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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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Entries in tasting notes (5)

Thursday
Apr082010

Trey's Blog: Day 7 Bordeaux En Primeur

Friday, April 1st: The Right Bank

The K&L Team at Ausone

9 a.m. – Ausone

I have only been to Ausone a few times. It is hard not to be “star stuck” when you are here, though. We tasted several wines. My favorites included:

’09 Moulin Saint Georges: Perfume aromas, fleshy ripe nose, very expressive for being so young; I thought this wine was delicious.

’09 Ausone: – Concentrated flavors of red fruits, minerals, cedar and earth; this wine showed a bit tight, maybe due to the weather. It was not my favorite of the trip but I think I may be in the minority on this one.

9:45 a.m. – Moueix Tasting in Libourne

A fair number of wines were poured here. Highlights for me included the La Serre, Latour Pomerol, Bourgneuf and La Fleur Pétrus. They were all solid wines but nothing really jumped up and knocked me out. I was a bit disappointed in the Trotanoy—for me is was not easy to taste at this stage.

11 a.m. – Pétrus

’09 Pétrus: I think this will end up being my favorite wine of the trip. It was loaded with fresh crushed berries, spice, licorice, a velvety texture, pure ripe fruit and had a fresh, lively finish; an amazing balance between power and finesse.

The Vineyards at Lafleur

11:30 a.m. – Lafleur

The Lafleur tasting included the 2009 Grand Village, which they also make. It is reasonably priced and really a good value. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. This wine was fresh, clean and showed clean, mineral-driven fruit.

’09 Lafleur: Big, tight and intense, this wine is deep and powerful and showed firm tannins. I think the middle was a bit closed. Tough to taste so young.

Tasting and lunch at Ch. Le Gay

12 p.m. – Tasting and lunch at Le Gay

Our tasting included some really excellent wines before a light lunch.

’09 La Graviere: Spicy, sweet nose, fleshy fruit, very ripe mid palate and a velvety soft texture; could almost drink this wine now.

’09 Violette, Pomerol: Dark cherry fruit, sweet aromas, chewy dark chocolate texture and a lush, lush finish. Very good balance for such an extracted wine; I liked this.

’09 Le Gay, Pomerol: Loads of coffee, cola and sweet black cherries, spice, velvety texture and a long ripe finish, This is one for me to buy.

2 p.m. – Clos l’Eglise

A quick tasting of several wines, including Haut Bergey, Barde Haut, Branon and Clos l’Eglise. The two that stood out for me were the Haut Bergey and the Clos l’Eglise.  

2:30pm – Angélus

What I thought would be a quick tasting ended up being a room full of all the wines that Hubert de Boüard is involved in. We didn’t have time to taste all of them, so I focused on the wines that I knew we would buy. My favorites included:

’09 La Fleur de Boüard: Flashy, new wave style. This wine was intense, juicy and extracted without being out of balance. This is a wine I will buy if the price is reasonable.

’09 Angélus: Big and dense with a thick mid palate, chewy tannins and a firm structure. Seemed a bit disjointed, but that could be the sample.

3 p.m. – Pomerol UGC tasting at Gazin

We had a few standouts here, including a second tasting of the Petit Village, which again showed excellent. It is easily the best one I have tasted out of barrel. I was also impressed with the Gazin and La Croix de Gay. Both are solid efforts. The other real standout, next to the Petit Village, was the Clinet. One to buy if the price is reasonable!

St-Emilion

4 p.m. – St-Emilion UGC tasting a Beauséjour-Becot

I think all of us were extremely impressed with the quality of the wines from St- Emilion. In recent vintages these wines have not been our favorites, as we found them to be a bit over-extracted and harsh. I think the combination of the vintage and, maybe, the owners not trying to do too much with the wines, helped make some of the more successful wines of 2009. Our highlights from here included the killer Troplong Mondot, Larcis Ducasse, Beauséjour-Becot and Canon. These were some of my favorite wines of the day.

