Page 1


CONTENTS

Contents COLUMNS

GILBERT & GAILLARD NEXT ISSUE OUT SPRING 2012

68-69

GILBERT & GAILLARD

FAMILY BUSINESS

THE WORLDWIDE WINE SIGNATURE

• The Davies Family/ SUBSCRIPTIONS

Schramsberg Vineyards

2 YEARS 43.90 € - 1 YEAR 23.60 € SEE PAGE 79

70-82

COVER © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

QUALITY FACTORS • Art-house sparkling wines, Italian style

96-98 LIVE FROM SPAIN

24

110 100-101 WINE AND FOOD • Cod and truffle

106-107 WINE QUOTATIONS • The charm and magic of vintage wines

40

108-110 STARS AND WINE

11-12

60-61

• Antonio Banderas

LONDON LIFE

LA SCENE

& Charlize Theron

• Lou on Vine -

13-15 NEWS

Hollywood Terroir

112-114 RECOMMENDED WINES GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

3


CONTENTS

Contents REPORTS

PLEASE GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK info@gilbertgaillard.fr

42-47 REGION • The New Cru Bourgeois The Renaissance or Demise of Medoc’s historical classification

48-59

64

QUALITY FACTORS • The amazingly bountiful Roussillon • Bubble Nation: Sparkling Wine in America

62-66 TRAVEL • On the wine trail in Kentucky

83-95 59

REGION • Amarone, an inimitable vin de terroir • Castilla y León: quality in three colours

16-35 COVER STORY • Champagne is universal! • Champagne profiles

102-105 EXPORT • Winelands of South Africa today

• Rated wines 90/100 and more

36-41 QUALITY FACTORS

45 4

GILBERT & GAILLARD

• Alsace Grands Crus, where the terroir shines through WINTER 2011

THIS MAGAZINE IS PRINTED ON RECYCLABLE PAPER


10

th

edition 20, 21 and 22 February 2012

Montpellier - France

The International Exhibition of Mediterranean Wines and Spirits

Reserved for professionals

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Don't miss out!

2012 NEW FRENCH EDITION ● 974 PAGES ● 7,000 WINES PRESENTED ● 750 ORGANIC WINES ● 280 BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2010 ● NEW! 300 GREAT ITALIAN WINES

W

e are delighted to present the 2012 Gilbert & Gaillard Guide des Vins. All the wines featured have been tasted using the same protocol, ensuring a rigorous, impartial selection. The samples sent by producers are blind

tasted by Gilbert & Gaillard and their team in the quiet seclusion of a tasting room. A 100 point scale is employed for utmost accuracy. There is no question of marathon tastings as no more than 10-15 samples are tasted per session to maintain fair judgement and analysis. 7,000 wines have been selected, along with commentaries, tasting notes and recommendations on how to serve them. All the classed growths and most prestigious wines are featured, but there are also many smaller, lesser-known wine growers to discover too. Each wine growing region is represented, together with a detailed map and every appellation is closely analysed, with commentaries. The Gilbert & Gaillard Guide des Vins is the essential guide to discovering european wines.

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FRANÇOIS GILBERT

www.gilbertgaillard.com

S

elling 330 million bottles per year, Champagne

remains the best-selling sparkling wine in the world. It

continues to comfortably outstrip Spanish Cava, whose sales (240 million bottles in 2010) are nonetheless increasing more rapidly. These sparkling wines all share one characteristic that certainly contributes to their success: they are usually linked to festive celebrations. Almost one out of two bottles of Champagne are enjoyed between September and

Champagne, Prosecco, Franciacorta: sparkling wines are doing fine!

December, mainly during the holiday season. In this issue, we will take you on a far-ranging journey to discover the world of sparkling wine. First stop, Champagne, with our list of the top Champagnes we tasted in 2011 (pages 16–35), along with accounts from people involved in different markets, as well as presentations of both prestigious and lesser-known Champagne houses. We will also take you to Italy, where the quality and diversity of the Proseccos and Franciacortas impressed us. Of course, the journey wouldn’t be complete without an overview of California’s sparkling wines, which also hold some excellent surprises in store for you. Fine sparkling wines are doing well, and we’re very happy about that, since competition is the best incentive for improving quality. There’s a good bet that whatever the economic climate, effervescent wines have a sparkling future in front of them.

François Gilbert Editorial director

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

7


PHILIPPE GAILLARD

www.gilbertgaillard.com

W

hen it comes to wine classification, France

is the master. The French invented the system of

appellations d’origine contrôlées, of which today there are 365 for wines and spirits, plus around 50 for cheeses, and 40 for fruits, vegetables and cooking oils. France was also the first, in the 19th century, to introduce the concept of Cru Classé. The Wine Classification of 1855 concerned the wines of Médoc and Sauternes, that of 1953 classified the wines of

Renewed interest in Bordeaux’s Cru Bourgeois

Graves, that of 1955 the Crus of Saint-Emilion, and so on. Of course, Bordeaux is where the system began and where it has reached the apex of complexity. Some of these classifications have stood the test of time without much incident (this is the case for the 1855 classification, which remains almost unchanged since it was created, despite the upheavals that have occurred in the surface area of the estates). Others have been subject to a stormier ride, like the classification of Saint-Emilion, for which each tenyear review gives rise to interminable legal battles, or the classification of the Crus Bourgeois of Médoc, which, after some eventful twists and turns, is rising from the ashes (see our article on pages 42-47). Because these classifications can engender heated debate – another French specialty! – we strive to supply buyers with reliable, up-to-date information each year via the ideal medium of our tasting notes. In this way, Gilbert & Gaillard is there to help you make informed decisions.

Philippe Gaillard Editorial director

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

9


SYLVAIN PATARD

www.gilbertgaillard.com

W

ine has always been an integral part of

Spanish culture but in recent times it seems to be enjoying a revival, harking back to its once glorious past. The seductively powerful gems that are Sherry and its range of styles (Manzanilla, fino, amontillado, oloroso, palo cortado, pedro ximenez) are evidence of this, as is the strength of the Rioja brand; it is the only still wine appellation in the world with over 350 million bottles produced annually, labelled under a single name. Additionally, countless appellations are experimenting with new vine management and wine making techniques

Spain, wine’s other major homeland

and wine makers constantly strive to improve the quality of their wines. All this has combined to increase the popularity of Spanish wines in the leading consumer countries, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom and many European countries. The resurgence of Spain’s wine industry has also brought into question the supremacy of tempranillo, the nation’s flagship varietal. Even though it remains the most widelyplanted, many other grapes are offering greater variety: Monastrell along the Mediterranean coast, Garnacha in Aragon, Bobal in Utiel Requena and Albarino in Galicia, to name a few. Castilla Leon, another prominent Spanish wine region that we are featuring in this issue (see pages 89-95), also offers a phenomenal choice, from the white Verdejo grape in Rueda to the red Mencia varietal in Bierzo that can look forward to an excellent future. The time is right to rediscover Spanish wines – never in their history have they offered such quality and diversity with such an affordable price tag.

Sylvain Patard Editor in chief Gilbert & Gaillard Spain: Diego Bonnel – dbonnel@gilbertgaillard.com

10

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


LONDON LIFE

Warm winter bolt-holes

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

When the chilly winter months set in, there’s nothing quite like the ambiance of a cosy pub - especially if it serves good food and has a great wine list. While the last decade has witnessed a revolution in the standard of “gastro-pub” food, it is remarkable how far their wine lists have lagged behind. Things are starting to change for the better though, and if you know where to look, there are some great pubs that have it all.

Mark Andrew

FAVOURITE OF THE WINE TRADE Princess Victoria

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

217 Uxbridge Road London W12 9DH Tel. +44 (0)208 749 5886 www.princessvictoria.co.uk When the Princess Victoria first opened, it attracted a wave of publicity for its incredible wine list. Every time I pop in there, it is full of wine industry colleagues enjoying a glass of something you would

Princess Victoria

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

never expect to see in such traditional pub surroundings. The fact that the food matches up to the wine list makes the place even more exciting, as does the beautiful renovation job they have done on the gorgeous venue - a Gin house that dates back to 1829.

Princess Victoria

My last visit there was for a delicious Sunday roast beef dinner with friends, which we washed down with an interesting St Laurent from Austrian ace Gerhard Pittnauer (£40) and the rich and meaty La Falaise from Château de la Negly in Languedoc’s La Clape (£40). This is a brave concept for a pub in London’s Shepherd’s Bush district, but the wine list is daring, full of quality and offers excellent value for money.

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

11


LONDON LIFE

THE BEST PUB FOOD IN LONDON Harwood Arms

If you are looking for a pub that offers top notch modern British cuisine as well as a superb wine list then it is difficult to see past the Harwood Arms. The kitchen here has a Michelin Star, which is no surprise when you consider that Head Chef Barry Fitzgerald works closely alongside the Ledbury’s Brett Graham (one of London’s finest chefs and part owner of the Harwood) to ensure that the ingredients and the execution are of the highest standards.

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

27 Walham Grove London SW6 1QR Tel. +44 (0)207 386 1847 www.harwoodarms.com

Harwood Arms

GREAT

FOOD AND

WINE IN THE

DOCKLANDS

The Gun

I love game, so a visit to the Harwood Arms is always a treat because they cook some of the finest rabbit and venison in the city. Their wine list was recently voted Fine Dining Pub Wine List of the Year, so after ordering a grilled haunch of roe deer I was all set to match it with the 2007 Nuits St Georges from Patrice Rion (£80). After looking a little further down the list though, I spotted the 2009 Morgon from rising star Julien Sunier, a wine that is rich and gamey but with bright, ripe red fruit that complemented the juniper berries in the sauce (and, at just £46, a bargain). This is a superb restaurant in a relaxed, pub setting and the wine list is a joy. A must visit next time you are in London.

The Gun

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

27 Coldharbour London E14 9NS Tel. +44 (0)207 515 5222 www.thegundocklands.com For many people travelling to London, the Docklands area is a sea of conference centres, offices and faceless chain restaurants, without a great deal to keep you interested once the working day is done. That’s what I thought too, until a recent visit to The Gun, a wonderful pub just a stone's throw from Canary Wharf.

Harwood Arms

12

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As soon as I caught sight of the rib of Longhorn beef for two with snails, Bearnaise sauce and chips, I knew I was in for a treat. Something robust was needed to partner it and I settled on the 2004 Chateau Bataillay (£72), although I must confess to coveting the 2004 Vosne-Romanée by René Engel (£72.50). Its not often that you have such a dilemma when ordering a bottle of red in a pub! The food was excellent and the atmosphere was warm and welcoming.

The Gun


NEWS A “Hidden Gem” in Beechworth Australia Finally a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase 40 acres of fertile organically cultivated land with picturesque views from all directions located in the colourful and significant epicurean zone, at the foothills of the Victorian Alps.

I

n addition to the land, on offer is a thoughtfully considered and carefully measured master plan with a substantial portion of the external works completed. Already planted is a rich tapestry of olive groves, a red oak forest, chestnut trees, lavender, rosemary, bay laurel and poplars for white truffle production. A feature of the landscaping activity are the seven magnificent terraces. There is a spring fed creek along the east boundary and perfectly disposed sites for viticultural activity such as Pinot Noir & Nebbiolo grapes.

The project comes with all planning and building permits approved for an inspired private dwelling ideal for entertaining, relaxing and renewal, being able to take in the nature rhythms of dawn and dusk and a universe of stars. Design includes a tower, roof terrace, an internal courtyard of classical

PURE PLEASURE That’s the result of combining two exceptional products: Charles Heidsieck 1995 Blanc des Millénaires Champagne and the legendary Petrossian caviar. With its assertive character, Imperial Alverta® caviar pairs superbly with the finesse, generosity and elegance of the remarkable 1995 vintage from Charles Heidsieck, a Champagne that enjoys exceptional longevity. To treat oneself to this incomparable union is simply to suspend the inexorable march of time for a moment - a luxury that shouldn’t be passed up. Petrossian Alverta® Caviar (125 g) and Charles Heidsieck Blanc des Millénaires 1995 giftbox: 390 euros Available at www.petrossian.fr or from the Petrossian shop at 18 Boulevard de Latour Maubourg or the Publicis Drugstore (Paris)

proportions, 3 bedrooms, an underground cellar suitable for boutique commercial pursuit and produce and equipment storage. The base works completed for the residence include cut and fill for basement slab and reinforcement for vertical walls.

T

his amazing property bordered by indigenous forests, positioned within 3 kilometres of the historic town centre, will be attractive to the person wanting to further express their interests and passions in wine and food in the cool climate of the southern hemisphere.

For further information please email and include your contact number to: n.roe.7@bigpond.net.au GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

13


NEWS

THE BOTTLE HAS CHANGED, BUT THE LEGEND REMAINS Jack Daniel’s has changed the shape

In every issue, see which winemakers are the gold medal winners

of its Old No. 7 bottle for a more contemporary, masculine look that accentuates its ‘premium’ aspect. The new bottle has cleaner, straighter

étienne BOIVIN Franchise Development Manager

lines

Selection Winter 2011 Baron de Brane 2008 Margaux A.C.

and

square

shoulders.

Although its look has changed, its taste hasn’t. This new bottle honours the company motto, ‘Every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.’* www.jackdaniels.com

24.90 €*

Sandrine et Jean-Yves LECOMTE CAVAVIN BEAUVAIS 9, rue Louvet 60000 BEAUVAIS Tel. +33 (0)3 44 45 37 77

VINTAGE WINES: TRY THEM IN MAGNUMS!

Château Taffard de Blaignan 2005 (Magnum) Médoc A.C.

Sylviane MARTIN CAVAVIN ILLKIRCH GRAFFENSTADEN 201, Route de Lyon 67400 ILLKIRCH GRAFFENSTADEN Tel. +33 (0)3 88 67 41 76 23.90 €*

Marionnet Touraine gamay 2010

We tasted 12 vintages, mainly Blancs de Blancs, ranging from 2003 to 1961. Among these, five particularly retained our attention:

Touraine A.C.

6.30 €*

Guillaume VERDES CAVAVIN BAIN DE BRETAGNE 2, Place Saint-Martin 35470 BAIN DE BRETAGNE Tel. +33 (0)2 99 47 44 09

Champagne

Blanc de Blancs 1996: An excellent wine that is round, complex and distinct, evoking dried exotic fruit supported by this vintage’s sublime freshness.

54.90 €*

* Retail price including sales tax

14

Blanc de Blancs 2002: A vintage displaying superb vivacity, delicate bubbles and a good balance between richness and freshness. Blanc de Blancs 1998: A model of precision, vivacity and clarity. The result is ethereal and fruity, with a brazen youthfulness.

Champagne Gosset Grande Réserve Fabrice QUIBLIER CAVAVIN VOIRON 25 rue Rose Sage 38500 VOIRON Tel. +33 (0)4 76 93 13 50

In still wines, as with Champagne, when it comes to older vintages, we too often neglect magnums. Yet this 150 cl-bottle is much better for aging than the traditional 75 cl-bottle. A recent tasting in Reims at the Palmer Champagne house was further proof of this. It must be said that all the optimal conditions were present in this case. These superb bottles, which hadn’t left the cellar since the prise de mousse, had just been disgorged, unleashing their fully developed aromas, patiently acquired during aging on the lees, along with a brazen freshness.

GILBERT & GAILLARD

Blanc de Blancs 1985: Opens with mineral, iodine notes that then give way to a creamy character. The magnificently balanced palate is delicate, with both breadth and length. A fantastic Champagne.

WINTER 2011


NEWS

Gilbert & Gaillard Selection

89 /100

BANDOL A.C. Domaine de l'Olivette Vintage 2006 Deep, very slightly evolved red. Ripe fruity nose showing predominant red fruits (strawberry, redcurrant). A mix of freshness, power and aromatic expression on the palate. A very full wine where fruit melds with spicy tones on the finish. FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

Magnums available for sale (tax-inclusive prices): Magnum Brut: 52 euros Magnum Rosé: 60 euros Magnum Blanc de Blancs 1999: 71 euros Brut 1961: As developed as one would expect, with a bouquet of dried fig and truffle and a creamy texture, all balanced with freshness. Although it has decreased in volume and strength, it captivates with its finesse and complexity.

Magnum Brut Millésimé 1998: 71 euros Magnums Blanc de Blancs 1996: 90 euros Magnum Brut 1985: 120 euros Magnum Blanc de Blancs 1985: 167 euros

The good news is that Palmer offers some of the magnums from its cellar for sale on demand. Discover them without moderation.

Champagne Palmer: +33 (0)3 26 07 35 07 www.champagne-palmer.fr

FRENCH REFINEMENT The Ritual Box by G.H. MUMM is an ultra-limited edition designer item (only 10 are available around the world). Dedicated to the art of tasting Champagne, on first appearance it is a simple yet mysterious cube, elegantly wrapped in red, that when opened reveals five modular units. Each of these contains the required accessories to create a sophisticated setting for tasting Champagne. The Ritual Box can be arranged in a variety of ways and above all can be used indoors or outdoors. Among other accessories, it contains a magnum of Cordon Rouge accompanied by six Champagne flutes. RITUAL BOX BY G.H. MUMM • 6 Guy Degrenne forks • 6 Guy Degrenne appetizer spoons • 2 Siléa snack plates • 6 Siléa porcelain verrines • 2 Villeroy & Boch candlesticks and 2 red candles • 1 JBL MP3 speaker • 2 red leather cushions Only 10 Ritual Boxes available worldwide Only 1 on sale in France / 5,000 euros (tax inclusive) Available by order: Tel. +33 (0)1 49 81 52 20

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

15


COVER STORY

Champagne is universal!

ŠJEAN-PHILIPPE BALTEL/SIPA PRESS

As the famous Christmas trees have been lit in Trafalgar Square in London and Times Square in New York City for the 2011 festive season, Champagne sales and celebrations have also reignited in the US and the UK.

16

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


COVER STORY

C

hampagne demand reflects consumer confidence

mythic strength of the appellation and the level of quality of the

and the state of the economy. If recent trends contin-

wine preserved by the ‘great names’.”

ue, export sales of Champagne should continue the

momentum that had been building prior to 2008. Champagne is

Speaking at the Second International Sparkling Wine Symposium

unique, exclusive and symbolic, leading all sparkling wines of the

in the UK in November 2011, Chris Brook-Carter, publisher of

world by setting and protecting the highest standards of quality

Just-drinks.com said that while there is demand for sparkling

and consistency. Frédéric Rouzaud, CEO of Champagne Louis

wines, “they lack the strong international identity of Champagne

Roederer, says that “the success of Champagne on export markets,

brands (...) and still face challenges to equal the image of

despite the lower prices of sparkling wines, is linked to a long

Champagne. Despite an unexpected boost from the global

tradition of coherent and intelligent promotion, together with the

financial crisis, the sparkling wine niche is encroaching on everyday spirits and beer rather than on Champagne market share.”

Elisabeth Drysdale of the Champagne Information Centre in Australia says that while domestic sparkling wines represent 75% of sales, Champagne is outperforming imported sparkling wines at over 50%. Like the US and the UK, “Australia is a wine making country that makes very good sparkling wines, but they are not Champagne. I believe Australians are becoming more educated about Champagne and understand the difference between sparkling and Champagne. Each has their own markets and market accordingly.”

Françoise Peretti, President of the UK Champagne Bureau, says that “cheaper is the word! The consumers understand price brackets. Apart from seasonal promotions, Champagne is a very traditional and defined segment, so people may start with sparkling wine and graduate to more complex, sophisticated Champagne.”

© CHAMPAGNE LOUIS ROEDERER

The strong image of Champagne as an exclusive product is driven

CHAMPAGNE'S SUCCESS OVERSEAS IS LINKED TO A LONG TRADITION OF PROMOTION

by Houses and elevated prices, in line with the belief that luxury and premium purchasing is a timeless pleasure. Perceived rarity, craftsmanship and history are linked to the quality of the Houses that are responsible for 90% of Champagne exports and represent 70% of Champagne sales. Certain family-owned Houses such as Louis Roederer, Pol Roger and Bollinger own up to 75% of the vineyards they use, however the majority of Houses only own 10% of Champagne vineyards.

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

17


© ALAIN CORNU

COVER STORY

HOUSES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR 90% OF CHAMPAGNE EXPORTS AND REPRESENT 70% OF CHAMPAGNE SALES

While growers own more than 90% of the vineyards, they only

view of why Champagne is successful. Such a unique market for

represent 22% of Champagne sales. The recent trend of grower

Champagne, the strongest, leading export for Champagne, sustained

Champagnes making and bottling under their own name focuses

this leadership for many years, and this can’t be explained by

on terroir and vintage conditions; some growers are joining forces

benchmarking against other wines. The relationship between the

under collective organisations such as Champagne des Vignerons,

Champenoise and the UK is five hundred years old, originating

Terre et Vins, Artisans, and Bulles Bio. However, as Peter Liem

from aristocrats on both sides in exile in the UK or France, and

from ChampagneGuide.net observes: “In all export markets,

drinking habits have been established on this longevity.”

grower Champagnes have a disproportional share of the market

18

because of very limited, prized stocks which sell out. There are

Elisabeth Drysdale says that “the Champenoise have always done

maybe only fifty very popular growers that represent 1% to 2% of

a great job in promoting their wines in Australia, mainly led by

the already small share of grower Champagnes in export markets.

Moët-Hennessy’s investment. Historically our love affair with

The statistics do not reflect this recent phenomenon of popularity

Champagne goes back many years, and can be traced to the

that actually survived the crisis better than everyone.”

19th century.

Chair of Champagne at Reims Business Management School,

Thierry Gasco, Chef de Cave at Champagne Pommery says “we

Dr Steve Charters MW says that “over the long term Champagne

have to know how to offer the best wine adapted to the time

is consistently the most successful wine region in France.”

we are in” by making a contemporary blend of long term

Françoise Peretti agrees: “in the UK you need to take a long term

consumer involvement, tradition and technology, innovation

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


COVER STORY

However, Champagne is no longer exclusively for special occasions

be the world reference tomorrow in terms of appellation, thus the

and celebration. It has been successfully marketed as a modern,

origin will always be perfectly controlled to keep the promise of

independent wine that can accompany each course throughout a

terroir, quality and reputation alive in a very competitive world

meal. Peretti continues: “There is a very consistent international

market that is increasingly sensitive to the notion of origin.”

environment that benefits Champagne in the UK. The tradition of

© MICHEL GUILLARD

and communication. Gasco adds that “Champagne has to also

THE CIVC HAS SUCCESSFULLY PROTECTED THE APPELLATION, WITH LEGAL INTERVENTION IF NECESSARY

As the regional brand manager the CIVC has successfully protect-

drinking Champagne, combined with its international background

ed the appellation, with legal intervention if necessary. “We work

and successful restaurant food reputation in the UK is Champagne

hard to promote Champagne and increase protection of the

consumption at its best. It remains the wine of celebration: if you

Champagne name, which is key to the US market,” remarks Sam

are not celebrating, drink Champagne and create the occasion!

Heitner of the CIVC in Washington.

The combination of these two elements explains why the UK is the world's number one export.”

Frédéric Rouzaud declares that “Louis Roederer Champagnes have a very clear, significant importance outside France as references of quality and faithfulness to a style. This the result of the very

20

TOP MARQUES The top ten global brands all grew by volume in 2010, leading

focused communication that we have carried out for many years

with large marketing budgets and prestigious sponsorships. Moët

in a world invaded by the values of marketing.”

& Chandon and Veuve Cliquot are the number one and two

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


COVER STORY

Champagne brands in the world, in the UK, and the US. Nicolas Feuillatte, Mumm and Laurent-Perrier complete the top five global Champagne brands;

with

Lanson

and

© CHAMPAGNE TAITTINGER

Taittinger in the UK; and Perrier-Jouët,

and

Nicolas

Feuillatte in the US, with Piper Heidsieck moving into the top three in 2011. While acknowledging that “traditionally well-known grand marques do very well in Australia,” Elisabeth Drysdale says that “as consumers are becoming more educated about Champagne, I have seen more interest in different styles and lesser-known brands.”

CHAMPAGNE EXPORTS Over forty two million bottles of Champagne were exported worldwide in the first six months of 2011. It is important to note that final figures for 2011 will be not be determined until 45% of Champagne end of year consumption sales are included.

2011 JAN-JUNE

RANK

Global

TOTAL BOTTLES EXPORTED

% CHANGE

42,281,731

14,66%

UK

1

9,362,753

-6.8%

USA

2

5,815,753

17.5%

Germany

3

3,673,604

17.5%

Australia

8

1,226,706

23.9%

Source: Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne

The United Kingdom retains its number one rank outside France, despite a 6.8% drop in exports to under 9.4 million bottles. The Houses are in the dominant position, with volume and value progressing. Non-vintage (80.3%) and rosés (+16.9%) have regained market share to pre-2008 levels. Prestige Cuvées have slightly higher market share (5.3%) than Vintage Champagnes (3.3%). Supermarket strength is evident with 38.3% of export volumes. In the total sparkling wine category, Champagne represents 22.4% volume for 47.7% turnover. In second place, the US has gained 17.5% in Champagne exports this year to 5.8 million bottles, showing strong potential for development as consumer confidence has stabilised. The Houses dominate with 91.8% by volume and 93.5% by value. Non Vintage at 73.1% is lower than the global average of 83.7%. Over 2.4 million bottles of Rosé have 14.4% market share by volume and 15.2% by value, while Prestige Cuvées have only 5.1% volume share. GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

21


COVER STORY

2010

RANK

JAN-DEC

GLOBAL EXPORTS

HOUSES

HOUSES

GROWERS

GROWERS

CO-OPS

CO-OPS

TOTAL BOTTLES

TOTAL BOTTLES

SHARE

BOTTLES

SHARE

BOTTLES

SHARE

UK

1

35,488,401

29,698,133

83.7%

491,000

1.4%

5,380,000

14.9%

USA

2

16,934,242

15,552,850

91.8%

634,425

3.7%

674,474

4%

Germany

3

13,076,153

12,029,286

92%

34,556

2.6%

703,311

5.4%

Australia

9

3,687,140

3,541,673

96.1%

81,336

2.2%

58,287

1.6%

Source: Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne

In third position, Germany has the same 17.5 percentage increase,

8.5% value, compared to only 1.6% volume and 2% value for

and 3.6 million bottles with the Houses dominating strongly at

House Vintage Champagnes.

92% volume, with Non Vintage increasing in volume and Rosés in

CHAMPAGNE PERCEPTIONS

demand over one million bottles.

For Frédéric Rouzaud, “the perception of Champagne on foreign The top ten continues with Japan, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and

markets is basically influenced by the wine's rich history,

Australia, each importing over one million bottles, followed by

the prestige of the leading houses and the power of its image

Spain and the United Arab Emirates. The final three countries

(refinement, life style, fashion, luxury) within this general context.

show the highest growth with Australia at 23.9%, Spain 27.8%

There are obviously some variations in its perception, from one

and UAE at 40.4%. At number 12, Russia is showing great growth

market to another. In general, Champagne reflects a social status

at 145.1%, re-establishing a long heritage as an original and very

with the historical exception of UK where it is an institution.”

important Champagne market. Champagne is a unique global reference for consistently high

stronger, while Non Vintage is the style of choice. Vintage has not

quality, based on the most

continued to be as popular as pre-recession, so there is a huge

expensive grapes in the world.

opportunity to explore and educate the consumer. People understand NV and Prestige Cuvées but not the complexity that goes with vintage - for example, it has a great role to play in food

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

According to Françoise Peretti, “Pink keeps growing, getting

Champagne is an appellation and a trademark that has been defended with leading marketing strategies, economic policy and business structure, distinguishing

matching.”

the offering within many changing markets. Detailed figures from 2010 confirm that Non Vintage at 83.9% represented 73.7% of total exports in value. Rosés accounted for 8.5% of volume exported (10.7% value), with the UK, US and Germany accounting for 55% of all exported Rosés. Prestige Cuvées represented 4.8% volume and 15.1% in 2010, with 96.7% of these figures dominated by a small group of Houses. Vintage Champagnes only represent 1.8% volume and 2.2% value, and

At Champagne Taittinger, “although marketing and commercial approaches are global, the commercial and marketing implementation are 100% local, depending on the level of activity and recognition of the brand in each country, and on the wishes and personalities of our partners,” says Clovis Taittinger. “Each of the 140 Taittinger agents in the world adds their personality to the brand!”

