Archive for the ‘Coteaux du Languedoc’ Category

Degustare Cremant si Champagne

March 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Sarbatorile se apropie cu pasi repezi astfel incat va propun o degustare de spumante si Champagne care s-ar potrivi pentru inceputul mesei de Paste sau pentru un mic dejun/brunch de weekend.

Vinurile oferite spre degustare sunt importate si distribuite de noul meu proiect intitulat Champagne Room ( si au fost atent selectionate dintr-un numar considerabil de producatori din Franta.

Spumantele oferite spre degustare:

  • Jean Louis Denois Chardonnay Extra Brut
  • Jean Louis Denois Cuvee Eclipse 2011
  • Champagne Dhondt-Grellet Prestige du Moulin Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
  • Champagne Michel Genet Millesime 2010 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru
  • Champagne Herve Dubois Brut Rose Grand Cru

Degustarea se va desfasura Marti 4 Aprilie cu incepere de la ora 19:00 in locatia Champagne Room din blvd Magheru nr 27 Sc B etaj 2 (vis-a-vis de KFC-ul de la Piata Romana). Costul de participare este de 110 Ron si include vinurile, apa si ceva snack-uri pentru a tempera atacul vinului.

Vinurile vor fi servite din pahare Lehmann Glass Jamesse Prestige realizate special de catre somelierul sef al celebrului restaurant Le Parc Domaine Les Crayeres din Reims.

Pentru rezervari va rog fie sa-mi dati un mail pe fie sa ma contactati direct la telefon la 0723 240 102.

Mai jos cateva cuvinte despre vinurile ce vor fi degustate.

Jean Louis Denois este cel mai apreciat producator de Cremant de Limoux din zona Languedoc-ului, el insusi provine dintr-o familie producatoare de vinuri spumante de Champagne din zona Champagne. Lucreaza majoritar cu strugurii consacrati din Champagne: Chardonnay si Pinot Noir, iar vinurile sale pot rivaliza usor cu cele din Champagne. Chardonnay-ul Extra Brut este pastrat 4 ani pe drojdii inainte de degojare, iar Cuvee Eclipse 2011 care este varful de gama al lui Denois este un vin produs din struguri de Chardonnay si Pinot Noir din vite de vie cultivate in regim bio, doar inima mustului, pastrat de asemenea indelung pe drojdii.

Champagne Dhondt-Grellet este un producator extrem de dinamic, specializat pe Champagne Blanc de Blancs avand viile situate in zone cu parcele clasificate Grand si Premier Cru in Côte des Blancs, mai exact in satele Cramant Chouilly, Cuis si de asemenea in Sezanne. Cateva parcele de vie de Pinot Noir se afla in Avenay-Val-d’Or in Grande Valle de la Marne. Vechimea avansata a vitelor de vie contribuie la calitatea vinurilor realizate.

Familia Genet (Champagne Michel Genet) este prezenta in satul Chouilly de sute de ani iar producția de Champagne în acest sat Grand Cru este activitatea principala a familiei de peste 100 de ani. Satul Chouilly, situat in Cote de Blancs , in sudul regiunii Champagne, este cunoscut in mod special pentru Chardonnay-ul de cea mai înaltă calitate și este clasat printre cele 17 terroir-uri Grand Cru ale regiunii Champagne.

Champagne Herve Dubois cproduce vin de pe cele 7.5 ha detinute dintre care 4.5 ha de Chardonnay Grand Cru in Côte des Blancs si 0.5 ha de Chardonnay Premier Cru in Montagne de Reims din care rezulta vinuri de o eleganta aparte cu multa prospetime si delicatete; 1.5 ha de Pinot Meunier care ofera rotunjime si arome intens fructate vinului si 1 ha de Pinot Noir care aduce putere si rafinament de pe vite de vie aflate in Vallée de la Marne. Cuvee-ul Rose imbina maiestuos finetea Chardonnay-ului cu puterea si fructuozitatea vinului rosu produs din Pinot Noir provenit din satul Verzenay din regiunea Montagne de Reims. Asamblaj: 90 % Chardonnay si 10% Pinot Noir.


The Famous Italy – Anunt degustare

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment


Aveti posibilitatea sa va oferiti, sau sa oferiti, un pic mai devreme, un cadou foarte frumos de Craciun: cele mai faimoase vinuri ale Italiei pentru prima data intr-o degustare comparativa.

