Monday, 19 January 2015

HV Wines - Domodimonti natural wine Il Messia 2009 IGT Italy



Domodimonti winery is a boutique style of house situated in the picturesque countryside of Montefiore dell'Aso in the region Le Marche in Italy.
In 2003 Francesco and his wife Marisa got the opportunity to buy a vineyard with forty hectares of vines and 8 hectares of olives groves. Suddenly a dream burning for such a long time came to opportunity in the region they grow up.
Of course the antique cantina was in a very poor state and needed a face lift, Tony Curtis, Mikey Rourke, Sylvester Stallone, Jocelyn Wildenstein, Donatella Versace all inn, was the extend of the work needed to be done. Then finally in 2010 the state of art winery was ready for business.

The whole vision, investment, attention and drive to achieve top quality wines all as natural as possible. Domodimonti’s ambition is to produce high quality wines, so it is important to have a good fertile soil, healthy quality grapes, plenty of sun and surely a high quality team.
So for that to work they have the help of top talented Italian consultant Carlo Ferrini (Castello del Terriccio is one example), and without his input and the dedicated team Domodimonti would have been able to stand where it is today and grow towards the future.

The estate
Domodimonti is situated right in full country side not close to any big city (Italy isn’t large, yes it stretches). On one side they have the Adriatic sea and on the other side the Sibillini mountains, so a great variety of air swings flows along these lands, which help to grow healthy grapes. The new state of the art winery is designed to have the least amount of visual and ecological disturbance on the local environment, as a great attention is based to preserve and respect nature and work with it as natural as possible. They also work with renewable sources, solar panels and recuperated rain water which is filtered and reused, to sustain a good ecological ethos.

The philosophy

Domodimonti’s ambition to produce top quality natural wines, is been looked at through a magnifying glass and all details analysed. Good fertile land, healthy grapes, a professional and ambitious team and a top consultant to steer the helm. Carlo Ferrini agrees with the vison of the Bellini family and works towards a quality no other natural wine has achieved yet in Italy. With respect for the land, the vines, the work in the vines, the mastering of the cuvees, he intend to set this winery at the top end of the stairs.  

The natural wines of Domodimonti

The wines at this estate here see their natural wine as such: in the best result of their craftsmanship, an exceptional product produced from a terroir which holds itself pristine due to of innovative methods, respecting the environment and mostly respecting human health.

·         Grapes are handpicked in small baskets.
·         Sustainably-grown, using organic matter
·         Low yield vineyards
·         No GMO
·         No added sugar, and strict selection of yeats
·         No acid adjustments
·         No other additives for mouth-feel, color….
·         Minimal sulphites required
·         Use of state-of-the-art technology

The vineyard
There is 48 hectares of vineyard spread out across the backdrop of Montefiore dell’Aso. They are facing south growing on clay soil, which was one day long time ago part of the Adriatic sea. So the sea left remnants of precious mineral needed for the vines. The vicinity of the Adriatic sea to the east and the Sibillini mountain chain to the west and the winery situated 300 meters above sea level all playing part in providing an ideal micro-climate for healthy and perfect ripening of the grapes.
Domodinonti’s first harvest was in 2004, but much improved work and investment has been done since, on the land (planting new vines and restructuring for greater success).
The vines are spread out over several parcels most around Montefiore dell’Aso, the grape varieties used are, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Pecorino and  Passerina.

The harvest

They attend the vines throughout the growing season, with selective pruning in the winter and then again in spring, leaving each single vines with the right amount of fruits, to achieve a homogeneous result in concentration in aromas and acidity. Harvest by hand at the right time to achieve the highest quality grape.
Once in the winery the grapes are selected once more on a sorting table before vinification. The vinification happens in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 18 degrees Celsius for the white wines and 25 degrees Celsius for the reds. In the whites such as the Pecorino grape are cooled down while still whole through liquid nitrogen. In this way all the organoleptic character are preserved which are later to be found back in the wine in pure and emotional expression and helps to give life to the wine.
So with their commitment and the high technology their mission is to offer exceptional quality wines, with our own identity whilst respecting the environment, the land, the vine, your health.

Domodominti's priority is to use non-invasive technologies that allow healthy grapes to transform into great quality wines. With their philosophy they eliminate the use of adjuvants and always limit to max the use of sulphites. Let us be clear anyone bloke that tries to make  you believe that this wine is made without any sulphite is lying. The grape itself contains sulphites, it is just the quantity one uses design's de definition of organic, biologic, nature wines, many marketing ways to make you buy their wines.

 All good wines have them and a wine needs it, all those grovers out there (which I do support) who want to make wine in the healthiest and natural way possible need to still make sure that they make a good wine. Just the fact that you have so called no additives, or cellar manipulation does not make you give the right to think that this is the way wines should be, as at the end of the line the consumer still holds the baton, as it is him that will or will not pay for your wine. 

Thee are out there already many wine makers that bring great wines to the tables, but far from all are good. 

The Wines

Passione et Visione
Marche red, IGT
Grape: Petit Verdot

Li Coste

Offida white DOCG
Grape: Pecorino

Solo Per Te

Marche red IGT
Grape: Montepluciano


Offida white DOCG


Marche red IGT
Grape: Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon

Il Messia

Marche red IGT
Grape: Montepulciano, Merlot

Today I will elaborate and taste IL Messia 2009.

Visual: Warm, elegant red ruby/red cherry colour. Legs are strong and heavy indicating high percentage of alcohol. The wine look clean heavy and masculine, the reflection isn't great so I expect not great acidity in the wine. 