5 p.m. – Canon-La Gaffelière

The last big tasting of the day is always difficult. Still the ’09 d’Aigulilhe showed well along with the La Mondotte. Both are in that flashy extracted style but I thought they showed well.

K&L Team with Helene and Michael Affatato at La Gatte

7 p.m. – Tasting and dinner at Château La Gatte

Sure we were at Pétrus, Ausone and Angélus today, but the most fun we had was at Château La Gatte with owners Hélène and Michael Affatato. We did some barrel tastings and had a terrific meal of grilled duck. The evening was very enjoyable and relaxed, just what we needed! We currently have their Blanc and Rosé in stock. Both are screaming deals at around $10.

Trey Beffa

Tuesday
Apr062010

Trey's Blog: Day Six in Bordeaux

Wednesday, March 31st

9 a.m. – Château d’Angludet

An early start this morning. We meet James Sichel to taste through about 25 samples before the d’Angludet wines. We tasted 2003 through 2006 as well as the 2009. All of the wines showed well, but the 2009 really showed the quality of the vintage. Its flavors were similar to the older vintages, but the fruit was ripe, clean and fresh. Like many 2009s the purity of fruit and balance was on another level.

The 2009 Malescot-St-Exupery

10 a.m. – Châteaux Malescot-St-Exupéry

We had already heard the buzz about this wine before we arrived. The Wine Spectator scored it very high, and many others have mentioned this wine as an outstanding effort. For us, the 2009 lived up to the hype. It is a blend of 55% Cabernet, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot. It showed a plush, rich, velvety texture, was thick and rich in the mouth and balanced by racy acidity, ripe ultra sweet-tannins and a spicy mineral driven finish. Killer wine!

10:30 a.m. – UGC Margaux

Here we tasted about 25 or so wines from the appellation. There were some outstanding wines, and then there were some wines that were just good. Overall the quality was high. We had our doubts as we heard from many that the Cabernet did better than the Merlot in 2009. But it seems that the wines from Margaux, even with high percentages of Merlot, showed great. Our favorites included the Cantenac Brown, Dufort-Vivens, Lascombes, Marquis de Terme and Rauzan-Segla. 

Noon – Camensac tasting and lunch

Along with the 2009 Camensac and the 2009 Chasse-Spleen, we tasted a vertical of Camensac starting with the 1999 and finishing with the 2008. The tasting was very interesting. For me, the best wines were the 2009, 2005 and the 2000, but that is probably obvious. The surprises were that the 1999 and the 2001 were both drinking very well. The 1999 had the most developed flavors and aromas. While the ’01 is probably a better wine, the 1999 would be the wine I would choose to drink now.

At lunch we were served the 2001 Camensac again. It was served blind and none of our wine professionals guessed it. The difference was that this bottle was decanted for about an hour beforehand. It was delicious and showed way more fruit than the earlier bottle. The next blind wine turned out to be the 1989 Chasse-Spleen. Both Ralph and Alex got this wine. It was very mature in the nose and showed very ripe, sweet fruit with hints of leather and tar. It was definitely from a hot vintage. The last wine served blind was not guessed by anyone. It was 1971 Chasse-Spleen. It was the third 1971 we tasted this trip—a new record! It was still alive and showed surprisingly well.

3 p.m. – UGC Graves/Pessac

It was a long drive from Camensac down to Pessac, and both the drive and the tasting proved to be among the toughest. The wines in this region showed more rough tannins than in the Médoc. That said, the weather was not good, and many people said that the low pressure was firming up the wines, which are very sensitive when they are this young. There were however a few wines that shined! These included the Smith Haut Lafitte (it may be their best wine ever), Marlartic-Lagravière, Carbonnieux and Haut-Bailly.

5 p.m. – Tasting at a négociants office

7 p.m. Dinner and tasting at Château Lascombes

We finally hit the wall! We were definitely on the quiet side at this dinner. Not even the the 1959 Lascombes out of Magnum could liven us up. We went back to our hotel early (10:30 p.m.). We’ve got the Right Bank tomorrow!

Trey Beffa

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