Demi-Sec 2.1% volume and 2% value. Growers have a higher export percentage of Vintage Champagnes with 6.1% volume and

22

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

Amanda Regan


COVER STORY

Champagne profiles To illustrate the wide range of Champagne we have chosen to present six brands with different styles and stories. This unique wine has many things to tell. After 27 years at Gosset, Cellar Master Jean-Pierre Mareigner is

CHAMPAGNE GOSSET

referred to as the “Haute Couture” creator. The house style is elegant, dryand fresh with a fine balance and full bodied

FRANCE'S OLDEST CHAMPAGNE HOUSE

complexity, a crisp start, and long lasting. Only the first press is

Founded in 1584 in Aÿ when wines were still red, Gosset is the oldest registered house in Champagne. Some 410 years and fifteen generations later, the house came under Cointreau management in 1994.

used, with no malolactic fermentation, to retain natural freshness and graceful ageing. Partial fermentation in oak barrels gives a subtle wood note. Still wines are vinified separately until blending. Grande Réserve and Grand Rosé are kept sur latte for four years, with time varying for Célébris Grand Millésime, prior to hand riddling and traditional disgorging. Because the wines can stand on their own without added sugar, the dosages are relatively light with extra brut styles for the Célébris Vintage, Célébris Blanc de Blancs (a multi-vintage blend) and Célébris Rosé. The Champagnes rest for three to twelve months prior to release. One million bottles annually are distributed in eighty countries, exports representing 60% and Rosé 12% of sales.

19 th century building in Epernay

© CHAMPAGNE GOSSET

ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE New packaging of the New Antique Range is environmentally sustainable. Different coloured traditional neck labels and gold cap are made with non-polluting colours. “Imprim Vert” labels are printer-friendly with no hazardous or toxic or liquid waste products, and completely recyclable, and “Green Line” Caps by In 2009, on its 425th anniversary, Gosset moved to a 19th centu-

Sparflew use solvent-free colours, biodegradable acrylic and a

ry building in Epernay with 1.5 kilometres of underground cellars

glue-free complex.

and 2.5 million bottle storage capacity. The distinctive original 18th century bottles of Jean Gosset are still used, and a Charter of

GASTRONOMIC FOCUS

Excellence guarantees outstanding quality commitment to values

Gosset has a gastronomic focus matching food and wine flavours

and traditions. Most Chardonnay is rated above 95% on the Cru

and aromas. Each year Gosset sponsors the Trophée Gosset

scale from Chouilly, le Mesnil, Cramant and Avize, and Pinot Noir

Célébris to select the best restaurant Champagne wine list in each

from Bouzy, Aÿ, Verzenay and Ambonnay.

region of France. GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

23


COVER STORY

CHAMPAGNE HENRIOT

to gain expressive complexity. The Rosé is 34% Chardonnay and 66% Pinot Noir, with 30% reserve wines. Vintage Bruts are composed of 48% Chardonnay and 52% Pinot Noir, and

VERVE AND SOUVERAIN

consistently offer exceptional value for money.

“Veuve Henriot Ainé” was created by the widow of Nicolas Henriot in 1808. Celebrating its bicentenary in 2008, Henriot has been an independent Champagne house for seven generations.

CHANTIERS Prestige Cuvée des Enchanteleurs was created in 1949, uniquely from Grands Crus. Des Enchanteleurs was named after the aristocratic exercise called “chantiers” where the cavistes selected and composed from the cream of the crop to create their own cuvée. This Henriot Prestige Cuvée des Enchanteleurs has an elegant structure; its citrus notes make for a lively, fresh, mineral and delicate Champagne.

PRINCES OF CHARDONNAY

quality for the growers is a guarantee for purchased grapes.

Le Brun de Neuville has a history dating back 150 years through the Le Brun family line. In 1963, 30 independent growers created the cooperative originally called the “Crayere”. Over 50, this has grown to 150 growers who share and work together today. Built on the mid-slope amongst the vineyards at Béthon in southern Champagne, Le Brun de Neuville boasts a large reception room that can welcome two hundred guests, with panoramic views of the vineyards.

After brief ownership by LVMH from 1987 to 1994, the house is

The society has a small structure of fifteen people, managed by

again under family control, run by Joseph Henriot. A portfolio has

Chefs de Cave Antony Caen and Gilles Balthazar. Two million

been created adding William Fèvre in Chablis and Bouchard Père

bottles lie 18 metres below in the underground cellars where Brut

et Fils in Beaune to the Champagne house. Cellar Master Laurent

Selection Champagnes rest for a minimum of three years, and the

Fresnet continues to make 1,500,000 bottles in the Henriot style,

Vintage Champagnes for at least five years. Le Brun de Neuville

with 200,000 reserve wines to draw on. The first fermentation is

shares 152 hectares around Sézanne in the south of Côte des

always in stainless steel tanks to retain elegance and freshness.

Blancs; 80% of the grapes are Chardonnay.

Each year Brut Souverain aims to reproduce the same style and

NEW PACKAGING

identical taste, made from 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir.

Following sustainable production, new labels are 50% recyclable,

Souverain Blanc de Blancs brut is aged for four to five years on lees

sourced from well-managed forests. To reduce packaging, clients

Cellar Master Laurent Fresnet In 1850 Henriot became supplier to the Dutch court. The following year, grandson Ernest Henriot founded Champagne Charles Heidsieck with his brother-in-law Charles-Camille Heidsieck, however Ernest returned to the Henriot family house in 1875 under the name Henriot & Cie. Ernest purchased vineyards in the Côte des Blancs, creating the Chardonnay-driven style of the House giving finesse, pure fruits and fresh citrus. A chart of

24

© CHAMPAGNE HENRIOT

CHAMPAGNE LE BRUN DE NEUVILLE

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


COVER STORY

Coopérative de Riceys, to produce the famous Rosé des Riceys and still red wines. From 1923 they started selling Champagne to a predominantly local market, Paris, northern France and Belgium. Success came with modernisation in the 1960s, when the brand Marquis de Pomereuil was created, after the name of an 18th century lord from Riceys. 2012 marks the 90th anniversary of the creation of the house, to be celebrated with the presentation of a special new vintage cuvée Blancs de Noirs 2008. The cave will be open on 21 July 2012 for

Le Brun de Neuville

© CHAMPAGNE LE BRUN DE NEUVILLE

the celebration. Other special events will be announced in Spring. Riceys is a special terroir in the Côte de Bar, near the border with Burgundy, and unique in France with three appellations in the village. Champagne Marquis de Pomereuil produces quality cuvées from the three appellations from Riceys: Champagne, Coteaux Champenois and Rosé des Riceys.

are given the choice of whether they wish to purchase Prestige

Jojot, the cave has

Cuvées in individual boxes.

installed

modern

presses and wine-

LADY DE N AND LE BRUN DE NEUVILLE

making

The Lady de N range consists of Lady de N Chardonnay Brut, Lady

as well as a tasting

de N Clovis Brut (made of 60% Pinot Noir and 40%

room to welcome vis-

Chardonnay), the Lady de N Aged in Oak Brut, and the soon-

itors and clients. 95

to-be released Lady de N Rosé Brut.

hectares of vines are grown with great respect for the principles of

equipment

Marquis de Pomereuil

© CHAMPAGNE MARQUIS DE POMEREUIL

Directed by Christian

“lutte raisonnée” (minimum intervention), by 55 passionate The Le Brun de Neuville range consists of Cuvée Chardonnay Brut

growers.

Blanc de Blancs, Cuvée Selection Brut Non Vintage (made of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), Cuvée Tendre Rosé Brut, and Cuvée

TRILOGY OF STYLES

Authentique Brut made of Chardonnay (65%) and Pinot Noir

Champagne, Rosé des Riceys, and Coteaux Champenoise. The

(30%), with 5% oak aged.

Champagnes range in style from classic bruts blended with the three varieties, to Brut cuvée Spéciale (aged for a minimum of three years), Vintage Blanc de Blancs, Brut Rosé (blended from the

CHAMPAGNE MARQUIS DE POMEREUIL

three varieties), and Brut Rosé Tradition 100% Pinot Noir, made after a short maceration. Rosé des Riceys is a gastronomic wine appreciated with food, always vintaged, and made after a brief

A STYLE FOR EVERY FESTIVE MOMENT

maceration of Pinot Noir. Coteau Champenois is an exceptional

In 1922, 14 vignerons came together to create one of the oldest cooperatives in Champagne, the Caves

wine appreciated by gourmets, made from selected old Pinot Noir vines. GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

25


COVER STORY

Cuvée des Fondateurs 2000 pays hommage to the ancestral know-

Cuvée Prestige Millésimé is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir

how of the founders of the Cave Marquis de Pomereuil. Made

from low-yielding old vines with the best exposure on mid-slopes.

from a rare blend in the region of two-thirds Chardonnay and

Concentration comes from a minimum three years ageing in

only one third Pinot Noir, the style is also available in a non-

cellars for roundness, balance and elegance. Privilege des

vintage version.

Moines is blended from 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir; this cuvée is vinified for one year in oak with lees stirring. With its fine and complex nose, vanilla and smoky notes, it is round,

CHAMPAGNE J.M. GOBILLARD

vinous and balanced with fresh fruits; this is a champagne for the dining table.

IN THE BIRTHPLACE OF CHAMPAGNE

Gobillard Family

In the carved chalk cellars, vintage Champagnes are hand-riddled, while

non-vintage Champagnes are turned by gyropalettes. Some wines are vinified in oak casks. Brut Tradition is made from equal blends of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, plus 30% reserve wines to give regularity of taste and quality. Brut Rosé is equal thirds Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, with two years ageing in cellars for finesse, elegance and balance, and rich vinous aromas. Brut Blanc de Blanc is 100% Chardonnay, mostly from the village of Hautvillers, with at least three years ageing in cask,

CHAMPAGNE MICHEL GONET CÔTE DES BLANCS GRAND CRU

© CHAMPAGNE MICHEL GONET

© CHAMAPGNE JM GOBILLARD

Located in the famous village of Hautvillers, the Champagne J.M. Gobillard tasting rooms are situated directly in front of the Abbey Dom Pérignon. The expanding family business was established in 1945, with the winemaking facilities now based in the nearby village of Dizy.Thierry Gobillard is in charge of the 250,000 bottles produced annually, managing 25 hectares of mostly premier cru in Hautvillers, plus 100 hectares of contracted grapes; he buys 30% of his grapes from growers.

Founded in1802 by Charles Gonet, this seventh generation Champagne house won its first prize at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1900. Michel Gonet expanded and upgraded his Champagne house in Avize in 1973, co-managed today with his daughter Sophie. The house also offers five rooms for bed and breakfast.

Gonet Family

Owning an extraordinary 40 hectares grown predominantly on Grand

Crus chalk-based vineyards on the Côte de Blancs around Avize and le Mesnil sur Oger, the Côte de Sezanne, and the special island of Chardonnay slopes of Montgeaux, and further south into the Aube for Pinot Noir, the potential of this house is immense. The grapes are predominantly Chardonnay (80%); the remainder is Pinot Noir.

for freshness, finesse and elegance. Blanc de Noirs is a textured, vinous table wine with body and power, but also finesse. Premier Cru Brut Grande Réserve is 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and

during pressing. Cellar Master Christophe Rambaud controls

35% Pinot Meunier, with 30% reserve wines; it is aged for three

20,000 hectolitres and 1,200 barriques, producing 100,000 bottles

years. The grapes are from Hautvillers Premiers Crus, and also from

per year. Most wines are fermented in stainless steel tanks, and

Cumières and Dizy, for power and elegance. Cuvée Prestige Rosé is

older wines are vinified in oak, followed always by malolactic

composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir, following a

fermentation and a generally low dosage. Michel Gonet

rigorous selection of grapes (the same criteria as Millésime Brut).

Champagnes are disgorged to order, to guarantee freshness and

The colour comes from maceration on skins, giving an expressive

quality. Amanda Regan

nose of fresh, pronounced red fruits.

26

Production is 100% manual in the vineyards, with great care taken

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


RATED WINES 90/100 AND MORE

OUR PICKS Here are the scores for the best Champagnes we tasted in 2011. You will find all of our 2011 tasting notes on our website: www.gilbertgaillard.com

100/100 Champagne Bollinger Extra Brut R.D. 1999

125,00 €

98/100 Champagne Krug Brut Grande Cuvée

100/100 Champagne Krug Brut 1998

205,00 €

97/100 Champagne Dom Pérignon Brut Rosé 2000

99/100 Champagne Bollinger Brut

95,00 €

99/100 Champagne Louis Roederer

Brut Cuvée William Deutz 1999 185,00 €

Brut Amour de Deutz 2002 121,00 €

/100

115,00 €

96/100 Champagne Piper-Heidsieck

Brut Clos des Goisses 2000

99

130,00 €

96/100 Champagne Deutz

Brut Cristal 2004 99/100 Champagne Philipponnat

n/a 111,00 €

96/100 Champagne Deutz

La Grande Année 2002

150,00 €

Brut Rare 2002

CHAMPAGNE Philipponnat Brut Clos des Goisses 2000 Deep gold. Intense nose deploying notes of stone fruits, dried fruits and toasted undercurrents after swirling. The palate combines abundant fullness, vinosity and magnificent freshness. Already nicely open, this 2000 is at its peak. Excellent.

96 /100

CHAMPAGNE Brut Cuvée William Deutz 1999 Golden hue. Open, profound, complex nose suggestive of dried fig, candied fruits, gingerbread. Full-on richness, vinosity, mellow character. A wine that manages to be both full and ethereal with savoury freshness. Gold standard.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

96 98/100 Champagne Charles Heidsieck

160,00 €

Brut Blanc des Millénaires 1995 98/100 Champagne Gosset Extra brut Celebris 1998 110,00 € 98/100 Champagne Grand Siècle par Laurent-Perrier Brut Grande Cuvée

170,00 €

/100

CHAMPAGNE Brut Amour de Deutz 2002 Glistening light yellow, greenish tints, wonderful brilliance. Delicate, elegant nose delivering refined notes of almond, white flesh fruits and citrus after swirling. Focused palate, soft and tense at the same time, fresh, with savoury, clear-cut aromas.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THESE ESTATES CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

27


RATED WINES 90/100 AND MORE

96 /100

CHAMPAGNE Piper Heidsieck Brut Rare 2002 Deep gold. Nose of candied fruits, lemon, notes of mocha, toast and fresh mushroom. Rich, full-bodied palate showing seductive vinosity and refined bubbles. Lingering exuberance imparts great balance to the whole. Character and elegance.

94/100 Champagne Henri Abelé

85,00 €

Brut Le Sourire de Reims 2003 94/100 Champagne Louis Roederer Brut 2004 94/100 Champagne Moët & Chandon

56,00 € n/a

Brut Grand Vintage Collection 1992

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

94/100 Champagne Thiénot Brut BLANC de Blancs

120,00 €

La Vigne aux Gamins 2000 93/100 Champagne Bollinger Brut ROSÉ 95/100 Champagne Dom Pérignon

n/a

93/100 Champagne Dom Pérignon Brut 2002 93/100 Champagne Drappier

Brut Oenothèque 1996 95,00 €

95/100 Champagne Duval-Leroy

55,00 € n/a 36,00 €

Brut Millésime Exception 2004

Brut Femme de Champagne 2000 95/100 Champagne Françoise Bedel & Fils

65,00 €

/100

Brut Cuvée Robert Winer 1996 51,00 €

95/100 Champagne Gosset

93

Brut Grand BLANC de Blancs 95/100 Champagne Henriot

n/a

CHAMPAGNE Drappier Millésime Exception 2004 Deep golden hue. Profound, open nose with crunchy dried fruit aromas (date, fig, dried apricot). The palate shows seductive volume, vinosity and mellowness though above all, freshness and complex fruity aromas. A stellar Champagne.

Brut Cuvée des Enchanteleurs 1996 FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

95/100 Champagne J. Dumangin FILS

99,00 €

Extra-dry 1er Cru Vinothèque 1996 55,80 €

95/100 Champagne Jean Vesselle

118,00 €

93/100 Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie Brut Blanc de

60,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Mumm de Cramant

Brut Belle Epoque 2004 95/100 Champagne Taittinger Brut BLANC de

105,00 €

94/100 Champagne A. R. Lenoble Brut BLANC de

93/100 Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie Brut Blanc de

60,00 €

Noirs Grand Cru Mumm de Verzenay

Blancs Comtes de Champagne 2000 51,00 €

93/100 Champagne Georges Vesselle

29,00 €

Brut Grand Cru Juline

Blancs Grand Cru Les Aventures

28

118,00 €

Brut Cuvée R. Lalou 1999

Brut GRAND CRU Cuvée Le Petit Clos 1996 95/100 Champagne Perrier-Jouët

93/100 Champagne G.H. Mumm & Cie

94/100 Champagne Bollinger Brut Special Cuvée

40,00 €

93/100 Champagne Jacquart Brut de Nominée

49,00 €

94/100 Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé

49,00 €

93/100 Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Rosé 2006

58,00 €

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


RATED WINES 90/100 AND MORE

93/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

75,00 €

92/100 Champagne de Saint Gall Brut Blanc de

Brut Grand Cru 1996 93/100 Champagne Philippe Gonet Brut Blanc de

Blancs Grand Cru Orpale 1998 88,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Belemnita 2004

93 /100

92/100 Champagne Deutz Brut ROSÉ

42,30 €

92/100 Champagne Devaux Brut ROSÉ D de Devaux

45,00 €

92/100 Champagne Drappier Brut Grande Sendrée -

CHAMPAGNE Philippe Gonet - Brut blanc de blancs grand cru Belemnita 2004 Golden hue. The nose opens up to notes of ripe pear then takes on a pronounced mineral dimension. On the palate, seductive framework, silky texture, melted character and fullness. Mineral-dominated aromas linger on and on. A superlative wine.

92/100 Champagne Henri Abelé Brut ROSÉ

92/100 Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée 2002

110,00 €

92/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

100,00 €

Brut Grand Cru Collection 1988

52,95 €

Cuvée ”1522” 2002

28,00 €

Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2004 92/100 Champagne Noble Cuvée de Lanson

36,10 €

Blancs Grand Cru Les Chétillons 2002 93/100 Champagne Soutiran Brut Grand Cru

90,00 €

Le Sourire de Reims 2000

92/100 Champagne Michel Gonet Extra

93/100 Champagne Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de

125,00 €

Magnum 2002

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

93/100 Champagne Philipponnat Brut Grand Cru

80,16 €

100,00 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs 1999 25,00 €

92/100 Champagne Pierre Moncuit 34,00 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2004

Collection Privée 92/100 Champagne Amazone de Palmer Brut

92 /100

38,00 €

CHAMPAGNE Amazone de Palmer Brut Quite deep, faintly amber-like gold. Open nose mingling dried fruits, a patisserie touch and wonderful minerality. On the palate, great balance of vinosity and freshness, refined, melted texture, great length. An elegant, characterful dry Champagne.

92 /100

CHAMPAGNE Pierre Moncuit - Brut blanc de blancs Grand Cru 2004

Light gold. Open nose developing white flesh fruits, citrus and mineral notes. Full palate, both wellstructured and melted. Refined bubbles, mouth-coating freshness. Superb length. A top-flight blanc de blancs.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

92/100 Champagne Ruffin & Fils Brut Grand Cru 92/100 Champagne Bourgeois Brut Blanc de Blancs

24,00 €

Cuvée de l'Ecu 2000 92/100 Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut 2000

Cuvée Nobilis 2005 92/100 Champagne Thiénot Brut Grande

60,00 €

25,00 €

70,00 €

Cuvée Alain Thienot 1999

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

29


RATED WINES 90/100 AND MORE

91/100 Champagne Christian Bannière

18,00 €

90 /100

Brut Grand Cru Masterclass 50,00 €

91/100 Champagne Collard-Picard Brut Cuvée des Archives 2002 91/100 Champagne Collet Brut Esprit Couture

90,00 €

91/100 Champagne Couche Père & Fils

60,00 €

CHAMPAGNE Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Deep yellow. Complex, evolving nose with notes of fresh butter, citrus fruits and creme brulee. The palate is fleshy, fresh and long-lasting, combining richness and a tonic element. The finish reveals lingering, delicately toasted perfumes. A superlative Champagne.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

Brut Sensation 1995 39,20 €

91/100 Champagne Franck Bonville

90/100 Champagne Duval-Leroy

45,00 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée Brut Authentis Bouzy 2005 Les Belles Voyes - Vieilli en fût de chêne 91/100 Champagne Henriot Brut ROSÉ

5,00 €

91/100 Champagne J. de Telmont Brut O.R 1735 2001

60,00 €

91/100 Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut ROSÉ

65,00 €

91/100 Champagne Paul Déthune Brut Grand Cru

28,00 €

45,00 €

90/100 Champagne Franck Bonville

18,20 €

Brut ROSÉ Grand Cru 90/100 Champagne Gonet Sulcova Brut Blanc de

27,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée Gaïa

Cuvée Prestige Princesse des Thunes 91/100 Champagne Philipponnat Brut Grand Blanc

42,75 €

90/100 Champagne Gosset Brut Grande Réserve

38,00 €

91/100 Champagne Thiénot Brut Blanc de Blancs

70,00 €

90/100 Champagne Henri Goutorbe

25,30 €

Brut Grand Cru Spécial Club 2002

Cuvée Stanislas 2004 90/100 Champagne A. R. Lenoble Brut Blanc de

26,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru 90/100 Champagne André Delaunois Brut Blanc de

n/a

90/100 Champagne Charles Heidsieck

90/100 Champagne Henriot Brut 2002

40,00 €

90/100 Champagne J. de Telmont Brut Blanc de

55,00 €

Blancs Cuvée Grand Couronnement 2000 90/100 Champagne J. Dumangin FILS Extra brut

Noirs 1er Cru Dame Palmyre 2005 45,00 €

90/100 Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve

33,00 €

90/100 Champagne Claude Cazals Brut Grand Cru

18,25 €

Cuvée Vive

90/100 Champagne Jean Vesselle Brut Oeil de Perdrix

17,20 €

90/100 Champagne Leclerc Briant Brut Divine 2004

45,00 € 36,00 €

32,50 €

90/100 Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier

90/100 Champagne Devaux Brut Ultra D de Devaux

39,00 €

90/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

90/100 Champagne Devaux Brut D de Devaux 2002

35,00 €

WINTER 2011

21,20 €

Brut Privilège des Moines - Élevé en fût de chêne

90/100 Champagne Deutz Brut Classic

GILBERT & GAILLARD

35,00 €

Blanc de Noirs Cuvée Hippolyte - Vieilli sous bois 90/100 Champagne J. M. Gobillard & FILS

Brut Rosé Réserve

30

90/100 Champagne Fleury père & FILS Brut 1995

Brut Grand Cru Collection 1976

200,00 €


RATED WINES

90 /100

CHAMPAGNE Maurice Vesselle Brut Grand Cru 2000 Amber-like old gold. Very open nose intermixing dried apricot, dried fig and patisserie notes. A blend of power, firmness and superb freshness on the palate highlighting evolved aromas. Very alluring across the palate. Set aside for sophisticated pre-dinner drinks or with food.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

90/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

26,50 €

Brut Grand Cru 2000 90/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

26,50 €

Brut Rosé Grand Cru 90/100 Champagne Maurice Vesselle

150,00 €

Brut Grand Cru 1985 90/100 Champagne Michel Gonet

21,00 €

Brut Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2004 90/100 Champagne Michel Gonet Brut Grand Cru

40,00 €

Blanc de Blancs - Élevé en fût de chêne 2004 90/100 Champagne Palmer & Co Extra Brut

26,00 €

90/100 Champagne Pannier Extra Brut Egérie 2000

65,00 €

90/100 Champagne Patrice Marc Brut Grand Cru

47,00 €

Perla Néra 90/100 Champagne Penet-Chardonnet

110,00 €

Cuvée Diane Claire Grand Cru Brut Nature 90/100 Champagne Perrier-Jouët Brut Blason ROSÉ

41,00 €

90/100 Champagne Philippe Gonet Roy Soleil

22,80 €

90/100 Champagne Philipponnat Brut Réserve 2003

38,60 €

90/100 Champagne Pierre Peters Brut Blanc de

18,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée de Réserve 90/100 Champagne Pierre Peters Brut ROSÉ for Albane 21,50 € 90/100 Champagne Piper-Heidsieck Demi-sec

32,00 €

Cuvée Sublime 90/100 Champagne Tzarina Brut N° 1

50,00 €

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

31


RATED WINES 86-89/100

OUR PICKS Here is our selection of excellent Champagnes that received scores between 86 and 89 out of 100, in addition to the top Champagnes scoring 90/100 or more. You can find all of our 2011 tasting notes on our website: www.gilbertgaillard.com.