Nose: Powerful full of red fruits, blackberries and blackcurrants, hints of anise but also cardamom and some hints of white pepper, most likely to the oak ageing process. In all there is a good complexity. 
Palate: Tannins are fair and soft, there is a dry sensation of the gums. It has a silky feeling and the fruits are super over ripe. The acidity is weak and not expressive, I would have preferred a hit more freshness. It is warm and has a fair good ending, no straight cut off. The body is heavy and needs time to reflect. 

Rating: I rate this wine 16.75/20 or 67.50/100 

Conclusion: Yes it is a wine at a not so every day drinking wine for the normal every day drinking wine lover. But it is truly a great discovery for a natural wine from Italy, it has without a doubt an Italian identity. This is definitely out of the organic, biologic, bio-dynamic wine category one of the better ones and surely an estate to look out for. Yes there is a natural trend going on at the moment in many Michelin star restaurants, but as with all trends are trends and we will see if this trend walks the course it walks today? Surely it is good step forward but as with many of these natural so called wines there is still the quest of producing a great wine, So far there are very few, Domodimonti is getting well into that direction so as with all hope is the still alive. 

Until next please do drink responsibly.   

Thursday, 15 January 2015

HV Wines: The top 34 white gold makers in Burgundy (by LRVF)

This is a list of the wine makers who produce the grandest of white wines in the world. This list traces from Chablis to Macon via the majestic Cote de Beaune.

Montrachet, Meursault, Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne.....these magic terroirs can like no other terroir transcend the true identity of the Chardonnay grape. These wines are at the most demanded in the world, everyone wants to have a piece of it. White Burgundies have risen in demand so much that soon (for some already) prices will set these wines into the pockets of the few who can actually afford it. It is true that as much for red Burgundies, the white top 31 in this list here are true proof of mastership. Recently a Romanee Conti 1971(magnum 1.5l) has been sold for €45,000, makes you question how is this possible, is it really worth that much?

Burgundy since 1996 had a hard time with many of their white wines showing early signs of oxidation, but they have turned the tables of late and are now on a much better path. Better carved with precision the 2012 that have been tasted for this list, foreshadow  not a revolution but an evolution in style.
Within the elite, the period of wines rich, fat, over ripe and outrageously oaked is bygone. As for the sharp cutting acidity with grilled hazelnut flavours very typical, there has been great studies and search to better control these elements.
Following the road traced by the best wine makers, Burgundy has found back a style, those of digestible wines,neat and principally capable of ageing.

Yes, some of these wines in the list are reaching price of €100 at least, so for the amateur of white burgundies there will be somewhat broken hearts as already mentioned they will become increasingly unaffordable, so looking through Chalonnais and Maconnais of Brugundy will be the next big thing, as many young wine makers emerge there, so before this hits the roof it might be wise to explore it.

Eleven Mythical Domains imposing their class

1. Domain d'Auvenay (Meursault): The absolute reference.

In spring 2015 Lalou Bize-Leroy (owner) celebrate her 60 years in the wine world. Emblematic figure in Burgundy, She has past her her entire life transcribing in her wines the quintessential of the terroirs. Her secret: a rigorous daily work of the vine. Her wines combine profoundness, vitality, refinement and oiliness.

d'Auvenay 2012

-Auxey-Duresses, Les Boutonniers, 2012. 19.5/20 98/100 €125 £99 $150
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres, 2012. 20/20 100/100 €250
-Meursault 1er Cru Les Gouttes d'Or, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 20/20 100/100 €250 £197 $300
-Criots-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, 2012. 20/20 100/100 €600+ £473+ $719+

The overall score for this house is 20/20, 100/100

Domain d'Auvenay in numbers
Proprietor: Lalou Bize-Leroy
Size of the property: 3,9 hectares
Number of appellation: 13
Number of bottles produced: 8,000

2. Coche-Dury (Meursault): Its style is legendary

Family Coche-Dury are great winemakers, from father to sons they are singled out by their humility. My father is an earthling and never was looking for fame, express Raphael, the son. Together they spent the majority of their time between the vines or in the cellar. Models of great Burgundy whites, fresh, slightly grilled and build to last. The wines of Coche-Dury account amongst the most wanted in the world.

Coche-Dury 2012

-Bourgogne 2012. 15/20 75/100 €18 £14.20 $21.55
-Meursault Villages, Les Chaumes 2012. 16.5/20 83/100 €40 £31.50 $47.90
-Meursault 1er Cru Caillerets, 2012. 18/20 90/100 €49 £38.60 $58.65
-Meursault 1er Cru Perrierres, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 19/20 95/100 €63 £49.60 $75.40

The overall score for this house is 19.5/20, 99/100

Coche-Dury in numbers
Proprietor: Jean-Francois Coche-Dury
Size of property: 10,3 hectares
Number of appellations: 16
Number of bottles produced: 45,000 

3. Roulot (Meursault): The other big name of Meursault

Admired and respected winemaker, Jean-Marc Roulot has known since 1989 imposing his style at Meursault. Even better he schooled in the region these days, all amateurs praise his crystalline expressing with much force the subtlety of the terroir (Charmes, Genevieres, Perrieres....) This winemaker of great talent defence the just balance of fruits, without searching the over-ripeness, long raising time, especially the element of brightness, just, refinement and as little as possible of intervention during the vinification.