Am pastrat pentru ultima noastra degustare a anului patru Super-Toscane cautate, ravnite si apreciate de toti cunoscatorii intr-ale vinului.

Cremant Jean Louis Denois Chardonnay Brut

2015 Gaja Ca’Marcanda Vistamare

2010 Tignanello
2012 Solaia
2013 Sassicaia
2013 Ornellaia

Ne intalnim marti, 15 noiembrie, de la 19:30, la Mahala (Calea Rahovei 147 – 153). Sunt 12 locuri disponibile si fiecare costa 390 de lei (vinurile, o gustare si apa). Pentru rezervari este necesara plata in avans. Ma puteti contacta pentru a face o rezervare pe email: sau la telefon 0744 240 108.

2003 Mas de Daumas Gassac

January 26, 2015 Leave a comment

10152026_10205911823980584_9019934674532120754_nHad lunch with friends yesterday and this was offered for tasting. I had several vintages of this wine in the past and I still remember liking a lot 1998 and 2000. Usually a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with more than 10 grapes completing the blend, the back label contains the producer’s advice to decant the wine 12-24 h before drinking. For us it was about 30 min to 1 h.

2003 Mas de Daumas Gassac rouge

Medium ruby red with a slight orange rim and a lot of sediment in the bottle and the decanter. Initial nose is strange with pronounced iron and herbal, but after swirling in the glass it opens up. Better after 1 h. The nose comes a bit rustic and tertiary, with beef blood and cured meat, tobacco, undergrowth and sweet fresh cherries. Full mid-palate, soft and assertive tannins, savoury currants and tobacco palate, it has enough structure and persistence to last a few more years. It has freshness in spite of the 2003 hot vintage. A wine that delivers, but not at the same level as 1998 or 2000. (90/100)

La Porte du Ciel, Gaja & Ferrari

April 17, 2014 Leave a comment


Lot’s of great wines before and after yesterday’s wine auction. Started with bubbles and gradually built up to deeper and darker wines.

La Porte du Ciel 2002 – Languedoc

This is a very special wine produced in limited quantities from tiny yields of Syrah – 10 to 12 hl/ha, under-goes a long maceration and it is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrels. The wine is bottled unfiltered.

Black purple color. This has an amazing nose with depth and complexity, and it feels like the pinnacle of what exceptional Syrah can be. At 12 years of age this has a well developed, savoury and maturing nose, with beautiful meaty aromas of well hanged game and Spanish charcuterie, plenty of black pepper, dry Provencal herbs with rosemary on the front seat, bits of hot rubber and toast, with a background of blackberry, cranberry and other ripe but fresh black fruits. The taste is seamless: very polished and concentrated texture, the high level of glycerol,  rounded tannins and the richness of flavors  coat the palate completely with a silky mouth-feel. The plump fruity flavors topped with black pepper and charcuterie build on the palate as this fleshy wine breathes. Long finish with real complex flavors. What I love about it is that it got to a point of maturity where its complexity is very high and its richness on the palate perfectly balanced by silky tannins and fresh acidity remaining extremely appealing. There is plenty of life left. (97-98/100)


2004 Pieve Santa Restituta Sugarille Brunello di Montalcino

Medium to high ruby red color. The nose is well developed but the wine suffers being served after the Porte du Ciel. Fresh red and black fruit aromas, with tones of tobacco, spices and very floral on the first nose – violets and roses. Supple texture, ripe and assertive tannins, with fresh acidity, firm and somehow austere on the palate. Long finish, ripe and firm tannins. (92/100)


Ferrari Perle Vendemmia 2004

A vintage sparkling wine made by the traditional method. Deep gold color with fine and intense bubbles. Very open and intense nose, rich aromas of smoked vanilla, white apricots, citrus fruits and lemon tart. Creamy and very vinous on the palate, with great richness and balanced with a savoury character, medium to long finish, with an almost bone dry and refreshing after-taste. Definitely a food wine. (92/100)


Interview with Francois Bannier from Hecht&Bannier (Video in English)

Francois Bannier, one of the partners and winemakers of Hecht&Bannier, was present at the end of February 2013 in Bucharest, Romania. He was kind enough to accept an interview and we tasted several of his wines labelled as “Les Crus”. Each wine from this range comes from a single Appellation (ex: Minervois, Saint-Chinian, Bandol, Cotes du Roussillion Villages, etc) and is aged for 24 months in demi-muids.

