Sommelier - Spring 2023

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1 A warm congratulations to Raimonds Tomsons – The World Champion of Sommeliers 2023! Throughout 5 days of rigorous tests to find the new ASI Best Sommelier of The World, Raimonds Tomsons went all the way, writing history as the first ever Latvian candidate to win the title.

IMPRINT:

Sommelier #1 2023 26.Year

Deadline for next issue (#2 2023): 18. May

Editor in chief: Nina Højgaard Jensen / Nhj@sommelier.dk

Layout og art director: Morten Nybæk

Print: Nybæk Grafisk, 26 25 82 50

Issuer: Dansk Sommelier Forening

PRACTICAL INFO

SOMMELIER is published four times annually and sent to members and friends of the Danish Sommelier Association. The magazine is run by volunteer work. All profit goes to education, competitions and professional events. As a private person you can support the association with 700 dkk/year by becoming “Friend of Danish Sommelier Association”. Apart from working to improve the Danish sommeliers, you will then receive a diploma.

For membership contact: Heine René Egelund he@sommelier.dk - all enquiries in realtion to change of address, contingent and invoices are kindly asked addresses to Heine Egelund as well.

Ads and anything in that relation: Bonnie Reinwald Mail: bonnie@ buttandbons.com

We ask kindly that invitations to tastings, travels etc. are directed to Editor in chief Nina Højgaard Jensen på mail Nhj@sommelier.dk

WRITE FOR THE MAGAZINE

You are welcome to contribute to our magazine. For contributions or questions in that regard, contact Nina Højgaard Jensen by email nhj@ sommelier.dk. Please note that photos should be a minimum of 2MB.

BOARD OF DANISH SOMMELIER ASSOCIATION:

PRESIDENT: Christian Aarø ca@sommelier.dk

VICE PRESIDENT: Tim Vollerslev tv@sommelier.dk

TREASURER: Heine Egelund he@sommelier.dk

SPONSER MANAGER: Bonnie Reinwald bonnie@buttandbons.com

RESPONSIBLE FOR TASTINGS:

- Copenhagen - Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen ctj@sommelier.dk

- Fyn - Heine Egelund he@sommelier.dk

- Jylland - Kim Thygesen kt@sommelier.dk

COMPETITIONS & ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS:

Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen & Jess Kildetoft ctj@sommelier.dk & jk@sommelier.dk

TRAVELS:

Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen & Kim Thygesen ctj@sommelier.dk & kt@sommelier.dk

NEW LETTERS & COMMUNICATION: Christian Thorsholt Jacobsen ctj@sommelier.dk

FACEBOOK & WEBMASTER: Kim Thygesen kt@sommelier.dk

SECRETARY:

Christian Høj-Jørgensen chj@sommelier.dk

Front page: Raimonds Tomsons Best Sommelier of the World 2023 –

PHOTO CREDIT: ASI & HRVProd

www.adriatvinimport.dk

VISION FOR KVALITET OG

Høj kompetence og erfaring siden 1979 ligger bag Adriats spændende sortiment, der omfatter vine fra vingårde i hele Italien. Flere hører til blandt verdens førende producenter, andre er på vej, og nogle er stadig ukendte. Alle er de omhyggeligt udvalgt med samme store kærlighed til vinen.

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NYDELSE Adriat Vinimport as ITALIENSKE KVALITETSVINE
Giacomo Conterno Apollonio Luigi Pira Garofoli Bisol Il Cascinone Gianfranco Alessandria Capovilla Elio Altare Albino Rocca Vie di Romans Antonio Caggiano Florio Panizzi La Ciarliana Mauro Veglio Matteo Correggia Ca’ dei Frati Mocali Hofstätter Bove Bartolo Mascarello Roberto Voerzio Leonildo Pieropan Berta La Spinetta Terre Nere Tenuta di Bibbiano Revello Piaggia Morgante San Giusto a Rentennano Villa Simone Ciacci Piccolomini Cantine del Notaio Cascina Fontana Manincor Ermacora Brigaldara Ca’ La Bionda Alpha Zeta Cos
no. 1 - 2023 2023 Best Sommelier of the world...................................................... 6 Aurélien Gerbais: A master of Pinot Blanc in the Aube ..................... 20 It takes a region to raise a wine ........................................................ 32 Corpinnat: An Aim for distinction .................................................... 46 Rueda D.O. - How well do you really know it? ................................ 56

MONDAVI FAMILIEN I PIEMONTE

Nu har Robert Mondavis barnebarn, Carlo Mondavi, og hans partner, Giovanna Bagnasco, overtaget vinhuset Sorí della Sorba i Piemonte, hvor de producerer vin ud fra principper indenfor permakultur, biodynamik, og økologi.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gav vinhusets

første årgang 2019, Sorí della Sorba Nebbiolo Langhe 93+ point og en masse ros med på vejen:

De laver kun 2 vine på nuværende tidspunkt:

• Langhe Nebbiolo på 100% Nebbiolo

• Langhe Rosso på 60% Dolcetto, 40% Nebbiolo

MONDAVI FAMILIEN I PIEMONTE

”This biodynamic expression of Nebbiolo captures the most honest and transparent side of this noble Piedmont grape. Production is 3,441 bottles, 40 magnums and three jeroboams. That said, with this inaugural release, you'd be lucky to find one at all.”

Årgang 2020 er nu på lager i Skovlunde, og sælges så længe lager haves.