Roulot 2012

-Bourgogne Blanc, 2012. 16/20 80/100 €16 £12.6 $19.15
-Meursault Villages Meix Chavaux, 2012. 17.5/20 88/100 €42 £33.10 $50.30
-Meursault Villages Les Tessons, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 17.5/20 88/100 €54 £42.55 $64.65
-Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres, 2012. 19/20 95/100 €94 £74 $112.50

The overall score for this house is 19.5/20, 98/100

Roulot in numbers
Proprietor: Family Roulot
Size of the property: 15 hectares
Number of appellations: 17
Number of bottles produced: 85,000

4. Guffens-Heynen (Pouilly-Fuisse, Saint-Veran): The Belgian exploding the Maconnais.

From his terrois in Pouilly-Fuisse and Saint-Veran, he imposes his wines amongst the greatest white wines of Burgundy. When observing the work from Jean-Marie Guffens, it seems legitimate to ask the following question "what is a great white wine of Burgundy?", "a great terroir, a great winemaker, or both". His presence amongst the elite white wine makers of Burgundy has to thank in first place to the work he achieves amongst his vines, a exceptional quality work of his wines. We don't contest the supremacy of the terroirs of Cote de Beaune, on which are born the most sumptuous white wines of France, but Jean-Marie Guffens has written one of the most extraordinary pages in the history of Maconnais. He has set in the spotlight a terroir that was considered for a long time to me in minor.

Guffens-Heynen 2012

-Macon-Pierreclos Le Chavigne,2012. 16.5/20 88/100 €28 £22.05 $33.55
-Saint-Veran Cuvee unique, 2012. 16.5/20 88/100 €35 £27.55 $42
-Macon-Pierreclos Tris des Hauts de Chavigne, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 18/20 90/100 €35 £27.55 $42
-Pouilly-Fuisse Extremis, 2012. 18/20 90/100 €65 £51.20 $78

The overall score for this house is 19.5/20 97/100

Guffens-Heynen in numbers
Proprietor: Jean-Marie Gufens
Size of the property: 5,23 hectares
Number of appellations: 3
Number of bottles produced:25,000

5. Romanee-Conti (Montrachet): The untouchable Montrachet

Domain of the Romanee-Conti or DRC, incarnates the summit of the great Burgundy wines. Renowned for its prestigious red Burgundies de Vosne-Romanee, it owns also three whites; a confidential Hautes-Cotes-de-Nuits as Aubert de Villaine himself but he did not wished to present a Batard-Montrachet and Montrachet as it is for personal use and for the Domain itself. At DRC the whites are always harvest late, they make Montrachet since 1966 and they esteem to always explore the talent of Montrachet. In 2012 he has taken as step back on the question of maturity and ageing in new oak by shorting the time.

Romanee-Conti 2012

-Montrachet Grand Cru, 2012. 19/20 95/100 between €3,000-€4,000 £2,362-£3,149 $4,560 $6,080
-Montrachet Grand Cru, 2007. 19/20 95/100 No Price
-Montrachet Grand Cru, 2003. 19.5/20 98/100 No Price

The overall score for this house is 19/20 95/100

Romanee-Conti in numbers
Proprietor: Family de Villaine, Roch et Leroy
Size of the property: 24,85 hectares
Number of appellations: 10
Number of bottles produced: 80,000

6. Comtes Lafon (Meursault): Its Meursault's are precise  and tight.

Since 30 years, Dominique Lafon defends a Meursault style which is classic, elegant, admirable of balance. More then ever this domain does honour to its grand global reputation. He is certainly one of winemakers who has worked the hardest to fight against the premature oxidation phenomenon, taking many lessons from the past. Dominique signed his first vintage in 1984 en moved over to bio-dynamic in 1998 and was one of the first to do so in the region. From the middle of naughties he refined his style, looking before all aromatic precision, abandon the batonnage system, and using less new oak. Their wines today are presented on the most prestigious tables in the world.    

Comtes Lafon 2012

-Meursault Villages, 2012. 16.5/20 88/100 €45 £35,45 $54
-Meursault Clos de la Barre, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 17/20 85/100 €50 £40 $59.85
-Meursault 1er Cru Boucheres, 2012. 17.5/20 89/100 €60 £47.25 $71.85
-Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes, 2012. 18.5/20 93/100 €95 £75.80 $113

The overall score for this house is 19/20 95/100

Comtes Lafon in numbers
Proprietor: Family Lafon
Size of the property: 14,5 hectares
Number od appellations: 15
Number of bottles produced: 90,000

7. Pierre Morey (Meursault): The nobleness of great classics.

Father and daughter, the Morey's associate themselves in a research pushed of the canons of the timeless Meursaults. With domain Morey we are in the heart of grand Meursault classicism, here they elaborate wines marked by a regularity hardly equalled then any in the appellation. And since more then 20 years Pierre and daughter Anne Morey continue a dual solitude to pilot with dexterity and precision this little domain converted into bio-dynamic at the end of the 90's.

Pierre Morey 2012

-Bourgogne, 2012. 16/20 80/100 €15 £11.85 $17.95
-Meurault Villages, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 17/20 85/100 €28 £22.05 $33.55
-Meursault Villages Les Tessons, 2011. 16.5/20 88/100 €40 £31.50 $47.90
-Meursault Villages, 2010. 17.5/20 88/100 No price (sold out)

The overall score for this house is 19/20

Pierre Morey in numbers
Proprietor: Anne et Pierre Morey
Size of the property: 10 hectares (7.2 hectares in white)
Number of appellations:  12
Number of bottles produced: 50,000

8. Anne-Claude Leflaive (Puligny-Montrachet): The grand Lady of Puligny

Since 1990, Anne-Claude Leflaive carries this domain of reference towards the summit of refined wines. This very famous domain of Puligny-Montrachet is also one of the flag bearers of the biodynamic culture in Burgundy. Anne-Claude has carried the first test in the beginning of the nineties, the total renovation was achieved in 1998. The domain follows today that path and the 3 hectares of Grand Cru are henceforth laboured by horse (still in debate the effectiveness of this....) a proof of great care towards the land this domain holds. Eric Remy and Antoine Lepetit de Labigne have taken over since 2008 from Pierre Morey to shoulder the vines and the cellar with Anne-Claude Leflaive.