38,90 €

89/100 Champagne Blin's Extra

35,00 €

89/100 Champagne Bauget-Jouette Brut Cuvée Jouette 89/100 Champagne Bonnet-Gilmert Brut Blanc de

22,00 €

89/100 Champagne Chanoine Brut Blanc de Blancs

89/100 Confidences de Chassenay d'Arce Brut

39,00 €

88/100 Champagne A. Chauvet Brut Grand ROSÉ

17,40 €

88/100 Champagne André Delaunois

16,80 €

Brut 1er Cru Cuvée du Fondateur

Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée de Réserve 2006 48,00 €

88/100 Champagne André Jacquart Brut Blanc de

21,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Mesnil Expérience

Grand Cru Tsarine 2006 89/100 Champagne Claude Cazals Brut Blanc de

19,25 €

Blancs Grand Cru 2002 89/100 Champagne Coessens Extra brut 2006

47,00 €

89/100 Champagne J. M. Gobillard & FILS

19,95 €

88/100 Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur

25,00 €

88/100 Champagne Beaumont des Crayères

29,00 €

Brut Nostalgie 1999 88/100 Champagne Bergeronneau-Marion

18,60 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru

Brut Cuvée Prestige 2006 19,50 €

89/100 Champagne Jacob Robert

88/100 Champagne Bonnaire Brut Blanc de

21,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru

Brut Collection Privée 89/100 Champagne Jacquart Brut 2004

32,90 €

88/100 Champagne Bourdaire-Gallois

89/100 Champagne Le Mesnil Brut Blanc de Blancs

24,90 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs

21,60 €

88/100 Champagne Canard-Duchêne

Grand Cru Prestige 2004 89/100 Champagne Michel Arnould & FILS Brut Grand 19,20 €

89/100 Champagne Philippe Gonet Brut Blanc de

28,00 €

89/100 Champagne Pierre Legras Extra

23,00 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée Spéciale 18,00 €

89/100 Champagne Pierre Moncuit

32,00 €

Noirs Terre d'Emotion 88/100 Champagne Charpentier

Blancs Grand Cru 2006

n/a

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grande Cuvée Charles VII 88/100 Champagne Charpentier Brut Blanc de

Cru La Grande Cuvée de Michel Arnould

36,00 €

Brut ROSÉ Terre d'Emotion 88/100 Champagne Clos des Bergeronneau Brut

60,00 €

88/100 Champagne Didier Lefèvre Brut Blanc de

19,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru 2002

Brut Pierre Moncuit - Delos 89/100 Champagne Ployez-Jacquemart

36,00 €

88/100 Champagne F. Vauversin Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru

Extra Brut Vintage 2003 GILBERT & GAILLARD

26,00 €

L'Espiègle 1998

Brut Edition Limitée 2002

32

89/100 Champagne R. Renaudin Brut 1er Cru

WINTER 2011

14,90 €


RATED WINES 86-89/100

88/100 Champagne Gonet Sulcova Brut Grand Cru 2004 19,50 € 88/100 Champagne Guy Charlemagne Brut Blanc de

23,00 €

Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée Charlemagne 2006 88/100 Champagne Guy Tixier Brut 1er Cru

88/100 Champagne Pommery Brut ROSÉ Apanage

63,00 €

88/100 Champagne Royer Père & Fils Brut 2005

16,50 €

88/100 Champagne Royer Père & FILS

16,00 €

16,50 €

Coeur de Vignes 2006 88/100 Champagne Huré frères Brut Terre Natale 1999

32,00 €

88/100 Champagne J.M Tissier Brut ROSÉ de

17,80 €

Saignée Cuvée Aphrodite

Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Prestige 88/100 Champagne Trouillard Brut Cuvée Elexium

19,20 €

88/100 Champagne Vazart Coquart & FILS

19,05 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Grand Bouquet 2005 87/100 Champagne Blin's Brut Blanc de Blancs

88/100 Champagne Janisson & FILS Brut Grand Cru

25,00 €

88/100 Champagne Le Mesnil Brut Blanc de

16,90 €

Edition Limitée 87/100 Champagne André Robert Brut Blanc de

Blancs Grand Cru 88/100 Champagne Les Vertus d'Elise Brut Blanc de

15,50 €

87/100 Champagne Besserat de Bellefon Brut Blanc de

Brut Prestige Cuvée Mélanie 16,00 €

Brut Cuvée Spéciale

CHAMPAGNE P. Lassalle-Hanin Cuvée Florale Light gold. The nose shows abundant freshness with a mix of floral and fruity notes. Fleshy palate framed by refined effervescence. The aromas take on a pleasant crisp tone and the finish stays very fresh. A festive effort.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

26,00 €

88/100 Champagne Patrick Soutiran Brut Grand Cru 2005 45,00 € 88/100 Champagne Paul Goerg Brut Cuvée Lady 2000 88/100 Champagne Paul Michel Brut Blanc de

62,00 € n/a

Blancs 1er Cru Carte Blanche 2005 88/100 Champagne Ph. Mouzon Leroux

17,50 €

n/a

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Prestige 88/100 Champagne Pierre Arnould Brut Grand Cru Cuvée Aurore

87 /100

CHAMPAGNE Charles Clément Cuvée Spéciale Light gold. Alluring nose intermixing white-fleshed fruits and notes of brioche. Fleshy, full, fruitforward attack, fairly vinous and leading into a firmer mid-palate with full-on freshness. Pear aromas are expressed over good length. A characterful effort.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

22,00 €

87/100 Champagne Charles Ellner Brut Prestige1999 87/100 Champagne Charles Mignon Brut Rosé 1er Cru

30,00 €

87/100 Champagne Coessens Brut Les Sens Boisés

42,00 €

87/100 Champagne Dany Fèvre Brut 2002

17,30 €

87/100 Champagne Diogène Tissier & FILS Extra Brut 15,50 € 87/100 Champagne Eugène Ralle Brut Rosé Grand Cru 16,80 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2004 88/100 Champagne Philippe Glavier

16,50 €

87/100 Champagne Charles Clément

Cuvée Florale

88/100 Champagne Pascal Devilliers Brut RB 2004

18,80 €

87/100 Champagne Boulard-Bauquaire

Cuvée Nue

/100

38,00 €

Blancs Cuvée des Moines

88/100 Champagne Louis de Sacy Brut Rosé Grand Cru 35,00 €

88

18,10 €

Blancs Grand Cru Le Mesnil 2004

Blancs Cuvée Elise-Ambre - Vielli en fûts de chêne

88/100 Champagne P. Lassalle-Hanin Brut 1er Cru

34,85 €

87/100 Champagne Fabrice Bertemès Brut Blanc de

20,00 €

Blancs 1er Cru 19,00 €

36,00 €

87/100 Champagne Fallet-Dart Brut Les Hauts des Clos du Mont GILBERT & GAILLARD

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33


RATED WINES 86-89/100

87/100 Champagne Fleury père & FILS

25,00 €

Brut Blanc de Noirs

/100

87/100 Champagne Gatinois Brut Grand Cru 2005

25,00 €

87/100 Champagne Guy Méa Brut 1er Cru Cuvée Prestige 16,20 € 87/100 Champagne Guy Tixier Brut Rosé 1er Cru

15,20 €

Rosissime 2008 87/100 Champagne Jean Velut Brut 2004

18,00 €

87/100 Champagne Jeeper Brut Grande Cuvée 2004

25,83 €

87/100 Champagne José Michel & FILS

n/a

Brut Spécial Club 2005 14,50 €

87/100 Champagne Julien Chopin Extra brut Blanc de Noirs Les Originelles 87/100 Champagne Lacourte Godbillon

30,00 €

Brut Cuvée Vanité 87/100 Champagne Le Brun de Neuville

23,25 €

Brut Cuvée Tendre Rosé 24,00 €

87/100 Champagne Le Gallais Brut Cuvée Millésimée 2003

23,00 €

87/100 Champagne Le Royal Coteau Brut Vieilles Vignes 2004

87 /100

87

CHAMPAGNE Moutardier Brut 2004 Light gold. Open, expressive nose suggestive of candied citrus and dried fruits. Great honesty on the palate, fleshy, well-structured and showing crunchy fruit (touch of red fruits) and abundant freshness. High standard here.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

87/100 Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte

26,00 €

Brut Réserve Particulière 87/100 Champagne P. Lancelot-Royer

16,80 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée des Chevaliers 87/100 Champagne Pascal Etienne Brut 1999

17,00 €

87/100 Champagne Paul Clouet Brut Grand Cru

21,00 €

87/100 Champagne Pierre Mignon

19,80 €

Brut Cuvée de Madame 2004 14,50 €

87/100 Champagne René Rutat Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru

15,60 €

87/100 Champagne Sadi Malot Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Vieille Réserve

CHAMPAGNE Le Royal Coteau Brut Vieilles Vignes 2004 Light gold. Expressive, refined nose intermixing fruity notes and notes of pastries. On the palate, volume, fat and vinosity, fine-grained, well-integrated texture. Balanced across the palate by a touch of freshness. A nicely-crafted blanc de blancs.

87/100 Champagne Vranken Brut Diamant Bleu 1999

120,00 €

87/100 Pascal Walczak Père et Fils Millésime 2009

13,95 €

86/100 Champagne A. Desmoulins & Cie

24,00 €

Brut Grande Cuvée du Centenaire 86/100 Champagne A. Margaine Brut 1er Cru Le Brut

n/a

86/100 Champagne A. Robert Brut Cuvée Le Sablon

30,00 €

86/100 Champagne Alfred Rothshild et Cie

22,00 €

Brut Grande Réserve 2006 FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

86/100 Champagne B. Mallol-Gantois

n/a

Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Grande Réserve 20,00 €

87/100 Champagne Léon Launois

21,90 €

Brut Fleur de Prestige 2002

Brut Rosé Cuvée Réservée 87/100 Champagne Louis Barthélémy Brut Saphir 2005

29,00 €

86/100 Champagne Blondel Brut 1er Cru Carte d'Or

15,20 €

87/100 Champagne Macquart-Lorette

17,60 €

86/100 Champagne Bonnet Launois

25,00 €

Brut Cuvée Les Palis

Brut 1 Cru Cuvée Prestige er

87/100 Champagne Michel Arnould & FILS

21,50 €

29,80 €

86/100 Champagne Ch & A Prieur Brut Grand Prieur 2000

Brut Grand Cru Carte d'Or 2005 87/100 Champagne Moutardier Brut 2004

15,55 €

86/100 Champagne Charles Heston Brut L'Agat

18,80 €

87/100 Champagne Muse Brut 1 Cru

22,00 €

86/100 Champagne Chaudron Brut 1 Cru

17,05 €

87/100 Champagne Napoléon Brut 1998

43,00 €

er

34

86/100 Champagne Beaumont des Crayères

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

er

Cuvée Capucine


RATED WINES 86-89/100

86/100 Champagne Christian Bourmault

17,30 €

86/100 Champagne Jean Valentin & Fils

15,20 €

Brut 1 Cru 2006 er

Brut Grand Eloge 86/100 Champagne Cuperly Brut Cuvée Prestige

17,50 €

86/100 Champagne Jean-Cédric Deguy

86/100 Champagne Dautel-Cadot

22,30 €

Brut Cuvée Miss Emma

23,20 €

86/100 Champagne Jean-Yves de Carlini

Brut Cuvée Elégance

13,90 €

Extra brut 1 Cru er

86 /100

CHAMPAGNE Dautel-Cadot Brut Cuvée Elégance Light yellow with golden highlights. A mix of ripe lemon and brioche-like, milk-bread touches on the nose. The palate shows amazing vinosity and richness. Perfumed and melted across the palate, leaving a sensation of sweetness that would work well with food served with a sauce.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

86/100 Champagne Jeaunaux-Robin Brut Prestige

17,00 €

86/100 Champagne Julien Chopin Brut Carte Verte

13,30 €

86/100 Champagne L & S Cheurlin

21,00 €

Brut Coccinelle et Papillon 86/100 Champagne Le Brun de Neuville

19,25 €

Brut Cuvée Chardonnay 18,50 €

86/100 Champagne Louis Sostène Brut 1 Cru Cuvée LS er

86/100 Champagne Marquis de Pomereuil Brut Rosé

14,90 €

86/100 Champagne Michel Rocourt

14,25 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs 1 Cru er

86/100 Champagne De Lozey Brut Rosé

21,50 €

86/100 Champagne Etienne Lefèvre

16,90 €

86/100 Champagne Forget Brimont Brut Rosé 1er Cru

19,50 €

86/100 Champagne Froment-Griffon

15,50 €

86/100 Champagne Gardet Brut Selected Réserve

25,00 €

86/100 Champagne Gratiot Brut Désiré 2004

23,00 €

86/100 Champagne Guy de Chassey

19,10 €

Brut Cuvée de Réserve 86/100 Champagne Paul Dangin & Fils Brut Rosé Originel 27,50 € 17,00 €

Brut Cuvée du Fondateur

86 /100

Brut Grand Cru 2002 13,20 €

Brut 1er Cru Tradition 13,00 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru 86/100 Champagne Henri David-Heucq

13,00 €

86/100 Champagne Paul Laurent

Brut Privilège 2005

86/100 Champagne Guyot-Poutrieux

Brut Nature Pure Meunier 86/100 Champagne P. Lassalle-Hanin

Brut Grand Cru Cuvée Prestige

86/100 Champagne Guy Méa

19,75 €

86/100 Champagne Moutardier

15,70 €

CHAMPAGNE Paul Laurent Brut Cuvée du Fondateur Light gold. Clean, enticing nose marked by red fruits and stone fruits. A fleshy, quite full-bodied dry sparkler showing savoury balance and freshness. Honest and expressive across the palate. Perfect as an appetiser, during a meal or to drink at every moment.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée de Réserve 86/100 Champagne Jacques Copinet

16,70 €

86/100 Champagne Philippe Lamarlière Brut 1er Cru

30,00 €

86/100 Champagne Pierre Gerbais Brut L'Originale

25,00 €

86/100 Champagne Pierre Mignon Brut Prestige

16,30 €

86/100 Champagne Pointillart & Fils

15,80 €

Brut Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Sélection 86/100 Champagne Jacquinot & Fils

27,00 €

Brut Rosé Symphonie 2005 86/100 Champagne Jacquinot & Fils

24,00 €

Extra brut Blanc de Blancs en barrique

Brut Symphonie 2000 86/100 Champagne Jean Marniquet Brut 1er Cru 2007

18,50 €

86/100 Champagne R. Renaudin Brut Réserve

21,00 €

86/100 Champagne Jean Michel Brut 2005

17,50 €

86/100 Marquis de Pomereuil Millésime 2006

14,50 €

GILBERT & GAILLARD

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35


FRANCE

QUALITY FACTORS

ALSACE GRANDS CRUS, where the terroir shines through

© PHB.CZ - FOTOLIA

BY RICHARD CRAIG

THE GRANDS CRUS D'ALSACE REPRESENT 4% OF STILL WINE PRODUCTION 36

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


Alsace Grands Crus, where the terroir shines through

T

he wines of Alsace are unique amongst France's classic winemaking regions in that the vast majority of the region's still wines (96%) are made from one grape variety, from an unamed site or lieu-dit. Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gew端rztraminer, Muscat and Riesling d'Alsace are the terms that generally appear on the labels. Whilst this is excellent for consumer comprehension, consistency and the high regional quality that the market demands, it is less so for those who wish to consume Alsace wine at a different and higher level, for those producers wishing to push the boundaries of quality wine production and/or for those owning special terroirs with the potential to produce great wine. Viticulture and winemaking in Alsace has had a long and chequered history. Remnants of wild vines have been found in the region that pre-date mankind. As early as the 2nd century, records mention wine being transported along the Rhine River, proving that wine commerce was well established. Monasteries were established in villages such as Turkheim and Andlau in the 8th and 9th century and as was often the case, viticulture and winemaking flourished around these monasteries soon after. At the end of the 9th Century, 160 villages cultivated vines. It was around this time that many regulations, however loosely adhered to, begun to appear regarding grape varieties and viticulture. Traminer, Muscat and Riesling were the varieties most often mentioned. In the 14th Century, the town of Colmar alone was shipping 100,000 hectolitres of wine a year, principally to the Netherlands.

TROUBLED TIMES Alsace viticulture has suffered from numerous invaders, rulers and wars. The Thirty Years War (1618 -1648) was traumatic and disastrous for Alsace, with rampaging armies, pillaging, famine and pestilence. At the end of the war, when peace returned, wine production recovered rapidly and reached its peak towards the end of the 16th Century. It was however a period of over-production, inferior varieties and hybrids grown on the unsuitable plains. By 1828 the region's vineyards had reached a massive 30,000 hectares (15,600 hectares today). This over-production of low quality, bulk wine was detrimental for the better vineyards on the slopes where the higher costs of production and the low returns made viticulture uneconomic. Unsurprisingly, export markets dwindled and domestic demand slumped due to the local preference for beer. To add to this, many vineyards were affected by mildew, powdery mildew and then phylloxera, which arrived in 1876. The total surface area of vineyards plummeted to around 9,000 hectares. When the Great War of 1914 started Alsace was in German hands but it was handed back to the French by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Alsace was again invaded by the Germans in May 1940 and the region became part of the Third Reich, with 130,000 young Frenchmen forced to join the German army. After many destructive battles Alsace was finally liberated by the Americans in March 1945.

THE ROUTE BACK TO QUALITY When the dust settled, a conflict of economic interests ensued. Some of the few remaining growers were convinced that the way forward was to produce large GILBERT & GAILLARD

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37


QUALITY FACTORS

SOME QUALITATIVE ESTATES CAVE DE TURCKHEIM 89/100 Gewurztraminer vendanges tardives 2007

DOMAINE MOULIN DE DUSENBACH 92/100 Grand Cru Gewurztraminer Kaefferkopf 2009

CAVE VINICOLE DU VIEIL ARMAND 89/100 Château Ollwiller Riesling 2008

BOTT FRÈRES 90/100 Grand Cru Riesling Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé 2009

BERNARD HAEGELIN 89/100 Gewurztraminer Bollenberg 2009

BESTHEIM 89/100 Grand Cru Gewurztraminer Zinnkoepflé 2009

DOMAINE MATERNE HAEGELIN & SES FILLES 87/100 Pinot Gris Cuvée Élise 2009

Pinot Gris

Gewurtztraminer

volumes of cheap wine for the impoverished, war-torn population and the military. At this time, one third of the Alsace vineyard was already planted to hybrids and so the easy option was to plant more. Fortunately, the voices for quality prevailed and in 1945 the Association of Wine Growers detailed a framework of rules which formed the basis from which the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) drew up the AOC rules for the region. The INAO was set up in 1935 and by the end of 1937 the classic regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Rhône all had their AOC regulations in place. Due to the numerous upheavals outlined previously, Alsace had to wait until 1962 before it was allowed to join the AOC club.

PHOTOS: © SPACH-CONSEILVINSALSACE

DOMAINE PIERRE FRICK 94/100 Grand Cru Pinot Gris Vorbourg vendanges tardives 2008

Muscat Blanc

Riesling

GRANDS CRUS The concept of special crus was not a new one to the Alsace region. In 762 the Archbishop of Strasbourg founded the Abbey of Ettenheim and made his income from the vines of Vauborg; in Kintzheim, in the 9th Century, the Benedictine abbots of Ebersmunster owned vineyards on the Praelatenberg. These early Grands Crus and other special lieu-dits were

38

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WINTER 2011

INITIALLY ONLY THESE FOUR VARIETIES WERE AUTHORISED FOR ALSACE GRANDS CRUS


Alsace Grands Crus

familiar the local vignerons, but they were neither known nor recognised outside the region. Officially recognised Grand Cru vineyards have been firmly established in Bordeaux since 1855, and in Burgundy since 1861. It was not until 1975 that a decree identified Schlossberg as the first Alsace Grand Cru, and it was only in 1983 that a further 24 vineyards were added and the Alsace Grand Cru AOC was officially delimited. In 1992 expansion continued with the addition of 25 vineyards, and in 2007 Kaefferkopf joined the elite, making a total of 51. Though numerous, the Grands Crus d'Alsace represent just 4% of still wine production, some 45,000 hectolitres.

VARIETIES

Š ZVARDON-CONSEILVINSALSACE

Seven varieties are allowed in AOC Alsace but only four of these are authorised for Alsace Grand Cru: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat and GewĂźrztraminer. As is often the case in French viticultural law, there are exceptions to the rules and frequent amendments; Alsace is no different. The less noble variety Sylvaner has been permitted since 2006 but only in the Grand Cru vineyard of Zotzenberg. In 2005, in the Grand Cru vineyard of Altenberg de Bergheim, Jean-Michel Deiss (owner of Domaine Marcel Deiss) managed to convince the INAO to change the law to allow for the omission of the grape variety on a wine label from a Grand Cru-designated vineyard (they were also persuaded to allow up to 10% of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Muscat and even Chasselas into his Grand Cru blends, if the vines were planted before 2005). Blends are also allowed in the Grand Cru of Kaefferkopf.

RIBEAUVILLE HAS THREE GRANDS CRUS

SIZE MATTERS The size of the Grand Cru vineyards vary hugely from the smallest (Kanzlerberg, 3.2 hectares) to the largest (80 hectares at Schlossberg). They have been designated to reflect the specific terroir, in particular the soil types. Grand Cru Vineyard GILBERT & GAILLARD

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39


© CONSEILVINSALSACE

QUALITY FACTORS

Geisberg is marl, limestone and sandstone; Moenchberg is marl, limestone and scree; Weibelsberg is sandstone, and Kastelberg is shale. These four vineyards are some of the smaller Grand Cru vineyards, all less than 10 hectares. There are are twenty Grand Cru vineyards over 30 hectares in size and several that are over 50 hectares. These are too large and diminish the uniqueness, quality and rarity. It is clearly not possible for these huge vineyards to have the same soil and terroir, nor are they mono-varietal. Riesling is the most widely planted grape. Due to its transparent nature, it truly reflects the differences in terroir to be found from one Grand Cru to another. Riesling from the Grand Cru vineyard of Geisberg produces wines of power and excellent age worthiness where as Grand Cru Bruderthal produces Rieslings that are purer with greater elegance. However, most vineyards are planted with at least two of the four varieties, and sometimes all four, for example, the 21-hectare vineyard of Florimont, where Gewürztraminer is by far the most widely planted variety, but Muscat and Pinot Gris also thrive, and the Rieslings are particularly racey.

THE OUTSIDERS There are three famous producers in Alsace who neither agree with nor conform to the notion and reality that is Alsace Grand

40

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© ZVARDON-CONSEILVINSALSACE

RIQUEWIHR: HOME OF GRANDS CRUS SHOENENBOURG AND SPOREN

EGUISHEIM IS HOME TO TWO GRANDS CRUS Cru: they are the ancient houses of Hugel et Fils, Maison Trimbach and Leon Beyer. Hugel et Fils was established in 1639 in the village of Riquewihr. The company owns a large part (3.8 hectares) of Grand Cru Schoenenbourg and 8 hectares of Grand Cru Sporen. Their Jubilee range, Vendage Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles all come from these vineyards, but Grand Cru is never seen on the labels. Jean Hugel believes that many of the


Alsace Grands Crus, where the terroir shines through

94 94 /100

© ZVARDON-CONSEILVINSALSACE

/100

92 92 /100 /100

DOMAINE SCHLUMBERGER: 70 HECTARES OF GRAND CRU VINEYARDS

boundaries are too extensive and include a number of soil types that significantly devalue the designation.

90 90 /100 /100

The Trimbach family has been making wine for over 400 years and owns vineyards in the Grands Crus vineyards of Osterberg, Rosacker and Geisberg. The company is renowned for its Rieslings, with Clos Ste Hune (Rosacker)and Cuvée Frédéric Emile (Osterberg and Geisberg) more famous than the Grand Cru vineyards from whence they come. Long-standing producer Léon Beyer owns vineyards in the Grands Crus of Eichberg and Pfersigberg. Company head Mark Beyer has little interest in the Grand Cru system and markets his wines as Comtes d'Eguisheim with no mention of Grand Cru on any label.

89 89

/100 /100

NO MORE PLEASE Despite those producers who abstain, there is little doubt that the Grand Cru designation in Alsace has been a huge success. Grand Cru specialists such as Domaine Schlumberger (70 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards) have raised the quality bar of all the wines produced within the appellation. Though it is early days, it seems unlikely that many (or indeed any) of the Alsace Grand Cru vineyards will become household names, as La Tache or Chambertin are in Burgundy; there are simply too many of them, and they are too difficult to say and spell for non-German speakers. One thing is for sure: any further expansion in numbers will significantly weaken the brand and encourage more winemakers to become outsiders.

87 87

/100 /100

ALSACE GRAND CRU A.C. Domaine Pierre Frick - Pinot gris Vorbourg Vendanges Tardives 2008 Pale golden hue. Pleasurable nose with a strong fruit streak (yellow peach, exotic notes). Sweet, robust, closely-integrated palate with focused, intense flavours. Excellent spicy, fresh finish that lingers. A successful effort with strong powers of seduction. ALSACE GRAND CRU A.C. Château Ollwiller - Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2007 Light gold. Intense, distinctive nose marrying notes of ripe fruits, lemon and pleasant focused mineral fragrances. On the palate, abundant elegance, stuffing and fragrance. A full, rich, well-balanced great growth. Pair with a noble fish or shellfish. ALSACE GRAND CRU A.C. Domaine Bott Frères - Riesling Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé 2009 Light yellow. Pleasant nose marrying grape with floral notes and faint mineral touches after swirling. On the palate, a fresh, tonic wine with highly expressive white fruit aromas. The finish introduces a more mineral dimension. A sterling effort. ALSACE A.C. Bernard Haegelin Bollenberg 2009 Light gold. Extremely distinctive nose blending lychee and rose petal. The palate lives up to expectations with its fullness, freshness and grandeur. More of the same lingering, tell-tale aromatics. A sterling effort. ALSACE PINOT GRIS A.C. Domaine Materne Haegelin et filles - Cuvée Elise 2009 Light gold. Delicate nose of dried fruits with a whiff of spice. On the palate, the tell-tale richness of the varietal yet also freshness. More of the same focused, long-lasting fragrances. The ideal wine for a foie gras, gourmet salad, scallops...

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THESE ESTATES CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

GILBERT & GAILLARD

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REGION

The New Cru Bourgeois The Renaissance or Demise of Medoc’s historical classification

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Everyone has heard of the 1855 Grand Cru classification of the Médoc; many recognize Médoc’s other classification, the Cru Bourgeois, but it was only recently that it was officially recognized. We follow the fall and rise of the Cru Bourgeois classification and hear from the new classification’s organisers and varying views from the wine producers themselves about the challenges they face today of being part of the New Cru Bourgeois club.

THE FAMOUS TOUR DE BY, WHO GAVE HIS NAME TO A WELL-KNOWN CRU BOURGEOIS 42

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WINTER 2011


The New Cru Bourgeois

T

he term Cru Bourgeois goes back to mediaeval times during English rule, when wine merchants based in the “Bourg” of Bordeaux city were an affluent and influential class in their own right. They had numerous privileges, such as being exempt from paying the high taxes levied on wine from their vineyards, and having the priority when exporting their wines, passing before other producers. Such privileges gave them an advantage commercially and enabled them to invest early on in land, to plant vineyards and create large wine estates. The wines they produced were the “cru” wines of the Bourgeois and often noted to be of a superior quality. A text dating back to 1740 includes the first selection of these wines and shows their higher prices. To be eligible to be Cru Bourgeois your property needs to be based in one of the Médoc’s eight communes. The Médoc is a

strip of land that ‘goes nowhere’, dividing the Atlantic and the Gironde estuary. It takes an hour and three quarters from Bordeaux city centre to arrive at its tip, a 100-kilometre drive. If you take the small Route des Châteaux, you will pass through some of the world’s most well-known wine villages such as Margaux, St Julien and Pauillac, home to some of the most famous châteaux in the world; the neoclassical Château Margaux, the fairy tale castle of Pichon Longueville and the dumpy tower of Château Latour. These are members of a prestigious club, the 60 or so Grand Cru Classé elite. This is also the home to over 1000 other châteaux that share similar terroir and climate, over 200 of these are Cru Bourgeois today.

Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe, Director of the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc, explains the recent chequered history of this ancient classification: Continued on page 44

THE CRU BOURGEOIS TIME LINE 12TH CENTURY Development of the Bourgeois class of wine merchants in Bordeaux with superior rights and privileges 15TH CENTURY First mention of the "Crus" owned by the "Bourgeois" of Bordeaux 1932 First list of 444 Cru Bourgeois châteaux drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Gironde’s Chamber of Industry ranked in three categories (Cru Bourgeois Superior Exceptionnel, Cru Bourgeois Superior, Cru Bourgeois). The classification however was never formally approved by the Minister of Agriculture. 1962 Creation of the Cru Bourgeois Syndicate (now the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc)

WHAT WAS NEW? • • • • • • • •

September 2011 Official Classification of 246 Cru Bourgeois du Médoc for the 2009 vintage September 2012 Official Classification of Cru Bourgeois du Médoc for the 2010 vintage

2003 The first ‘official’ classification (with ministerial decree) of 247 Cru Bourgeois châteaux ranked in three categories as before

THE CRU BOURGEOIS DU MÉDOC CLASSIFICATION OF THE 2009 VINTAGE Total of 246 properties divided over 8 communes of the Médoc

2004 The Cru Bourgeois Syndicate becomes the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois de Médoc with Thierry Gardinier of Château Phelan Ségur as President 2007 Classification of 2003 annulled by the Administrative Court of Bordeaux due to procedural faults (propelled by the group of 78 producers who had been excluded from the 2003 classification) September 2010 New Classification System put in place by the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois governed by a rigorous set of guidelines. First Official Classification of the 243 Cru Bourgeois du Médoc for the 2008 vintage

Properties are checked for eligibility as a first step A single tier classification of Cru Bourgeois An annual quality assessment of the wines not the property or terroir An independent panel of professional tasters determine the selection from March to July All procedures carried out by an independent organisation “Bureau Veritas” Sampling of a wine that has been uniformly blended A selection of a representative benchmark wine each year which serves as the reference for the tasters Wines are classified two years after the harvest

Médoc

99

Margaux

9

Haut Médoc

85

Pauillac

5

Listrac

13

Saint-Estèphe 19

Moulis

16

St Julien

0

A FEW FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT THE CRU BOURGEOIS 2009 VINTAGE • • • •

246 châteaux recognised as Cru Bourgeois 4,300 hectares of vines (26% of vineyard area in the Médoc) 32 million bottles (38% of the production of the Médoc) An increase in volume of nearly 30% compared to the 2008 vintage (218 châteaux).

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a classification and does not seem to miss it. Do classifications further complicate the picture or help the consumer to choose? There is a need for clear classifications that the consumer can understand and can rely on as a sign of quality, particularly for wines that are too “small” to have their own recognisable branding. 1855 Classification of the Médoc & Sauternes: 61 properties selected on price, five tier hierarchy, “static” classification. Cru Artisan; traditional classification of 44 small family properties in the Médoc with often less than 5 hectares.

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CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS IN OTHER REGIONS OF BORDEAUX

FRÉDÉRIC DE LUZE, THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE CRUS BOURGEOIS “I started working as Communications Director for the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc in June 2007, five days before the 2003 classification was annulled. One month later, the Saint-Emilion classification of 2006 fell too, but rather than being cancelled totally as was our case, the classification reverted to the 1996 one. We have had to start completely from zero and create a system that did not exist before, based on the quality of an individual wine. We had a dark period of three years between 2007 and 2010 when we had no official existence. We had to find our way in the dark but our members stood by us with Thierry Gardinier, our president, leading the way for six years. Today Frédéric de Luze is president. Over the past years we have fought alongside the wine producers to protect the valuable heritage that is the Cru Bourgeois classification. The current system is a beginning and we are doing it step by step.”

A WORD ABOUT CLASSIFICATIONS The desire to give a hierarchy to wine properties in a given wine region is ages old. The goal is to help the consumer select a wine in preference to another when faced with a bewildering choice. Alsace or Burgundy’s Grand Cru is not equivalent to Saint-Emilion’s Grand Cru. Pomerol has never had

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Saint-Emilion Classification: Two tier Premier Grand Cru Classé (15 existing) and Grand Cru Classé (61 existing). Reviewed every ten years since 1955. ‘Fell’ at the same time as the Cru Bourgeois with the 2006 classification being cancelled and a return to the classification of 1996 (later those eight properties that were promoted to Premier Cru Classé were able keep their new status and those that were demoted were able to stay within – a slight mockery of the classification. We await the new classification in 2012 to see what will happen (96 châteaux have applied!). Pessac-Léognan classification: one-tier unchanging classification since 1959.