On this episode we tasted:
2009 H&B Minervois
2009 H&B Saint Chinian
2009 H&B Bandol

Enjoy the video !

Degustare Hecht & Bannier

February 25, 2013 Leave a comment

Les Crus (4) ©Hecht&Bannier

Articol publicat pe site-ul revistei Millesime.

Miercuri 20 februarie a fost prezent in Bucuresti Francois Bannier, unul dintre cei doi oenologi si proprietari ai producatorului de vinuri din sudul Frantei: Hecht & Bannier. Cu aceasta ocazie, importatorul si distribuitorul acestor vinuri in Romania – compania Le Manoir – a organizat o degustare la Wine Bar-ul pe care-l detine pe strada Episcopiei 2-4, langa Ateneul Roman in Bucuresti. In cadrul acestei degustari Francois Bannier a prezentat vinurile pe care le produce impreuna cu partenerul sau Didier Hecht. Francois Bannier provine din Bordeaux, Didier Hecht din Alsacia, ambii au lucrat la diferite crame in Burgundia, dar s-au indragostit imediat de sudul Frantei si au decis sa inceapa un parteneriat impreuna.

Hecht&Bannier este o societate relativ tanara, stabilita in anul 2002 in sudul Frantei, producand vinuri in regiunea Langeudoc-Roussillion si Provence, care s-a remarcat rapid prin calitatea vinurilor sale, atragand atentia presei internationale de vin si obtinerea constanta a unor punctaje mari.

Hecht&Bannier este un negociant eleveur, ceea ce inseamna ca societatea nu detine vita de vie proprie. Achizitia de struguri are loc atat de la producatori tineri, cat si de la diverse cooperative si domenii cu renume. Hecht & Bannier achizitioneaza de asemenea vinuri care au terminat fermentatia si care sunt apoi transportate in locatia lor pentru a fi cupajate si maturate. Un negociant eleveur controleaza intreg procesul de la cupajare la maturarea vinului, prin alegerea tipului de butoaie de stejar, durata, imbutelierea si invechirea lui in sticle inainte de a fi pus pe piata. H&B sunt specilizati in producerea vinurilor rosii.

Francois Bannier a declarat ca, desi nu au contracte pe mai multi ani cu nici unul dintre producatori, ei achizitioneaza struguri sau vin de la aceleasi surse in proportie de 80% in fiecare an, continuand insa sa prospecteze si sa descopere furnizori si zone noi. H&B produce vinuri din Minervois, Saint Chinian, Faugeres si Limoux in Languedoc, Cotes du Roussillon Villages si Maury in Roussillon, Bandol si Cotes de Provence din Provence.

Sunt preferate achizitiile de struguri sau de vin ce provin din parcele cu vita de vie ce ajung si la 100 de ani vechime din micro-climaturi mai racoroase, scopul urmarit fiind obtinerea unor vinuri dense, dar care pastreaza prospetime.

Procesul de maturare se face in diferite vase de ciment si de lemn, baricuri de 225 l dar si butoaie mari de stejar de 600 l, denumite demi-muids si comune in aceasta parte a Frantei. Acest proces dureaza pana la 24 de luni pentru vinurile numite sugestiv les Crus: cupaje de vinuri ce provin din mai multe parcele diferite din aceeasi apelatiune (ex. Minervois, Saint Chinian, Cotes du Roussillon Villages) si reunite fiecare intr-o singura eticheta.


Cei doi asociati din Hecht&Bannier se mandresc cu faptul ca vasta majoritate a producatorilor cu care lucreaza controleaza vite de vie ce ofera struguri certificati organic, acest lucru demonstrand atentia crescuta pe care o primesc plantele. Recunosc de asemenea cu mandrie ca sunt cei care platesc cel mai mult pentru strugurii sau vinurile achizitionate.

 Vinurile pe care le produc se caracterizeaza prin accesibilitate si expresivitate, chiar din momentul lansarii, arome de lemn de stejar foarte bine integrate si care lasa expresia terroir-ului sa se afirme, echilibru intre densitate, fruct si prospetime. Sunt vinuri bine structurate, cu taninuri coapte si polisate, per ansamblu placand imediat.