Anne-Claude Leflaive 2012

-Bourgogne,2012. 16/20 80/100 €22 £17.35 $26.35
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 17.5/20 89/100 €56 £44 $67
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Pucelles, 2012. 18/20 90/100 €121 £95.30 $144.85
-Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru,2012 18.5/20 94/100 €250 £196.85 $299.25

The overall score for this house is 19/20

Anne-Claude Leflaive in numbers
Proprietor: Anne-Claude Leflaive
Size of the property: 24 hectares
Number of appellations: 12
Number of bottles produced: 140,000

9. Rene and Vincent Dauvissat (Chablis): The vibration of the Great Chablis

From the Petit-Chablis to the Grand Cru Les Clos, The Dauvissat range shows the mastership of Chardonnay to ranks of Art. In their old cellars of XVII Century, the family Dauvissat produce Chablis who have seduced many wine lovers over the world. Rene then Vincent since 1976 and now Gislain and Etienne, since 2013 form a family in service of its terroir and great wines. In a spirit of continuity, the domain is nevertheless making substantial progress in conducting the vine under the eye of Vincent. Without a certificate he works the vines in a bio and bio-dynamic system since 2002.

Rene and Vincent Dauvissat 2012

-Petit-Chablis, 2012. 15.5/20 79/100 €12 £9.45 $14.40
-Chablis, 2012. 16.5/20 88/100 €15 £11.85 $17.95
-Chablis 1er Cru La Forest, 2012. The emblematic cuvee 17.5/20 89/100
-Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos, 2012. €33 £26 $39.50

The overall score for this house is 19/20

Rene and Vincent Dauvissat in numbers
Proprietor: Vincent, Gislain, and Etienne Dauvissat
Size of the property: 14.5 hectares
Number of appellations: 8
Number of bottles produced: 70,000

10. Raveneau (Chablis): Their Chablis are never austere.

De fruits of a demanding work in the cellar and in the vines. gives their wines a great purity which reveals itself with time. For the amateurs only the name Raveneau is enough to evoke the greatness of the Chablis wine. A notoriety acquired by the domain since the fifties, at the time it was rare to see the family Raveneau bottling their wines in Chablis. The domain is not practising the biologic culture but the vines have never known any weedkiller. The grapes are very regular in terms of maturity. In the cellar little changes, long maturing on oak, mostly used oak. for long time they called them crazy, because they hand harvest, plough our soil and vinify on oak. Today all winemakers come towards the work we were doing already decades ago.

Raveneau 2012

-Chablis, 2012. 14.5/20 73/100 €20 £17.75 $23.95
-Chablis 1er Cru Butteaux, 2012 17/20 85/100 €28 £22.05 $33.50
-Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 2012. The emblematic cuvee 18/20 90/100 €30 £23.65 $35.90
-Chablis Grand Cru Valmur, 2012. 18.5/20 93/100 €40 £31.50 $47.90

The overall score for this house is 19/20

Raveneau in numbers
Proprietor: Jean-Marie et Bernard Raveneau
Size of the property: 8 hectares
Number of appellations: 9
Number of bottles produced: 50,000

11. Ramonet (Montrachet): Generous and Greedy whites

The domain Ramonet is one of the mythical domains of the Cote de Beaune. The grand father Pierre Ramonet, talented wine maker sold his wines already on the other side of the Atlantic before the second world war and in the Michelin star restaurants in France. Noel et Jean-Claude Ramonet have pursued his work, all in rendering the terroirs in an even better grace, thanks to mastering the yields.

Ramonet 2012

-Bourgogne, 2012. 14/20 70/100 €8.50 £6.70 $10.20
-Chassagne-Montrachet villages,2012. 16/20 80/100 €13.50 £10.65 $16.15
-Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot, 2012. 17/20 85/100 €22 £17.35 $26.35
-Montrachet Grand Cru,2012. The emblematic Cuvee 19/20 95/100 €120 £94.50 $143.65

The overall score for this house is 18.5/20

Ramonet in numbers
Proprietor: Noel et Jean Claude Ramonet
Size of the property: 17 hectares
Number of appellations: 24
Number of bottles produced: 110,000

23 reliable values always there to impress

1. Matrot (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 19/20

-Bourgogne chardonnay 2012 14/20 70/100
-Meursault villages 2012. 16.5/20 83/100
-Meursault 1er cru Charmes 2012. 18/20 90/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2012. 19/20 95/100

Matrot in numbers
Proprietor: Thierry et Pascale Matrot
Size of the Property: 22 hectares
Number of appellations: 17
Number of bottles produced: 150,000

2. Jean-Paul et Benoit Droin (Chablis)

The overall score for this house is 18.5/20 93/100

-Chablis 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Chablis Grand Cru Valmur 2012. 18/20 90/100
-Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2012. 19/20 95/100

Jean Paul et Benoit Droin in numbers
Proprietor: Benoit Droin
Size of the porperty: 26 hectares
Number of appellations: 16
Number of bottles produced: 200.000

