wine makers obtain red wines with good structure or very fruity. The rare white Beaujolais-Villages come from the Chardonnay grape and only from those towns.

The Eye
The wines coming from a sandy-limestone soil,are dressed with a lighter red colour. Those coming from old vines planted on schistose soils with some clay, benefit of a vinification longer than the others,and appears much sober in their appearance.

The Nose
All the perfumes of red fruits and field flowers appears according to the cuvees of origin. The fruity smells remind often blackcurrant, forest strawberries, raspberries. The amylic composition evokes exotic fruits like the banana.
The flowers scents (Broom and Violet) characterising in general the terroirs higher up.

The Mouth
The characters you want in a Beaujolais-villages are smoothness, refinement, and fruits. Little tannin these wines flourish all the elements smelt at the olfaction exercise. Little acid, they are very easy to drink.

Red and Rose: Gamay
White:  Chardonnay

Nature of the soil:
Sandy limestone, shale, Gneiss

Age potential:
2 to 4 years

Serving temperature:
Red: 13 degrees
Rose and White: 10 degrees

Beaujolais Superior
This confidentially appellation does not contain a designed, specific territory. Each year a selection of parcels is declared superior before the summer.The must must present a richness equivalent of 0.5degrees superior as that of the Beaujolais appellation. The AOC produces between 1500 and 5000hl of red wine and some white.

Voila a neat insight into a wine known to all, but fewer do drink it. Beaujolais is hard working restructuring their image, will they succeed?........

Until next time please do drink responsibly