Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Feb 09, 12 Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Posted by in France

The Winesleuth is venturing into the world of podcasting. This is my first effort and I’m still learning how to use everything so bear with me, they will get a bit more polished as time goes by. The aim of this podcast is not necessarily to be educational, although, if you do learn something, that’s great! This is basically a chat show about wine. I get to talk to so many interesting people everyday and thought, I really should record this stuff. It’s not “irreverant” (which seems to be all the rage in wine shows nowadays) nor dry as dust (I hope) just people with a passion for and about wine, talking about it. Whether they’re winemakers, producers, sommeliers, etc. if I’ve met them, you’re bound to find them on this podcast. Click on this link for the podcast…. Champagne(mostly) with The Winesleuth In this podcast, The Winesleuth chats with the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice in Paris, Estelle Touzet, about Le Meurice’s food and wine matching event, Nocturnes, talks about the recent declaration of the 2003 DP vintage with Chef de Cave of Dom Perignon, Richard Geoffroy and goes to Champagne to visit the growers champagne, Champagne Tarlant, where I get to drink with one of the 12th generation of Tarlants, Melanie. Comments? Questions? Leave me a comment in the comments section.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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L’espirit de Bordeaux – affordable,quality French wine, what more could you ask for?

Jan 03, 12 L’espirit de Bordeaux – affordable,quality French wine, what more could you ask for?

Posted by in Food and Wine, France

Affordable, quality French wine from Bordeaux? Does it exist anymore? Back in the day, say before investment wine-ing came into fashion and back when the Chinese were still Communist, Bordeaux was a wine that one could buy at reasonable prices. Fast forward to the 2010’s and it may seem like you have to be a gazillionaire to get your hands on quality wines, never mind affordable prices. The Yvon Mau group has decided enough is enough and wants to bring Bordeaux in from the cold, show drinkers that you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to drink well. And that’s where L’Espirt de Bordeaux comes in. Philippe Lequeche, managing director of Yvon Mau has vowed to “never surrender” the UK market. He thinks Bordeaux may have lost their way by focusing on the lux end of the market but the real bread and butter of Bordeaux has been and should be the mid-tier wines of the region. Focusing on the £10-£30 bracket, Philippe believes that there are plenty of wines that can and do represent value for money from Bordeaux. How do you guarantee quality when there are so many, let’s face it, inferior producers in Bordeaux? Philippe responded that Yvon Mau is taking it’s time in choosing to work with what they feel are producers who agree with their vision of quality wines at a fair price. The company is taking the time to cultivate relationships with producers they feel have high quality wines and are looking for owners with personality whose wines reflect that. They currently have 8 producers on their books but are looking to expand to around 15. When asked if they would expand beyond that, Phillipe  responded that once  you get too big, it’s difficult to maintain the quality and relationships that they are building with producers. We had the opportunity to try the 2009 and 2010 wines from 7 of their producers and the wines are of very good quality and value for money. Producers...

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Le Snob Guide to Champagne- a perfect little stocking stuffer

Le Snob Guide to Champagne, despite the name, is a great little stocking stuffer for the champagne lover in your life. I met Giles Fallowfield, the author of this handy little book at a champagne launch, afterwards, during lunch he introduced me to his book and I had to the chance to chat with him about all things champagne. Le Snob is a personal collection of what Giles believes are some of the best that Champagne has to offer. Luckily for him, he’s spent the last 20 years bopping around the region getting to know the Champenois and he’s poured (no pun intended) his views into this book. Giles is an expert in the field and has edited the Champagne section of Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Book since 2001 as well as being a contributor to various wine publications, including Decanter, Drinks Business, etc. Giles answers the question of why be a champagne snob first off and I tend to agree with him…”knowing more about the wines and styles that are available will enhance your appreciation….” Giles starts with a brief primer on champagne and then plunges into the various regions, styles and champagne houses. Each section is titled by the type of producer, “International Marques” “Regional Marques” etc. There is also a section called “Possess” which I just love because don’t you just love the idea of possessing champagne? And finally he finishes off with “Discover” where he gives a few tidbits on champagne bars and travel in Champagne but they only compromise a small portion of the book. This book is better at describing not only the well known marques but also the more interesting smaller champagne houses of the region. It’s not an exhaustive study of the wines of Champange but as the name implies, it’s what Giles considers…” wines that are worthy of the name champagne…” The perfect travelling size (less than 150 pages), it’s small enough to fit into your coat pocket or handbag. Le Snob Guide to Champagne...