What does Cru Bourgeois mean to you? Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe, Director of the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc: “I started wor“Having Cru Bourgeois on your label adds value; according to wine merchants, prices can be increased by 10-20%. Retail prices in France vary from 8 euros to 25 euros up. There is the need for a classification system for the wines that fall between Cru Classé and Cru Artisan. With today’s climate and increased competition, the Cru Bourgeois classification is a tremendous chance to ‘stand out from the crowd’. We organize many press and trade events for our members, the presentation of the new vintage in Bordeaux, les primeurs for example, and most recently with many of our Cru Bourgeois châteaux in China - in the cities of Shanghai, Canton and Peking. In emerging markets such as these, any sign of authenticity is reassuring for the new wine consumer. From the 2010 vintage a small label of authentication with hologram and traceability number will be required on each bottle (previously printed on the back label).


The New Cru Bourgeois

It is a true alliance and our members are consulted before any decisions are made. We like to see ourselves as one big family which helps in terms of visibility in export markets. We are open to improvements, we are flexible and we try to listen and take on board the suggestions and reactions of our wine producer members. We work with an independent body called Bureau Veritas; they impose the rules and regulations to ensure that the results are impartial and just. They advised that an annual classification was the most reliable way of ensuring the quality of a product that changes each year, in accordance with the vintage. This annual system is time-consuming but it is representative and a good way to start.

87 /100

HAUT-MÉDOC A.C. Château de Malleret 2009 Dark hue with red highlights. Fairly subdued nose of red fruits backed by smoked oak. On the palate, wonderful structure and a measure of power. The tannins are ripe and melted with fruit expression. A full wine drinking well in a year or two.

FULL CONTACT DETAILS FOR THIS ESTATE CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 114

floors. The historic Cru Bourgeois classification is a precious tool and worth fighting for!” Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc.

The fact that the current system is a one-tier classification has caused some criticism. We wanted to securely build the ground floor of our castle if you like, before adding five or six

Isabelle Davin, oenologist, Château Le Crock (Saint Estèphe): “I am the oenologist for the Cuvelier family for both of their properties, Château Leoville Poyferré (St Julien), a second growth in the 1855 classification, and for Château Le Crock which is a Cru Bourgeois, a classification with even older origins. For us, being a Cru Bourgeois is historic, and that is very important for Le Crock. The same work methods are used for both properties (even the yellow label with rounded corners is similar), so any technical constraints are negligible for us. I can appreciate that some smaller wine producers are alarmed at the weight of some of the demands. There are many things that are imposed and that I understand could be difficult for some producers to take on. We were all given a copy of the guidelines before it was accepted, now we have to play by the rules of the game.

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Saying that, I do make sure to pass on any difficulties that arise, such as the need for a homogenous vat sample at a time when I am still ageing the wine in barrel. I understand it, but sometimes practically it can be difficult and the goal at the end is to not be prevented from producing the very best wine we can. The good thing is that there is the opportunity to be heard.

ISABELLE DAVIN IS OENOLOGIST FOR THE CUVELIER FAMILY

Having Cru Bourgeois on the label continues to be a sign of quality, for sure. I am very confident that in the future, once we have passed this test period, the practical demands of the classification will become less onerous and that this will attract other properties to become, or return to being, Cru Bourgeois.”

Ludovic and Julien Meffre, Joint Directors of Château du Glana (St Julien), Château Lalande (St Julien), Château Bellegrave (Pauillac): “We have the chance to be in very prestigious appellations and have made the choice since the 2009 vintage to communicate under our own brands GILBERT & GAILLARD

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and opt out of the Cru Bourgeois classification. We feel that too few of the criteria are concern with the production of quality (for example, in terms of grape sorting after harvest, barrel ageing). There are too many heavy administrative procedures, particularly in terms of labeling and technical constraints. We work with Denis Dubourdieu to bring out the wonderful differences of our wines and their terroir. The idea of a benchmark wine that our wines are compared to, seems to be working towards the opposite - standardisation. The absence of any hierarchy within the classification means that there is no quality distinction between the different Cru Bourgeois, which removes the desire for healthy competition. For us, the classification has become the equivalent to being awarded a medal.

LUDOVIC AND JULIEN MEFFRE, JOINT DIRECTORS OF CHÂTEAU DU GLANA (ST JULIEN) brand following. What this does mean is that we have to organize our own communication with the world press and trade. For the last primeurs we organised tastings here at Château du Glana with the other ex-Cru Bourgeois châteaux of St Julien.

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Our distributors have confirmed what we feel, namely, that Cru Bourgeois for us represents little interest in traditional distribution. We prefer to respond to the actual demands of our customers, which correspond to the real demands of the market today. We are not alone. In St Julien there are no more Cru Bourgeois remaining and many of the former elite of the Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels such as Poujeaux, Chasse Spleen and Siran have chosen to do the same and focus on their own

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IN CHÂTEAU LE CROCK, HAVING CRU BOURGEOIS ON THE LABEL CONTINUES TO BE A SIGN OF QUALITY 46

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The New Cru Bourgeois

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CHÂTEAU BELLEGRAVE, ON THE FAMOUS TERROIR OF PAUILLAC, IN THE NORTH OF THE MÉDOC

THE HISTORY OF THE MÉDOC The Médoc or Middle country was an isolated, forested, marshy area devoid of vinesuntil the Middle Ages, when vines were planted around the religious priories such as Cantenac and Macau. It was not until the 17th century that the Dutch, with their skills of draining their own low country or Pays Bas, drained the marsh and enabled the expansion of vineyards in the Médoc. THE OCEANIC CLIMATE OF THE MÉDOC The Medoc is sandwiched between two water masses, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde Estuary, which regulate temperatures, making the climate mild and temperate. In addition the region benefits from the warm Gulf Stream from the Caribbean. A pine forest planted by Napoleon III protects the vineyards from winds and storms off the Atlantic. Rain falls mainly in the winter months and otherwise the region is warm with regular sunshine.

THE UNIQUE SEDIMENTARY SOILS OF THE MÉDOC Some 50 million years ago the Aquitaine basin was part of a large tropical sea. Over time various layers of sedimentary deposits were laid down over the limestone bedrock of the sea bed to form a peninsular. These are made up of a mixture of gravel of quartz, small rounded pebbles, sandstone, clay and silt brought by the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers from the Pyrenees and the Massif Central. These make up the sub-soils and soils of the Médoc which over time have become eroded to form undulating gravel outcrops with perfect natural drainage. The vine’s roots plunge down to the water table for a supply of enough - but never too much - water.

There is much work to be done to build our individual brands on the world markets.”

Bernard Segond, Château Lousteauneuf (Médoc): “At our level, a family property of 28 hectares, we do not have the notoriety of estates such as Poujeaux to be able to promote our wines on our own. Being part of the Cru Bourgeois is a good trampoline for Lousteauneuf. For example, for the Primeurs we have the same visibility as the Cru Classés. The Alliance organizes a tasting during the three days for the thousands of buyers and press from around the world. My press book is filled with press from such events organized by the Alliance. There is a real visibility and exposure that I would not otherwise have. I am involved in the practical aspects of growing and making wine so I have no time to dedicate to press and general communication. There is a market for Cru Bourgeois, it is a brand in its own right. In markets such as China I have found that to have Cru Bourgeois on your label is a marker, an assurance of a certain level of quality. The new Cru Bourgeois classification is a beginning. It is important that as members, the wine producers continue to communicate with the Alliance about ways to improve the system. There are many opportunities to speak out, but sometimes there is more speaking in the corridor once the meeting is over than during it! I do not find the labelling requirements restrictive. In this climate you need to anticipate, to be equipped to the minimum before it is required. You get nothing for nothing.” Nicolle Croft

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The amazingly bountiful Roussillon

The winegrowing region of Roussillon covers a surface area of around 30,000 hectares and offers among the fullest possible range of wines. Its white wines proudly display their full-bodied Mediterranean character, its rosés are remarkably smooth and fruity, and its reds feature all of the subtlety conferred by the region’s mosaic of terroirs. Its lightly fortified, sweet vin doux naturel (VDN) is one of French Catalonia’s hallmark wines, making up almost 90% of national production of this type of wine. In terms of dry wines, the region’s largest AOC (appellation d'origine contrôlée) is by far Côtes du Roussillon (250,000 hectolitres), which essentially produces red wines and rosés. All of Roussillon’s 200,000 hectolitres of vin doux naturel wines are AOC. Text and photos: Pierre Torrès

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QUALITY FACTORS

THE BANYULS WINEGROWING AREA SPREADS OVER FOUR VILLAGE DISTRICTS THAT BORDER THE ROCKY COASTLINE OF FRENCH CATALONIA

T

he region’s vineyards ascend up the slopes of the natural amphitheatre formed by the mountains that embrace Roussillon. To the north, the limestone barrier of the Corbières foothills forms a natural border with the winegrowing region of Aude; to the west, the imposing Canigou massif in the Pyrenees dominates the Roussillon plain; and to the south, the long Albères mountain chain, whose crest forms the border with Spain, plunges into the Mediterranean Sea along a rocky coast that supports the famous vineyards of Banyuls. The vines grow up the foothills of these massifs as well as climb the stepped terraces along the Têt, Agly and Tech rivers.

adapted to the region’s dry, hot conditions, which allow the grapes to overripen without spoiling, is a key variety in the production of vin doux naturel. Roussillon vineyards include various types of Grenache: Noir, Gris, Rose and Blanc. Carignan is equally well established in the region, as well as Syrah, which was successfully introduced more recently and yields overripe grapes that express intense aromas and high-quality tannins. There are also some Mourvèdre vines. Another variety typical of Catalan winemaking is the white Macabeu grape (Macabeo in Spanish), which has always been important in Roussillon. Muscat also contributes to the originality of Roussillon’s grape

The area gets a remarkable amount of sun per year, with hot, dry

varieties. Outside the AOC areas, winegrowers have also planted

summers and mild winters. Rains water the vines in the autumn

Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

and at the beginning of spring. Various winds sweep through the vineyards,

including

the

strong

northwest

wind,

the

VIN DOUX NATUREL

Tramontane, which increases the aridity of the region and

Roussillon has always produced full-bodied, often sweet, wines.

creates excellent conditions for grapes to ripen to perfection.

This is the result of the natural over-ripening of grapes in vineyards with modest yields growing in terroirs that receive an

Over the centuries, some 20 grape varieties have been planted -

exceptional amount of sun. Such specific production conditions

and are still present – in Roussillon’s terroirs. Grenache, well

gave rise to a winemaking tradition that has long attracted the GILBERT & GAILLARD

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QUALITY FACTORS

attention of different lawmakers seeking to protect its existence, and when the French appellation classification system was created in 1935, vin doux naturel was recognised as AOC. The production of vin doux naturel is subject to draconian regulation: yields are strictly limited (the harvest must not exceed 40 hectolitres per hectare of which a maximum of 30 hectolitres can be made into vin doux naturel) and the required ripeness of the grapes is particularly high, at a minimum of 252 grams of sugar per litre of must, which corresponds to an alcohol level of more than 14.5 degrees. Only four noble grape varieties are authorised in the production of vin doux naturel: Grenache (Blanc, Gris and Noir), Macabeu, Malvoisie and Muscat (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria). The fortification is also regulated; only neutral grape spirit can be used, which must be added during fermentation. All vin doux

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naturel wines have precise composition requirements: their alcohol level must be between 15 and 18% and their residual sugar content between 50 and over 100 grammes of sugar per litre.

BANYULS AND BANYULS GRAND CRU This renowned winegrowing area spreads over four village districts that border the rocky coastline of French Catalonia: Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerbère. A terroir of Cambrian schist underlying terraced vineyards that overlook the Mediterranean gives pride of place to Grenache Noir (a minimum of 50% in Banyuls and 75% in Banyuls Grand Cru). Some Banyuls wines that are bottled early are labelled under the name ‘Rimage’. In the last several years, there has also been limited production of Banyuls Blanc.


The amazingly bountiful Roussillon

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CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON-VILLAGES LATOUR DE FRANCE A.C. Domaine de Rancy 2006 Deep colour. Distinctive nose with accents of liquorice sweet, catechu pastilles, stone fruits and black olive. Remarkable balance on the palate combining power, warmth and freshness, all highlighting a range of tell-tale Roussillon aromatics.

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VIN DE PAYS DES CÔTES CATALANES Les Terres de Mallyce - Pierres de Lune 2008 Deep hue with a purple-blue rim. Extremely pure nose with crunchy fruit (redcurrant, blackberry, blackcurrant). The palate shows full-on suppleness and seductive aromatic freshness, generous stuffing and silkiness. Pure fruit is showcased. A successful effort.

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CÔTES CATALANES I.G.P. L'Astre Blanc - Vinifié en fûts de chêne 2010 Pale yellow. A mix of citrus notes and touches of vanilla and toast on the nose. Generous, fat, wellstructured and lingering on the palate. The finish displays a hint of firmness revealing the oak tannins. Drink with fish or white meat.

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CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON A.C. Domaine Salvat Taïchac 2008 Deep colour with crimson highlights. Profound nose with floral accents, notes of dark berry fruits and spicy undercurrents. Fleshy, full entry, a wine showcasing fruit and spice aromas. Oak influence is hardly perceptible. A crunchy style.

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FuLL contAct detAILS For theSe eStAteS cAn Be Found on pAGe 114

MAURY This appellation includes schist terroirs north of the Agly Valley in Maury and its neighbouring districts. The main variety here is Grenache Noir, which grows in grey Aptian schist.

RIVESALTES This appellation stretches from the Albères mountains all the way to Corbières and includes arid, meagre terroirs that result in very ripe grapes. These are used to produce Rivesaltes Ambré (amber) and Rivesaltes Tuilé (tawny), each of which can be classified ‘Hors d'âge’ after being aged for a minimum of five

years. There is also Rivesaltes Grenat (ruby), which is bottled earlier in order to retain the intense fruit of Grenache Noir.

MUSCAT DE RIVESALTES The Muscat de Rivesaltes appellation covers all the vin doux naturel production areas. Only two grape varieties are authorised in the vineyards of this appellation: Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Muscat of Alexandria. The first Muscat bottled several weeks after the harvest is authorised to be sold as Muscat de Noël, or Christmas Muscat.

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON AND CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES

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These appellations, covering almost 9,000 hectares, are responsible for almost all of the dry wines in Roussillon. Côtes du Roussillon runs from Albères to Fenouillèdes and has a variety of terroirs and microclimates. It mainly produces red wines, but also has rosés and a few white wines. Côtes du

GRENACHE NOIR (SHOWN HERE IN BANYULS) IS ONE OF THE EMBLEMATIC VARIETIES OF ROUSSILLON GILBERT & GAILLARD

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Roussillon Villages exclusively produces red wines from vineyards found north of the Têt River. This region offers the biggest diversity of terroirs, which explains why four village districts have been granted the right to add their name to the appellation: Caramany, Latour-de-France, Lesquerde and Tautavel. More recently, in Aspres, some red wines have also been distinguished under the appellation Côtes du Roussillon Les Aspres.

THE PRODUCTION OF VIN DOUX NATUREL IS SUBJECT TO DRACONIAN REGULATION: THE HARVEST MUST NOT EXCEED 40 HECTOLITRES PER HECTARE OF WHICH A MAXIMUM OF 30 HECTOLITRES CAN BE MADE INTO VIN DOUX NATUREL

or stone pebble terraces that express the terroir’s intrinsic quality. Its wines are only authorised after two quality control tastings.

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES CARAMANY The vineyards of this appellation are found in the village districts of Caramany as well as Cassagnes and Bélesta-de-la-Frontière. The terroir consists of gneiss, which gives the wines a fleshy, elegant structure. Another distinguishing feature of this

RED WINES

appellation is its tradition of carbonic maceration.

Roussillon’s red wines are rich and varied, offering a choice from young wines to more structured, full-bodied wines like those of Côtes du Roussillon Villages. They are made from several grape varieties, including Carignan, Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvèdre.

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES LATOUR-DE-FRANCE The appellation of Latour-de-France is rather heterogeneous. It

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON LES ASPRES

stretches from the schist terroirs of Montner and Planèzes to the calcareous marl bordering the Agly River.

To obtain the distinction of a specific appellation, the winegrowers of Aspres chose their best parcels growing on buttes

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES TAUTAVEL

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In this appellation we find all the classic expressions produced by limestone terroirs. All along this mountain chain, from Tautavel, a veritable cradle of prehistory, to the majestic Cirque de Vingrau, the garrigue landscape is punctuated by pine woods and vineyards growing in limestone scree. These wines are at their most expressive after several months or even several years of maturation.

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THE GNEISS TERROIR OF THE RECENTLY CREATED CARAMANY APPELLATION IN CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES


The amazingly bountiful Roussillon

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON VILLAGES LESQUERDE This is incontestably the most representative appellation of the elevated area of Fenouillèdes and is characterised by coarse granite sand soils that are found on the plateau and throughout the district of Lesquerde.

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON WHITES Made from Macabeu grapes harvested ‘green’, Côtes du Roussillon whites have gradually evolved to offer a diversity that better asserts their Mediterranean identity thanks to the addition of Grenache Blanc from old vines. The recent use of other varieties such as Marsanne, Roussanne and Vermentino in the blends has given rise to more complex wines.

CÔTES DU ROUSSILLON ROSÉS

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The production volume of these rosés has been steadily increasing over the years. Côtes du Roussillon rosés are the expression of a specific blend of grape varieties in which Grenache Noir and Syrah are the keystone. The rosés are produced using the saignée winemaking method, which consists of bleeding off the juice after several hours of contact with the skins during maceration. This is one of the reasons why Roussillon rosés have a more intense colour, often with tints of peony or fuchsia.

COLLIOURE WINES With just over 700 hectares of vineyards, this appellation, which takes its name from the famous Catalan fishing village, is the smallest in Roussillon. The terroir is exactly the same as AOC Banyuls, including Collioure, Port-Vendres, Banyuls-sur-Mer and Cerbère. Its grape varieties are Grenache Noir, Carignan and Mourvèdre, to which Syrah was added in the last decade. The red wines are warm and full-bodied and the rosés are powerful with a vibrant colour. There are also several whites made from Grenache Blanc and Gris.

THE INCREDIBLE SCHIST TERROIR OF RASIGUÈRES, WHERE IT SEEMS MIRACULOUS THAT THE VINES HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GAIN A FOOTHOLD

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Roussillon is a winemaking region that stands apart, whose wines benefit from exceptional terroirs and demonstrate incredible diversity. The region’s distinctive Catalan winemaking identity has been shaped by its remarkable landscape: a natural amphitheatre facing the Mediterranean Sea that basks in the sun ■ for over 300 days a year. An enviable set of circumstances!

AC COLLIOURE (HERE THE CELLIER DES DOMINICAINS) COVERS EXACTLY THE SAME AREA AS BANYULS

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Bubble Nation: Sparkling Wine in America

©TAITTINGER - DOMAINE CARNEROS

Americans have enjoyed sparkling wine since the earliest days of the Republic. The country’s founding connoisseur was Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) who imported Champagne and Blanquette de Limoux for his own use. Jefferson failed at establishing a wine industry in his native Virginia, but soon after his death, American sparkling wine became a phenomenon that reached even Europe. Made in Ohio in the 1830s to 1850s from the Catawba grape, the sparklers of Nicholas Longfellow gained renown throughout the United States, and in London.

DOMAINE CARNEROS, OWNED BY TAITTINGER, IS A CALIFORNIAN WINERY THAT IS STRIKINGLY REMINISCENT OF THE ARCHITECTURE IN CHAMPAGNE 54

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Bubble Nation: Sparkling Wine in America

L

ike all American wines, American bubbly suffered greatly during Prohibition (1919-1933). Only 30 years after Prohibition’s repeal was there a revival of the fine American sparkling industry. In that time, most American bubbly was made either using the bulk Charmat method, or the crude process of infusing still wine with carbon dioxide. ©ROEDERER ESTATE

Korbel California Champagne (sic) was an exception to this trend. Located in Sonoma, Korbel started producing traditional method (méthode traditionelle/méthode champenoise) sparkling wine in the 1890s, and revived production in the late 1930s. Their focus was toward popularly priced bubbly rather than fine wines from traditional Champagne grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Korbel exists to this day.

ARNAUD WEYRICH, THE ROEDERER ESTATE WINEMAKER

The modern story of the fine American sparkling wine starts in 1965, when Jack and Jamie Davies revived the long dormant Schramsberg Vineyards on Diamond Mountain in Napa’s Calistoga region (see the Family Business article in this issue) and made sparkling wines in the traditional method, using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, then both rare in California. When they released their first wine in 1967, made from Chardonnay purchased in 1965, they called it “Schramsberg Vineyards Champagne Blanc de Blancs.” The wine received enthusiastic response and piqued the interest of other potential producers.

can’t make Champagne in California. Champagne has enjoyed some three hundred years to understand its terroir, California has had only decades. Chandon’s winery was established, and earliest vineyards planted, in Yountville, a warm section of Napa. Since then, Chandon established vineyards and grape sources from other regions, including mountain vineyards in Napa, and at cooler places, especially Carneros. The quest for cool climate areas has led sparkling winemakers toward the water. Carneros, straddling the northern edge of San Francisco Bay and in both Napa and Sonoma counties, is favoured by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir specialists. So too, is Sonoma’s Russian River Valley (and subregion Green Valley) and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. The combination of cold Pacific

While thoroughly American sparkling wine producers started about the same time, it is safe to say that the French investment created a sense of seriousness to American sparkling wine. Said Eileen Crane, chief winemaker at Domaine Carneros, “The idea of American sparkling wine only really took off after the entry of the French into production. In the market, the French gave it legitimacy, and they created a buzz among journalists and the public.” Of course, French houses had larger resources, both financial and expertise. But, as the Champenoises never failed to emphasise, you

©ROEDERER ESTATE

Before a 2006 agreement with the European Union regarding place names, many American sparkling wine producers routinely described their wines as “Champagne.” While Champagne producers were upset by the misappropriation of their identity, California intrigued many of the Champagne’s grande marque producers. Since 1973, a number of Champagne houses have established themselves in California: Domaine Chandon (Moët & Chandon), Mumm Napa, Piper Sonoma (Piper-Hiedsieck), Roederer Estate (Louis Roederer), and Domaine Carneros (Taittinger). In 1986, the Ferrer family of Spain’s Freixenet group started Gloria Ferrer cellars. In addition to Schramsberg noted above, important California producers include Iron Horse Vineyards, J Vineyards, Scharffenberger and a few smaller wineries.

ROEDERER ESTATE: A "CHAMPAGNE-LIKE" SPARKLING HOUSE FROM CALIFORNIA GILBERT & GAILLARD

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©TAITTINGER - DOMAINE CARNEROS

QUALITY FACTORS

EILEEN CRANE, CHIEF WINEMAKER AT DOMAINE CARNEROS : “THE IDEA OF AMERICAN SPARKLING WINE ONLY REALLY TOOK OFF AFTER THE ENTRY OF THE FRENCH INTO PRODUCTION”

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air and heat from California’s hot Central Valley creates a vacuum effect that sucks cool fog rolls over vineyards in late afternoon and remains until late morning throughout the long growing season - in some places, six weeks longer than in Champagne.

California wineries above, Gruet was founded by a champenoise family (Champagne Gruet et Fils/Paul Laurent). Biltmore Winery in North Carolina and Trump Winery (formerly Kluge) in Virginia produce good bubbly as well.

American sparkling wine isn’t limited to California. The cool climate that allows Oregon to grow superb Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for still wines offers clement conditions for sparklers, too. Argyle Winery is a standout. Two New York State regions make fine sparkling wine: the Finger Lakes, known for Riesling and Gewürztraminer, and Long Island, known for Atlantic grape varieties. On Long Island, Lenz on the North Fork and Wolffer in the Hamptons are noteworthy. L. Mawby on Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula produces some unexpectedly good sparklers. Its proximity to two of the Great Lakes moderates the effects of what would otherwise be bitter cold from the Canadian Arctic. Most surprisingly, perhaps, is the quality of Gruet Winery’s sparkling wine from the high desert of New Mexico. Like many of the

Regardless of the state, well-developed fruit flavours are a hallmark of American sparkling wines. Asked the difference between Champagne and American sparkling wine, Joy Sterling, proprietor (with her brother) of Iron Horse Vineyards in Sonoma’s Green Valley says without hesitation, “The fruit.” She continues, “The moment you can really taste the difference is right after disgorgement. At that point, Champagne is gripping and abstract, clearly an unfinished product. At the same junction, California sparkling wine tastes like Chardonnay [or] Pinot Noir. It just has that natural balance. For California, the role of dosage is a seasoning rather than a main ingredient. Dosage gives stylistic options, orchestration. Without it, California would be an a cappella choir. It can do it on its own.”

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e are delighted to present the 2012 Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Guide. All the wines featured have been tasted using the same protocol, ensuring a rigorous, impartial selection. The samples sent by producers are blind tasted by

Gilbert & Gaillard and their team in the quiet seclusion of a tasting room. A 100 point scale is employed for utmost accuracy. There is no question of marathon tastings as no more than 10-15 samples are tasted per session to maintain fair judgement and analysis. More than 3,300 wines have been selected, along with commentaries, tasting notes and recommendations on how to serve them. All the classed growths and most prestigious wines are featured, but there are also many smaller, lesser-known wine growers to discover too. Each wine growing region is represented, together with a detailed map and every appellation is closely analysed, with commentaries.The Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Guide is the essential guide to discovering French wines.

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QUALITY FACTORS

GLORIA FERRER

There is a perception that since the wines of America are generally fruitier than those of France, its sparkling wines will show higher levels of residual sugar and lower levels of acidity compared to Champagne. While popularly priced brut cuvées (under $20/bottle) might be on the higher levels of dosage for the category (as are many mass market Champagnes), American sparkling wines do not skew in either direction. Often, average dosage is lower than in Champagne, the result of more developed fruit flavours from American vineyards.

Despite the Spanish connection, Carneros-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay prevail over traditional Cava grapes. The Royal Cuvée Brut 2004 is sumptuous and full bodied, with ripe berry, apricot and citrus flavours kept clean by fine minerals and high acidity. Ten years of lees-ageing brings gingery richness to the Carneros Cuvée 2000, with mouth-watering mango, apple, and spicy orange notes.

IRON HORSE However, the proof is in the tasting. Here are some impressions:

Fruit is part of the mantra here, but it is balanced by fresh acidity and minerality. The basic level brut wines show appealing herb and fruit flavours, and the X Brut 2006, an ultra brut wine, is delicate but austere. To the contrary are the Brut LD 2003, a late disgorged

DOMAINE CARNEROS

©TAITTINGER - DOMAINE CARNEROS

©L.G. STERLING IRON HORSE VINEYARDS

Domaine Carneros is an American winery, but its French connection is clear, both by its Carneros home inspired by Taittingers’s 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne and the je ne sais quoi of its winemaking. Both the vintage brut 2007 and non-vintage brut rosé are graceful wines, a touch on the generous side of dosage, but balanced by crisp acidity. The prestige wine, Le Rêve, is inspired by Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs. The 2005 is a sumptuous wine with pear and hazelnut flavours mingled with citrus notes, superbly balanced.

DOMAINE CARNEROS, INSPIRED BY TAITTINGERS’S 18TH CENTURY CHÂTEAU DE LA MARQUETTERIE IN CHAMPAGNE

DOMAINE CHANDON Classic line wines are fruity but are well made. Etoile, the cuvée prestige that has been aged on the lees for five years, offers seductive biscuit and smoky notes. This is a richly styled wine that shows complexity one might expect from a reserve level Champagne.

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JOY AND LAURENCE STERLING, FROM IRON HORSE VINEYARDS wine and the remarkable Joy, a Blanc de Blancs that spent 13 years on the lees. Despite its age, the wine is remarkably fresh, with lemon zest and almond aromas, combined with fresh peach, delicate herb and flower notes on the palate. The wine belongs in the company of great Champagnes.

LENZ From his winery on Long Island’s North Fork, winemaker Eric Fry identifies himself as an “acidhead.” Things are certainly zippy in his compellingly dry and austere Cuvée Brut 2005 which hints of wild strawberries growing through a patch of minerals.

L. MAWBY Making only sparkling wine on Michigan’s Leenalau Peninsula, L. Mawby is one of the U.S.’s unexpected vinous gems. The Blanc de Blancs Cuvée 172 Brut is a wine fine of bubble, with candied


Bubble Nation: Sparkling Wine in America

©L.G. STERLING IRON HORSE VINEYARDS

ROEDERER ESTATE If there was a competition for the most “Champagne-like” California sparkling house, then Roederer Estate would be an easy winner. True, the fruit flavours are more round than Louis Roederer’s in Champagne, but there is an unmistakable Champagne-like sensibility when it comes to restraint, balance, and pleasure. Roederer’s Brut Rosé is a standout with hints of berry and bergamot. The top wine, L’Ermitage 2003, might not be as opulent as Cuvée Cristal, but it is cut from the same cloth: creamy, complex, and luxurious.