3. Antoine Jobard (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 18.5/20 93/100

-Bourgogne 2012. 14.5/20 78/100
-Meursault villages En la Barre 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Poruzots 2012. 17.5/20 88/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres 2012. 18..5/20 93/100

Antoine Jobard in numbers
Proprietor: Francois et Antoine Jobard
Size of the property: 6 hectares
Number of appellations: 7
Number of bottles produced: 30.000

4. Michel Bouzereau (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 18.5/20 93/100

-Meursault villages Les Tessons 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2012. 17.5/20 87/100

Bouzereau et fils in numbers
Proprietor: Michel et Baptiste Bouzereau
Size of the property: 10.7 hectares
Number of appellations: 14
Number of bottles produced: 65.000

5. La Maltroye (Chassagne-Montrachet)

The overall score of this house is 18.5/20 93/100

-Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Vignes Blanches 2012. 17.5/20 87/100
-Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanee 2012. 18/20 90/100

La Maltrove in numbers
Proprietor: Jean-Pierre Cournut
Size of the property: 15hectares
Number of appellations: 20 (of which 14 in white)
Number of bottles produced: 60,000

6. Bonneau du Matray (Corton-Charlemagne)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Corton-Charlemagne 2012. 18.5/20 93/100
-Corton-Charlemagne 2011. 17.5/20 88/100

Bonneau du Matray in numbers
Proprietor: Family Le Bault de la Moriniere
Size of the property: 11 hectares
Number of appellations: 2
Number of bottles produced: 55.000

7. Etienne Sauzet (Puligny-Montrachet)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Puligny-Montrachet villages 2012. 15.5/20 79/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 18.5/20 93/100

Etienne Sauzet in numbers
Proprietor: Jeanine Boudot
Size of the property: 10 hectares
Number of appellations: 6
Number of bottles produced:  100.000

8. Jean-Marc Boillot (Puligny-Montrachet)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Puligny-Montrachet villages 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet 2012. 17.5/20 88/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Crombettes 2012. 18/20 90/100

Jean-Marc Boillot in numbers
Proprietor: Jean-Marc Boillot
Size of the property: 11 hectares (of which 6 in white)
Number of appellations: 23
Number of bottles produced: 50.000

9. Vincent Dureuil-Janthial (Rully)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Bourgogne Aligote 2012. 13.5/20 68/100
-Rully 2012. 15/20 75/100
-Rully 1er Cru Le Meix Cadot 2012 16/20 80/100
-Rully 1er Cru Le Meix Cadot Vieilles Vignes 16.5/20 83/100

10. Francois Mikulski (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 18/20

-Bourgogne Aligote 2012. 13.5/20 78/100
-Meursault villages 2012. 15/20 75/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Poruzots 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Genevrieres 2012. 17.5/20 88/100

Francois Mikulski in numbers
Proprietor: Francois et Marie-Pierre Mikulski
Size of the property: 9.5 hectares
Number of appellations: 12
Number of bottles produced: 40.000

11. Laurent Tribut (Chablis)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Chablis villages 2012. 15/20 75/100
-Chablis 1er Cru Cote de Lechet 2012. 16.5/20 83/100
-Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Chablis 1er Cru Montmains 2012. 17.5/20 88/100

Laurent Tribut in numbers
Proprietor: Family Tribut
Size of the property: 7 hectares
Number of appellations: 4
Number of bottles produced: 40.000

12. Montille (Puligny, Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Deux Montille Soeur Frere Rully Chaponnieres 2012. 14/20 70/100
-Chateau Puligny-Montrachet Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots 2012. 17.5/20 89/100
-Domaine de Montille Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Le Cailleret 2012 18.5/20 93/100
-Domaine de Montille Corton-Charlemange Grand Cru 2012. 17.5/20 89/100

Montille in numbers
Proprietor: Family de Montille
Size of the property: 41.51 hectares
Number of appellations:  54
Number of bottles produced: 100.000

13. Jacques Carillon (Puligny-Montrachet)

The overall score for this house is 18/20 90/100

-Puligny-Montrachet 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Champ Canet 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Perrieres 2012. 17.5/20 88/100
-Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet 2012. 19/20 95/100

Jacques Carillon in numbers
Proprietor: Jacques Carillon
Size of the property: 5.5 hectares
Number of appellations: 7 (of which 6 in white)
Number of bottles produced: 30.000

14. William Fevre (Chablis)

The overall score of this house is 17.5/20 88/100

-Chablis 1er Cru Vauleront 2012. 16/20 83/100
-Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos 2012. 17.5/20 88/100

William Fevre in Numbers
Proprietor: Family Henriot
Size of the property: owns 4 hectares and hires 47 hectares (+ buying in grapes)
Number of appellations: 13
Number of bottles produced: 300.000

15. Joseph Drouhin (Beaune)

The overall score for this house is 17.5/20 88/100

-Chablis Grnad Crus Les Clos 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Beaune 1er Cru Les Mouches 2012. 17.5/100 88/100
-Montrachet Grand Cru Marquis de Laguiche 2012. 18.5/20 93/100

Joseph Droin in numbers
Proprietor: Family Drouhin (majority shareholders)
Size of the property: 80 hectares (+ buying in grapes)
Number of appellations: 90
Number of bottles produced: Not communicated (but it is a lot, they are a big negociant)

16. Vincent Girardin (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 17.5/100 87/100

-Meursault villages Les Narvaux 2012. 16.5/20 83/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Corton Charlemagne Quintessence 2012. 18/20 90/100
-Bienvenue-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2012. 18.5/20 93/100