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Via hologram Dom Perignon declares 2003 vintage

Dec 08, 11 Via hologram Dom Perignon declares 2003 vintage

Posted by in Champagne

2003 was a tough year to be a grape in Champagne. First they had to contend with an unusually cold winter followed by a deceptively warm spring only to be zapped by hail and not once, but twice by frost, the worst of which was on April 11th destroying up to 3/4 of the Côte des Blancs Chardonnay crop. To add insult to injury that was followed by one of the hottest summers for 53 years. They say that the vines should suffer but honestly, this was almost too much for even the hardiest vine. The grapes that managed to survive were harvested at the earliest date since records began in 1822. Chef de Cave, Richard Geoffroy felt despite the adverse conditions that he could make a wine worthy of Dom Perignon and even calls the 2003 vintage a “Challenge to Creation”.  The 2003 was unveiled at a simultaneously transmitted event in 5 cities, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and London. Although there was a video hookup, Richard was also present via hologram, too cool for school. He took questions from the various cities and commented that it was… “a real challenge for the creation of Dom Pérignon. I needed to interpret it differently. It was a risk, a push-back of the boundaries, which may be rewarded now. My wish is for Dom Pérignon to remain in the history of Champagne as one of the greatest witnesses of the 2003 Vintage.” So how did the 2003 fare? Speaking to various champagne professionals who were present, the wine was certainly not typical Dom Perignon. That’s not to say it did not have merit but it was a different beast, starting off with a nutty and candied fruit nose, dipping into licorice notes on the palate – a surprisingly mineral filled palate, a hint of salinity at the end, a vibrant wine, drinking well now but one that has aging capacity. Drinking it on it’s own we were able to appreciate the nuances of the...

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2010 Domaine de la Pousse d’Or en primeur tasting

How often do you get to taste the entire range of a Burgundy producer in one go? Daniel Lambert Wines had a vertical tasting last night of the Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2010 en primeur  in Mayfair and I was able to taste through all those fabulous Volnays, Chambolles and Corton Grand Crus. La Pousse d’Or has quite a reputation, being a famous old domaine in Volnay, tracing it’s founding to around 1100 A.D., although it’s present day incarnation begins in 1964. The real renown of the vines began in 1997 when the it was bought by Patrick Landanger, an electromechanical engineer, who has revitalized and invested heavily into the vines. The domaine covers Chambolle-Musigny, Clos de la Roche, Corton, Puligny-Montrachet, Pommard, Santenay and Volnay and is made up of premier cru and grand cru vineyards. I stuck in and thought this is what pinot noir is all about. It helped that these were all from vineyards with excellent terroir but red Burgundy has a silky, earthy vibrancy that is impossible to get anywhere else. I tasted through 16 wines and while they shared certain characteristics, it was the differences that highlighted and gave them a sense of place. My highlights with brief notes: Chambolle Musigny1er cru “Les Groseilles” 2010 – fine, elegant tannins, wood spice notes with fresh strawberry and bracing acidity, a delicate, silky wine Chambolle – Musigny 1er cru “Les Charmes” 2010 – there’s a reason it’s called “les charmes”, it is a charming wine, brisk and full of strawberry and rasperry , fine grained tannins, smooooth…… Chambolle – Musigny 1er cru “Les Feusselotees” 2010 – showed sweet fruit on the nose with softer tannins, much more upfront on the red fruit flavours, fuller and rounder then the “Les Charmes”. Volnay 1er cru”Clos d’audignac” Monopole 2010 – ripe strawberry and raspberry with echos of tea and earthy notes on the finish, very fresh, with crisp tannins. Volnay 1er cru “Clos de la Bousse d’Or Monopole – red fruit spiciness, structured...

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