NYHED

Nu har Robert Mondavis barnebarn, Carlo Mondavi, og hans partner, Giovanna Bagnasco, overtaget vinhuset Sorí della Sorba i Piemonte, hvor de producerer vin ud fra principper indenfor permakultur, biodynamik, og økologi.

De laver kun 2 vine på nuværende tidspunkt:

• Langhe Nebbiolo på 100% Nebbiolo

• Langhe Rosso på 60% Dolcetto, 40% Nebbiolo

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gav vinhusets første årgang 2019, Sorí della Sorba Nebbiolo Langhe 93+ point og en masse ros med på vejen:

”This biodynamic expression of Nebbiolo captures the most honest and transparent side of this noble Piedmont grape. Production is 3,441 bottles, 40 magnums and three jeroboams. That said, with this inaugural release, you'd be lucky to find one at all.”

Årgang 2020 er nu på lager i Skovlunde, og sælges så længe lager haves.

Ca. 200 flasker på lager · Findes også i magnum 1,5L

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Kontakt salgsdirektør Thomas Dam for mere information: E: thomas.dam@laudrupvin.dk Tlf: 2240 4521 Mileparken 13 | 2740 Skovlunde | tlf. 4484 8086 | www.laudrup.dk
information: E: thomas.dam@laudrupvin.dk Tlf: 2240 4521 Mileparken 13 | 2740 Skovlunde | tlf. 4484 8086 | www.laudrup.dk NYHED
Ca. 200 flasker på lager · Findes også i magnum 1,5L Kontakt salgsdirektør Thomas Dam for mere

La Jota Vineyard

GRUNDLAGT I 1898 AF FREDERICK HESS

La Jota Vineyard Co. blev grundlagt i 1898 af Frederick Hess, en indvandrer fra Schweiz, som købte 327 hektar - Rancho La Jota - på Howell Mountain for at plante vinmarker. Han byggede vingården af vulkansk askesten, som blev brudt på ejendommen, og allerede i 1900 - kun to år efter vingårdens opførelse - opnåede La Jota Vineyard Co. international anerkendelse, da Hess vandt en bronzemedalje for sin ”Blanco”. Det er med stor stolthed, at La Jota Vineyards Co. i dag producerer små partier af helt unikke vine fra vingårdens egne vinmarker i Napa Valley i Californien, USA. Vinene er kendetegnet ved særdeles høj kvalitet, intens frugt og mineralsk kompleksitet.

97 points Robert Parker

96 points James Suckling

94 points Wine Spectator

5 La
www.bestselection.dk 86 41 03 88

2023 Best Sommelier of the world

Every third year, a new sommelier gets to claim the title as Best Sommelier of the World. ASI (International Sommelier Association) have since 1969 conducted the competition 16 times with the edition in 2023 being the 17th taking place in Paris, hosted by ASI and The French Sommelier Association, spearheaded by Philippe Faure-Brac (World Champion 1992). The competition allows sommeliers globally to challenge themselves in high pressure conditions and in all the aspects required from a professional, but it is more than that. It reaches beyond the title, beyond the achievements. It is about creating a foundation for the profession to continue to reach higher standards. It presents an opportunity to exchange ideas and strengthen the global community. It forces the participants to reflect on the many nuances our field contains as well as consider ways to improve themselves and those around them. It is remarkable to notice that it works: With every edition more countries participate and mark themselves as serious candidates. With every edition the average level seems to rise another little bit. And with every edition more people follow it and become inspired.

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TOUCHDOWN

We land in Paris Monday the 6th of February - the day before the official program starts. We share a dinner with a few of the other candidates that are also good friends. Anticipation and impatience is in the air, mixed with the joy of seeing people you missed. All of us can’t wait for Wednesday to arrive – on Wednesday one of the toughest parts is on the schedule: Theory. A monster, sort of like the Boggart in Harry Potter; seemingly always taking the most dreaded form. Theory is infinite: Geography, history, chemistry, geology, producers, legislation, viticulture, vinification, coffee, tea, cigars, spirits, sake… The list goes on and the more you dive into it, the vaster it becomes. Studying theory makes you resonate with the Socriatic paradox: “The more I know, the more I realize I know nothing”. The realization of how much is yet to be learned, can be used as a great motivation: After all, the depth and width of the wine world is part of the fascination. I do see sense in learning about Romania, because it will give me a better understanding of why say Burgundy is special. It creates a wider reference. I would say over time, studying for the theory parts again and again, have made me understand much more about wine. I have always enjoyed training my memory to hold a lot of information, and I would say I excel in learning the long, complicated lists, be it producers within an appellation or the Grand Crus of Alsace. It did take time however, to

change all those facts into actual knowledge. A continues process where different learning techniques became crucial. I can connect the dots now in ways I previously wasn’t able to.

Subjects and reflections such as these are things, among many others, talked about on the big walk around tasting the 7th. Here, most candidates meet each other, some again, some for the first time. Right before dinnertime, we are introduced by Markus Del Monego MW (World Champion of 1998) to the disciplines the next day: “Tomorrow, you will have written tasting, written theory and a practical task. (…) Keep in mind that all questions are carefully written with attention to detail. If you for instance mention 10 things when we ask for 4, you will not be given any points. Pay attention: Listen to what we say. Read what we have asked. And you will be fine!” While I doubt too many of the 68 candidates were feeling fine, it was clear, that the Technical Committee really wished for everyone to be at ease and capable of doing their very best the following day.