IRON HORSE IS LOCATED IN GREEN VALLEY IN THE COOLEST, FOGGIEST PART OF THE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY almond, vanilla, and zesty tropical fruit flavours. Mawby’s Cremant Classic is 100% barrel-aged Vignoles, a FrenchAmerican hybrid. The nose is musky with pignon-like nuttiness and some lemon notes that broaden in the mouth toward tangerine and loquat flavours.

MUMM ©L. MAWBY

Napa: Like Chandon, Mumm Napa’s basic bruts are popular, well made, a tad high in dosage, and a fine buy at under $15. Mumm’s top wine DVX is a study in finesse, with mixed citrus, snappy apple, light floral notes underlined by fine minerals and fresh acidity.

LARRY MAWBY MAKES ONLY SPARKLING WINE ON MICHIGAN’S LEENALAU PENINSULA

SCHRAMSBERG The pioneers of America’s fine sparkling wine industry show verve in all their wines. Their largest production is of vintage brut including Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Brut Rosé, with two to three years tirage. J. Schram 2004 Brut, their tête de cuvée, is excellent, with a savoury rather than fruit profile. Eight years of lees aging show soya and olive oil notes with hints of dried orange peel, white flowers, almonds and dry spice.

©L. MAWBY

WOLFFER ESTATE

THE L. MAWBY VINEYARDS UNDER SNOW DURING WINTER

Located in New York’s stylish Hamptons, Wolffer’s millionaire neighbours can drink local. The Blanc de Blanc 2007 offers peppery herb and hazelnut notes and a hint of apricots. The Noblesse Oblige Rosé 2007 is a faintly pink in colour with yellow and red fruit notes and a hint of wood that comes from a touch of oak-aged merlot. Jamal Rayyis GILBERT & GAILLARD

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LA SCENE

www.louonvine.com

Lou on Vine Hollywood Terroir ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

At Lou's terroir-tastic wine bar, the accent is firmly on authenticity.

Jamal Rayyis

Lou on Vine

Lou’s on Vine is where Hollywood goes to drink wine among the stars. Not much more than a stone’s throw from Paramount Studios, Lou’s is filled with them. Stars include folks like Elisabetta Foradori of the Alto Adige who is responsible for the renaissance of the Teroldego grape, Tom Lubbe of Roussillon’s famed Matassa winery, Jared and Tracy Brandt, producers of California’s Donkey and Goat wines that have achieved almost cult-like status, or other luminaries in the world of small production, often ”natural” or biodynamic wines, either represented on Lou’s wine list, or, hosted in house any time they pass through Los Angeles. That some of Lou’s enthusiasts might also be Hollywood celebrities is beside the point.

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© ANDY - FOTOLIA

724 Vine Street Los Angeles CA 90038 Tel. +1 323 962 6369 Hours: Monday Saturday 6 pm - 12 am www.louonvine.com

The world-famous Hollywood sign

Lou’s is not a place one goes to be seen, it is a place to partake in the pleasures of Bacchus in the company of other denizens of the grape. Located in the corner of a strip-mall, next to a laundromat, Lou’s is a perfect representative of contemporary Hollywood, gritty on the outside, relaxed and engaging on the inside. Its setting and décor recalls a combination of a bistro de terroir and a post-modern version of a Hollywood lounge circa 1973,

WINTER 2011

although rather than snorting lines of coke, one is inclined to swirl, sniff, and swallow wines like a 2002 Cazin Cour-Cheverny, Léon Barral’s Valinère Faugères, or a Hungarian Kadarka. Owner Lou Amdur started his eponymous bar in 2006, with a mission to champion wines made as naturally as possible using traditional techniques, and, often, from rare grape varieties. He also pays homage to winemakers who seek authenticity rather


LA SCENE

than following international fashion and pursuing high Parker scores. Smack in the middle of a city known for paparazzi flash, plastic surgery and fleeting fame, Lou reveres the salt of the earth.

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Lou’s is really more a wine-oriented restaurant than a wine bar. Nonetheless, all of the establishment’s thirty-odd wines are available by the 2oz taste, 5 oz glass, or by the bottle. The offerings change three to five times per week, as supplies of decidedly smallproduction wines dwindle, or Lou decides that he just wants to drink something different. And different it will be. Lou’s is not a place to find the hottest Napa Cab or Grand Cru Bordeaux, though, if the whim strikes, it is possible one might be on the list on any particular day. Rather, it is a place to

The chef sources most of the produce from the Santa Monica Farmers Markets

For more casual diners, there are farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie, and a selection of other wine- (and beer - a careful selection of that, too) friendly snacks, including the house specialty, Pig Candy. A gentle host, Lou offers guests his thoughts on food, wine, and the diverse experiences of life in Los Angeles both in person and through his regularly maintained blog. http://www.louonvine.com/?cat=20.

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

land where tofu is considered a basic food group. The ever-changing menu is liable to offer Italian wild boar sausage, roast breast of guinea fowl, or a grilled antelope chop. On Monday evenings, Lou hosts a prix-fixe food and wine supper that might be centered on the harvest of a beloved farmer or the whims of a particular winemaker (or restaurant owner). A dinner last spring focused on a remarkable diversity of Tokaji wines. Another celebrated meats of a nearby ranch.

Lou is located in a classy strip mall at 724 Vine Street in Hollywood, right next to the laundromat!

Lou also honours local farmers and artisanal food producers, cheesemakers, charcutiers and mill owners through an enthusiasticallyconceived, eclectic menu not often seen in a

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

be challenged, surprised, and delighted. One might find an amphora-elaborated Rkasiteli from Georgia, a Poulsard from the Jura, a Duras from Fronton, even a despised Valdiguié from some forgotten valley in California.

Lou changes his wine list frequently, three to four times a week

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ON THE WINE TRAIL IN

Kentucky

KENTUCKY’S WINE COUNTRY IS INTENSELY GREEN, AS IT RECEIVES SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL THROUGHOUT THE YEAR 62

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© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

America’s commercial wine industry was born not in California, but in Kentucky. The ‘First Vineyard’ was planted there in 1798 by the winemaker for the Marquis de Lafayette, a French general who fought in the American War of Independence. In the century that followed, Kentucky became America’s thirdlargest wine-producing state. Although Prohibition in the 1920s put an end to the industry, today winegrowing in Kentucky is again flourishing: the number of producers has increased from 4 to 70 in the last decade.


On the wine trail in Kentucky

D

ue to the disastrous effects of phylloxera and Prohibition, for generations not a drop of wine was produced by the once-flourishing wine industry in this green, central and sparsely populated state (the size of the Netherlands and Belgium combined, Kentucky has a population of only 4.3 million). It was only in the 1980s that some intrepid growers began to replant grapevines.

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

Jerry Kushner, a former engineer at General Electric (he worked on the simulation of the first spacewalk) and wine enthusiast, was one of the pioneers. In 1983, he created an experimental vineyard near Louisville, planting about 20 different European varieties, as well as French-American hybrids. His goal was to empirically determine which could survive the harsh Kentucky climate and produce healthy grapes. The state’s climate is characterised by icy winters, with other unfavourable winegrowing conditions including rain during the warm growing season, and late-spring and early-autumn frosts. Miraculously, almost all the varieties did well, even the more fragile European ones such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Nine years later, the retired Kushner decided to start a commercial winery, Broad Run. Its vineyards, covering 10.5 hectares, are planted in the limestone subsoil typical of Kentucky.

WINE PIONEER JERRY KUSHNER, BROAD RUN VINEYARDS

RIPE WINES

they result in the least attractive wines. The relative old age of the wines we tasted was striking: the youngest white wine was from 2005, and the youngest red from 2006. According to Kushner, this is made possible by the high acidity of the soil, which gives the grapes, and thus the wines, good freshness. True enough, the 2002 Broad Run Chardonnay (not barrel-aged) was still lively and even somewhat reminiscent of a Burgundy. The 2005 Riesling, with plenty of citrus and just half a percent of residual sugar, was particularly pleasing. However, almost all of the reds have been aged too long for European tastes. It would have been interesting to taste them a few years earlier. Only the 1999 and 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, both barrel-aged for 18 months, won us over and tempted us to try them with a tender steak.

Those who find their way to Broad Run Vineyards, nestled in a landscape of low, lush hills, will be encouraged to taste the entire range of wines, with exhaustive explanations given by the owner himself. The winemaker shuns most hybrids and American varieties, recommended by the University of Kentucky, in his conviction that

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

SWEET BESTSELLERS

RIESLING IS ONE OF THE WHITE VARIETIES SUCCESSFULLY CULTIVATED IN KENTUCKY

Many of the Kentucky dry wines we tasted were ripe, or even overripe. But the state’s speciality is its bestselling sweet wines. Most wine drinkers in Kentucky – a state in which it is illegal for wine to be sold by supermarkets – grew up with sodas and sweet iced tea. As a consequence, many producers still have up to four years of production in stock. Jerry Kushner told us, “Our tanks are full.” Eddie O’Daniel, another of Kentucky’s wine pioneers, got to know wine as a soldier in the Mediterranean as well as in Napa Valley. His Springhill Winery borders the Bluegrass Parkway, which brings him a lot of visitors. About 20 years ago, he wanted to order vines from some well-known growers in other states, who told him, “We can’t GILBERT & GAILLARD

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and green apple with some sweet notes, as well as the gold-medal 2008 Cynthiana (Norton), which was dark and massive, with animal and berry notes. The perfectly representative 2009 ‘G’ Gewürztraminer was also awarded with gold.

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

INVENTIVE SOLUTIONS

CYNTHIA BOHN OF EQUUS RUN help you because we’ve never shipped vines to Kentucky before.” O’Daniel, who is working on a book about the region’s wine history, then chose some varieties by guesswork. Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Muscadine (‘Kentucky is too far north for this sweet hybrid’) were not suitable, but the others did well, particularly the more resistant varieties such as Vidal and Seyval white wine grapes.

To reach the Horseshoe Bend Winery, somewhere in the centre of the state near Willisburg, you’d better consult a good map (so not Mapquest, which repeatedly gave us the wrong information) and follow a winding road that gradually becomes more and more narrow. But once there, you’ll agree the trip is worth it. The former advertising executive Greg Karsner has been making several very good wines there for two years, and this summer he opened a tasting room. The small vineyard originally planted by his parents was just over 5 hectares, but it is now less than half that size. It is located in a microclimate with moderate conditions. Generally, the harvest takes place about a month later than elsewhere in Kentucky. Karsner affirms, “sometimes we pick our Cabernet Sauvignon only at the end of October.” The biggest threats to the grapes are deer, raccoons and especially birds. Of course, nets could be used to protect the vines, but Karsner

WELCOMING VISITORS It is notable how many of Kentucky’s wine producers have subsidiary activities. At the Springhill Winery Bed & Breakfast, you can stay in one of four luxury suites named after grape varieties. Eddie O’Daniel’s son Ben is behind the Jean Farris Winery, where he runs a popular restaurant with his wife, “because wines taste better with food, and that’s what we want people to experience.” The premium wine of this young winery (established in 2006) is Tempest, composed of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It is smooth, with a palate of blackberry and notes of oak. The Jean Farris Winery also has a very pleasant moderately spicy Viognier that undergoes a short period of barrel aging. “It’s a challenge to cultivate Viognier in Kentucky,” admits Ben. The winery’s grapes come from its own vineyard, which covers 4 hectares, or are bought in from the same area.

Apart from its 70 registered wine producers, Kentucky counts about 100 winegrowers. One of the biggest, which produces wine from an increasing part of its harvest, is Lovers Leap near Lawrenceburg (south of the district capital Frankfort). The vineyard is on a plateau above the Kentucky River and spreads over 12 hectares. Since September 2008, the estate has belonged to Logan Leet, who not only takes meticulous care of his own vineyard, but looks after several others as well. He also supplies other wineries with both grapes and wine. With his own Lovers Leap wines, he hopes to become “the producer of dry Kentucky wines. Perhaps not the most intelligent objective, but I prefer dry wines.” We tasted an appealing Vidal Blanc (served out of a blue bottle), which was characterised by citrus

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© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

GROWER-PRODUCERS

LOGAN LEET, ONE OF KENTUCKY’S BIGGEST WINEGROWERS, IN FRONT OF ONE OF HIS NORTON VINES


On the wine trail in Kentucky

GREG KARSNER OF HORSESHOE BEND GAVE UP ADVERTISING FOR WINEMAKING Equus Run supplies specially labelled wines for the Kentucky Derby. Some of their grapes come from their own vineyards or from other regional growers, but half of their wines are produced with grapes from California, Indiana and other states. Other Kentucky wineries also obtain part of their grapes from elsewhere, simply because state growers are unable to provide sufficient quantities yet.

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

LARGEST WINERY

doesn’t find that an aesthetic solution. He prefers to scare off foraging animals by placing balloons with owl eyes painted on them around the vineyard and making noise by firing a shot every three hours.

In a state with a host of other attractions - from museums to horse riding, natural wonders such as enormous caves to a Bourbon Trail - if there is one winery to be visited, it is Elk Creek Vineyards. Lost in the countryside somewhere north of Lexington, it brings to mind the wineries of California, with its huge wooden tasting room, a shop and restaurant, an ample terrace, a contemporary wine cellar and a vaulted barrel cellar. Not to mention a 3,000person-capacity amphitheatre for summer concerts, a large villa for lodging and a shooting range for pigeons.

Karsner hopes to increase his current annual production of 2,600 cases to 10,000 cases. This of course will only be possible if he buys in grapes from elsewhere. The quality of Horseshoe Bend wines justifies Greg’s optimism. Among others, we tasted a seductive, spicy and fruity Cabernet rosé, a lively Vidal Blanc, an appealing Chardonnay made with oak chips, a full-bodied Reserve red (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin and Norton), and Goldenrod, a honeylike, rich, sweet wine made from Vidal Blanc.

A STATE OENOLOGIST

This was the case at Equus Run, a prosperous estate enthusiastically managed by Cynthia Bohn. After an international career at IBM, she started her winery - the third-biggest at that time - near Lexington. Like most novices, she obtained subventions provided by the state of Kentucky to compensate for the decline in tobacco cultivation.

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

The state of Kentucky employs an oenologist, which is very useful since the vast majority of its winegrowers started without any prior training and thus require technical advice. In our tastings, we repeatedly encountered wines with imperfections: too oaky, too much volatile acid, lack of fruit or freshness, or the presence of impurities. These are all likely to be the result of lack of production experience. Often we were served oxidised wines from bottles that had been open for several days and were not protected against oxygen. That sometimes made it difficult to evaluate the wines.

JEAN FARRIS GILBERT & GAILLARD

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KENTUCKY

RECOMMENDED WINES From all visited wineries

CHRISMAN MILL Norton

HORSESHOE BEND Vidal Blanc Chardonnay Cabernet rosé Reserve (red) Goldenrod

ELK CREEK Estate Chardonelle Estate Chambourcin

LOVERS LEAP Vidal Blanc ‘G’ Gewürztraminer Cynthiana

EQUUS RUN Riesling 2008 (moderately sweet)

PURPLE TOAD Chardonnay Cabernet Franc

JEAN FARRIS Viognier Tempest (red)

TALON Monarch (red)

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

BROAD RUN Riesling Chardonnay Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

JUNE AND ALLEN DOSSEY OF THE UPAND-COMING PURPLE TOAD WINERY from its own vineyard - at over 19 hectares it is the biggest in the state and counts for almost 10% of Kentucky’s total vineyards. Several of the estate’s wines are appealing, for example, a surprisingly elegant Chardonelle (from the Chardonel grape) and a barrel-aged Chambourcin with generous black fruits. However, its wines made from the sweet, simple Concord grape sell as much as all other Elk Creek wines put together.

FROM GOLF TO GRAPES One producer who hopes one day to equal the success of Elk Creek is located just outside Paducah (known for its quilt museum) in the extreme southwest. There, nine years ago, Allen Dossey turned the former driving range of a golf course into a small vineyard planted mostly with Chardonnay. He named the estate Purple Toad Winery. His wines, particularly the sweet ones, are very enthusiastically received; they so frequently win medals (almost 40 in 2011) that they rapidly sell out. Allen Dossey and his wife June are not fans of overly oaky aromas, which are present in their wines, but well controlled. Their Cabernet Franc is smooth with berry flavours, and their Chardonnay tastes of mild citrus fruit. Both represent the many treats to discover in this state’s wine revival.

Producing approximately 17,500 cases a year, Elk Creek Vineyards is by far Kentucky’s biggest wine producer and, as owner Curtis Segretto is used to saying, “the best, too”. In order to sell his wine, the businessman, who made his fortune with a chain called Halloween Express, opened wine shops in three regional shopping malls. To produce this volume, he buys grapes and wines from central California and Washington. The winery also makes wines

© HUBRECHT DUIJKER

Text and photography: Hubrecht Duijker www.hubrechtduijker.com

THE IMPRESSIVE VISITOR’S COMPLEX AT ELK CREEK VINEYARDS, IN THE NORTH OF THE STATE 66

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MORE INFORMATION All the wineries mentioned have their own websites. More information about Kentucky wines can be found at www.kentuckywine.com; tourist information can be found at www.kentuckytourism.com. In 2010, the World Equestrian Games took place in Lexington, Kentucky, the first time they were held outside Europe.


FAMILY BUSINESS

www.schramsberg.com

The Davies Family/ Schramsberg Vineyards The Davies family, owners of Schramsberg Vineyards, were among Napa’s modern pioneers. In 1965, Jack and Jamie Davies purchased the defunct Schramsberg winery, established in the 19th century in Napa’s warm Calistoga subregion. They had two young sons and a third on the way.

S Hugh D avies

& his f amily

chrambserg earned fame in the 1880s for its still wines, but the Davies focused on sparkling wine made by the traditional method (méthode champenoise, as it was then known). The family planted its own Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, a radical move at the time because little of either grape was being cultivated in California. In 1965 they made their first Blanc de Blancs using purchased grapes. Two years later, they created another wine, a vintage-dated Blanc de Noirs Brut from Pinot Noir-the first in the United States.

Success allowed Schramsberg to evolve. Wines were given longer ageing on the lees (tirage). Barrel fermentation was introduced. Reserve and prestige wines were created. By the 1980s, the Davies decided their Calistoga vineyards were too warm to grow great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They began sourcing grapes from cooler areas, such as the Sonoma Coast, Marin, and Mendocino’s Anderson Valley. They planted vineyards in Carneros, at the top

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©COURTESY OF SCHRAMSBERG VINEYARDS

Like others in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Davies struggled at first. Little attention was paid to Napa wine. With only 20 wineries in 1965, there wasn’t a lot of it (there are now over 400 wineries in Napa). Recognition came in 1972, when President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En Lai toasted the establishment of Chinese-American relations with a glass of Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs.

TODAY, YOUNGEST SON HUGH RUNS THE BUSINESS


©COURTESY OF SCHRAMSBERG VINEYARDS

The Davies Family/Schramsberg Vineyards

THE DAVIES FAMILY, OWNERS OF SCHRAMSBERG VINEYARDS, WERE AMONG NAPA’S MODERN PIONEERS

of San Francisco Bay. In 1994, the Davies converted their Diamond Mountain vineyards to red Bordeaux varieties. They released J. Davies Cabernet in 1996. Jack and Jamie Davies then faced a new challenge: succession. Family and heritage were meaningful to them - they raised their sons on the property and they honoured Jacob Schram, who established a winery there, by naming their top wine (J. Schram Brut) after him. Jack’s and Jamie’s eldest son Bill handled sales and marketing for the winery. John, a financier, worked in the former Soviet Union. Hugh, the youngest, studied winemaking at the University of California Davis; in 1996, he joined Schramsberg’s winemaking staff. In the tradition of widows of Champagne, Jamie took control after Jack died in 1998. After two years, Hugh became head winemaker, and, in 2005, CEO. It seemed natural that Hugh would take the reins. As Jamie’s health failed, rumbles of dissent rose from John Davies, who claimed he had been cut out of shares he was entitled to. They went to court and reached a settlement in 2008, after Jamie’s death. Bill, who owns a gourmet business in Virginia, remains on Schramsberg’s board.

Today, Hugh, aged 46, continues running the business. Sales flattened during the financial crisis but picked up in 2009. Today, the winery produces 62,000 nine-litre cases of sparkling wine annually, 2,600 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 600 cases of Pinot Noir. Hugh Davies is philosophical about the future of Schramsberg: “A family business is like a relay race in which you don’t know how many laps you have. You just run as long as you can.” Hugh has three young boys but Bill Davies’ 19-year-old son has already spent two summers at the winery. “It would be great if he maintains an interest,” said Hugh. “But it’s important to think about what’s good for the workers, the salespeople, and others who rely on Schramsberg. Everyone needs to feel good about it. That’s the key to moving forward.” Jamal Rayyis

SCHRAMSBERG VINEYARDS 1400 Schramsberg Road - Calistoga, CA 94515 Tel. +1 707 942 4558 www.schramsberg.com GILBERT & GAILLARD

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QUALITY FACTORS

Art-house sparkling wines, Italian style It is no coincidence that the Italians have a passion for sparkling wines. Not only are they a major Champagne-drinking nation - as Champagne’s fifth-largest importer with 7.2 million bottles in 2010 they are also leading producers of world-famous sparkling wines, spearheaded by Prosecco. The 2011 harvest produced 1.5 million hectolitres or 200 million bottles of Prosecco. So, no, Italy is not only

Š Janet Layher -Fotolia

home to red wines but also superlative whites, both still and sparkling.

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QUALITY FACTORS BY

DELPHINE VEISSIÈRE

M

any globe-trotting Italians travelled to Champagne and then strove to apply the same famous traditional method of making sparkling wines to their homegrown products. One such trailblazer was Giulio Ferrari at the turn of the last century in the Trento region, the second-oldest sparkling wine appellation after AC Champagne. As recently as 50 years ago in Lombardy, specifically in Franciacorta, not far from Lake Iseo, other producers also created sparkling wines using the traditional method based on the vinification of Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir to make whites, and sometimes rosés using the saignée method. This year, sales in Franciacorta rose by 16.7 % with an average price in the range of 23 euros, compared with 10 % for Trentodoc. The majority of the wines are sold in Italy, with 7 and 10 % of wines respectively shipped abroad.

(covering just 15 districts), should reach an annual output of approximately 250 million bottles within the next two years.

NICHE SPARKLING WINES

QUALITY AND PRESTIGE IN THE BOTTLE

© TRENTODOC

largest regional structures: Ferrari, Ro t a r i , C av i t a n d C e s a r i n i S f o r z a spumanti. There are many small family farms which, particularly in the Trentodoc appellation, still have the capacity to increase production two-fold as the area under vine covers only 50 percent of the total area and they only produce 12 % of Italy’s sparkling wines. Champagne, with its average annual production of around 300 million bottles, therefore has nothing to fear. The only real challenger is DOC Prosecco which was recently extended to 556 districts and, with its more prestigious appellation Valdobbiadene DOCG

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Volume issues aside, the two appellations Franciacorta and Trentodoc deliver quality wines that are every bit as worthwhile as Champagne. Climatic conditions and the growing environment for wines from Trentino - home to the Trentodoc appellation - and strict production rules in Franciacorta ensure high standards for these niche wines designed for wine lovers in search of archetypal Italian sparklers. Like the Delphine lives between Milan and famous sweet sparkling Asti Spumante, Paris. She has a PhD in economics which makes an ideal pudding wine, from the University of Prosecco is made using the Charmat process, whereby the second Paris-Dauphine and holds a fermentation takes place in pressurised qualification from the Wine & Spirit tanks; it is an unrivalled aperitif wine, Education Trust in London. well-suited to low budgets. In recent times, Valdobbiadene has become home She heads the Italian In 2011, total output stands at around to sparkling wines made using the 11 million bottles produced by some office of Gilbert & Gaillard. traditional method - i.e. with a second 120 producers, compared with fermentation in the bottle - particularly approximately 8.5 million bottles for by the Valdo Spumanti estate, the Trentodoc, the umbrella brand appellation’s oldest sparkling wine producer along with Carpenè currently used by 37 producers. Two leading lights represent the Malvoti. Today’s Italian wine drinker can therefore choose from appellations Trentodoc and Franciacorta - respectively the Ferrari an extensive range of Italian-made sparkling wines that and Berlucchi estates - both of which alone account for some 5 generally provide a cheaper alternative to Champagne. million bottles. 95 % of Trentodoc wines are made by the four

TRENTODOC IS AN UMBRELLA BRAND WHICH PRODUCES 8.5 MILLION BOTTLES

Who hasn’t, from a distance, mistaken a bottle of Franciacorta Bellavista wrapped in its transparent packaging with a wellknown brand of Champagne? Franciacorta and Trentodoc are not only serious challengers in terms of quality but also for their brand image. Made from a predominant proportion of Chardonnay with a dash of Pinot Noir, these archetypal wines vie for a place on Italian tables during the festive season. They are aged for

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QUALITY FACTORS

© GIORGIA BRUGNARA

setting, where vines are grown anywhere up to 800 metres above sea level, particularly in Val di Cembra. Primarily fruit-driven, Trentodoc wines display an extremely pure bouquet of herbs and exotic or white-fleshed fruits. Their palate is full and fresh and unfurls creamy, fruity and spicy flavours capped off with mild almond, and great savoury, focused minerality.

CESARINI SFORZA SPUMANTI IS ONE OF THE FOUR LARGEST REGIONAL STRUCTURES IN THE TRENTODOC APPELLATION

Versatile and showing great finesse, the best Trentodoc wines are often labelled ‘riserva’ (after a minimum 36 months’ ageing) and were made in cool years like 2002 or particularly wellbalanced vintages such as 2005, 2006, 2001 and 1991. Conversely, hotter, drier years like 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2007 yielded richer wines less conducive to ageing. They did however retain higher acidity levels than in Franciacorta due to significant temperature differences between day and night. The dry Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 1991 is an authentic rendition of the Trentodoc style of excellence and still develops impressive freshness coupled with notes of fresh and mature citrus fruits

© GIORGIA BRUGNARA

a minimum duration of 24 months. This imparts complexity for both appellations which is enriched with aromas of brioche and bread crust developed through autolysis or “auto-digestion” of the yeast contained in the yeast-sugar blend. This process occurs during the second fermentation, on average 15 months after the first. The much younger Franciacorta DOCG has successfully developed a highly prestigious brand image through leading houses such as Bellavista and Ca’ Del Bosco, whose wines reflect great elegance. The Anna Maria Clementi cuvee from Ca’ del Bosco deserves to be classed among the world’s greatest sparkling wines. The wines of Trentodoc are more authentic and express the quintessential features imparted by their mountain

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

FERRARI INVARIABLY PRODUCES CLASSIC AND ELEGANT WINES. HERE FROM L - R: MARCELLO, CAMILLA, MATTEO AND ALESSANDRO LUNELLI

A VIEW OF THE TRENTINO VINEYARDS 72

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(mandarin) framed by saffron-scented Normandy cream. The dry 2001 vintage is currently on sale. The Ferrari portfolio reveals a style that is both unique yet international, which differentiates it from other Trentodoc wines. These tend to be more artisan in style, showing typical Trentino characteristics and even the slight imperfections that recall the sometimes risky choices made by the smaller Champagne growers.


© TRENTODOC

QUALITY FACTORS

TRENTODOC NOW INCLUDES 37 PRODUCERS MAKING 8.5 MILLION BOTTLES

ELEGANCE AND CLASSICISM A vertical tasting at the Palazzo Regionale in Trento, home to the regional cellar, revealed that the other estates presenting their ‘riservas’ (Altemasi de Cavit, Abate Nero, Methius and Mach) make more fruit-focused wines whose characteristics are less dictated by the scents and flavours derived from the selected yeasts needed for the second fermentation. They do not obscure the aromas and allow for more honest fruit expression. The fruit can sometimes be candied and coupled with tertiary notes of chocolate and brown tobacco, alongside beeswax, chestnut

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honey and a final menthol-like and herb component. Examples of this include Cesarini Sforza’s dry Aquila Reale riserva 2003, the extra-dry Tridentum 2004 or Altemasi de Cavit’s dry Graal Riserva 2004, which is silky yet complex. The great classicism of Ferrari’s invariably elegant wines (closer in style to the Champagnes of the 1960s) is in this way different to the other Trentodoc ‘riservas’ mentioned above; it more closely mirrors its terroir and its inherent characteristics. The Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 1994 reflects this divide as it revolves more around minerality and yeast descriptors than fruit. In fact the fruit is naturally reticent due to the hot, wet weather during the


Art-house sparkling wines, Italian style

harvest. It may even be that these characteristics are derived from over-exposure of the selected grapes to sunlight, which consequently developed the notes of hydrocarbon cherished by serious wine lovers as part of a natural, defensive reaction.