Vincent Girardin in numbers
Proprietor: Company des vins d'Autrefois
Director: Eric Germain
Size of the property: 0.4 hectares and 100 hectares buying grapes.
Number of appellations: 90
Number of bottles produced: 600.000

17. L'Arlot (Nuits-Saint-Georges)

The overall score for this house is 17/ 20 87/100

-Cote-de-Nuits villages Au Leurey 2012. 14/20 70/100
-Nuits-Saint-Georges Cuvee La Gerbotte 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos de l'Arlot 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos de l'Arlot 1996 18/20 90/100

L'Arlot in numbers
Proprietor: Axa Millesimes
Size of the property: 12.3 hectares
Number of appellations: 7
Number of bottles produced: 60.000

18. Bouchard Pere et Fils (Beaune)

The overall score for this house is 17.5/100 86/100

-Beaune du Chateau 1er Cru 2012. 15/20 75/100
-Meursault-Perrieres 1er Cru 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2012. 17.5/20 88/100
-Montrachet Grand Cru 2012. 18.5/20 89/100

Bouchard et Fils in numbers
Proprietor: Family Henriot
General Director: Christophe Bouchard
Size of the property: 130 hectares and 70 hectares in buying grapes
Number of appellations: around 100
Number of bottles produced: 900.000

19. Jacques Prieur (Meursault)

The overall score for this house is 17.5/20 86/100

-Beaune 1er Cru Clos de la Feguine 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Closde Mazeray 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2012. 17.5/20 88/100
-Montrache Grand Cru 2012. 18/20 90/100

Jacques Prieur in numbers
Proprietor: Family Labruyere (80%) and family Prieur (20%)
Size of the property: 22 Hectares
Number of appellations: 24
Number of bottles produced: 120.000

20. Les Lambrays (Puligny-Montrachet)

The overall score for this house is 17.5/100 86/100

-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Louves 2012. 17/20 85/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 2012. 16.5/20 84/100
-Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Cailleret 2012. 17.5/20 88/100

Les Lambrays in numbers
Proprietor: Groupe LVMH
Size of the property: 10.65 hectares
Number of appellations: 4
Number of bottles produced: 45.000

21. Billaud-Simon (Chablis)

The overall score for this house is 17/20 85/100

-Chablis 1er Cru Montee de Tonnerre 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses 2012. 17/20 85/100

Billaud-Simon in numbers
Proprietor: Maison Faiveley
Size of the property:  20 hectares
Number of appellations: 12
Number of bottles produced: 148.000

22. Rapet (Pernand-Vergelesses)

The overall score for this house is 17/20 85/100

-Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Fretile 2012. 16/20 80/100
-Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2012. 18/20 90/100

Rapet in numbers
Proprietor: Vincent Rapet
Size of the property: 12 hectares
Number of appellations: 16
Number of bottles produced: 80.000

23. Louis Jadot (Meursault, Chassagne......)

The overall score for this house is 16.5/20 88/100

-Meursault villages 2012. 14.5/20 78/100
-Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Les Demoiselles 2012. 17.5/20 88/100

Louis Jadot in numbers
Proprietor: Family Kopf
Size of the property: 130 hectares
Number of appellations: 267
Number of bottles produced: 8.000.000

I did hold the list to here but some well established names are not to forget who produce superb whites, such as: La Vougeraie, Francois Carillon, Marc Colin Fils et Fille, Laurent Pere et fils, Buisson-Charles, Colin-Morey, Philippe Pacalet, Remi Jobard, J.A. Ferret, Chanson Pere et fils, Boisson-Vadot, J.C. Bachelet et fils, Thomas Morey, Bruno Colin, Jean Charton, La Soufrandiere.

All these names are true values in this sphere of talented, passionate amazing wine makers.
LRVF often comes out whit these lists and they are fascinating and full of knowledge of course all written in French, I translate them with my interpretation and I do add my thoughts as well.
I do hope this blog gives you some insight in one of the most fascinating areas the world of wine knows.

Burgundy is a strong identity in the spirit of the French people, old and experienced, knowledgeable and masterful, no wonder that it is here that one can pay up to €10.000 £12.500 $19.000 for a single bottle....

Until next time please do drink responsibly.  

Monday, 5 January 2015

HV Wines: The exceptional vintage; Bordeaux 2005.

I remember well 2005, it was my last year of my wine studies. Having spend time in Bordeaux as part of the studies, I remember the good feel factor you could sense between the winemakers from Bordeaux. It was June time and already then you felt the positive energy and conviction of a stellar of a vintage in the making.

In 2005 all flowed as it should be, and I talk here about the climate, a very important factor beside the winemaker. 2005 is set amongst the greatest vintages ever in the history of Bordeaux, together with 1929, 1947, 1959, 1961, 1982 ans 1990 (2009 and 2010 as well but as we speak here from the year 2005, 2009 and 2010 weren't born yet).

So what is required as climate factors to achieve the ultimate vintage? Let's be clear here I do talk for the Bordeaux wines only in this case but it counts for all wine land; and so often if it is great for reds; white and sweet do not always walk the same line. First you want a flowering and the fruit set early and fast. Then a water stress must apply progressively to stop the vine growth before the veraison (its when the grape start to change colour).
From the month of August through September it has to be dry but without excessive heat, so the grapes can mature steadily, so the right amount of sugars, aromas and acidity find itself in the grape of the different varieties used. Finally the harvest has to take place under mild weather, no rain especially. The weather in 2005 had just given that to the vines from Bordeaux, overcome all these demanding obstacles. A vintage of dreams is born.