We are then escorted to a majestic welcoming ceremony at Quai d’Orsay. William Wouters, President of ASI, includes in his speech words that all of us would need to hold on to throughout the challenges ahead: “In a competition there will be winners. This means some will not achieve the results they hoped for. But bear

in mind everything you have already reached to be here”.

THE QUARTER FINAL

We enter the Ballroom of Pullmann Montparnasse. 68 tables are lined up with 4 glasses of red wine and one mysterious beverage on each. Immediately I think; This is different to what I have seen in previous competitions. I wonder what the format will be? Soon it is revealed: “Identify these four redwines and name the common vinification method”. Of the red wines 3 are ruby and with pale color intensity; the first has purple hue a and a moderate color saturation. They all share a high aroma intensity, elevated acidity, a florality ranging from blue to red flowers and a core of red fruit in varying ripeness. Two of them have very marked tannins and a warming alcohol. None have signs of new oak. Pretty soon I decide the common denominator has to be whole bunch fermentation – which proved to be correct. An answer of partly carbonic maceration was also accepted. You already have a clear idea of the varietals in the glass, but use the support of the vinification method to try and reach a conclusion. I end up with Syrah from Crozes-Hermitage, Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Garnacha from Spain and a Langhe Nebbiolo, which yielded 2/4 correct. Then the second half of the tasting is uncovered: A full written organoleptic analysis of the beverage in the glass, with special attention being paid to the age of it, in 6 minutes.

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WEDNESDAY-QUARTER FINAL-MORNING

I believe most candidates finished in time. To me it had to be either a sherry or some obscure curiosity. I went down the VORS Palo Cortado Sherry road – many ended up with a Madeira; a classic swap in blind tasting. I perhaps drink an abnormal amount of Sherry, so I felt much at home and had a stroke of luck there as it indeed was a Palo Cortado we had in the glass. Theory is the next beast to be tackled: And it was a big one. 100 questions – many of them requiring 10 or more answers in one quesion in the span of 90 minutes. Many didn’t complete. I barely managed, and on the call of “5 minutes left” I fill out the missing 2 pages.

After a lunch we return to the Ballroom and the waiting game begins: For those who

have a high candidate number it would be hours until they are called in to the practical task. I always look forward to service tasks as it is what I do most of on daily basis. Here the key is not to overthink it – try and stick to the logical solution. The service task in the quarterfinal is always a short one, to proof that the sommelier knows how to handle clients and wine in practice. The level of efficiency needed to carry it out often poses a challenge. In this instance the task is announced as service for 4 guests: “We have waited a long time and are in a hurry. We would like a half bottle of Bordeaux. You have three minutes”. Being polite and acknowledging mistakes is an important part of guest relations hence, you should apologize for the waiting time

and carry on assuring the guests get the requested wine. Also, you must take into consideration that the guests are in a hurry when recommending food to go with the chosen bottle. Next pitfall: The only wine available was warm! Do you notice? How do you handle it? I notified the guest, put it in the ice bucket and opened it from there to maximize the time on ice before serving. Some denied serving it, as they feared the quality was compromised, some carried on directly to serving after notifying the guest. What really was the right way to go I wouldn’t know, but that is part of the fun: Keep questioning the solutions you turn to.

Before the result of the quarterfinals would be revealed, a

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day of masterclasses awaited. The waiting time is hard to handle, but understandable, as correcting that many theory- and tasting tests is a huge job in itself. On the masterclasses there is always inspi -

ration to be found: We had a class with Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, where we got a good idea of the generous, drinkable 2018 vintage and we tasted great cognacs where we got an introduction

to the identity of the region through Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Martell before the trip continued to Panthéon in celebration of our beautiful host city: Paris!

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THURSDAY-MASTERCLASS THURSDAY-MASTERCLASS

SEMI FINAL

Thursday evening, we depart to Paris City Hall. It is time for the announcement of the semi-finalists. The location is nothing less than spectacular and the air seems electric with hope, anxiety, and enthusiasm. Who will get to continue?

Announcements are hard – it is when the exclusion begin. Everyone has worked so hard and the thought that some were perhaps unlucky, and others simply wasn’t enough, can seem unbearable. One by one we are called to the stage. Once all 17 semi-finalists are gathered, it is a beautiful sight: Every continent is represented! I have to fight to hold back the tears of heartbreak for those who didn’t make the cut – among them some very dear friends. At the same time,

we must remain focused – semi-finals are no joke. Despite the many feelings ranging from disappointment to relief, there is this genuine, beautiful happiness for one another between the candidates and a sincere wish for all to perform their best going forward. That level of companionship is hard to describe but invaluable to experience.

The Semi-final commerce the next day. We start at 10.00 with a written test. Even more difficult than the one of the quarterfinals, this one is shorter: Just 15 questions – mostly on the recent news of the wine world as well as an open question: ‘What expertise’s should a good sommelier cover?’ An interesting one, which I would love to see the answers to published!

SEMIFINALISTS:

• Valeria Gamper (Argentina)

• Suvad Zlatic (Austria)

• Tom Ieven (Belgium)

• Reeze Choi (China)

• Sotiris Neofytidis (Cyprus)

• Nina Jensen (Denmark)

• Pascaline Lepeltier (France)

• Manuel Schembri (Iceland)

• Wataru Iwata (Japan)

• Raimonds Tomsons (Latvia)

• Chuan Ann Tan (Malaysia)

• Francesco Marzola (Norway)

• Andrea Martinisi (New Zealand)

• Jo Wessels (South Africa)

• Reza Nahaboo (Switzerland)

• Kai-Wen Lu (Taiwan)

• Mark Guillaudeau (USA)

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Semifinalists 9.02 - Meilleur sommelier du monde 23-1 (1)

Following a light lunch, we are escorted to another room to await our number being called for the practical tasks. The spirit is high and we get to socialize as much as the nerves will allow: A few rounds of hangman, a chat about cool socks and a few people taking a nap.