INTERVIEW WITH... FAUSTO PERATONER, CHAIRMAN OF THE TRENTODOC INSTITUTE

© GIORGIA BRUGNARA

In Italy, Franciacorta’s reputation as a producer of prestige sparkling wines is unquestionable and often compared nationally to Champagne’s global reputation. It has to be said though that, despite this, the quality of spumante from Franciacorta can vary significantly from one year to the next, due to the fact that it has neither the continental climate or the daynight temperature differences witnessed in the hills of Trentino. Only the highest estates (for instance Ca’ del Bosco) and those facing north (the villages of Erbusco, Adr, Ronco, Provaglio d’Iseo, Corte Franca and Persaga) enjoy cool air from Lake Iseo (Ronco Calino for example). Franciacorta wines are particularly pleasing to the eye and fragrant on the nose. In dry, hot years like 1998, 2003 and 2011, they generally have a short cellar life, and in cooler years such as 1997 and 2001, they retain wonderful freshness. The appellation is directly affected by climate change as it is mainly located in the plain and since 2007 has had to deal with a change in the vine’s growing cycle. Most of the vines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir although Pinot Meunier is also permitted, as is Pinot Blanc. Our tastings revealed that Villa Franciacorta, Vezzoli, Il Mosnel, La Fioca and Ca’ del Bosco with the prestige cuvee Anna-Maria Clementi are the foremost

GIULIO AND LUCIA BARZANO OF MOSNEL, ONE OF THE TOP FRANCIACORTA PRODUCERS

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A FIRMLY-ROOTED REPUTATION

Why did you create an institute for Trentodoc when its wines have been grown for over a century? “We created the Trentodoc Institute three years ago to improve exposure and legitimacy for Trentino’s flagship wines - its traditional-method sparkling wines with a secondary fermentation in the bottle both nationally and internationally. The Trentodoc label is now used by 37 producers compared with 22 five years ago. Countless properties used to make still wine with a small proportion of sparkling. The trend has now been reversed. Several producers have specialised in production of Trentodoc sparkling wines and, as a sideline, produce a clutch of still wines mainly from Chardonnay.” How have sales of Trentodoc fared in 2011? What is your opinion of the Chinese market? “The large Trentodoc producers have tended to consolidate growth whereas the smaller estates are witnessing strong increases in sales mainly by securing new outlets in the on - and off-trade. Around 1 million bottles were exported – admittedly less than Franciacorta – primarily to Northern Europe, the United States and Asia. The Japanese market is still the leading export destination. China is still an emerging market for which we have very little tangible data at the moment.” GILBERT & GAILLARD

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QUALITY FACTORS

THE TOP TEN FRANCIACORTA WINES Franciacorta DOCG

Scores

Villa Franciacorta Brut Cuvette 2005

94/100

Vezzoli Ugo Brut

93/100

Il Mosnel Brut

93/100

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ca’ del Bosco Brut Cuvée Annamaria Clementi

THE VILLAGE OF ERBUSCO, IN THE FRANCIACORTA APPELLATION

Rosé 2003

93/100

Villa Franciacorta Brut 2007

92/100

Le Marchesine Rosé Brut 2007

92/100

La Fioca Brut

92/100

Marchesi Antinori Brut Satèn 2004

91/100

Il Mosnel Extra-Brut EBB 2007

91/100

Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2004

91/100

producers, particularly with the 2005 and 2003 vintages (see our

Freshness is subdued on the palate and is revealed more through

top ten Franciacorta wines). Berlucchi, Franciacorta’s largest

a vegetal note of bitter almond. When it is well made,

producer, offers very approachable wines targeted at a broad-

Franciacorta is more than simply an accessible wine ideally

ranging Italian clientele that shops both in specialist stores and

suited as an appetiser; it is complex and should be paired with

supermarkets.

sophisticated, refined food. With the effects of climate change,

Franciacorta DOCG is a sparkling wine that is typically fragrant

the 2007 vintage is similar in style to a South African Cape

and blends aromas of ripe stone fruits or dried fruit with notes

Classic and could be compared to wines made by Boschendal.

of citrus, butter-based patisseries and honey; over time, these

Made primarily from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (occasionally

evolve towards toasted aromas occasionally mixed with a

blended with Pinot Blanc), Franciacorta seems to find its

mineral note. The palate is often opulent, full and round.

structure in the acidity of the Chardonnay and its texture in the

INTERVIEW WITH... MAURIZIO ZANELLA, CHAIRMAN OF THE FRANCIACORTA DOCG CONSORTIUM

What are your feelings about the Chinese market? “Out of 100 estates growing sparkling wines, only 5 or 6 are currently present in China. Progress in this market will be slow and this is only the beginning. Exports only began five years ago.” 76

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The end of 2011 is with us and this is generally a time to take stock. What are your feelings about this year? “Sales of Franciacorta spumante grew by an estimated 16.7 percent compared with an overall increase of 4.7 percent for the Italian sparkling wine segment. Our objective is to promote development of nationwide sales, focusing our efforts particularly on central and southern of Italy more so than on exports, which account for 8 percent of total sales on the back of a 25 percent increase compared with 2010. We aim to improve the quality of our products, most of which are produced on a small scale, rather than try and expand in export markets.”


ADVERTORIAL

Valdo Spumanti produce superb quality sparkling wines. Through its traditional Prosecco product line, Valdo is proud to offer typical, floral and fruity, fresh and elegant expressions of the Valdobbiadene area in the glass.

AN INDOMITABLE SPIRIT SINCE 1926 Located in the heart of the Valdobbiadene, the production area for Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G lies surrounded by the beautiful hills of the pre-Alps in the province of Treviso. Cantine Valdo, owned and headed by Pierluigi Bolla, has a long tradition of cultivation of Glera, the main grape for Prosecco. Prosecco specialists since 1926, Valdo has traditionally focused on high quality Prosecco and in its eighty five year experience has promoted its passion for the vineyard and good wine. Valdo has also successfully promoted the culture of Prosecco throughout the world, receiving prestigious accolades year after year. Today, Valdo is writing a new page. Featuring unique sparkling wines designed to win over the most refined palates by presenting its new classical method sparkling wines. Owner of 155 hectares cultivated with Prosecco D.O.C.G, Valdo exports to more than 35 countries worldwide. The “Marca oro” is the traditional Valdo flagship sparkling wine sold globally.

A SELECTION OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS SPARKLING WINES The “Prestigio” line is a range of sparkling wines unique for its characteristics and quality, created by Valdo to meet the needs of prestigious restaurants and wine shops. Made with selected grapes from the best vineyards, “Prestigio” sparkling wines

INNOVATION MEETS TRADITION

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

The Valdo sparkling wine excellence stems from the care taken at every single moment of production: from the perfect ripening of the grapes on the vine to the fermentation phase, using Charmat or classical method to create the sparkling wine style offered, right through to bottling and exclusive packaging. The Valdo cellars are a place of inspiration where innovation and tradition are combined to guide the use of technology in producing extraordinary quality sparkling wine, a unique testimonial of the Valdo passion for exclusive wines. Moreover, Valdo has an incomparable knowledge of its vine-growing areas which, handed down through the generations, has enabled it to capture the flavours and fragrances of each vine in every bottle, to

represent Valdo’s high quality cuvée. The highest quality Prosecco produced with the classical method, “Prestige Valdo Numero 10” spends a ten month period of re-fermentation in the bottle and six months in the cave for dark and fresh ageing after disgorging. Exclusively made with Glera, “Numero 10” has a lemon green bright colour with a persistent and creamy froth, intensely fruity and fresh, well-balanced, zesty with a beautiful finish and long-length. Ideally served with an aperitif, it reveals its character when matched with fish and white meat dishes. Another highly expressive and stunning Prosecco with traditional method is the “Cuvée del Fondatore”, a skilful blend of Glera and Chardonnay coming from only one vineyard and partially refined in French oak barrels. Full, harmonious and velvety tasting, its fruity fragrances are well-integrated in a spicy flavour to pair with creative gastronomy and Asian cuisine. Valdo Spumanti Via Foro Boario, 20 - 31049 Valdobbiadene Tel. +39 0423 9090 - www.valdo.com GILBERT & GAILLARD

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QUALITY FACTORS

THE BIANCHI FAMILY, WHICH OWNS VILLA

Š ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

FRANCIACORTA

opulent, mature fruit imparted by Pinot Noir; the tannic

are made in Italy from native grape varieties such as Ribolla

component is smoothed out by a strict and often high-tech

Gialla in Friuli, Falanghina in Campania and Cortese in

reduction winemaking process. Choosing a Franciacorta is

Piedmont. However, their strong regional stamp prevents any

therefore complex and requires in-depth knowledge of a chosen

real comparison with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir-based

vintage and choice of wine making techniques for each estate.

Trentodoc and Franciacorta sparkling wines. Valdobbiadene

When harvested, the grapes are naturally riper than in

DOCG is a sparkling wine with immediate up-front primary

Champagne and impart a richness that acidity levels struggle to

aromas. It undergoes the prerequisite second fermentation in

balance.

pressurised tanks. In 2009, the historic appellation that gave birth

to

Prosecco

became

the

appellation

DOCG

Valdobbiadene; Prosecco now refers to a wine and a specific site

bottle-fermented sparkling wines? The grape variety that forms

(like Soave or Chianti, for example) rather than a grape variety.

the backbone of Prosecco does indeed boast fragrance and

The varietal used is known as Glera and can be grown at

crunchy fruit that invite a wide-ranging audience of wine lovers

altitudes of up to 500 metres on hillsides with a gradient of as

to partake of this crowd-pleasing wine. Other sparkling wines

much as 70%. It accounts for a minimum 85% of permitted

Š ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Could Prosecco be the true alternative to traditional Italian

A VIEW OF THE VILLA FRANCIACORTA VINEYARDS 78

GILBERT & GAILLARD

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for ONLY 23.60 € with SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM (may be photocopied) to be completed and returned to Gilbert & Gaillard International - 7, Parc des Fontenelles - 78870 Bailly - France - Fax : (+33)1 30 80 08 88 08 88 Name:.................................................First name: ..........................................Company

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GILBERT & GAILLARD The Worldwide Wine Signature


QUALITY FACTORS

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE TOP TEN VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCOS WINES

THE VALDO SPUMANTI ESTATE HAS ALWAYS HAD A KEEN EYE ON ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY varieties and can be blended with local grapes such as Verdiso, Bianchetta, Perera, Glera Lunga, though also Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Prosecco’s main calling cards are its intense fragrances of white flowers and wisteria, ripe and exotic fruits (peach, apricot) coupled with a citrusy note. Our ten best Prosecco

Scores 88/100 88/100 88/100 88/100 88/100 87/100 87/100 87/100 87/100 87/100

and Bellenda, which were the most highly-rated for the 2010 vintage. Valdo Spumanti estate, which has always had a keen eye on advances in technology from a winegrowing and winemaking perspective and boasts 155 hectares classed as Valdobbiadene DOCG, has been shipping its Prosecco worldwide since 1926; its best-selling wine is the Marco Oro label. Extra dry with a relatively low alcohol content of 11%, this particular Prosecco is

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Valdobbiadene include the estates of Zardetto, Perlage, Masottina

Valdobbiadene DOCG Zardetto Brut B 2010 Perlage Brut Cnah Masottina Brut Bortolin Angelo Extra-Dry 2010 Bellenda Brut San Fermo 2010 Terre di San Venanzio Brut Serena Brut Ville d’Arfanta Masottina Brut superiore di Cartizze Le Colture Brut Fagher Le Bertole Brut 2010

VALDOBBIADENE DOCG IS A SPARKLING WINE WITH UP-FRONT, REVEALING PRIMARY AROMAS. IT UNDERGOES THE PREREQUISITE SECOND FERMENTATION IN PRESSURISED TANKS 80

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Art-house sparkling wines, Italian style

INTERVIEW WITH... INNOCENTE NARDI, CHAIRMAN OF THE CONEGLIANO VALDOBBIADENE CONSORTIUM

fruity on the nose and displays abundant freshness on the palate, it is linear with a vegetal finish that makes it suitable as an aperitif for casual occasions. We also spotted the non-vintage Cartizze Viviana cuvee because of its hazelnut, almond and dried grass aromas on the nose and its fresh, round and full palate with menthol and orange blossom flavours. Lastly, the Numero 10 2009 traditional-method sparkling wine develops an intense nose of vanilla and jasmine and expresses a subtle salinity and minerality on the palate with liquorice-stick flavours flirting with a tannic quality on the finish.

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Prosecco is famous as a fresh, approachable wine and yet it achieves greater complexity when the Glera grapes are sourced from the superlative terroir of Cartizze. Its 100 hectares of vines impart the wine its golden hue and a stronger intensity on the nose. Pondering over the complex fragrances unfurled on the nose reveals white-fleshed fruits, apple and pear, citrus fruits,

BORTOLOMIOL MAKES VERY SEDUCTIVE PROSECCO WINES intense peach and apricot and a floral touch of rose leading into a fresh, sweet almond-scented palate. Its dosage is usually dry, and like its Piedmont cousin Asti Spumante, it pairs best with fruit and cream-based desserts or even small cakes made with butter. Three estates make must-try Prosecco Cartizze: they are Bortolomiol, Le Bertole and Masottina. Ultimately, the food and wine pairings are all the more interesting for being versatile and unusual with Trentodoc sparkling wines made by the traditional method. These are well suited to the gourmet pairings associated with superior sparkling wines across the globe, whereas Franciacorta tempts us towards creative or even provocative pairings with say Asian cuisine or sweet and sour dishes.

Prosecco is now world famous. What are the prospects for Prosecco Superiore made in the Conegliano Valdobbiadene appellation? “2011 was a very gratifying and compelling year for us in Italy and internationally where our wines are sold in over 50 countries. Our total annual production is 67 million bottles (65 million in 2010) and our leading export market is America, where we grew our sales by 87 percent in a year to a volume of 4 million bottles. Our success is no accident. We are careful to engage with the end consumer and our products have an average price tag of 8 euros, which is excellent value for money. Prosecco is typically made from Glera, a native variety grown on hillside sites that have recently applied for recognition as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Our foremost ambition is to promote awareness of our terroir’s 43 rives [vineyards growing on steep slopes] and the various ways they are expressed in the glass.” Do you see the Chinese market, where you only have a token presence at the moment, as an opportunity or a threat? “It offers many prospects though is still untapped by our Prosecco Superiore. China represents a challenge for Europeans in terms of safeguarding and promoting our sparkling wine appellations. We are wary of imitations and unlawful use of the Prosecco name as is already the case in Australia and Brazil, for example.” GILBERT & GAILLARD

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QUALITY FACTORS

THE BEAUTIFUL SCENERY OF THE PROSECCO VINEYARDS HAS BEEN SHAPED BY HUMAN HANDS

Methius, the 2007, 2006 and 2002 Mach wines display great balance between © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

freshness, creaminess and fruit as well as wo n d e r f u l l e n g t h a n d e x t r e m e l y enjoyable minerality on the finish. The acidity level ranges from 6.5 to 7 g/l and dosage is no higher than 6 g/l. The

ITALIAN SPUMANTE’S HIDDEN GEMS

wine is a great match for delicately-flavoured white fish, whilst the Methius makes an ideal partner for plump poultry such as chestnut-stuffed guinea fowl.

There are countless small producers making quality sparkling wines halfway between Lake Iseo and the Dolomite peaks.

INTRIGUING COMPLEXITY

Focusing firstly on the Trentodoc, it is interesting to see how

Founded in 1996, the Ronco Calino estate is surrounded by 10

different the interpretations of the local terroir can be from one

hectares of vines and offers carefully prepared, expertly crafted

estate to the next where output ranges from 10,000 to 15,000

Franciacorta wines blended from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,

bottles. Established in 1986, the Methius estate makes a

both derived from Burgundy clones. Fermentation takes place at

Trentodoc blended from 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent

low temperatures and part of the must is fermented in French

Pinot Noir. It introduces two innovative techniques into the

oak. Often spicy, the wines - particularly the 1997, 1998 and

appellation, namely the triggering of malolactic fermentation

2000s - develop intriguing complexity combining ripe and

(which does not usually occur) and partial ageing in oak for the

candied fruit and mild spices such as coriander, cinnamon and

Chardonnay. Midway between its Champagne and Burgundy

vanilla. They make a marvellous partner for dishes from

counterparts made from the same varietals, the dry Methius

northern Italy, imparting a welcome touch of acidity to offset the

offering is aged for five years and disgorged at the end of this

extra-virgin olive oil. The 1997, 2001 and 2007 vintages in

period. Boasting huge personality, intensity and a well-defined

particular are highly successful, unlike the 1998 and 2000

structure, the 2006, 2005 and 2002 vintages are complex and

vintages, which are too rich to be cellared for long. The 1997s

show characteristic scents of ripe and candied fruits enhanced by

show surprising elegance and freshness and make us regret that

a dash of white pepper that can be found in wines made from

the 2002 vintage - which was worthwhile in both Champagne

grapes sourced on the hills of Faedo and Pressano, north of

and Trentino - was not presented.

Trento. These vintages show high levels of freshness (around

82

6.4-6.7 g/l) whilst the pH is low (approximately 3.2) and dosage

By way of conclusion, in a context of standardisation of the taste

harnessed at between 5.7 g/l and 6.6 g/l for the 2006 vintage.

of wine despite the general improvement in quality over the last

Trentodoc Mach, made by the San Michele all’Adige Institute of

forty years, we can hope that the diversity of sparkling wines,

Oenology delivers pure terroir expression deployed by fruit

encouraged most notably by the emergence of superior-quality

harvested 700 metres above sea level. Occasionally considered to

Italian spumante, will continue, with Champagne remaining the

be too “technical” compared with estates like Abate Nero and

historic benchmark of sparkling wine perfection.

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Amarone, an inimitable vin de terroir A few kilometres from the city of Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the winegrowing region of Valpolicella spreads over an area of 30,000 hectares and offers lovers of big, strapping reds the longlasting nectar that is Amarone. Of course, there are other, simpler red wines such as Bardolino and Valpolicella, but even when produced with the ripasso technique (double fermentation in contact with the lees of Amarone), these are but a pale reflection of the majestic Amarone. DELPHINE VEISSIÈRE

Continued on page 84

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

© STEHEAP FOTOLIA

BY

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REGION

A

visit to the Bertani or Masi wine cellars is like reading

around 15-16%, Amarone wines are exported mainly to northern

a history book dedicated to a wine region whose

European countries (Denmark, Scandinavia, Switzerland and

traditions date back to at least 1672, from the

Germany) and are the darling of airlines interested in wines

evidence of a Venetian-shaped bottle found there. Like certain

with a minimum of 14% alcohol, given the reduced olfactory

fine wines such as Champagne, for example, Amarone first

acuity of passengers on long-haul flights.

emerged from the complete fermentation of a sweet wine called Recioto traditionally made by the region’s farmers

According to Emilio Pedron, President of the Valpolicella

from the main native grape varieties, Corvina, Molinara and

Consortium, Amarone has a promising future, with a continuing

Rondinella - that’s to say, it came about by mistake.

increase in sales (if one excludes the catastrophic year of

Originally called Recioto Amaro, the first wine labelled

2008) estimated at 10% for 2011 - and this despite higher taxation

name

on wines with over 15% alcohol, particularly in the United

Amarone was sold in

States and Switzerland. In addition, the average return per

1939 by the Cantina

hectare is also steadily progressing, currently at 20,000 euros,

Sociale

della

which is four times higher than the national average. Apart

Valpolicella, which

from Soave producers such as the Gini or Pra wineries, which

under

the

today offers wines under

the

brand

Domini Veneti.

© BERTANI

EMILIO PEDRON, PRESIDENT OF THE VALPOLICELLA CONSORTIUM

A PROMISING FUTURE For over a century, the viticulture and oenological traditions of Burgundy have had a major influence on Amarone production. In the 1850s, the Bertani brothers spent four years in Burgundy to learn about and try to reproduce the interpretations of terroir provided by its grand cru wines. Even today, producers such as Sandro Gini started out by criss-crossing Burgundy to evaluate the possibility of producing fine Amarone wines in a geographical area traditionally dedicated to Soave white wines made from Garganega grapes. Yet Amarone found success only © BOLLA

belatedly, when it was discovered by an American market fond of fruit-forward, full-bodied wines like Amarone often is, thanks to a production technique called appassimento, in which the grapes are dried before they are pressed and fermented. Often criticised for their high level of alcohol, generally

84

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BOLLA WAS FORMERLY OWNED BY THE AMERICAN DISTRIBUTOR BROWN-FORMAN


© BOLLA

Amarone, an inimitable vin de terroir

AMARONE IS PRODUCED BY A TECHNIQUE CALLED APPASSIMENTO, IN WHICH THE GRAPES ARE DRIED BEFORE THEY ARE PRESSED AND FERMENTED

have recently switched to Amarone production, new producers such as Tenuta Sant’Antonio, created in the 1990s, are already making their mark with excellent wines. Strategic business negotiations are also taking place, with the majority share in Gruppo Italiano Vini (G.I.V.), today the largest

© MASI

Riunite de l’Emilie-Romagne wine cooperative taking a

SANDRO BOSCAINI, PRESIDENT OF THE MASI GROUP, THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF AMARONE IN VALPOLICELLA

firm in the Italian wine sector. The resulting internal restructuring is mirrored in other major wineries such as Bolla (known abroad mainly for its Pinot Grigio and its Chianti), which was formerly owned by the American distributor Brown-Forman

supposedly reduces a wine’s characteristics of terroir. If we

(until 2006), and is now part of G.I.V. In return, according to

take, for example, the wines produced by Masi in Argentina,

some sources, the historic Bertani estate was apparently sold

the style remains Venetian, but the personality of the wine is

to the Angelini family, better known for its investments in the

very different from the best Amarones from Valpolicella,

pharmaceutical industry and the Tuscan wine sector - a transaction

which open with fruit and notes of assorted spices overlaid

worth around 100 million euros.

with intensely balsamic and floral hints. Tannic, round, structured and concentrated, Bolla’s ”Le origini” (especially

However, Sandro Boscaini, President of the Masi Group, the

2005 and 2007) are closest to the Argentinian Amarones (for

largest producer of Amarone in Valpolicella, remains cautious

example, Masi Tupungato’s 2009 ”Corbec”, a blend of Malbec

regarding the development of new Asian markets such as

and Corvina grapes) and take the terroir’s characteristics to an

China, believing that these consumers consider wine simply

extreme, characteristics intensified with another range of Bolla

the end result of the fermentation of fruit, and see Old World

Amarone, Santi’s ”Proemio” (especially 2005 and 2007).

wines as a symbol of European culture rather than as linked to a particular terroir or local tradition.

A good Amarone starts life in the vineyards in the hills around Lake Garda and acquires its personality during appassimento;

AN INIMITABLE STYLE

that is, the period during which the grapes are dried in ventilated

It would be an oversimplification to consider Amarone a wine

trays and lose 30-35% of their weight, sometimes aided by the

that owes its style uniquely to appassimento, a factor that

development of Botrytis cinerea, which leads to a high level of

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The outsider of Soave, Sandro Gini, now also a producer of fine Amarone wines, has been producing white wines without added sulfites since 1985. His first Amarones (probably beginning with the 2008 vintage) were made according to the © BOLLA

same philosophy and will be available for sale in 2012. In the

THE WINEGROWING REGION OF VALPOLICELLA SPREADS OVER AN AREA OF 30,000 HECTARES

geographical area of Soave, the Dal Forno and Pra wineries have been making Amarone for several years from vineyards planted at an average altitude of 500 metres, on remote previously virgin land with characteristics similar to the argilo-calcareous subsoil of Burgundy. Some might argue that more and more winemakers in Valpolicella are producing

glycerine in the must. This process results in a period of

Amarone to benefit from its reputation and its better profit

pre-maceration inside the grapes, which undergo a micro-

margins at the expense of the well-known appellations sold in

enzymatic transformation that promotes the development of

large volumes on the international markets, such as Soave

the wine’s secondary aromas. The wet climatic conditions that

white wines and Valpolicella Superiore reds. The regulations

can occur in October can prove problematic given that the

for Valpolicella DOCG stipulate that the ratio of Amarone

grapes should ideally be pressed in the January following the

compared to Valpolicella, which is simpler and cheaper to

harvest. For example, although 1982 was an excellent year for

produce, should be one to two. According to Emilio Pedron,

Bordeaux wines, it was difficult for Amarones as the month of

between 2004 and 2011, Amarone production has gone from

October was very wet and the grapes were exposed to mildew

380,000 to 420,000 hectolitres, more than 12 million bottles,

during appassimento. As a result, some estates invested in

at a price of 200 euros per 100 kilograms of grapes.

modern drying trays and installed systems for reducing dampness to guarantee better quality grapes, as well as systems

A DISTILLATION OF terroir

that allow the reduction of the level of sulphur dioxide and

It is important to keep in mind that the Amarone produced

the option of either endogenous or exogenous fermentation as appropriate to prioritise the use of native yeast. Masi is the sole winery with a fully automated ventilation system. For its part, the Tenuta Sant’Antonio winery opts for slow fermentation at low temperatures (around 21-22 °C), conserving the fruit and the freshness of the wine, unlike classic Amarones, which are almost too oxidised and round, such as those traditionally made at the Bertani estate. The 2007 Campo dei Gigli and the 2007 Amarone Riserva represent the best expressions of Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone.

TECHNOLOGY TO THE RESCUE The helping hand of technology and the utilisation of drying trays equipped with controlled ventilation systems allow the use of sulfites to be limited during the grape-drying phase. This has permitted large wineries such as Bolla to join organisations of © GINI

natural winemakers such as Freewine. Created in Valpolicella by the oenologist Marco Tebaldi, this organisation encourages the production of sulfite-free wine (www.freewine.eu). The freshness, elegance and finesse of the 2010 Bolla Amarone is a pleasant surprise. It will be on the market in 2013.

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SANDRO GINI, NOW ALSO A PRODUCER OF FINE AMARONE WINES


© GINI

Amarone, an inimitable vin de terroir

SANDRO GINI’S AMARONE WINES ARE A TRUE REVELATION. THEY ARE PRODUCED FROM VINEYARDS PLANTED IN 2000 ON WELL-VENTILATED VIRGIN LAND AT AN ALTITUDE OF 500 METRES today is more than a highly alcoholic, muscular, super-

THE POETRY OF AMARONE

concentrated wine. This modern wine with ancient origins can

Nothing can match the poetry of Amarone matured in barrels,

be defined as a quality dry red wine with a big personality. It

most often in Allier French oak, or in the case of the Pra

is aged in barrels and has high glycerol content similar to a

winery, blended with wines matured in Hungarian oak, which

fine Bordeaux (between 11 and 12 grams per litre). The wine

gives its 2009 vintage an intensity and roundness centred on

is matured in casks or barrels of different capacities during a

super-concentrated flavours of liquorice, black tobacco and

minimum period of two years. The Valpolicella appellation

violet. Pra’s 2007 vintage, concentrated on black fruit such as

(which recently became DOCG) is made up of micro-terroirs

blackberry and blueberry coated with a pleasant creamy note

that lend its wines very different personalities. Amarone from

of milk caramel is currently available in shops. The 2010 Pra

the hills of Negrar is naturally endowed with invigorating

already demonstrates elegance and ageing potential superior

freshness and opens with interesting flavours of stone fruit

to the 2009 vintage.

like cherry, while that from Mazzano is spicier and more similar to the Amarone produced at Illasi, in which the aromas and

Sandro Gini’s Amarone wines are a true revelation. They are

flavours of black pepper and clove are paired with a hint of

produced from vineyards planted in 2000 on well-ventilated

concentrated stewed fruit. The big player of top-range

virgin land at an altitude of 500 metres. The grapes ripen

Amarone is the Masi winery, which has three crus: 2005 ”Vaio

slowly and do not suffer the over-ripening problems that can

Armaron” Amarone (extracts of cherry, dried grass, anise and

be caused by too much exposure to the sun, despite still

eucalyptus and a fresh, structured, mouth-filling palate

employing the Trentino pergola vine-training system common

somewhere between the flavours of liquorice and violet

in the lower areas of Valpolicella. Gini’s 2010 vintage features

candy); 2004 ”Campolongo di Torbe” Amarone (elegant and

an Amarone with good concentration around the aromas of

deep, characterised by notes of fruit, spice and menthol); and

red fruits and clove and a structured and elegant palate that

2004 ”Mazzano” Amarone, the winery’s flagship, which is

compares favourably to the 2009 vintage, which is more rustic

structured and can be cellar-aged for 20 years without

and oaky and already shows restrained freshness, incorporated

any problem.

tannins and a less defined structure. The 2007 vintage is a GILBERT & GAILLARD

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testament to Gini’s style, balanced between intensity and

this as an excellent vintage. It rained during the harvest, and

strength, while the 2008, which is rounder and more

the beginning of the appassimento grape-drying process was

concentrated, recalls more commercial Amarone wines, such

problematic. Only the wineries with the most advanced ventilation

as those produced in recent years by the Allegrini winery.

and drying technology were able to pull through. The Villa, Castelrotto and Mazzurega Amarones have a palate of assorted fruits with spicy and balsamic notes, with the Mazzurega

diversity of Valpolicella’s terroirs with its five crus (Villa, San

being the antithesis of the usual qualifiers for an Amarone.

