Posts Tagged ‘2001’

chateau-clement-pichon-haut-medoc-france-10521110A Cru Bourgeois at 10 years old, what is the likely hood this will be anything but dried out and limp? This is a surprisingly good wine, decanted for a few hours and poured into a Riedel glass. What makes this wine even better for me is the higher percentage of merlot which fills the mid palate. The 2001 vintage is not regarded as stellar but the old adage rings true ‘it is not the vintage but the bottle that counts’ Many wines from 2001 are being reappraised after they have matured and displayed charming resilience. There might be a few bargain 2001 Bordeaux’s out there so don’t necessarily pass them by.


See background from the Wine Cellar Insider

The history of what we know of as Chateau Clement Pichon dates back to the 1300′s, when it was known as La Motte Caupene. Over the centuries, the estate has been owned by a myriad of families including the Alesme family, who attached their name to Marquis d’Alesme in Margaux and the Pichon family.

Chateau Clement Pichon is owned by the Fayat family that also count among their holdings, Chateau La Dominique in St. Emilion as well as another estate in the Right Bank, Chateau Fayat in Pomerol. At the time of the purchase by the Fayat family in 1976, the estate was known as Chateau de Parempuyre. Chateau de Parempuyre was named after its location, a small, suburb in Bordeaux.

After the purchase, the property was renamed to include the name of its new owner, Clement Fayat. However, that was the initial name that was chosen. Clement Fayat wanted to name the estate Chateau Pichon. A lawsuit was filed by the owner of Chateau Pichon Lalande, due to the potential confusion in the marketplace and at that time, the property took on the name of Chateau Clement Fayat.

The chateau, created in 1881, was designed by the same architect that built Chateau Lanessan. The showy, almost gothic looking chateau only dates back to 1881 because the previous building was completely destroyed by a fire. Shortly after the purchase by the Fayat family, In 1981, the entire vineyard was replanted.

The 25 hectare Left Bank vineyard of Chateau Clement Pichon is planted to 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. On average, the vines are planted to a vine density of 6,500 vines per hectare in a terroir of gravel, sand and clay based soils. To produce the wine of Chateau Clement Pichon, the wine is vinified in temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. Malolactac fermentation takes place in vat. On average, the wine is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels.





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Domaine Tempier 2001 copy

The wines of the South of France have generally been of a minor interest to me. I think that there is so much to learn about wine that you have to be selective and concentrate on your primary interests first.

The joy, however, is that then you can broaden your scope and revisit these areas and rediscover wines that you may have only had a cursory look at previously

The Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence tend to get lumped together and are often seen as an extension of the Rhone and good for Rose.

These areas are vitally important because they have their own distinct character and are the test centres for new winemaking techniques as well as experimentation with different grape varieties and blends.

The wines of the South of France first gained a worldwide reputation during the 1970s when the ‘flying winemakers’ from Australia would fly to the South of France to work. Having finished the harvest in the Southern hemisphere they could now work another vintage in France. They brought with them modern wine making techniques and a willingness to step outside the conventions of the strict appellation systems in France. These wines gained a reputation for their fruit forward style. The emergence of these wines also made people more curious about the various and diverse appellations of these regions. A rising tide lifts all boats.

So now we come to Provence. The main appellations are Bandol, Bellet, Cassis, Coteaux de Pierrevert, Cotes-de-Provence,  Côtes de Provence-Sainte Victoire,  Coteaux Varois,  Les-Beaux-de-Provence and Palette. If you ever have to discuss diversity in the South of France you may do well to remember Bandol and the Mourvedre grape. The red wines of Bandol must be made from a minimum of 50% Mourvedre. The remaining percentage can come from Cinsault or Grenache.

I decanted the Domaine Tempier Bandol 2001 and left for a few hours to soften out. I must point out that the ABV is 15%. The colour was a rich ruby with an orange glow from rim to core. The bouquet was quite alcoholic as you would imagine and interspersed with violet notes. On the palate the wine was a monster with great structure, medium tannins, red currant, dark fruit and a long lingering finish of liquorice. This wine needs food and would be hard to drink more thatn 2 glasses at a time. I bought this in Enowine about 3 years ago for around €24. It is available in Karwig wines and McCabes.