The semifinal tasks are constituted of 3 rooms. The first you could dub “The tasting room”. Here we are first asked to identify three red wines and decide the common denominators. They are evidently all Bordeaux-blends – something all candidates caught. But what’s more, it is revealed, is that they are in fact all the same wine aged 18 months in new oak, but different types of oak! “Can you please identify the oak type used?” It is difficult not to be a little intimidated by the knowing smile of Andreas Larsson (World Champion 2007), the calculated observations of Heidi Mäkinen MW (placed 5th in 2016) and the detailed Olivier Poussier (World Champion 2000) as you try manage within 1 minute. The next exercise is more familiar: A full organoleptic description of a 2016 Gusbourne (sparkling wine from England) – nailed spot on by the South African Joe Wessels, while I was in Champagne – kudos! Lastly, we should identify 5 beverages. Something I am normally comfortable with, but these ones get me flipped with a Sloe Gin and an Umeshu sake hitting me off course.

Room 2 is taking a contem -

porary glance at the role of a sommelier. First a task testing your theoretical knowledge of cocktails. Arvid Rosengren (World Champion 2016) announces that him and Paz Levinson (4th in 2016) have ordered a Sazerac and an Aviation: “Can you make these cocktails and if not, tell us why, and suggest a suitable alternative. You have 2 minutes.” From the mis en place station it is evident that neither can be made but a modern, post war interpretation of Sazerac can be done by substituting Cognac with Rye and a Last Word would be able to replace the Aviation as Crème de Violette is missing, but green Chartreuse is available. Then we are onwards to an identification of 5 beverages that proves to be all non-alcoholic, followed by the task of creating a 4 course vegan menu using the beverages just identified! How fun! And challenging… For a moment there I am on the verge of just creating a 3 course menu as I mess up the time (3 minutes) with the amount of courses (4). But I get to save it by throwing in amouche buche as well as a suggestion of how to incorporate the 5th beverage (Phew!).

Room 3 is the service room with a table of four: Serge Dubs (World Champion 1989), Shinya Tasaki (World Champion 1995), Markus Del Monego (World Champion 1998) and Paolo Basso (World Champion 2013). We are told that Mr. Monego is the host and Mr. Tasaki the guest of honour, to check our Mis en

Place, serve a bottle of champagne and that a guest have ordered a beer to be served –all in just three minutes. That is tight. I choose to skip the part of checking Mis en place as I am too afraid to lose on time. But of course, there is a hidden trap: The beer is in fact expired (my apologies to Serge Dubs for serving you too old beer)!

After we have finished, we go chat with the other candidates. Everyone has more or less the same feeling: Relief, pride and a bit of self-punishing. Reeze Choi shares his wonderfully humorous side and lightens the spirit of us all.

Friday evening and the entire Saturday now need to pass before the final three will be on stage.

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Reeze Choi 2
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THE FINAL

We are on the grande stage of Paris La Défense Arena, a crowd of 4000 in front of us. As the semi-finalists are called down from stage in order of their placement the pressure builds. The magic of being one of the final three approaches. This year, Wataru Iwata and Pascaline Lepeltier is with Reeze Choi, Raimonds Tomsons and I in the top five. A particular tough place to hear your name called from as it is so close. All you want in that moment is just the chance at it and it is right there – right in front of you! Wataru Iwata is called first. That leaves four of us. The fourth place is perhaps the hardest to receive. As Pascaline Lepeltier is announced, I, alongside many in the room, feel a certain melancholy: Pascaline is one of my great idols who I’d have loved to see on stage. Suddenly the final three are left. I am one of them. It is an unbelievable feeling. I have to remind myself to stay in the

moment, because it feels like a dream.

On the final stage there are many new initiatives in terms of the tasks: We have a bartender collegue we can seek help with to make a Margarita and an Old Fashioned for the first table while we then pour a glass of Dom Pérignon 2013 for the two last guests at the table, who could choose between three different sparkling wines. We get a floating 14 minute task with two tables to take care of alone, as our restaurant manager has left: At one table they have ordered a bottle of Magnum Château d’Issan to be decanted for the main course, but just as we assume the decantation, two guests of the other table walks in to complete the party and they request a bottle of champagne immediately! Also they would like to hear more about a wine their friend have acquired, and as he is not here, we are allowed

to “speak freely”. Something neither of us really get around to do is my impression, as the wine had volatile acidity that we don’t catch. But surely you wonder when it is phrased that way. After that you can reassume the decanting part. 14 minutes seems like plenty of time, so perhaps you even

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Finalists
Nina Raimonds

take the chance and return to the first table to check in on the cocktails and if they would like some more champagne. The idea of creating more of a service scenario worked out very well and perhaps permits the sommelier better to show her/his skills, as there is a more natural interaction between the candidate and the guests.