 Impreuna cu Francois Bannier am degustat si comparat expresii diferite de Syrah din Minervois, Saint Chinian si Faugeres din Languedoc, de Grenache din Cotes du Roussillon Villages si de Mourvedre din Bandol:

  • H&B Minervois 2009: un vin inchis la culoare, expresiv, cu arome bogate si intense de fructe coapte, note de cacao si condiment, in gust echilibru intre finete si putere, structura densa, final mediu spre lung, cu note de ciocolata neagra si condiment.
  • H&B Saint Chinian 2008: note florale si lemn dulce aromat, frumos imbinate cu cele de fruct si scortisoara. Structura mai densa, taninuri coapte si postgust mediu spre lung. O expresie a Syrah-ului mai proaspata decat Minervois-ul.
  • H&B Faugeres 2008: cea mai impozanta expresie a Syrah-ului majoritar dintre cele trei vinuri. Un vin inchis la culoare, concentrat si voluptos in gust, echilibru excelent intre aromele bogate de fructe negre, ciocolata si carne macra, taninuri si prospetime, cu un final lung si postgust de-a dreptul picant.
  • H&B Cotes du Roussillion Villages 2009: cupaj majoritar de Grenache Noir alaturi de Syrah, Carignan si Mourvedre, merge o treapta si mai sus in concentratie si densitate. Un vin puternic, masculin, cu taninuri ferme dar coapte si imblanzite, avand clasa si putand face fata cu mandrie unui vin mai scump din Chateauneuf du pape. Final lung ce lasa arome dense de cacao, fulgi de ciocolata si condiment in postgust.
  • H&B Bandol 2009: provine din Provence unde 80% din vinul produs este roze; Francois se declara pe buna dreptate extrem de incantat de rezultatul final din sticla. Vinul este majoritar Mourvedre (peste 80%) si exprima perfect atributele acestui strugure: arome intense de pasta de masline negre usor amaruie, fructe rosii proaspete si note bogate de vanat si pamant proaspat arat. Maturarea indelungata a imblanzit taninurile ferme si mai salbatice specifice Mourvedre-ului, oferind un vin expresiv si accesibil. Este primul vin rosu lansat de H&B din Bandol. In general, vinurile provenind din Mourvedre sunt expresive si deschise in primii 2 ani de viata, urmand o etapa de ,,inchidere” de 3-4 ani, timp in care vinul este “zgarcit” in arome, pentru ca apoi sa se redeschida mai complex si mai evoluat. Sunt vinuri cu un potential bun de pastrare.

Vinurile Hecht&Bannier sunt disponibile in Romania prin importatorul La Manoir si in reteaua magazinelor Comtesse du Barry la preturi intre 59 Ron pentru gama entry level – denumite generic Languedoc – si 83-148 Ron pentru les Crus.

Articol scris de Cosmin Grozea

An extraordinary culinary experience

January 21, 2013 1 comment

I attended a discreet private party last FRI evening organized by Mr Cristian Preotu and Le Manoir, that represented one the most decadent (in the most positive way) culinary and wine-pairing experience I enjoyed so far. The event had Mr Roland Birr as a guest chef that put up a mind blowing 8 hours cooking session called “Grill to Thrill” for almost 12-15 people present at the party. Mr Roland Birr is an international winemaker that produces wines in Languedoc, in Pays de l’Herault, and South Africa, and together with his Swiss company: Vive Group, specialized in events and special activities in the wine business, is touring the world cooking and introducing his wines in a unique pairing experience. Other special events organized by Vive Group are Wine & Spices, Ocean Feast, David & Goliath, Wine meets Chocolate, Meat to Steam. More information can be found here. Another similar event was held by Metro Baneasa on Oct 1st, 2012.


Most of the wines served this evening came from Mr Birr’s properties from France and South Africa: Chateau Capion from pays de l’Herault and Saxenburg in South Africa. On the side we were served for appetizers a very satisfying Champagne Duval Leroy (89/100) that is clean, mineral and full of citrus fruit, with good tension on the palate. I also had an excellent 2004 Deutz Blanc de Blancs Champagne (92/100), delicate and elegant, with plenty of tiny bubbles, hints of vanilla and roasted hazelnuts, long aftertaste and mouth watering acidity.

“Thrill to Grill” was prepared and started 4 h prior to guests arrival when the meat was placed on special barbeque devices brought by Mr Birr so it can be slowly cooked at lower temperature for almost 5-6 hours. Mr Birr’s aim was to prepare authentic food that reminds people of their childhood and the simple things in life. We started the evening with grilled coquelete cut in small pieces and served as finger food. A real treat paired by a fresh rose 2011 Capion Fiona produced by Chateau Capion.