© GINI

Currently, Domini Veneti offers the fullest panorama of the

Concentrated on black cherry and spices, the palate is tannic and mouth-filling, with a big personality. It is a wine with great structure and length and a fresh finish underpinned with Mediterranean aromatic plants such as rosemary. The 2005 San Rocco Amarone is the least intense expression of

Gini vineyards

the terroir of the five wines, with an oaky palate that hides Rocco, Mazzurega, Castelrotto and Monte) all from the same

the fruit and a finish that lacks length. Lastly we should

year - 2005. Under the impetus of Daniele Accordini, the

note the atypical roundness of the 2005 Monte compared

fermentation is carried out with exogenous yeast and the

with the harmony and depth of the 2005 Castelrotto

blends are composed of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella.

Amarone.

The Molinara grape, commonly used to make Amarone, has

88

recently been omitted by the majority of the wineries because

In conclusion, it should be acknowledged that the region’s

it adds little to the wine’s longevity, whereas the Oseleta grape,

main traditional Amarone producers remain living

which contributes colour and tannins, has been reintroduced

representatives of the excellence produced in Valpolicella.

(as it has at Masi). Domini Veneti’s decision to offer this range

Bertani’s Amarone wines from 1981, 1967 and 1964 are

of 2005 Amarone is daring, considering it was a low-production

true works of art that still embody the essence of an

year (as were 1954 and 1997), so it would be risky to describe

impressive terroir.

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Castilla y León: quality in three colours This Spanish region’s mosaic of vineyards is reaping the benefit of dynamic initiatives and a renewed passion for wine.

BY

DIEGO BONNEL

wineries in 1999 to 5,800 hectares and

TRADITION AND DYNAMISM

50 wineries today. It has an extreme, arid ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Castilla y León is currently an exciting wine region, with an impressive diversity of wines, dynamic winemakers and forwardthinking regulatory bodies. Located in the northwestern part of Spain and bordering Portugal, it has around 47,000 hectares of vineyards (the Ribera del Duero appellation, which was discussed in the last issue of this magazine, represents 44% of the region’s vineyards). Compared to the total surface area of Spain’s vineyards (1.2 million hectares), this seems relatively small. However, its modest size is not a reflection of its quality - quite the contrary.

TORO Structured, velvety wines One of the main winegrowing areas in the region is the Toro Denominación de Origen (DO), which lies west of DO Rueda and is crossed by the River Duero

continental climate, moderated by the maritime influence of the Atlantic, with annual rainfall of 350-400 millimetres and an average annual temperature of 12-13 ºC: conditions that yield grapes of

Diego Bonnel has long experience in the international wine sector, as well as in strategic management and supply chain management. For more than 25 years, he has put his passion for wine and his expertise in winemaking and exporting to use as a consultant, advising both winemakers and public bodies. He travels extensively in many wine-producing countries, meeting wine experts including winemakers, oenologists and sommeliers. Tasting thousands of wines each year, he is particularly knowledgeable about Iberian wines. He currently lives in Madrid, where he heads the Spanish and Portuguese G&G office.

in the north. This DO has significantly

high quality. Toro’s vineyards lie at altitudes of 620 - 750 metres and are planted in Tertiary limestone soils. The main grapes grown are Tinta de Toro (an adaptation of the Tempranillo grape) and Garnacha (Grenache) for reds, and Verdejo and Malvasía for whites. The area was untouched by phylloxera, so some of its vineyards are over 100 years old. Although the majority of wines produced are Tinta de Toro reds, many different styles are made within this DO. The first winery that really put Toro on the map in Spain as well as abroad was Bodegas Fariña. Founded in 1942, in the 1960s it was taken over by the second generation of the family,

expanded over the last decade, attracting investment that has

Manuel Fariña, who was the principal architect of Toro’s growing

allowed it to grow from 2,700 hectares of vineyards and 8

reputation. At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the GILBERT & GAILLARD

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©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

REGION

CASTILLA Y LEÓN HAS EIGHT DIFFERENT DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN WINEGROWING AREAS AND THREE AREAS OF QUALITY WINES

1990s, a time when Rioja was the only region with any brand

Pintia project on 106 hectares in Toro in 1995, and after six

visibility, he was the first to launch a wine made using carbonic

years of trials, finally presented its first wine in 2001.

maceration based on the then decades-old tradition for

90

Beaujolais Nouveau wines, which go on the market the third

Toro’s Liberalia Enológica winery offers a completely different

Thursday in November each year. Today, the family’s third

style of wine, targeted mainly at the export market - more specifically,

generation is at the helm, currently overseeing around 300

the US market. The owner Juan Antonio Fernández makes

hectares of vines. Their wines are mainly sold on the off-trade

New World-style wines, for which he regularly receives high

market, although two of their quality wines (Gran Colegiata

scores from Robert Parker: many of his wines have received

Campus and Gran Colegiata Roble Francés aged in French

scores of 90 and over. Among others, the 2004 Liber, the

oak) can also be found in bars and restaurants.

equivalent of a Gran Reserva, has received a score of 96.

Another of Toro’s legendary producers is Mariano García, who

Among Toro’s most interesting wines are those made by the

arrived in the region in 1997 after 30 years as Vega Sicilia’s

brilliant young winemaker Rosa Zarza for Bodegas y Pagos

chief winemaker. He currently supervises 65 hectares of

Matarredonda

vineyards, and his San Román and Prima wines are ranked

Libranza and Juan Rojo wines are very elegant and subtle,

among the best in DO Toro. Vega Sicilia itself launched its

while also powerful and very well structured, with good

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

and

Bodegas

Campiña.

Matarredonda’s


Castilla y León: quality in three colours

Two outstanding biodynamic wineries - Quinta de la Quietud and Dominio del Bendito - also warrant a mention for their fruity, easy-to-drink but structured wines, which should age well. Finally, it is worth noting that DO Toro made global headlines in February 2008, when the LVMH Group bought the Eguren family’s Numanthia winery for 25 million euros, the highest price in the history of Spanish winemaking, just after the bodega’s 2004 Termanthia received a score of 100 points by

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jay Miller, one of Robert Parker’s closest associates.

OLD TINTA DE TORO VINES HAVE GIVEN TORO WINES AN INTERNATIONAL REPUTATION

RUEDA Cheerful, crisp, everyday wines The second most famous region for white wines in Spain (after Rías Baixas, known for its whites made from the Albariño grape) is Rueda. This DO was created in 1926, but was not officially recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture until January 1980. The main grape variety in Rueda has traditionally been Verdejo, which at 9,000 hectares makes up

ageing potential. Made from vines over 100 years old, they are

more than 75% of the total vineyards and 80% of total production.

an incredible combination of strength and grace. Where one

Other grapes grown here are Sauvignon Blanc, Viura (almost

might have expected full-bodied, over-extracted wines, they

always associated with Verdejo-based wines) and Palomino.

are soft and delicate with well-integrated, discreet oak.

Although reds (based on Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha) are also made, they represent a tiny

The wines of Bodegas Campiña are as delicate and subtle as

proportion of production.

those of Matarredonda, but are lighter, as most come from somewhat younger vines. It is a small cooperative geared

This DO has also undergone spectacular development in the last

towards the production of affordable high-quality wines: their

ten years, with the surface dedicated to winegrowing increasing

Viñas Centenarias, for example, is very good value for money.

from 5,800 hectares in 1999 to 11,000 in 2010. In the same period, the number of wineries have doubled from 27 to 54. Rueda has a very similar climate to Toro: it lies at 700-800 metres above sea level and has a continental climate with long, cold winters, short springs with late frosts and dry, hot summers. Rain is scarce, with only 300-500 millimetres per year. The generally well-drained soils vary from sandy loam to loam and are rich in calcium and magnesium. There are several big groups in Rueda which help give the DO ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

consumer visibility: Aura (Domecq Bodegas), François Lurton,

THE ROLLING HILLS OF DO TORO

Marqués de Riscal (from Rioja), Chivite (from Navarra), Protos and Grupo Yllera (from Ribera del Duero) and Grupo Freixenet (from the Cava region in Catalonia). They generally offer good quality, reasonably priced wines that are mainly distributed in supermarkets. Although varietal character is recognisable in most cases, it is not uncommon for these

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©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

REGION

DO RUEDA HAS 11,000 HECTARES OF VINEYARDS AND A CONTINENTAL CLIMATE WITH LONG, COLD WINTERS AND DRY, HOT SUMMERS

high-volume producers to include a small proportion of

The Ermita Veracruz from Bodegas Veracruz, part of the

Sauvignon Blanc to make their wines more aromatic, thus

Alvaréz y Díez group, is a fresh, vibrant, well-crafted Verdejo.

distorting the true expression of the Verdejo grape with its

The Belondrade y Lurton winery is another name to remember,

vegetal notes of hay, fresh grass, almond and citrus.

with their premium Belondrade y Lurton a fine, almost Burgundy-like wine, fermented and matured in its lees in 300-

Among other important players in Rueda is Bodegas Cuatro

litre French oak barrels for a minimum of six months. Their

Rayas, which produces over 20% of all bottled wine in the DO

Quinta Apolonia is made from the unselected barrels of premium

(11 million bottles) and controls 19% of its vineyards (2,100

wine topped up with wines from the grapes of young vines.

hectares). Its most popular wine, Cuatro Rayas, is well made,

The winery also produces an excellent rosé that is among the

expressing Verdejo’s attributes in a simple, accessible way.

very best in Spain, the Quinta Clarisa.

Their Cuatro Rayas Viñedos Centenarios (from vines over 100

92

years old) is more complex and closer to the true expression

CIGALES

made possible by old vines. This winery also offers sparkling

Full potential yet to be expressed

wines made from 100% Verdejo using the traditional method.

This DO, located north of Rueda and the River Duero, is crossed

But the most interesting wines come from smaller producers.

by the Pisuerga River and its tributaries. It also has a continental

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


Castilla y León: quality in three colours

climate with an Atlantic maritime influence, with hot summers and cold winters that result in significant temperature variations, both during the day and over the year. The vineyards are situated at an average altitude of 750 metres, spanning an area from Valladolid in the south to Dueñas in the north. Average annual rainfall is 400 millimetres and the average annual temperature ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

12ºC. The soils are typically lightweight over limestone subsoil. The main red grapes grown here are Tinta del País (the local name for Tempranillo), Garnacha and Garnacha Gris. The white varieties are Verdejo and Albillo. Of the traditional

THE UNIQUE LANDSCAPE OF DO ARLANZA, WITH THE CITY OF LERMA IN THE BACKGROUND

DOs, it is one of the few not to have significantly increased its cultivated surface area (from 2,500 to 2,700 hectares) or its number of wineries (from 31 to

What the DO seems to lack is a clear leader in its winemaking.

37) between 1999 and 2010. This is mainly due to the fact that

Although it has some good and even very good wines, no

Cigales has traditionally been a big producer of rosé wines,

winery stands out enough to act as a reference, which partly

which have not attracted new investors, and that most of its

explains the relative stagnation of Cigales compared to

winegrowers are reaching retirement age, so the trend is

Castilla y León’s other DOs. The region’s reaction has been to

towards uprooting rather than planting. In the last five years,

take steps to improve quality. According to Pascual Herrera,

160 hectares of vines have been pulled out. Yet recently there

the President of the Consejo Regulador, the governing body of

has been a dramatic shift in the wines produced in this DO to

the DO, the future of Cigales will depend on its ability to offer

adapt to consumer demand: whereas 80% of Cigales wines

higher quality wines. A project has been launched to transform

were rosés in 1999, these now account for only 50% of total

the DO into a DOC (Denominación de Origen Calificada)

production.

within five years - a classification currently only held by Rioja and Priorat. The aim is to become an area known for high-quality wines that are different from those of the surrounding areas. César Príncipe is one of the most respected wineries in Cigales and a name often heard in reference to the area. Its young 13 Cántaros Nicolás has a Ribera-like nose and a light palate with spices and subtle oak along with black pepper and black fruit. However, it has a short, rather bitter finish with stringent tannins. Another Cigales winery to take into account is Finca Museum. The 2005 Museum Reserva has a pleasant nose of dairy, coffee, ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

toast and tobacco; the palate is less appealing, with notes of

THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE DO ARLANZA REGULATORY BODY

old wood, hot pepper and coffee, some stringent tannins and a bitter finish. I was impressed with a small family-run winery, Santa Rufina, which uses old or very old vines to make elegant, delicate wines with very well-integrated oak. Their wines are not very well known, but they have everything needed to succeed: a

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Kong event held in November 2011, Robert Parker predicted that the Mencía grape has huge potential in Spain, which could give Bierzo new global prominence. One of the names that stand out in Bierzo is Ricardo Palacios, the nephew of Álvaro Palacios, the man behind Priorat’s groundbreaking L’Ermita. Ricardo Palacios uses biodynamic methods to offer a consistent range of fruity yet structured wines. The most popular is Pétalos del Bierzo, a young,

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

vibrant, easy-to-drink and yet complex wine. His other wines worth mentioning are Villa de Corullón, La Faraona and Las Lamas, all structured, powerful wines that need time to develop in the bottle to reach an interesting balance. Another winemaker to note is Raúl Pérez, who was born in

IMPRESSIVE MOUNTAINS OVERLOOK THE VINEYARDS OF DO BIERZO

Valtuille de Abajo in the heart of the Bierzo wine region. He launched his first wines in 2005 without a penny, or even a winery. In the subsequent six years he has been able to make unique, sometimes extra-limited, wines that have dazzled

good approach to vineyard management (their wines are organic, though they do not have the official label), their subtle use of oak, and a deep conviction that old vines result in the best wines (they consistently seek out and buy the oldest parcels of vineyards in the area when they can). With a little extra means to invest in modernising their winery equipment, they would likely be recognised as among the best producers in the DO.

international wine experts, Robert Parker among them. Today he is considered the most talented alchemist in Bierzo. His medium-range Ultreia wine is really outstanding, the 2008 even better than the 2009. His Valtuille Cepas Centenarias has become a reference in the DO. The 2005 that I recently tasted was subtle and elegant, with all the hallmarks of one of the rare wines able to prompt real excitement.

The rosés of Cigales are some of the best in Spain. Made using Verdejo, they are fresh and vibrant with fruity, herbal notes and are easy to drink and consistent.

BIERZO Bewitching mineral wines This outstanding region of Castilla y León has 4,000 hectares of vineyards (an increase from 3,400 hectares in 1999), and the number of registered wineries has increased more than two-fold in the same period, reaching 55 to date. The mean ©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

temperature is 12 ºC, and average rainfall is around 700 millimetres per year. In the river plain the soil is alluvial (often with traces of iron) and at higher altitudes it contains slate, which gives the wines a deep, attractive mineral quality. The vines are planted at 500 - 600 metres above sea level. The main red grape is Mencía, with Garnacha Tintorera playing only a minor role; white grapes include Doña Blanca, Malvasía, Palomino and Godello. At the WineFuture Hong

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THE SIGNATURE RED GRAPE OF BIERZO, MENCÍA CAN RESULT IN WINES OF INDISPUTABLE QUALITY


©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Castilla y León: quality in three colours

DO TIERRA DE LEÓN COVERS ALMOST 1,500 HECTARES; ITS MOST DISTINCTIVE GRAPE IS PRIETO PICUDO

Other worthy winemakers in Bierzo include Bodegas Casar de

recognised: Arribes, Arlanza, Tierra de León and Tierra del

Burbia, which makes excellent wines in another style. Its

Vino de Zamora. These cover a combined surface area of

Hombros is very representative: a superb mineral, smoky wine

nearly 3,300 hectares. The use of local grapes, for example, the

that reflects the slate soil of its terroir. Another is Bodegas

Juan García variety in Arribes and the Prieto Picudo in Tierra

Martín Códax, a large wine cooperative in the Rias Baixas area

de León, makes these wines very appealing. The Juan García

that has recently launched light, simple, fruity Mencía-based

lends its characteristic notes of cooked cherry and blackberry,

reds destined for the export market: Cuatro Pasos and Martín

whereas the Prieto Picudo gives rise to intensely coloured

Sarmiento. I also particularly like the wines of the young

wines, full of fresh fruit and herbal notes similar to those of

French winemaker Gregory Pérez, who has settled in Bierzo

Mencía, but with more body and tannins.

and uses biodynamic methods to make his wines. His Mengoba ‘Sobre Lías’ white, based on Godello and Doña

These new DOs will need time to develop and to gain recognition

Blanca grapes and the Mengoba ‘Mencía de Espanillo’ red are

from the market. One thing they have in common is the

outstanding.

presence of young, passionate winemakers, convinced that their wines will improve the quality of the DO and express

NEW CASTILLA Y LEÓN DOs

its full potential; a belief that is strong, despite a lack a financial

In 2007, four new DOs (most of which were previously classified

means that is likely to make their mission more difficult to

Vino de la Tierra – the rung just below DO) were officially

achieve. GILBERT & GAILLARD

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LIVE FROM SPAIN

J

avier Gila is a highlyrenowned sommelier in Spain. He has

worked at the Ritz Hotel and is currently a wine consultant for Lavinia in Madrid. He represented Spain in many international competitions and was elected Best Sommelier of Spain in 2010. HOW

HAVE YOU SEEN S PANISH WINES EVOLVE IN THE COURSE OF THE LAST 15 YEARS ? Spanish wines h ave become increasingly better known outside of Spain, particularly d u e t o the fact that there has been a jump in quality: the grapes are better selected, the wineries are better equipped with modern technology, and wood is better managed.

REGIONS

SEEMS THAT SOME

STILL

LAG

BEHIND ,

RIBERA DEL DUERO FOR INSTANCE , WHERE WE STILL FIND MANY OVER - WOODED WINES . HOW CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS SPECIFIC SITUATION ? LIKE

Ribera del Duero has undergone a very rapid development, probably too quick. Critics have had a role, extolling over-extracted wines, made with overtoasted barrels in which the wines stayed too long. Besides, there are many big producers that do not have

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Javier Gila

any vineyards. In Rioja for instance, where there is a long tradition of winemaking, this could never have happened. In Ribera del Duero, businessmen run the bodegas, whereas in Rioja true wine professionals do. There are other areas where interesting wines are crafted,

AUTUMN 2011

such as Utiel-Requena and Manchuela (Cuenca and Albacete regions) where the use of a local variety called Bobal gives very fruity, astonishing wines. Utiel Requena offers amazing wines, like the still and sparkling wines of the Hispano Suiza winery, an example of which is the

ŠALL RIGHTS RESERVED

HOWEVER, IT


LIVE FROM SPAIN

W HAT IS YOUR OPINION SPANISH SOMMELIERS?

OF

Spanish sommeliers have been developing their skills in a positive way over the last few years. However, there is a lack of knowledge of foreign wines. If we compare our situation with that of the UK, for example, sommeliers there have a much broader vision of the producing regions on a global scale. The Education Ministry in Spain still has to design an educational program that meets the needs of the aspiring sommelier and provides the basis for an international career.

Alain Ducasse and Javier Gila

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

G IVEN

THE LENGTH OF YOUR CAREER , YOU MUST HAVE SOME AMUSING ANEDCOTES TO TELL Sure. When I was at the Ritz Hotel, I had to serve a very important person who wanted to taste a Vega Sicilia. But along with the wine (one of the best in Spain, renowned worldwide) he asked

sparkling Tantum Ergo, based on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties, lively and elegant. In Northern Spain, in Galicia, two new appellations are arousing renewed interest: Valdeorras, with the Godello grape, and Ribeira Sacra, which produces red wines from the Brancellao, Caiño and Sousón, highly appreciated in the US. In Cataluña, some appellations are also doing a very good job, such as Empordá, where you can find excellent wines: Finca Malaveïna, Finca Garbet, Ex, Ex, Ex, from Castillo de Perelada; I would also mention the astonishing progress made by the Murcia region, which has enhanced the Monastrell grape, also very much enjoyed in the US.

HOW WELL

DOES

SPANISH WINE

SELL ABROAD ?

Situations are diverse. Spanish wine is well known in the US and in the UK - both among the most important markets for Spain - while in other countries like China, Spain only sells cheap, low-quality wines. In the UK we have another problem: distributor’s own brands are sold, which does not exactly help build a strong image of Spanish wines. For instance, Jeréz (sherry) is a true Spanish oenological jewel which the perfect companion to almost any dish. What would help in the challenge of promoting Spanish wines overseas would be the establishment in the main markets of wine cultural offices, Javier Gila

just like Chile is doing. They have proved to be very successful. GILBERT & GAILLARD

AUTUMN 2011

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

should be better known abroad, especially as these wines are

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LIVE FROM SPAIN

for a 7 Up with ice. I thought that he wanted to drink something fresh before tasting the wine. Instead of that, he poured the 7 Up into the wine. The scene repeated itself for two days, each time with different top Spanish wines (L’Ermita and Pingus). On the third day, he asked me to taste the special blend of soft drinks and great wine. Once I had tasted it, he said: “You see, even with 7 Up, it is still a great wine, don’t you think?” Another amusing thing happened to me when I was serving a red wine at 15ºC. The customer looked at me angrily, and told me that the wine should be served at room temperature. I turned to him and asked: “Which ambient temperature are you talking about, Sir? That of the Sahara desert, or that of the North Pole?” And the last one is rather good. Once I was preparing a ceremonial dinner which the King of Spain was attending. Some fine wines were ready to be served: Champagne with appetizers, a Rias Baixas Pazo de Señorans with the fish, and a Rioja Viña El Olivo with the meat. Protocol had asked me to stay near the king, in case he needed something. A few minutes after the start of the dinner, he turned to me and said: “Why don’t we just stop fooling around and start with the real wines? Could you please bring me the red wine straight away so that I can start drinking real wine?” HAVE CERTAINLY EXPERIENCED SOME FUNNY MOMENTS. N OW, TO FINISH , WHAT WINES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND - THOSE YOU LIKE THE BEST AT THE MOMENT ? Easy! I would start with a 10 year-old Manzanilla by Antonio Barbadillo, with Spanish cured ham; then a Rias Baixas Pazo de Señorans 2010 with scallops, a Peréz Pascuas Gran Reserva 2004 from Ribera del Duero with lamb, and a Malvasía Teneguía 2006 from Llanovid, or a Viñatigo Malvasía 2006 from the Canary Islands (Palma and Tenerife), with apple cake and citrus fruit sorbet. Diego Bonnel

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Javier Gila

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

YOU


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The Gilbert & Gaillard Awards: only for the best

Three awards that reward quality and guarantee satisfaction. Wines bearing the Gilbert & Gaillard label have been tasted and approved by our expert tasting committee. Award-winning wines - guaranteed to meet your highest expectations.

w w w. g i l b e r t g a i l l a r d . c o m


WINE AND FOOD

Cod and truffle This issue features originality and innovation in the form of a young chef from Périgord, who offers us a recipe based on high-quality terroir products, creatively brought up to date.

Don’t miss: 14 and 15 January 2012

France. Its chef, Maxime Lebrun, learned his trade in the kitchens

of Matignon during his military service, before a spell at the La Tour d’Argent, followed by a stint at Patrick Pignol’s Relais d’Auteuil, and finally

THE JEAN ROUGIÉ AWARD This cooking competition will see eight young chefs go head to head using two prestigious ingredients: Périgord black truffle and foie gras. The competition will be judged by a jury composed of 15 Michelinstarred chefs from around the world. Yannick Alleno (three Michelin stars) will preside over this year’s event.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY Sarlat will welcome 36 chefs from the Académie des Lauréats du Bocuse d’Or from ten different countries on 14 and 15 January 2012. They will participate in the Jean Rougié Award. Nine French and international Michelin-starred chefs will succeed each other to compose recipes that are as attractive as they are mouthwatering. Contact: Ville de Sarlat: Élise Barrière +33 (0)5 53 31 53 45 or 46 communication@sarlat.fr - www.ac-foiegras-truffe.fr

WINTER 2011

Back in Périgord, Maxime Lebrun and his wife, who is from the region, accepted the challenge of taking over Le Grand Bleu in December 2006 and quickly gained their first Michelin star. Lebrun and his team work with seasonal products, most of which come from producers in Périgord. ‘By joyfully revisiting the gastronomic traditions of the t e r r o i r, [ . . . ] M a x i m e Lebrun claims his roots in the Dordogne that he knows so well and where he grew up, trained and has happily returned.’ (excerpt from À Table chez les Périgordins by Jacques Teyssier and Hervé Amiard, published by Glénat).

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This festival honours local gastronomy, allowing visitors to taste the region’s finest products and to meet some of the top chefs in French cuisine. Courses open to all will be organised in the context of the Culinary Academy of Foie Gras and Truffles.

GILBERT & GAILLARD

medieval town of Sarlat, the capital of Périgord Noir, in southwest

at Guy Martin’s three-star Grand Véfour.

THE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL

100

L

e Grand Bleu restaurant in Dordogne is near the centre of the


RECIPE

Blowtorch-cooked cod with truffles, nettle coulis and panfried escalope of foie gras INGREDIENTS

Š ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

80 grams of escalope of foie gras 150 grams of cod fillet 15 grams of truffles 10 nettle stems

- Strip the leaves off the nettle stems and blanch them for 5–10 minutes, depending on the size of the leaves. - Let this cool and then add a little water and blend. Season to taste. - Make incisions in the cod and insert slivers of truffle. Salt the cod and place it under the grill quickly for 3 minutes. - Finish cooking the fish using a blowtorch. - At the same time, pan fry the foie gras. - Garnish. SERVE WITH A Blanc de Blancs Champagne or, for those who prefer still wines, a Puligny-Montrachet.

Le Grand Bleu 43 Avenue de la Gare - 24200 Sarlat-la-Caneda ( +33 (0)5 53 31 08 48 - www.legrandbleu.eu

GILBERT & GAILLARD

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EXPORT

Winelands of South Africa today

© ERICA MOODIE

© HENDRICK HOLLER

At 27-34° latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, the South African winelands are planted in ancient soils across dramatic mountains ranges of the Cape Floral Kingdom world heritage site. Traditionally within 50 kilometres of the coast, ideal maritime conditions are created by Atlantic and Indian Ocean influences. The geography and Mediterranean climate create a diversity of wine styles.

THERE ARE 275,600 PEOPLE EMPLOYED IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN WINE INDUSTRY 102

GILBERT & GAILLARD

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Winelands of South Africa Today

F

irst planted in 1655, today there are more than 600 wine producers and over 101,000 hectares of vines, over 800 kilometres. The focus is on noble varieties, superior

plant material, terroir, site specificity and expression in flavour. The Wine of Origin scheme delimits wine production zones into regions, districts and wards. Breed River Valley, Coastal, Klein Karoo and Olifants River are the four main regions, with Capetown, Stellenbosch and Paarl well-recognised districts within the Coastal region. White varieties dominate with 56% of total vineyard plantings, of which Chenin accounts for 18.6%. Reds represent 44%, with Cabernet Sauvignon the most planted variety at 12.2%. Shiraz accounts for 10%, Merlot 6.4%, and the indigenous Pinotage, 6.2%.

© HENDRICK HOLLER

WINES OF SOUTH AFRICA STRUCTURE Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is a not-for-profit and fullyindependent organisation established in 1999 to represent all South African wines that are exported. The mission is to promote and maintain the image of South African wines internationally. WOSA is funded by a levy per litre on each bottle of sparkling

PINOTAGE IS A TYPICAL RED GRAPE VARIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA, CREATED FROM PINOT NOIR AND CINSAULT

and still wine exported. “If your wine

is

exported,

you

are

represented by WOSA” explains Communications Director André

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Morgenthal.