Then: Another speed tasting. This time white wines. Again, trusting your gut instinct again proves crucial and difficult to do. Perhaps it is just me, but something interesting happens to your tastebuds when you are under pressure. It feels like it is down to 50% or something. I wonder how that can be amended? Then to pieces of rock are brought in front of us. An alternate pairing between soil and wine awaits: Pair two of the four wines with a rock each. A game of logic, as you are trying to figure out what grapes and styles usually connects to the granite/schist and the slate that we have in front of us – I believe most sommeliers have a certain love for rocks, so it is a fun task. This is followed by two red wines: One to analyze fully. It is clearly a superb wine! You must choose wisely what to emphasize as the wine is complex with a lot to offer. The next task is to identify the vintage of the second

red wine, as it appears to be the same wine in a different year, and also: Sell it to the audience! While it is always difficult to sell something you are not sure what is, the wine itself is inspiring and it is a wonderful moment to connect with the audience and really sense the special moment you find yourself in. With great wines like these, there are a set of common factors that weigh into a selling situation, and you get to show your understanding of the wine. Upon the revelation that it was two different vintages of Petrus we had tasted; we were in awe. To taste something so unique in such a setting will leave a memory imprinted for life –and how often do you get to taste wines like that blind?

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Reeze Choi

The last tasks are using the white wines we just tasted to suggest pairings from a menu containing 12 different options as well as elaborate on the 2013 vintage in Champagne. Lastly we have a task of correcting a list of wines and spirits keeping an eye at BOTH the wines themselves as well as the prices. Here I come to understand, that division under pressure is hard: One Euro is 7,5 Danish krone. My entire brainpower goes into calculating these prices, so much so I hardly notice anything else – a big error. The moment I put down the list, I recognize five more things to correct, but it is too late; a valuable lesson learned, and a demonstration of the discoveries you make by being in a competition.

Lastly, we finish with an exercise in picture recognition. A game rewarding patience –a weak spot for me – as the pictures gets easier and easier with each one, but also brings in less points. I am too quick here, giving it a go one picture too early in many cases – if only I had just waited one more. Another takeaway I will be sure to bring.

THE 17TH CHAMPION

After the final your force is drained: You have given it everything. Being on a stage like that transforms you - no matter the outcome. It is that transformation which creates the purpose. You learn things about yourself and your craft. Hopefully you get to set an example for someone else –someone who feels represented

in what you do. Because representation matters – it allows us to dream and decides how high we dare aim: And dreams are the beginning of the realization. Yes, representation matters greatly and therefore I am very glad that Raimonds Tomsons emerged the winner and gets to represent us all! He has inspired both me and many, many others through his performances, and I am sure he will carry the responsibility well after the magnificent Marc Almert (World Champion 2019) who has executed it with grace.

Reeze Choi received the bronze and I can’t wait to see, what he will do next in life. He is one of the most impressive sommeliers I have met, and the character and sense of perspective he brings to our field is hugely important and inspirational!

I am grateful for the silver, and more than anything, I am grateful for all the experiences it came with. The journey has been incredible and this culmination of it indescribable.

A thank you to all parts involved including Sponsors, The French Sommelier Association lead by Philippe Faure-Brac, Volunteers, the entire ASI and Danish Sommelier Association. And finally, a congratulations to ASI: You are succeeding in the noble mission of making Sommeliers across the globe better.

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Raimonds winning
SUNDAY-FINALE (25)

COMTE

LOUIS DE LAURISTON & ENDEN PÅ ILLEGAL CALVADOS

Forestil dig, at du er tolder i 1960’ernes Normandiet. Du står og skuer ud over det bakkede landskab i Domfront, gennemskåret af klukkende bække og store skove. I en ulden inderlomme duver en forventningsfuld Mont Blanc, fyldt til bristepunktet og klar til at kradse grådigt i dit medbragte bødehæfte. For du ved de er derude. Hjemmebrænderne. På vinden kan du endda lugte røgen fra bålene under de hjemmesmedede kobberkedler. Men hvor? Domfront vrimler med gemmesteder og godtfolk som ikke just deler din begejstring for skatter og afgifter. Hvorfor sætter du dig ikke bare ind i 2CV’en og kører hjem igen? Lillemor har alligevel snart coq au vin’en klar.

Det gjorde de fleste, så det lykkedes sjældent at finde nålene i den nordfranske høstak, og længe blev æble- og pærebrændevinen fremstillet relativt uforstyrret i nattens mulm og mørke. Men en skæbnesvanger vinternat i 1962 trodsede en gruppe overivrige officerer snestormen og

tog en større gruppe destillatører og calvasmuglere på fersk gerning. Desværre havde de snuderne så dybt begravet i paragraf dit og dat, at de ikke lagde mærke til den forsamling, der i næste nu havde omringet dem. En god snes naboer havde materialiseret sig, for ordet havde spredt sig hurtigt, og tolderne var ikke populære i Domfront, så man forpassede ikke en mulighed for at give dem en lærestreg. De blev trængt op i en krog, blændet af forlygterne på en traktor. Den gassede op. Eller var det lyden af en rasende, fransk bondemand?

Situationen var ved at eskalere ud af kontrol, men heldigvis slog nogen koldt vand i blodet og sendte bud efter generalsekretæren i det lokale landmandsforbund, den gode Comte Louis de Lauriston. Grev Lauriston var en højtrespekteret mand, og han måtte være den eneste, der kunne mægle mellem de to parter. Efter lange forhandlinger blev det besluttet, at sigtelserne skulle droppes på betingelse af, at man byggede en kælder

som officielt lager, hvor calvados’en skulle fremstilles og fra nu af sælges i overensstemmelse med loven. Også den opgave påtog Grev Lauriston sig, og lageret fik navnet Chais du Verger Normand.