The menu continued with veal carapaccio with fresh marjoram and olive oil produced from the 200 olive trees they have at Saxenburg in South Africa; a hot and spicy salad prepared on a large frying pan with oyster and soy sauce; grilled rack of lamb and the star of the food menu: a huge paella made with prime ingredients: fresh King prawns, chorizzo, baby squid, rabbit, mussels, clams and plenty of other ingredients. I wish I would see similar ingredients used in restaurants that prepare paella.



2011 Chateau Capion Le Colombier (90/100) blanc was served with the veal carapaccio and what a great combination it was. Spending big part of the night outside watching Mr Birr cooking while he was keeping a close eye on the 4 bottles of Colombier to remain untouched, I confess it was a real struggle to touch that wine before the carpaccio was served. I did however manage to have a few sips of the wine as a reward for resisting outside on the cold evening.

2011 Chateau Capion Le Colombier is produced in a limited quantity every year – around 9000 bottles, and is sold based on  allocation to the 58 partners that distribute Capion’s wine all over the world. A blend of Viognier and Roussanne this wine happily combines freshness and creaminess. I enjoyed a lot its pronounced white flowers character, its lemon and pineapple aromas, the mango spiciness on the finish and its freshness.


With Paella, the options of red wines served were more than generous: 2008 Chateau Capion Le Juge (88/100) that comes from 25 years old vines from a plot in one of Languedoc’s Grand Cru’s – Terrasses du Larzac, predominantly Syrah (70%) blended with Grenache and Mourvedre, the wine is serious and is drinking well now. It has structure, soul and a medium long chocolatey finish.

2000 Saxenburg Pinotage Private Collection (91/100) was a superb surprise as the wine shows no signs of aging or being tired. It has a well developed nose, fully open and still on primary (fruity) aromas with beautiful spiciness, structure of smooth and ripe tannins, balanced and a long fresh finish. It is probably the oldest Pinotage I tried so far and I loved it. There was another red wine that I did not get to taste.




To end this Gargantuan dinner, French cheese assortments, chocolate and cigars were served next to a 2000 Graham’s Vintage Port (93/100) that continued to open up in the glass for the rest of the evening. There is abundant richness both on the nose as on the palate for this wine, and it smells and tastes like the chocolate candies filled with dark cherries and rum that I used to eat in my childhood. Long finish, good balance and overall such a great wine. For me, this wine was a very close and personal experience as it had the power to take me back in time and bring back such warm memories.


This type of event that brings together so much passion for cooking and wines, shared by the small group of people present deserves to be promoted, repeated and repeated again so everyone can sample it at least once. Every wine lover should look up for the next time it happens and do whatever it takes to be on the guests list. The question is not whether one will like it, but how ecstatic will one be after.

P.S. Mr Roland Birr will be back on February 10th to cook for a larger group of doctors at the Parliament’s House.

A winey weekend: Puech Haut, La Rioja Alta and more

December 4, 2012 2 comments


I had a weekend full of wines. Started on FRI evening with this 2004 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier rouge that shows extremely well and reminds of a Chateauneuf du pape.

2004 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier rouge

Deep dark, red garnet color. A well developed and youthful nose, intense, it has the aromatic profile of a quality Chateauneuf du pape. It shows a freshness that I found in a 2004 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape. The nose has Grenache profile written all over it and is filled with liquorice, garrigue, raspberry and red cherry jam, nutmeg and game. Full in the mouth, ripe, structured and balanced, it has serious consistency and flesh, with a long spicy red fruit jam aftertaste. A wine that stays very well on its feet, showing good freshness, flesh and spark. No hurry to drink it on the short term. 14.5% (91/100)


On SAT evening had dinner with a good friend at La Cantine de Nicolai and had a small bottle of Meursault by Drouhin and an old school 1997 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904. The 2006 Joseph Drouhin Meursault from a 0.375 bottle shows a developed nose, with plenty of butter, roasted almonds and richness.

It is the second time I visit La Cantine de Nicolai after almost 2 years. I remember the first time I was there I was eager to try one of their desserts that looked so good on photos. Unfortunately it was not available on that day. It took me 2 years, but I finally got it.