André Morgenthal

Viticulture and Oenology, the University of Stellenbosch, and the Elsenburg Agricultural College.

There are currently five hundred

DOMESTIC AND EXPORT CONSUMPTION

producers working in the key

South Africa produces 3.0% of the world's wine and ranks as

international export markets of

number seven in overall volume production (2010).

which the UK is the most

The modern South African wine industry is only one decade old.

traditional,

Exports are increasing rapidly, up 210% between 1998 and 2010.

followed

by

Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Russia and Asia. The WOSA head office is based in Stellenbosch and led

With total exports of South African wine at 222.3 million litres in

by CEO Su Birch. There is a WOSA office in London, with another

2010, André Morgenthal remarked that “we have just crossed the

opening in the USA in 2012. Marketing managers work from

point where export demand has reached over 50%, passing

agencies in America, Canada, Africa, UK and countries including

domestic demand which remains stable.” The UK is WOSA's

Russia, Switzerland and Scandanavia. In emerging markets

biggest market (28%), followed by Germany (19%), Sweden

WOSA works with the South African consulates in India, Japan

(10%) and the Netherlands (7%).

and China.

WOSA COMMUNICATION There are 275,600 people employed in the South African wine

The mission of WOSA is “to promote the value growth for the

industry, backed by state body the Nietvoorbij Institute for

South African wine industry abroad.” WOSA is present at major GILBERT & GAILLARD

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103


EXPORT

international wine trade fairs ProWein in Germany, LIWF in

Spirit Board (WSB) has culminated in Sustainable Wine South

London, and Vinordi, in Sweden. At Prowein WOSA has joined

Africa (SWSA). An export license must be granted to each wine for

four other New World wine producing countries in the

export, analysed at the WSB, resulting in a traceable seal verifying

Down2Earth initiative, teaming up with Argentina, Chile, USA

Wine of Origin, vintage and grape variety.

and New Zealand.

ETHICAL TRADE WOSA presents Cape Wine Europe in London each year,

WOSA supports the Wine and Agricultural Industry Ethical Trade

participates in food and wine festivals in Europe, and hosts WOSA

Association (WIETA), which is a world-first initative to promote

Wine Workshops throughout the world. The domestic biennial

ethical standards. The Fairtrade Label South Africa was established

trade exhibition Cape Wine is a showcase of the South African

in 2008 and signed with the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations

wine industry presented by WOSA, and described as “the most

International (FLO) in 2009.

successful international wine trade show in the Southern hemisphere, and probably the most enjoyable wine show in

During the FIFA World Cup, the wine brand Fundi was created

the world.”

with the South African wine industry, donating 100% of sales to train 2010 disadvantaged South Africans as wine stewards in 2010.

Capetown is a Member of the Wine Capitals of the World wine

WOSA IN CHINA

tourism network.

André Morgenthal says that WOSA is “really active in Asia, attending both international and local shows”, and the

(BWI), Integrated Production of Wine (IPW), and the Wine and

organisation aims to appoint a WOSA representative permanently

© GROOT CONSTANTIA

An alliance between WOSA, the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative

TOTAL EXPORTS OF SOUTH AFRICAN WINE REACHED 222.3 MILLION LITRES IN 2010 104

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Winelands of South Africa Today

THE MODERN SOUTH AFRICAN WINE INDUSTRY IS ONLY ONE DECADE OLD

in China. In 2010, China (including Hong Kong) accounted for 35% of WOSA's Asia-Pacific wine market value, with Japan representing 22.5%. Morgenthal comments that “the greatest competitors in China are France, Chile and Australia”.

In May 2011, WOSA hosted a seminar for local wine producers in Stellenbosch. Special guest Debra Meiburg MW said: "Now is the time for South African producers to enter the market as there is enormous growth potential for mid-priced wines." Meiburg added that “although French wines enjoy the strongest support, there is a rising curiosity about other wine-producing countries on which South Africa can capitalize … Don’t let low-end wines drive South Africa’s entry into China. Bring your high-profile, ”rock star” cult winemakers to the country and let them seed a reputation of excellence." Amanda Regan

© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

THE WOSA HEAD OFFICE IS BASED IN STELLENBOSCH, ONE OF SOUTH AFRICA'S MOST FAMOUS VINEYARDS GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

105


WINE QUOTATIONS

The charm and magic of

vintage wines © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Vintage wines and alcohols carry with them the history through which they have lived. To drink a wine that has evolved through one’s lifetime is moving in itself; it can be a great discovery, with surprises each time. An older wine is like an older person; it is more subtle, less vivacious, but is more complex; if you take the time to listen to what it has to say, you will be greatly rewarded.

And during the ageing process, oak barrels further infuse tannins into the wine. When all of the conditions in a given year are ideal to create an excellent vintage and therefore an outstanding wine, the wine will have a very long life. Wines from the best appellations and best châteaux in the world in an exceptional year can last up to 100 years or more. The longer the life of the wine (which can be predicted very early on in the vinification process), the more gradual the arc that leads to its long peak period and equally gradually descends toward the end of its life. Naturally it is ideal to drink a wine during its peak period, and in the case of these illustrious wines with such a long life, the peak can last decades. The wines will evolve and change, and even when they have lived longer than a few human generations and are past their prime, they can still have structure, surprising aromas, and secrets to tell.

SO, WHICH WINES TO CHOOSE? Red Bordeaux are amongst the wines with the greatest potential to live an interesting, long life. I recently tasted a 1926 Montrose that still had very good structure and aromas of jammy red fruit. If you

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W h ic h w in e s t o c Vin t a g e h o o s e ? R e d B o rdeaux, Champa Sautern gne, Po rt, Mad es, e ir a .. . want to taste a very old red Bordeaux it is best to study up on the vintages to know which ones have staying power.

Sauternes are those sweet whites from Bordeaux that hide so much power and complexity in the pretty golden packaging. Sauternes can age even longer than red Bordeaux, but beware that though they are from the same wine region, the quality of the vintage is not necessarily the same as for reds in a given year. Sauternes need “noble rot” in the vineyard to get their unique complexity and aromas. Vintage Champagne can take on interesting qualities thanks to the carbon dioxide bubbles that can add richness over time. Fortified wines such as Port and Madeira have very long lives that can last up to a few centuries. In the SoDivin cave we have a few bottles of Madeira from 1745 that may just be good to drink. It must be said that no matter how favorable the tasting notes of a wine may be, do keep in mind that the older the bottle, the greater the risk that the wine could no longer be good. But the gamble only adds to the excitement and their charm. Philippe Roux

© ALL RIG HTS RES ERVED

D

rinking a very old wine is a Philippe Roux is a specialist in the rare experience, niche market of rare vintages as it is estimated that only 1% of all wine has the potential to improve after more than 10 years. This is because not all wines are created equal. Many factors contribute to a wine’s ability to last a long time. In the vineyard, the soil and grape variety have certain innate qualities that instill the tannins and acid necessary to sustain a wine for many years. In addition, the climate in a given appellation changes year to year, which varies the quality of the grapes, which in turn determines whether the finished wine product will have a long life in the bottle. Additionally, there are many decisions during the vinification process that can add the components necessary to lengthen a wine's life.


The charm and magic of vintage wines

OLD VINTAGE WINES YEAR

CHÂTEAU

APPELLATION

1845

COSSART GORDON Solera Centenary

Madeira

1874

LAFITE ROTHSCHILD

Pauillac

1880

BORGES H.M. Malmsey Solera

1885

RANK

VOL

PRICE

VAT EXCL.

0.75 l

961,54

0.75 l

6 981,61

Madeira

0.75 l

811,04

DURFORT VIVENS

Margaux

0.75 l

1 663,88

1890

LANGOA BARTON

Saint-Julien

0.75 l

1 250,00

1890

POMYS

Saint-Estèphe

0.75 l

1 250,00

1893

DELAUNAY ROGER Clos du Colombier Montlouis

0.75 l

652,17

1898

BEYCHEVELLE

Saint-Julien

0.75 l

1 546,82

1898

HENRIQUES

Madeira

0.75 l

634,62

1900

CALON SEGUR

Saint-Estèphe

3ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

2 909,70

1904

CHEVAL BLANC

Saint-Emilion

1er Grand Cru Classé A

0.75 l

2 997,49

1904

YQUEM (D')

Sauternes

1er Cru Classé Supérieur

0.75 l

2 717,39

1905

SANTHIAGO

Réserve Porto

0.75 l

831,94

1908

MONTROSE

Saint-Estèphe

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

827,76

1910

HOURINGUE

Haut-Medoc

Millésime marqué sur le bouchon

0.75 l

706,52

1911

SALAGRE (DE LA)

Monbazillac

Grand Cru

0.75 l

581,10

1914

HAUT BRION

Pessac-Léognan

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

1 496,66

1916

ARMAILHACQ (d')

Pauillac Pauillac - Médoc

0.75 l

748,33

1916

LATOUR

Pauillac

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

959,87

1916

YQUEM (D')

Sauternes

1er Cru Classé Supérieur

1918

BORGES S.V. ET IRMAO Soalheira

Porto

1918

DESMIRAIL

Margaux

1918

DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU

1918 1918

1er Cru Classé

3ème Cru Classé

4ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

1 663,88

0.75 l

693,14

3ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

250,00

Saint-Julien

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

497,49

GRUAUD LAROSE

Saint-Julien

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

455,69

HAUT BRION

Pessac-Léognan

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

936,45

1919

ARCHE (D')

Sauternes

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

459,87

1919

CARBONNIEUX

Pessac-Léognan

Grand Cru Classé

0.75 l

313,55

1920

COSSART GORDON

Madeira

0.75 l

660,54

1921

YQUEM (D')

Sauternes

1er Cru Classé Supérieur Mise en bouteille Vandermeulen

0.75 l

2 500,00

1922

GRUAUD LAROSE

Saint-Julien

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

417,22

1923

ARMAILHACQ (d')

Pauillac

Pauillac - Médoc

0.75 l

355,35

1923

MARGAUX

Margaux

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

1 245,82

1924

COUTET

Sauternes

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

382,94

1924

FOURCAS DUPRE

Medoc

1er cru Listrac

0.75 l

233,28

1925

LATOUR

Pauillac

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

994,98

1925

MARZELLE (LA)

Saint-Emilion

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

250,00

1925

PAVIE

Saint-Emilion

1er Grand Cru Classé B

0.75 l

413,88

1926

BRANAIRE DUCRU

Saint-Julien

4ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

382,94

1926

COUTET

Sauternes

1er Cru Classé

0.75 l

367,06

1926

MONTROSE

Saint-Estèphe

2ème Cru Classé

0.75 l

522,58

Please contact us for further information: www.gilbertgaillard.com GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

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STARS & WINE

www.gilbertgaillard.com

Antonio Banderas: “I won my wife over with a bottle of Unico!”

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ever since he was old enough to drink wine, Hollywood’s most Andalusian actor has been in love with it. So much so that he recently bought a wine estate in Spain. We talk to Señor Antonio Banderas, a star whose love of wine has not gone to his head…

Antonio Banderas with Frank Rousseau

108

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STARS & WINE

What does being a Latino mean to you? Being a Latino means enjoying making love, eating, drinking and falling asleep under an olive tree. Although actually I feel more Andalusian, which means doing all of the above but with more refinement and…much more often! (laughs)

©ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

For over ten years, you have been the voice behind Puss in Boots, one of the heroes in the “Shrek” saga. The character even has his own animated film now. What made you want to play Puss originally? Because I like people to scratch my back! Just kidding. Firstly because my wife (the actress Melanie Griffith) and particularly my mother-in-law (Tippi Hedren) are surrounded by cats. Although in my motherin-law’s case, it’s mainly big cats - tigers, panthers etc. (laughs). The kind that turns you into minced meat with its claws! (laughs). Also, I find cats devilishly sexy. It’s the way they swagger when they walk. What else? Because you cannot bribe a cat like you can a common old dog by giving him a double portion of biscuits. Also, because in Spain, cats are part of the scenery. So in a way, I wanted to pay them a tribute. Lastly, because Puss in Boots wields a sword like Zorro with paws!

What does an Andalusian expat in the USA drink? The first time I set foot in the United States in California to be precise - I thought to myself, “Goodness, how on earth am I going to find some drinkable wines here?” In my mind, the Americans had no skills when it

came to wine. That was until I came across wines from the Napa Valley which had incredible palate presence, particularly the Cabernets. For years, Europeans like myself had a condescending opinion with regard to wine. But if you look at it objectively, the Californians are as knowledgeable as we are. In fact, if anything, they could teach us a thing or two, particularly the very clever way

tapas and slices of Iberian ham, it really is the perfect match. Unico is a refined, complex wine with touches of blackberry and blackcurrant. Actually, I won my wife over with a bottle of Unico! Tell us about it We met on the set of “Two Much”. When we exchanged glances, I felt electrified, I had never been so attracted to a woman. That same evening, she came to my place. I wanted to be in the kitchen and cook loads of Andalusian specialities for her. I can tell you that it was a real act of love on my part because I don’t particularly like to cook. Melanie showed real class because at no point did she “spit out” any of the burnt food I served up! (laughs) To make it up to her, I opened a bottle of Unico. You could see the rapture in her eyes and she forgave me for my extremely mediocre attempt at cooking!

I believe you have joined the wine industry yourself… Yes! I bought Bodega Anta Natura in 2009 and changed the name to “Anta Banderas”. It is located in the village of Villalba de Duero and produces red wines from Merlot and the local Tempranillo grape variety. My ambition is to promote these quality wines and boost the wine Antonio Banderas industry in northern Spain. The region is well-known for the they have “devised” their distribution and quality of its oils and its centuries-old tradisales channels. tion of growing robust wines. Ultimately, I would like holiday makers to flock to the In your opinion, what is the best Spanish region to get to know and love our wines! wine? The potential is huge. When you drink a bottle of Vega Sicilia, you Interview in Toronto by know you can’t go wrong. Unico is the wine Frank ROUSSEAU my friends serve when I visit them in Spain. Member of the Motion Picture Association of America It’s a very safe bet and when you pair it with Member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association GILBERT & GAILLARD

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STARS & WINE

Charlize Theron: “I love wandering around wine stores”

This blonde bombshell needs no introductions. Winner of an Oscar for Best Actress in “Monsters”, icon of the “Dior, j’adore” advertising campaign, Charlize Theron is South African and proud of it. She lets us in on her other passion: wine.

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by the welcome and the incredible quality of our wines!

Charlize Theron Tell us about your relationship with wine. I have often associated wine with fashion, or glam. Take a glass of wine with its stem, for instance, doesn’t it remind you of a stiletto heel? The shape of the bottle is also pleasing to the eye. Then there’s the label, that’s really important. It’s often what makes us buy a bottle! When you pop the cork, it’s an act of love. That’s when all the fragrance is released. Your nose becomes filled with its intoxicating scents. It bowls you over. It delivers a promise of the wonderful moments to come. For me, wine is also about connecting with the people I love. I don’t know if you have noticed, but as soon as you open a bottle of good wine, it sparks lengthy and often passionate debate! So you don’t think wine is just for men? No! I don’t think there is anything more sexy than a superbly dressed woman proposing a toast with painted red nails, bringing a glass of red wine to her painted red lips! I can’t describe it… it’s like time stops. What you want more than anything is to press the pause button and savour the moment forever, both visually and taste-wise.

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Which wines do you drink with South African specialities like biltong, made from cured ostrich meat - an Afrikaans speciality - or braaivleis, a piece of rump steak cooked over a wood fire, or the vegetable and mutton stew, breddie? It depends! In my home country, people drink lots of beer and not always sensibly. But wines - some of them excellent - are becoming more and more popular. If you travel to South Africa, a visit to Blaauklippen is a must. It’s one of my country’s oldest wine estates. Blaauklippen in Afrikaans means blue stones, which is the colour of the local granite rocks. South African wines can even be better than French wines. I am proud of the painstaking work achieved by local vineyards. By dint of hard work and demanding standards, they have successfully made South Africa one of the world’s top ten producers, and one of its best! South Africa also offers the most exquisite scenery. The Cape wine region is an essential destination and when you’re invited to someone’s house, it’s always a jovial occasion with a glass of wine in hand. I know lots of French people who have made the trip and they all came back absolutely overwhelmed

WINTER 2011

How much are you willing to spend on a wine? It’s always better when you’re given wine! But you know, the older I get, the less I go shopping. I have noticed though that more and more I love to wander around wine shops and go to wine tastings with people whose life revolves around wine. You can sense their boundless love for the earth and for what it yields. I love this bond. I will never forget a winegrower in Stellenbosch who talked about his work in the vineyard as if he was talking about a woman, his wife! His words reflected true love and devotion. Apparently, your nickname in Hollywood in “sparkly”. Why? No, not sparkly, even if I do love Champagne! “Sparky”. Ben Affleck coined the nickname. When I asked him why, he said: “because you talk too much. You remind me of those old pre-war radios that gave off sparks!” Isn’t “sparky” and “bombshell” a dangerous combination? It depends who’s lighting the fuse! (laughs) Anyway, I love “explosive cocktails”!

Interview in New York by Frank ROUSSEAU Member of the Motion Picture Association of America Member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association


RECOMMENDED WINES

GILBERT & GAILLARD T H E

W O R L D W I D E

W I N E

S I G N A T U R E

For a comprehensive overview of some great wines of Pomerol, compare our tasting notes with those of our well-known American competitors.* *www.gilbertgaillard.com, *www.winespectator.com and *www.erobertparker.com

POMEROL A.C.

WINE SCORES 95-100/100

an outstanding wine, when a great terroir meets exceptional winemaking expertise

90-94/100

a superlative wine combining finesse, complexity and remarkable winemaking

85-89/100

a wine of extremely high standard, which we enjoyed for its typicity and character

80-84/100

a quality wine combining balance, structure and neatness for a pleasurable wine drinking experience

75-79/100

a wine deemed acceptable

70-74/100

a wine with defects, unacceptable

65-69/100

a wine with major defects, inadmissible

50-64/100

unacceptable wine, not worthy for sale

Note: wines scoring less than 75/100 are not included in our publications.

n/a = not available

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GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

Château Vieux Maillet Château Vieux Maillet Château Vieux Maillet Château Lafleur Gazin Pomerol La Grave Château Bourgneuf Château Providence Château Providence Château Providence Château Certan de May Châteur La Fleur Petrus Château Hosanna Château Trotanoy Château Mazeyres Château Mazeyres Château L’enclos Château L’enclos Château La Conseillante Château La Conseillante Château La Conseillante Clos l'Eglise Clos l'Eglise Clos l'Eglise Château La Croix de Gay Château La Croix de Gay Château La Fleur de Gay Château La Fleur de Gay Château Latour Château Taillefer Château Taillefer Château La Croix du Casse Château La Croix du Casse Château Nenin

2007 2008 2010 2010 2010 2010 2006 2008 2010 2010 2010 2010 2010 2008 2010 2008 2010 2006 2008 2010 2008 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2010 2009 2010 2006 2010 2006

90 89 89 92 93 88 94 95 92 90 90 92 90 92 90 88 92 96 94 94 91 95 92 92 94 94 93 93 94 91 90 94 90

84 89 90-93 92-95 93-96 93-96 n/a 89-92 94-97 95-98 96-99 95-98 96-99 88 n/a n/a n/a 94 91 94-97 91 93-96 90-93 89-92 n/a 90-93 90-93 95-98 87-90 n/a 86 n/a 91

n/a n/a 89-91 87-89 90-92 84-86 93 93 92-94 91-93 95-98 94-96 93-95 87-89 n/a 87-89 n/a 93 95 95-98 91 96-100 92-95 91-93 89-91 93-96 90-93 92-94 n/a n/a n/a n/a 87

Continued on page 114


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RECOMMENDED WINES

GILBERT & GAILLARD

T H E

W O R L D W I D E

W I N E

S I G N A T U R E

7, parc des Fontenelles - 78870 Bailly - France Tel.: (+33)1 30 80 08 08 - Fax: (+33)1 30 80 08 88 Château Nenin

2010

93

92-95

90-92

EDITORIAL DIRECTORS: François Gilbert and Philippe Gaillard

Château La Pointe

2008

87

89

85

EDITOR IN CHIEF: Sylvain Patard

Château La Pointe

2010

92

91-94

89-91

Château Clos René

2008

90

n/a

88-90

Château Clos René

2010

95

n/a

88-90

TASTING COMMITTEE: François Gilbert, Philippe Gaillard, Sylvain Patard - Diego Bonnel, Emmanuel de Lanversin, Olivier Delorme, Jamal Rayyis, James Turnbull and Delphine Veissière

Château Petit Village

2008

89

92

88

REDACTION: Michèle Huyard

Château Petit Village

2009

92

92-95

88-90

Château Petit Village

2010

94

89-92

90-92

Vieux Château Certan

2006

97

95

96

Vieux Château Certan

2009

98

97-100

96-99

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE: Mark Andrew, Diego Bonnel, Richard Craig, Nicolle Croft, Hubrecht Duijker, Louise Hurren, Jamal Rayyis, Amanda Regan, Frank Rousseau, Philippe Roux, Valentin Semeria, Pierre Torres, Delphine Veissière

Vieux Château Certan

2010

90

96-99

96-98

TRANSLATION: Elise Bradbury, Sharon Nagel

Château Feytit-Clinet

2010

89

n/a

92-94

Château Le Caillou

2005

91

92-94

90

Château Le Caillou

2007

86

87-90

87-89

ADVERTISING: Frédéric Comet : +33 (0)6 27 58 47 06 Annick Delauneux - +33 (0)3 26 55 28 92 Nicolas Sanseigne: +33 (0)6 46 86 80 01

Château Bonalgue

2010

92

89-92

88-90

Château Beau Soleil

2006

89

90

n/a

Château Montviel

2005

88

89

87

Château Montviel

2007

92

85

84-86

LAY-OUT: Renata Lahalle PRINTING: DB PRINT - BELGIUM

Château Montviel

2010

90

90-93

n/a

DISTRIBUTOR IN FRANCE: MLP

Château Pierhem

2010

90

n/a

n/a

Clos de la Vieille Eglise

2010

91

n/a

92-95

Château Fayat

2010

94

89-92

n/a

GILBERT & GAILLARD AMERICA Emmanuel de Lanversin: +1 908 277 3863 edelanversin@gilbertgaillard.com 174 Springfield Avenue, Summit, NJ, 07901, USA

Château Plince

2010

92

91-94

89-86

Château Moulinet

2010

93

n/a

n/a/

Château St-Pierre

2010

92

91-94

n/a

Château La Croix Taillefer

2010

94

n/a

n/a

Château Tour Maillet

2009

93-96

86-88

Château Le Chemin

2010

89

88-91

n/a

Château Bellegrave

2007

89

83-86

83-85

Château du Domaine de l'Eglise

2010

92

n/a

87-89

CONTACT DETAILS OF ESTATES FEATURED IN THIS ISSUE Provence - page 15 Domaine de l'Olivette +33 (0)4 94 98 58 85 contact@domaine-olivette.com Champagne - page 26-37 Champagne Charles Clément +33 (0)3 25 92 50 71 champagne-charlesclement@fr.oleane.com Champagne Charles Heidsieck +33 (0)3 26 84 43 00 alexandra.rendall@champagnes-phch.com Champagne Deutz +33 (0)3 26 56 94 00 france@champagne-deutz.com

GILBERT & GAILLARD ITALY Delphine Veissière: +39 393 353 5892 delphine@gilbertgaillard.com Via dei tigli, 35 - 20020 - Arese (MI) - Italy GILBERT & GAILLARD SPAIN Diego Bonnel: +34 639 11 7675 dbonnel@gilbertgaillard.com Rosa de Lima, 23 - Bloque 6 - Bajo izda 28290 Las Rozas / Madrid - Spain DISTRIBUTION SUPERVISED BY EXPORT PRESS: DISTRIBUTORS IN EUROPE: Austria: Morawa GMBH, 1140 Wien Belgium: Imapress, 2300 Turnhout Denmark: Interpress, 2605 Broendby Finland: Rautakirja OY, 1641 Vantaa Germany: WE Saarbach gmbh, 50332 Hurth Holland: Betapress, 5126PT GILZE Italy: Intercontinental, 20124 Milano Portugal: Fraccao, 1990-075 Lisboa Spain: Iber Press SL, 28042 Madrid Sweden: Svenska ab, 120 22 Stockholm UK: Native Publisher services ltd, LS28 7LG Pudsey

Cave Vinicole du Vieil Armand +33 (0)3 89 76 73 75 caveau@cavevieilarmand.com

Champagne Philipponnat +33 (0)3 26 56 93 00 info@champagnephilipponnat.com

Domaine Pierre Frick +33 (0)3 89 49 62 99 contact@pierrefrick.com

Champagne Pierre Moncuit +33 (0)3 26 57 52 65 contact@pierre-moncuit.fr

Domaine Bott Frères +33 (0)3 89 73 22 50 vins@bott-freres.fr

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck +33 (0)3 26 84 43 00 alexandra.rendall@champagnes-phch.com

Haegelin Bernard +33 (0)3 89 76 14 62 bernard.haegelin@wanadoo.fr

Champagne P. Lassalle-Hanin +33 (0)3 26 03 40 96 gaec.lassalle.hanin@wanadoo.fr

Crus bourgeois Page 45 Château de Malleret +33 (0)5 56 35 05 36 contact@chateau-malleret.fr

DISTRIBUTORS IN ASIA: China and Hong Kong: FPPS, Hong Kong Japan: DIP, 107 0051 TOKYO Taiwan: MULTI-ARTS, 10455 Taipei Korea : UPA, 110-850 Séoul

Roussillon - page 51 Domaine de Rancy +33 (0)4 68 29 03 47 info@domaine-rancy.com

DISTRIBUTORS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW-ZEALAND: Gordon and Gotch Australia, 2086 Frenchs Forest Gordon and Gotch Australia, 1006 Auckland

Champagne Le Royal Coteau +33 (0)3 26 59 71 12 champagneleroyalcoteau@wanadoo.fr

Champagne Moutardier +33 (0)3 26 59 21 09 contact@champagne-jeanmoutardier.fr

Champagne Dautel-Cadot +33 (0)3 25 29 61 12 champagne.dautel-cadot@orange.fr

Champagne Palmer & Co +33 (0)3 26 07 35 07 contact@champagne-palmer.fr

GILBERT & GAILLARD CHINA Thomas Magnani: +86 159 0070 4490 tmagnani@gilbertgaillard.com Jaje International Plaza, - Room 811, N°1717 North Sichuan Road - Shangai 200080, China

Champagne Philippe Gonet +33 (0)3 26 57 53 47 office@champagne-philippe-gonet.com

Champagne Drappier +33 (0)3 25 27 40 15 infos@champagne-drappier.com

Champagne Maurice Vesselle +33 (0)3 26 57 00 81 champagne.vesselle@wanadoo.fr

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PRESS RELEASE: Grégoire Meridjen - Fisheye - +33 (0)6 22 94 53 10

Champagne Paul Laurent +33 (0)3 26 81 91 11 champagne.paul.laurent@wanadoo.fr Alsace - page 41 Domaine Materne Haegelin et filles +33 (0)3 89 76 95 17 domaine@materne-haegelin.fr

GILBERT & GAILLARD

WINTER 2011

Domaine Salvat +33 (0)4 68 59 29 00 salvat.jp@wanadoo.fr Château Montana +33 (0)4 68 37 54 84 chateaumontana@wanadoo.fr Les Terres de Mallyce +33 (0)4 68 73 86 37 soto.corinne@orange.fr

DISTRIBUTORS IN NORTH AMERICA: USA: Speedimpex, 11 101 New York Medis Marketing Direct, New York Source Interlink, FL 34134 Bonita Springs Canada: LMPI, H1J 2L5 Anjou

DISTRIBUTOR IN SOUTH-AFRICA: MCS, 2157 Woodmead Gilbert & Gaillard is published by Vinipresse, SARL with a capital of 35,500 euros • Head office: 7 Parc des Fontenelles, 78870 Bailly, France • Legal representative and Editorial director: Sylvain Patard • Legal deposit: fourth quarter 2011 • Joint consultative committee: 0612 K 90504 • ISSN 2110-6762 Reproduction of part or all of the contents of this magazine in any form is expressly prohibited. Any company names that appear in the articles are given for information only and have no publicity purpose.


Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Magazine - Winter 2011 issue  

The winter edition of the famous Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Magazine. Read our latest tastings, everything about champains !

Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Magazine - Winter 2011 issue  

The winter edition of the famous Gilbert & Gaillard Wine Magazine. Read our latest tastings, everything about champains !

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