Siden 1962 har lokale landmænd leveret calvados til Chais du Verger Normand, hvorfra det blev solgt under brandet Comte Louis de Lauriston.

Calvados Domfrontais fik sin AOC i 1997 og er kendetegnet ved et højt indhold af pære (minimum 30%), hvilket giver en helt særlig karakter. Comte Louis de Lauriston er stadig områdets bedste mærke, og laver calvados’en på den go’e gamle måde. Den lagres i selv samme kælder fra 1962, hvor spiritussen ligger på små men godt brugte fade, som ikke overdøver den fine æble- og pærefrugt.

Og tænk: De har stadig gamle årgange fra før 1962, hvor calvados’en blev til i ly af mørket.

18 Juul’s Engros er sponsor
Repræsentant fra
Engros:
Regout // +45 25 94 06 14 // Andersr@juulsengros.dk L N OS KØ N
af Dansk Sommelier Forening.
Juuls
Anders

CHAPTER 1

NORTHWEST OF ORDINARY

CHAPTER 2

WASHINGTON'S NATURAL PARADOXES

CHAPTER 3

WA WINE HISTORY

CHAPTER 1

NORTHWEST OF ORDINARY

CHAPTER 2

WASHINGTON'S NATURAL PARADOXES

CHAPTER 3

WA WINE HISTORY & KEY REGIONS

Aurélien Gerbais: A master of Pinot Blanc in the Aube

PHOTO CREDIT: NICOLAI HØJLUND OG PR JENS PETER NEBSBJERG
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Aurélien Gerbais, of Pierre Gerbais, is the fourth member of his family to produce champagne in Celles-sur-Ource, a small village in Aube. Here Aurélien and a team of six are cultivating 18 hectares of vines with around 4 hectares being Pinot Blanc. The estate is certified with “Ampelos”, a kind of controlled lutte raisonnée where the growers have a limited number of options each year in case of emergency.

FIGHTING FOR PINOT BLANC

At a viewpoint above one of his vineyards Aurélien Gerbais points out the other villages and the main geographical features of the Barséquanais. “Celles-sur-Ource is the meeting point of the valleys which gives humidity” says Aurélien. Celles-sur-Ource Is not only the meeting point of the valleys but also their rivers of Seine and the l’Ource which flows past the area on each side.

The area is particularly prone to spring frost hence, the high percentage of Pinot Blanc planted. A grape that for a long time was disfavored by the CIVC: “We cheated on paper - that’s why we have Pinot Blanc’’ says Aurélien, after outlining a short history of the south’s fight for being a part of champagne. The center of power is in the north where most vineyards and the big houses are. They created the rules from their perspective, omitting Pinot Blanc but the CIVC did not inspect the vineyards and that was the loophole for the Gerbais family among others. Pinot blanc was planted out of necessity in a village where the crop only ripened in 1 out of 10 vintage just a few generations ago.

SEEKING ACIDITY

In these extreme conditions Aurélien’s grandfather rather daringly not only planted the north facing part of Cellessur-Ource, but he also planted it with Chardonnay! In

Aurélien’s lifetime these vineyards have gone from inferior to superior. Where before the south-facing plots were ideal for consistently ripening fruit, they now risk producing overripe fruit in warmer vintages.

“We look for acidity, not ripeness. We have that [ripeness]!” he states before elaborating on the subject: “In the north the chalk gives acidity, here we have to work for it.” Aurélien prefers to let the malolactic conversion happen in the wines because “the acidity is best found in the vineyard.” He works with rootstocks and selection massale to delay the maturation. This is both to avoid spring frost but also to slow down the ripening. Selecting late ripening material for replanting seems only natural for a climate conscious producer.

The vines are pruned using the guyot-poussard system to maintain his vines as long as possible. It is a choice based on the understanding that old vines have deeper roots, which gives access to a more stable water supply, helping to retain acidity in the grapes. The pruning system is related to the philosophy of Marco Simonit; trying to prune with the sap flow in mind and create as few harmful cuts as possible. The impact of the unavoidable pruning wounds is minimized by this approach, extending the lives of the vines.

MATCHING SOILS

Aurélien once again points out over the landscape, this time towards Chablis which is closer to Celles-sur-Ource than the Grand Crus of the north. The soil here is mainly Kimmeridgian clay with Portlandian clay in the highest part. “With soils similar to those in Chablis, why then Pinot Noir?” He asks rhetorically before answering his own question: “The big houses asked for Pinot Noir and that is what the growers in the Aube planted.”

But the Gerbais believe that brown soils should be matched by Pinot Noir while white soils should be matched with Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. With a fifty-fifty percentage in soil that very accurately describes their plantings: 50% Pinot Noir, 25% chardonnay and 25% Pinot Blanc. A system not far away from the northern champagne where a bit of clay in the top soil often will see plantings of Pinot Noir while chardonnay usually is planted in shallow to no topsoil - directly in the (white) chalk.

RESPECTING TRADITIONS

Aurélien has inherited a style that avoids oxygen in the winemaking. Each parcel is fermented separately in stainless steel. The time sur lattes is relatively short with a maximum of three years with capsule before degorgement.

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Aurélien has not changed this philosophy although he himself has undergone training in Burgundy where oxygen plays a larger role. An impressive integrety towards the tradition of his family.