1997 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904

Uncorked, decanted and left it to breath for 30 mins, which was probably not enough but we were really thirsty. Saturated ruby red color with minor brick on the rim. A well developed nose, intense aromas of dill and orange are dominant on the aromatic profile, and, as the wine opens up, cinnamon, bright red fruits and tobacco come out. A wine with great freshness, fresh acidity, structured, balanced, elegant, and a long finish, spicy and fresh. Everything seems to be in the right place with this wine, and at 15 years old, the wine feels ageless, a plateau where it will probably stay for a very long time. I like the freshness and the complexity of a well aged Old School Rioja. (91/100)


We also had a Champagne Duval Leroy Brut Rose (89/100): clean, fresh, mineral, fine bubbles and so easy to drink at Le Manoir’s wine bar near Ateneu and finished the night with a Dessert Stirbey.


SUN was calm and quite, how else could you spend the first day of cold weather and rain of this winter. Cooked at home some fresh pasta with tomato sauce and shrimps that were highly appreciated by my companion. Also tried a 2011 Ceptura Rose by Davino, a deep rose colored wine that sits very well in its price category and delivers. Even if it shows 14.4% alcohol, the wine is balanced, with intense small red berries aromas and some residual sugar that provides body and consistency to its medium finish. This is a rose suitable for this cold weather.

704712_447158695345141_2098061620_olong awaited dessert at La Cantine de Nicolai

Mondavi and Chapoutier

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

If it’s MON, chances are you might receive a call and get a new invitation to attend a new session with the very special Wine Club. I used to hate MON, but recently I discovered that I started to look forward to it. A call from this club is synonymous with a successful night out.

So here we are: I got invited once again. I did not know what’s going to be served but the surprises were at least very interesting and provided enough material for constructive discussions. We met at Casa di David and I have to say food was exquisite. Matching the wines with the food was smartly picked so the overall experience was flawless.

We had a seafood assortment containing Carpaccio of Dentex, sea-bass, shrimps, octopus and tuna served with a white from Languedoc, pasta with tomatoes and basil with an Australian Shiraz and a juicy magret de canard with a perfectly roasted crunchy skin on the outside with citrus fruit and sweet sauce pairing a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

2010 Chateau Capion Le Colombier Terrasses du Larzac Languedoc

Blend of 65% Viognier and 35% Roussanne. Yellow straw color. A well developed and sweet nose, reminding more of a sweet wine, showing lavish aromas of honey and linden mixed with dried stone fruits. Full, ample and unctuous on the palate, low acidity but still gaining credits by showing richness. Medium plus finish, a bit spicy. (88/100)

The salty flavors of the sea food dish paired extremely well with the sweet aromas of this white wine.

2008 M. Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Lady’s Lane Heathcote-Victoria Shiraz Australia

Decanted and left to breath for almost 2 hours and it still did not open up completely. This is far away from the unpleasant Australian fruit bombs. Deep red color. The nose is well developed and tempered, but showing good complexity and depth. It is ripe but there is more than just fruit behind it. Full bodied, rich and powerful, well balanced, the wine remains velvety on the palate, with sweet ripe tannins that feel completely integrated and flavors of dried figs, liquorice, black pepper, blackberry and bilberry jams. The finish is long with spicy, pure blackberry essence. The wine is big but it is elegant and well contained. 14.5% (90-91/100)

It paired pretty well with the pasta dish.

2008 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley

This one was decanted and left to breath for about 2h and a half. Opaque, deep red-purple color. This is an absolutely amazing wine. It has 15.5% alcohol, but it is perfectly balanced and you wouldn’t guess the high level.

A well developed, intense, elegant and complex nose, it has depth and it shows layers as it opens up. The aromatic profile shows sweet cassis, liquorice, smoke, leather, prunes, bilberry, cedar and sandalwood. Remarkably well structured, balanced, rich and elegant, this full bodied wine displays intense flavors complexity, which makes it rather difficult to describe, but it is the reason why it is a success. It is rich in tannin and from the first sip you can feel it is a manly wine, supple, showing distinguished flavors of prunes, blackberry, cedar and dark chocolate. The finish is long and rich. A wine that is perfectly enjoyable as it is now, but also with tremendous aging potential; it can evolve further and develop even more complexities. 15.5% (93/100)

It matched very well the duck breast’s juiciness, while the sweet sauce brought freshness to this wine.

Have I mentioned I love some MONDAY’s ?