Also in 2005 the wineries had obtained the highest hi-tech machinery thanks to over a decade of good financial return and so helping even more to contribute at the production of an exceptional vintage. Now 10 years later the wines from 2005 are beginning to open their pages of proof and delight of what a stunner of a year it really is. For those who have been able to keep their hands off that vintage will without a doubt have the privilege to enjoy the true beauty of why we love wine so much.

Now how did the individual areas do in 2005;


Here the Medoc obtain the price of the most homogeneity and the best overall results of 2005. How can we not be impressed by all the Crus Classes, sure many of these are actually not ready at all, only decanting for hours on end will you eventually be able to capture the magic of this vintage. The extreme complexity, the quality of the tannins, the energy of the fruits gives us without a doubt the potential this vintage has given, but will ask for some of them a little bit more patience.


Joyful dry whites, from the Graves Crus Classes, but the reds will give you a run for your money as well. The level of quality in the whites is very good, except some of the Crus who have shown already some signs of evolution, but for most of them there are still signs of freshness, with promising acidity levels. Compared with other vintages, a great vintage like 2005 the whites from the graves reveal their potentials with time.

Right bank; Saint-Emilion and Pomerol

It is none de less on the right bank where 2005 has brought its highest potentials and especially in Saint-Emilion, although for those who have some of the 2005 in their cellar, next to the legends of Saint-Emilion, many from this part are still a bit to young to drink and like the 2003 and the 2009 will have to encourage patience to hold on a bit longer (2003 is ready but 2009 surely not). The tannins are still to close and the fruits are not there yet, in short terms the wine is close and not showing its full potential, so it would be really a shame to crack them open too early. Pomerol has harvest their Merlot 8 days earlier than Saint-Emilion, although the best ones show great signs of roundness and sweet fruits at the heart with more coated tannins.

The great sweet wines are on the way for a Century

Sauternes is facing a super classic, with grapes perfectly ripe. Five weeks of dry conditions, with hardly 30mm water have given permission for the botrytis to develop ideally. With a perfect health status, there was as well quality and quantity in the making.

How did this tasting work; all wines where tasted last September (2014), by a panel of highly qualified judges with tons of experience. All the wines have been tasted blind and divided into three categories; The legends, The big wines which start to open but still can wait, and the wines that are ready to drink from today. I will not write the entire list but the ones I think need to be highlighted.

The majestic 2005 top of their game

1.Chateau Ausone, Saint-Emilion: 20/20 100/100 
Insolent youth with an ounce of oxidation. Fine and creamy, the attack arrives powerful, great tannins with very good acidity. Build to grow in power for at least forty years, the moment to start to appreciate the quality of this wine is about around 2025.
Price en primeur: € 1.048 £825.20 $1.287/ Actual price: €1,230 £968.5 $1.510

2.Chateau L'Eglise-Clinet, Pomerol: 19.5/20 99/100
A sublime emotion, the nose possesses a unique vibration of floral notes, violet and rose, a stupendous elegance. The tannin structure is dense but without any dryness. The texture is superb and the aroma persistence is bewitched. It has all in the making to become a myth in several decades time.
Price en primeur: €186 £145.45 $228.50 / Actual price: €354 £278.75 $434.85

3.Chateau Latour Pauillac; 19.5/20 99/100
The refinement at its purest state. After one hour of breathing the wine, it liberate softly superb notes of red fruits fresh and juicy. On the palate it is racy and diabolical, carried by a lovely balanced acidity, Tannins chiseled and coated, a bright tannic wine with fine really fine grains.
Price en primeur; €586 £461.45 $719.40/ Actual price: €637 £501.60 $782.45

4.Chateau Leoville Las-Cases, Saint-Julien:  19.5/20 99/100
After one hour of decanting, it still show impregnable  and very tight on the nose. On the palate impressive and ardour. The aromas of fresh fruit and lining tannins on the palate. Endowed with a monumental volume and a length super impressive, this wine can wait at least a decade to enjoy.
Price en primeur; €240 £189 $294.80/ Actual price; €240 £189 $294.80 

5.Chateau Margaux, Margaux: 19.5/20 99/100
It is impressive from the first sniff, with a superb clean beautiful fruit. On the palate explosive and liberating full of red fruits and ripe tannins, judged to a definition exemplary of 2009 and 2010, exceptional and the the biggest wine of this time to come out of Margaux.
Price en primeur; €586 £463.80 $723.50/ Actual price; €549 £432.30 $675

6.Chateau D'Yquem Sauternes: 19/20 98/100
Aromatic palate very complex which goes from oven baked apple to confit orange followed to apricot tart. A wine all in softness but with stamina. It offers a great harmony in material at the same time intense, fluid, nourished by a graceful liquor, without lacking any nerve, a beautiful ending of citruses, totally divine.
Price en primeur; €622 £489.80 $764.5/ Actual price €425 £334.65 $522

7.Chateau Angelus, Saint-Emilion: 19/20 98/100
A nose wide awake of earthy humus, brown tobacco, mint and dominated by wood, like the attack on the palate which offers no rigidity. The tannins are smooth and impressive on the final touch, which gives this wine a great balance. A great freshness on the final note between fruit and graphite. Accessible between here and five years, this Angelus exposes of a great endurance.
Price en primeur; €210 £165.35 $257.95/ Actual price €275 £216.55 $337.80