The entry level of the range is a mix of grapes, soils and exposures that represents the holdings of the Gerbais’ and pure vintage, although not declared. The rest of the range is site specific and all created with a perpetual reserve as a base. For champagne, the perpetual reserve is used to retain freshness while adding the complexity of reserve wines. The wines are therefore top tier and non-vintage wines at the same time.

The range shows an extreme diversity of the sites which all are from the village of Cellessur-Ource. With a strict winemaking philosophy like the one practiced here the diversity is even more impressive.

THE GIFT IS PASSED ON

Pierre Gerbais received a wedding gift that started the domaine, and so did Aurélien and Audrey Gerbais for their wedding. “Les Ploies” is a small plot of 0,4 hectares planted in 1904 with Pinot Blanc. It is the exact same plot that four generations earlier initiated the domain

that now forms the basis of Auréliens own project. From “Les Ploies” Aurélien creates a champagne true to himself and not the tradition of the family.

The aim is not to shield the wine from oxygen, on the contrary the wine is educated about oxygen. The wine ferments in barrel, see long aging sur lattes sealed by cork and is still not released to the market.

We tasted 2014, degorged à la volée from the cork and agraffe, left to rest for a half hour before being decanted

for a short while. The wine is impressively open. The generous fruity welcome is overtaken by a vibrant acidity that turns into a long, stringent and dry finish. A fascinating wine that I think has a long life ahead of it.

Will Aurelien continue to uphold the traditional practices employed by his father, or will he eventually pull the house towards a more contemporary style, with greater influence from his personal winemaking philosophy? Certainly a domain to watch.

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It takes a region to raise a wine

Change is afoot in the French wine region of Champagne. It has been for some time now. For many years champagne has been a wine of strong branding and marketing, associated with celebratory events and not on par with other serious wines.A symbol of celebration. Often you would hear people say: Do you want wine or champagne? As a symbol, champagne has been more of a parody of its true self, and to the ideology of terroir; a real let down.

Raimonds winning
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Adrien Renoir Alexandre Lamblot doing barrelsampling

DISCREDITING THE PUBLIC IMAGE

Let me start by saying that I am far from the first to touch on this topic, and surely won’t be the last. I still however believe it is becoming increasingly relevant, and exactly why we will touch on later.

Champagne is pictured as a luxury product in the eyes of the public, created by a region with extraordinary Premier and Grand Cru villages. All the work is done manually, and they just love to show us the riddling and disgorgement being done by hand. The truth is that we are enchanted by big brands, great underground cellars carved in limestone, marketing schemes, and of course the ever so refreshing and playful bubbles. It doesn’t take a journalist to discover the fact that a producer like Moët & Chandon (the biggest) produces around 30 million bottles of Champagne each year. And now we are even hearing of the large maisons running out of wine? I mean, you have to be kidding me.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire the hard work and progressive mentality of the big brands, which has contributed greatly to the reputation of champagne as an exclusive and high-quality beverage. But I also do believe, that somewhere along the road the point got lost. Whilst sitting in their great mansions in Reims and Avenue de Champagne, the big maisons have successfully

sold the artisanal idea to the public: Champagne is made with hard manual labor, and a touch of magic. Remember the great words from Pierre Pérignon? “Come quick, I am tasting the stars!”? The reality today, is that these big maisons are more of factories than artisanal producers, and to me, the evidence is in the glass.

REMOVING THE MAKE - UP

We are truly fortunate to be witnessing a real paradigm shift in Champagne. As a steady manifestation, the realization, that wine is made in the vineyard has dawned upon Champagne. While it is overdue, it has arrived, and there are many great names to thank for this. A whisper in the corner is becoming a regionwide movement. The growers of Champagne are not only taking greater care of the environment, with regulations initiated by the CIVC, but we are seeing an increased attention towards full physiological ripeness of the grapes. And to be fair, is this not the starting point of any great wine?

Most of us have firsthand experience with the rising prices in Burgundy. With the demand exceeding the supply manyfold, there is a void in the market, that someone better fill, quickly! So, what does that mean? Am I talking about red wine from Pinot Noir, and white wine from Chardonnay? Not necessarily.

The idea is more comprehensive. Most of the consumers, restaurateurs and sommeliers are drawn to Burgundy largely due to the ideology of terroir. The idea that Vosne-Romanée is velvety soft, that Chambolle-Musigny is light and floral, and that Meursault is rich and oaky (even if this may not be the truth anymore), and the important statement that they are all different. Now we need to start looking for terroir elsewhere to satisfy our romanticized idea, that the grapes taste of the place they are grown. This leads us to Champagne.

Not only are young Champagne grower-producers slowly removing the makeup of their wines, by reducing winemaking input, among those being chaptalization, enzymes, yeast additions, sulfur dioxide and sugar quantities for the liqueur d’expedition, but they are also shifting more focus towards tending their vines. We are fortunate to find ourselves in a cultural revolution, with the current generation rediscovering the land, and having the (pardon my French) cojones to challenge their parents in shifting this paradigm. The wines of Champagne are showing more character than ever, and an excellent example of this is the rise in production of the “Coteaux Champenois” category.