1990 Chateau Beau Sejour Becot & 2000 Mas de Daumas Gassac

October 22, 2012 4 comments

It is still a warm autumn in Bucharest, yesterday we had around 20-22 Celsius degrees and it was probably the last weekend this season when we could stay outside in the yard and enjoy a home cooked lunch. As I haven’t had a burger in a while and the topic came into a discussion with a friend this week I decided to prepare my own and invite him over for a complete cooking session.

I lowered the amount of meat I am eating for some time already – and already lost about 5 kilos so, to keep up the same spirit, we prepared a low fat beef and turkey burger greased just with some mild amount of goose fat. We went through the whole process of mincing the meat ourselves and then spiced it up with salt, pepper, sweet dry red bell pepper powder, minced fresh garlic and finely cut red onion, greased with 3 small table spoons of goose fat for almost 2 kilos of meat. The final blend resembled more sausage aromas than a regular burger due to the garlic and red onion.

Prepared a barbecue outside and we grilled the burgers on a low fire for about 15 minutes enough to still preserve some juices on the inside. Used some slices of home baked bread, that you usually find on the country side if you still have relatives there, toasted a little bit on the grill. Put some home pickled cucumbers, onions, ketchup and green salad and: Boy, were they good !! Could not stop only after the third burger was gone in my belly and I was completely full.

During the whole cooking we had a very nice dry Italian sparkling: 2007 Millesimato Contrato, just to warm up the spirits.

The wine pairing was a classic that proved to be a happy choice. Happy in the sense that the wine was so good that it did not actually need any pairing and it simply shinned, just like gold in the mud, by itself. Uncorked the wine and left it to slowly aerate in the bottle for about 1h 30 min.

1990 Chateau Beau Sejour Becot St-Emilion Grand Cru

1990 was a stellar vintage in Bordeaux, it was a combination of both a larger crop and excellent quality. Most of the wines are maturing and a pleasure to drink now, while the Premier Grand Cru’s will still benefit from further aging in the bottle. Chateau Beau Sejour Becot saw a huge increase in quality over the last decade, the 2006 bottling being highly acclaimed by the Decanter tasting panel.

The 1990 has a beautiful deep ruby red color with no signs of being tired. From the first moment you uncork the wine the fruit manifests its presence grandly – for a wine at the age of 22, and the bouquet seduces you. The nose is well developed, really intense, maturing and exhibits refreshing aromas of fully ripe red and yellow apples (the same aromas you get after you peel off the apples), sea weed – saline aroma, smoke, a layer of black currant and cassis, black cherry, coffee, tobacco and tea leaves. Medium to full bodied, the texture is seamless, the tannins perfectly blended, the acidity is top notch and together with the left over tannins create a structure that will keep this wine on tip top conditions for longer time. The flavors of coffee in different levels of roasting and preparation mixed with delicate sweet fruit produce a very pleasant sensation on the palate. The finish is long, fresh, showing the same delicate red fruit and coffee flavors. This is a very nice wine, maturing, but still young, preserving the fruit very well and a great testament that older Bordeaux can be sometimes dead gorgeous and you do not have to pay big money for it. 12.5% (92/100 for the wine and 93/100 for the over all experience)

We had another wine after the 1990 Bordeaux and I initially intended to mention it in a separate post, but I believe it is worth mentioning here just to make parallels with the older red.

2000 Mas de Daumas Gassac Rouge Vin de Pays de l’Herault

This is another great classic of the Languedoc and a pioneer for quality driven wines. I already tasted a 1998 Mas de Daumas Gassac that I enjoyed a lot in the recent past. This is a typical 80% Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the rest being other 8 different grape varieties. The wine was not decanted, and perhaps that was not the best move, and did not breath more than 30 min. When the wine is good the sipping happens at a quicker pace.

The 2000 vintage was excellent almost everywhere in France. The color is dark red, almost garnet and, again, young and missing any signs of age. The bouquet is well developed, intense, young and still developing. The initial nose exhibits an unusual, but nice aroma, of freshly baked and just taken from the oven Christmas cake, a sensation of warm dough crust mixed with hints of vanilla and ripe cherries. As it aerates, it shows more Cab Sauv typicality, with black currant, hot minerals, dry red bell peppers, spices, but overall it remains a classic wine. Fuller body in the mouth, the tannins show more nerve and grip, well structured, balanced, with plenty of fruit, black tea, spices, always following a classic style. The finish is slightly shorter than the 1990 Beau Sejour Becot, but still medium plus long, with assertive tannins. There is a tremendous aging potential for this wine, it will probably need at least 3-4 more years for the tannins to loosen up that grip. However, the wine is very good already. It will easily match the present age of the 1990 Beau Sejour Becot. (90-91/100)

Both wines have a lot of sediment, so be careful when you pour the last drops. This was both a great academic exercise and a fully rewarding drinking experience. It was a good Sunday.