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mas de daumas gassacVin de Pays means ‘country wine’ and the suggestion is that wine at this level is of lesser quality than wine designated appellation controlee. In general this is a good rule of thumb but there are always exceptions to every rule.

It is true that the yields can be higher and the rules can seem more lax with Vin de Pays but one of the main reasons that these wines are not designated appelation controlee is that they choose to use grape varieties that are restrticted by the particular appellation of that region.

Mas de Daumas Gassac is one of these wines that shows the true potential of the Languedoc when paired with a commitment to making excellent wines.  When discussing the difference between appellation d’origine controlee wines and vin de pays I always mention Mas de Daumas Gassac to illustrate that just because a wine does not confirm to the appellation does not mean that it lacks quality. Mas de Daumas Gassac has been labeled the ‘Latour of the Languedoc’ and sells for €35-€40, not bad for a vin de pays. Available from Karwig Wines, Carrigaline and Le Caveau in Kilkenny.

Mas de Daumas Gassac is generally 80% Cabernet Sauvignon with the final 20% made up of a mix between Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, Nebbiolo and Barbara to name a few.

I have had the luck to taste a number of vintages of Mas de Daumas Gassac and last weekend I opened a bottle of the 2001 vintage. I decanted the bottle and as I was pouring I noticed that the wine seemed to lack a bit of colour. I poured out a glass and the rim showed faint ruby tinges. What struck me even more was there seemed to be a slight vinegar smell in the air. I began to suspect that the wine had an excessive amount of Volatile Acidity. I left the wine for a few hours before tasting it. When I came back to the wine the nose seemed dull but there was some fruit along with the underlying hint of vinegar. On the palate there was the dark fruit that I associate with this wine but it just did not taste right. The length was shorter than it should be and there was a certain sourness that remained when the fruit flavours dissipated. I vainly tried to convince myself that it was going to improve but after 2 glasses I poured the rest down the sink muttering ”f*ck you Aime Guibert’. A real disappointment as this has been one of my favourite wines over the last few years.

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Ad Hills Map

 A Morning in the Adelaide Hills was hosted by John McDonnell of Wine Australia Ireland and presented by Marty Edwards of the Lane Vineyards http://www.thelane.com.au/. Marty tasted through a number of wines that are typical of the styles that most represent what the Adelaide Hills are best at.  The Adelaide Hills is a narrow corridor 70 km x 30km with over 2000 hectares  under vine that was first planted in 1839. The vines are planted between 400 and 600 metres above sea level. The high altitudes regulate the temperature and with a diurnal difference of nearly 20C it maintains the natural acidity of the grapes. It also has a longer hang time than the Barossa or the McLaren Vale. The hang time or ripening period is significant as flavour develops better when the grapes are allowed to ripen over a longer period of time. A shorter ripening time with higher temperatures can effect the aromatic compounds of the grapes and produce very high sugar content. Therefore the wines of the Adelaide Hills are not your typical Aussie but are more European in style being fresher, aromatic and having balanced, natural acidity.

There are 95 Growers and 20 Wineries in the Adelaide Hills producing roughly 70% White wine to 30% Red, no mention of rose but Sparkling Wine is on the rise . The main grape varieties planted are Sauvignon Blanc (Regional Champion), Chardonnay, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Cabernet and New Italian varietals.

The Lane Gathering Sauvignon/Semillon 2007tl-gathering-sauv-blanc-sem-08The first of Marty’s own wines that we tasted was The Lane Gathering Sauvignon/Semillon 2007. The aromas were of lime with vanilla notes in the background. The palate had rich flavours of apricot, lime and a nice streak of minerality. There was a certain creaminess derived from the oak treatment

The Lane 19th Meeting Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 the-lane-19thmeeting


 Had an opaque core with a near tawny rim showing it age. There was quite a bit of sediment in the glass. There was a typical Cabernet Sauvignon nose of blackcurrant with some herbaceous notes. The tannins were less than medium and on the plate the plum flavour was more dominant with some blackcurrant and a slight mushroom character. The wine had a great length in sync with its overall quality.







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