Home > France, Italy > Solaia 2000, Majorum 2006 and Gerard Bertrand Le Viala 2005

Solaia 2000, Majorum 2006 and Gerard Bertrand Le Viala 2005

It is always nice to end a working week with a great and relaxing dinner with friends. Plus this week we celebrated my wife’s name anniversarry so more reasons to party. Therefore FRI evening we had a lovely dinner in good company with our friends: Calin and Annemarie and in the company of some impressive wines.

Solaia 2000

Price: 120-150 EUR

Solaia, which means “the sunny one” in Italian, is a 10 ha southwest facing vineyard planted 351-396 m above sea level on stony calcareous soil of marl and friable albarese rock. It is located at Santa Cristina, cheek by jowl with the renowned Tignanello vineyard, in the Mercatale Val di Pesa zone of Chianti Classico.

Antinori first produced a single-vineyard wine from this site in the 1978 vintage, but this was a limited release in Italy only. Because of the “non Chianti” grapes used (the Cabernets), Solaia was classified as a lowly Vino da Tavola di Toscana rather than DOCG Chianti Classico. Solaia is a blend of 80% Cabernet and 20% Sangiovese.

Initially, the 2000 Solaia was considered over priced for what it was. Now, 10 years later from the vintage, the wine evolved nicely. The wine is very Bordeaux style. The cork was almost entirely wet so I have some doubts about how well the rest of the bottles will be preserved, even though, no doubt, the wine can last more years.

The wine has an opaque dark red color with orange rims showing signs of maturity. The nose is complex, sweet initially, evolving during 4 h between earth, leather, plums, green bell pepper, asparagus, dark cherry, dark chocolate. In the mouth this medium body wine has a velvety mouth feel, nice acidity, a very nice structure with plums, earth, sour cherry, leather. The wine has a long aftertaste with lovely sour cherry and dark chocolate finish.  The wine shows a lovely complexity starting initially with a sweet nose and finishing in a lovely bitter aftertaste. The wine had quite a lot of sediment. Excellent

Pouilly-Fume, also known as Pouilly Blanc Fume and Blanc Fume de Pouilly, is one of the Loire’s most famous wines, perfumed dry whites that epitomize the Sauvignon Blanc grape. Sauvignon here is often called Blanc Fume, because wines made from this variety when grown on the predominantly limestone soils, with some flint (silex), supposedly exhibit a “smoky” flavour, or whiff gunflint (pierre a fusil). The wines are certainly perfumed, sometimes almost acrid, and it takes extensive local knowledge reliably to distinguish Sancerres and Pouilly-Fumes in a blind tasting of both. Pouilly-Fume is arguably a more homogeneous appellation than Sancerre. Unlike that of Sancerre , the Pouilly-Fume appellation applies only to white wines. The best Pouilly-Fume (such as the range produced by Didier Dageneau) is perhaps a denser, more ambitiously longlived liquid than Sancerre, for drinking at 2 or 6 years, rather than one or four(there are also exceptions). Some producers began experimenting with oak for both fermentation and maturation in the mid 1980s and the wines of the region have become more complex. Pouilly-Fume’s minimum alcoholic strength is 11 per cent. In the 1970s and 1980s, Puilly-Fume was much favoured by fashion, and the total area planted with Sauvignon increased considerably. In the mid 2000s, it totalled about 1000ha.

Majorum 2006

Price: 50-60 EUR

The wine has a deep clear yellow-gold color. The wine was chilled initially too much at 4 Celsius degrees and as it got warmer the nose has evolved considerably. Initially the nose shows only mineral flavors but after a while it reveals very intense aromas of tropical fruits, a touch of honey, white and yellow flowers. In the mouth the wine is very thick, quite long, mouth-filling, off-dry(no residual sugar), very complex and with multiple layers: notes of honey, nuts and tropical fruits. Medium plus aftertaste. This is a memorable white wine. Excellent

Gerard Bertrand “Le Viala” 2005

Price: 30 EUR

Gerard Bertrand is an ex-rugby international. He has a sizeable operation, with some 250 hectares of vines spread across some fine Languedoc terroirs. In addition, Bertrand operates in partnership with 40 growers and 10 coops in the region. Expansion here has been quite recent, with the development of the brand at Château l’Hospitalet (in the La Clape region of the Languedoc) in 2002. La Clape property has 52 hectares of vines and is now the showpiece of the operation. Also, Bertrand has 110 hectares in the Corbières, 50 hectares in Minervois la Livinière, and 40 hectares at Cigalus (this wine is classified as Vin de Pays d’Oc). The range of wines produced is extensive and is stratified into six lines, designated both by AOC and also by grape variety. ‘Parcel’ sits at the top, then there are the ‘H’ range and ‘Properties’ range at the next level, then ‘Terroir’ and ‘Collection’ just below them, then ‘Classic’ at the bottom.

The wine has an opaque dark red-purple color. The nose reveals red fruits, strawberry, ripe dark cherries, dark pepper, all covered by a nice lactic flavor. In the mouth the wine has firm tannins to ensure a further 5-8 years aging potential, a medium plus body, nice velvet structure with plums, earth, mocha, a lot of fruit to balance the 14.5% alc and to make this a juicy wine. The wine finishes in a medium dry aftertaste. Very good

Thanks for reading…

Categories: France, Italy
  1. v Spanje
    July 16, 2010 at 13:54

    Do you also have comment of the Gerard Bertrand Le Viala 2002?

    • July 16, 2010 at 14:54

      Dear Peter,

      I have not tasted the 2002 Le Viala so unfortunately I cannot say how the wine is.

      I know that outside Burgundy, 2002 was a tricky vintage for France so try to handle any purchase of ’02 with more care.

      Thanks a lot for your comment and feel free to give more feedback.


  2. Ellen
    January 26, 2011 at 19:55


    I was wondering if you knew how to order bottles of the Majorum 2006?

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