2000 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou Grande Reserve

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Coming from the Languedoc region, the 1999 Gravieres du Taurou, a Merlot based wine, stole the show in a blind tasting in 2004 by scoring higher than a Petrus 1999. Les Gravieres du Taurou 2000 is a blend of Merlot and Petit Verdot with a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon.

2000 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou Grande Reserve

Had the wine from a Magnum. Uncorked the wine, decanted and left it to breath for almost 2 h. From the get go the wine shows an intense, rich and layered bouquet. It exhibit, initially, a slightly metallic flavor on the palate on the first pour, but after almost 2 h in the decanter, the wine loses any unpleasant odors and shows beautiful ripe blue and red fruits, vanilla (even at this age), game, spices and tobacco. Really dense, structured and well balanced (14.5% alc), it has a healthy backbone of ripe tannins, great richness on the palate and an ample mouth feel. The finish is long, spicy and lingering. There is no rush to uncork this wine – at least not from a Magnum, as the wine has a long life ahead and more room for evolution. This is a big wine that impresses not based on elegance, but more by being powerful and balanced at the same time. (92/100)

2007 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou

Blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Petit Verdot aged for 18-24 months in new French oak barrels. A rather unusual blend of grapes for this part of France (Languedoc) where Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault reign. Labelled as Vin de Pays des Coteaux de Murviel.

2007 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou

Opaque, dark red-purple color. Developing nose and very youthful, with intense aromas of stewed dark fruits, blackberry liqueur, cocoa powder, toasty oak and plenty of spices. Full bodied, dense and extracted, with plenty of assertive tannins showing a firm grip in the mouth, it feels very closed on the palate. Medium plus spicy finish and not too expressive for the moment. It needs more time to open up but it has potential. 14.5% alc (89/100)

2007 Chateau Puech Haut Tete de belier rouge

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I always enjoy wines from this producer. I liked a lot the 2004 and I was eager to try the 2007 because ’07 was a special, excellent vintage in the Southern France.

2007 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier rouge

Dark ruby red color. This is really young, plenty of red berries, licorice, spices and well mastered oak. Full bodied, well balanced, mouth-filling, quite smooth, with lots of flavors of ripe red fruits and coffee. What I enjoy the most about this wine is how well balanced is the 15% alcohol and also the great acidity that offers a weightless texture and makes it very pleasant to drink without feeling fat, heavy or too ripe. Medium plus finish with flavors of coffee, spices and red fruit jams. Too young for now. (88/100)

Categories: Coteaux du Languedoc

2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier Rose

March 19, 2012 3 comments

Had this wine accompanying a grilled turkey breast with roasted potatoes but also with dessert. It was versatile enough to go well with both dishes and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Ladies really loved it. Made from 100% Mourvedre.

2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Tete de Belier Rose

Light pink salmon color. Really fresh nose with mild sweetness, candied strawberry, ripe cherry, red apple, pink grapefruit and floral. Medium plus body, vibrant, lively on the palate, mouth-watering and very refreshing. Medium plus long finish, with lingering pink grapefruit and floral flavors. This is by far the best Rose I had so far and I am really no Rose fan I can tell you that. As good as a Rose can get. 13.5% alc (89-90/100)

2006 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

This is an interesting wine from the South of France, labelled as Vin du Pays des Coteaux de Murviel. Also, a very unusual blend for this region: 53% Merlot and 47% Petit Verdot, aged for 24 months in French oak.

2006 Domaine de Ravanes Les Gravieres du Taurou Grande Reserve

Dark red with purple hues, opaque color. Developed nose, showing nuances as it aerates, with initial aromas of cocoa powder, oak, spices, licorice and coffee, and evolving towards more sweet blackberry, blackcurrant and cranberry liquor as it warms up.  Very South of France aromas. Full bodied, extracted, structured, with big tannins, pronounced spiciness from the high portion of Petit Verdot and a long finish with biting tannins. Powerful wine that “grows hair on your chest”. This is a very interesting wine that requires further aging, as the oak is still present and the tannins need to soften. 14.5% (89-90/100)

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