8. Chateau Cheval Blanc Saint Emilion: 19/20 98/100 
 The cabernet franc (50%) plays here the role of the slow down grape in ageing of the aromatic aspects. Between opening and restrain, between the creaminess of a great Pomerols in the heart of the wine, and a length stretched but tight, this wine is spread with fresh tannins and persistence, so typical of a Cheval Blanc, a great wine that will reach a great age.
Price en primeur; $620 £488.20 $761.60/ Actual price; €577 £454.35 $708.75

9. Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac: 19/20 98/100 
Decant four hours before drinking it, even after that gives this Lafite little away. The nose is very deep with this typical note of graphite sign of a great Lafite with a little touch of menthol which gives this wine a superb freshness. On the palate this monster of a wine imposes its power and persistence, without any fantasy but hugely inspiring.
Price en primeur; €490 £385.85 $601.90/ Actual price €605 £476.40 $743.20

10.Chateau Lafleur, Pomerol: 19/20 98/100
A total success of Lafleur, possessing a perfume intoxicating of peony, fresh blackberry and peat. From the start it offers a touch absolutely velvety and silky with a real strength. The aromatic return is as much long then precise. Magic of a great terroir, revealing a very happy ageing wine.
Price en primeur; €405 $318.90 $497.50/ Actual price; €778 £612.60 $955.65

11. Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac: 19/20 98/100
Without a doubt the best Mouton since 1982. It combines with excellence the suave and demonstrative of a cru with an immense profoundness. The attack is massive, with rivers of fruit and spices, superb refined tannins, immensely persistence on the palate truly  wine of legends.
Price en primeur; €490 £385.85 $601.90/ Actual price; €478 £376.40 $587.20

12. Chateau Trotanoy, Pomerol 19/20 98/200
Its creamy palate is identifiable, a true Pomerol mark, powerful, carried by its natural richness in alcohol without noticing on the nose, A final so mature and deep, full of strength and class. A secret of aromas and an engine like a Bugatti. Truly a king amongst kings.
Price en primeur; €90 £70.90 $110.60/ Actual price €170 £133.85 $208.85

13.Petrus, Pomerol 19/20 968/100
Close and little expressive at first, this wine reveals little by little around the aromas and spice, lime, iris, with an expression remarkably to perfection what a legend this is all about. Its complexity evolves without stopping, magic on the palate, brilliant freshness. A huge wine in status and in quality, this Petrus 2005 will need several decades before delivering its full potential.
Price en primeur; €544 $428.40 $668.25/ Actual price €2185 £1,720 $2,683.95 

14. Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien: 18.5/20 96/100
Price en primeur; €146 £115 $180/ Actual price €146 £115 $180

15. Chateau Figeac, Saint-Emilion: 18.5/20 96/100
Price en primeur; 
€100 £78.75 $122.85/ Actual price €102 £80.35 $125.30

16. Chateau Haur-Brion rouge, Pessac Leognan: 18/20 95/100
Price en primeur €340 £267.75 $417.65/ Actual price €496 £390.60 $609.25

17. Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Saint-Julien: 18/20 95/100
Price en primeur; €67 £52.75 $82.30/ Actual price; €84 £66.15 $103.20

18. Chateau Palmer, Margaux: 18/20 95/100 
Price en primeur; €209 £164.60 $255.85 £165.35 $257.95

19. Chateau Cos D'Estournel, Saint-Estephe: 17.5/20 93/100
Price en primeur; €164 £129.15 $201.45/ Actual Price; €160 £126 $196.55

20.Clos Fourtet, Saint-Emilion: 17.5/20 93/100
Price en primeur; €64 £50.40 $78.65/ Actual price €96 £75,60 $117.95

Big wines ready to drink but can still sleep

1.Chateau Haut Brion Blanc, Pessac Leognan: 19/20 98/100 
2.Chateau Leoville Barton, Saint-Julien: 18/20 95/100
3.Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac: 18/20 95/100
4.Chateau L'Evangile, Pomerol: 18/20 95/100
5.Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Pessac Leognan: 17.5/20 93/100
6.Chateau Hosanne, Pomerol: 17/20 92/100
7.Chateau Beychevelle, Saint-Julien: 16.5/20 91/100
8.Chateau LAfleur-Petrus, Pomerol: 16.5/20 91/100
9.Chateau Pape-Clement, Pessac Leognan: 16.5/20 91/100
10.Chateau Clerc Milon, Pauillac: 16.5/20 91/100

The Bordeaux's 2005 drinking now

1.Chateau Carbonnieux rouge, Pessac Leognan: 17/20 92/100
2.Chateau Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien: 16.5/20 91/100
3.Chateau Cap de Moulin, Saint-Emlion: 16/20 90/100
4.Chateau Ferriere, Margaux: 16/20 90/100
5.Chateau Feytit-Clinet, Pomerol: 16/20 90/100
6.Chateau Grand Mayne, Saint-Emilion: 16/20 90/100
7.Chateau Langoa Barton, Saint-Julien: 16/20 90/100
8.Chateau Le Gay, Pomerol: 16/20 90/100
9.Chateau Prieure-Lichine, Margaux: 15.5/20 89/100
10.Chateau Talbot, Saint-Julien: 15.5/20 89/100

There are of course quite a few more but this blog would become quite some stretch, so I leave it hear but many of the 2005 Bordeaux are ready but are far from dying, so no panic even the drinking now will still be drinkable in five to ten years with ease, at one condition of course store them well.

The whites are all ready and in full bloom, except for the sweet ones, they always live longer (overall that is).

So for those who hold some of this magic vintage there is no problem keeping them and if you hold a case of the big ones and you want to make a buck my advise is to wait here and ten years and you will see how the hunt for 2005 will be fears. 

Till then please do drink responsibly and see you next time.