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DIRECTLY FROM THE SOURCE

Now, lets get down to the facts based on a recent trip to Champagne. Our very first visit was with Frederic Savart. Frederic has for more than a decade now been known as a champion of terroir, with most of his expressions (if you know you know) coming from the premier cru village of Ecueil, in the Petit Montagne (de Reims). The Petit Montagne has long been overlooked, and simply categorized as the “Montagne de Reims”. Unique for its sandier soil, the wines here show a clear difference from the Montagne the Reims, both in terms of fruit character and texture. Ecueil has become a village of attention in recent years, not only thanks to Frederic, but also producers like Emmanuel Brochet, Gaspard Brochet, Lacourte-Godbillon and Nicolas Maillart. While the village is more known for their Pinot Noir wines trust me when I say the Chardonnays can leave the impression of great Burgundy. Frederic has long been tending the vineyards in all the right ways, with no chemical inputs, manual labor, low yields and late harvested grapes (compared to the norm). Frederic emphasized his recent necessity to act as a négociant, buying grapes for some of his blended wines, due to recent poor vintages in terms of quantity.

Perhaps the thing that struck me most during this inspiring visit - other than what I ex -

pected from a producer of his reputation – was his fondness of a new toy: The wineglobe. The wineglobe is an aging vessel, shaped as a balloon or a pear thick in the bottom, made from a non-porous material; glass. Frederic was kind enough to present us with wines from the same vineyard, aged in both wineglobe (220L) and oak barrels. The intention from Frederic was clear; the expression of terroir, removing the make up from the oak. With exceptional producers you often encounter one of two mindsets: Either the producer is determined to follow a singular, dogmatic way of work, with a conviction that the applied techniques will create greatness, or they seem to be leaning in a philosophical direction with more questions than answers. Frederic seems like the latter type.

Another two visits that deserve mention was to Alexandre Lamblot (in Janvry next to Gueux) and Aurore Casanova (in Mardeuil next to Pierry). Both of them young growers with points to prove but from different backgrounds. The wines were worlds apart in terms of style, texture and even grape varieties, but the philosophy was much the same in spirit. Both producers craft wines from what can be considered lesser-known terroirs. Alexandre has vines in the village of Janvry, Chenay, Vrigny and Gueux, with the wines from Janvry and Gueux being of particular interest in this context. While Au -

rore Casanova has land in the Grand Cru of Puisieulx. Alexandre is what you could consider as a true farmer, with his hands deep in the soil, standing on the ground of generations of grape growers and winemakers, but creating his own path. Aurore Casanova is in a more in the experimental phase, still navigating the story and style of the house.

It was obvious to feel a passion and curiosity towards experimentation, in both discovering their terroir, but also in low intervention winemaking. In terms of Champagne, low intervention is almost the same as speaking Chinese. In that regard, Alexandre is of particular interest; he works the vineyards with biodynamic farming practices, creating his own plant-based extractions as remedies towards diseases in the vineyards. The vineyards are planted with fruit trees between the vines to optimize biodiversity, and encourage the existence of different insects, acting as predators to other vine-threatening insects. Alexandre is also an advocate of harvesting at optimal ripeness, at slightly lower yields (not as low as Savart) with around 60-70 hectoliters pr. hectare. In the cellar his ideology was very straightforward, experimentation for the sake of progress, with no space for compromise. Should the wine be faulty (due to the low intervention winemaking) or of inferior quality, it would simply be distilled.

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Old Champagne Press Cellar of Fredric Savart

There was no room for mediocrity in this place and Alexandre is willing to make the necessary sacrifices in the name of his philosophy.

The reason I also feel Aurore Casanova is worth of attention, is her attitude towards the terroir. Like many other new and young producers of Champagne, it was evident that they were still finding their way, creating their style and identity, but based on the right foundation. Farming both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Puisieulx, creating characterful expressions of this forgotten village. The lesser known terroirs have become the birthplace of many of these new, exciting producers, who manage to create wines that are in no way of inferior to those from more well-known places.

The recipe for the young growers of Champagne seems to be taking shape; Sustainable vineyard management, harvesting grapes later and at lower yields, no additions of yeast for fermentation, fermentation and aging in oak barrels (of varying shapes and sizes), no additions of sulfur (except very little at bottling), no fining or filtration, and no (or very little) sugar with the liqueur d’expedition.

The last visit I wanted to touch on, were with a producer very much making wine in the same philosophy as the ones mentioned already, but with some points setting them apart. We

were lucky really, it was clear skies, and the sun was in a good mood. Standing at the foot of hill where the city of Verzy is located, Adrien Renoir brought us to see some of his vineyards, just in time to meet the sheep, grazing the vineyard floor. The intention is to keep vegetation controlled, and at the same time providing an organic fertilizer for the soil. The sheep were being moved between the different vineyards until budbreak, as no risk could be taken to them eating the fresh buds. Adrien is quiet and humble man, with a lot on his mind. Speaking of the exceptional person, Adrien would be the opposite of Frederic Savart. He had a clear idea of where he was going, what was working for him and why, and which style of wine he was aiming to produce. Based in the somewhat overlooked Grand Cru of Verzy, on a northern exposed sloped, Pinot Noir had found a perfect home. Most of Adriens vineyards were planted in the early 60’s, while vineyards in Champagne were still being planted with seleccion massale (mixed clonal material). The use of oak and controlled oxidation is a key factor during vinification, and it mixes wonderfully with the zesty acidity from the cooler terroir of Verzy. Once again, Adrien emphasized later harvest, lower yields, and riper grapes.

IT REALLY DOES TAKE A VILLAGE

There is some comfort in knowing that the evidence was in the glass. This trip only confirmed my belief in that. I consider

myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet these people, to hear their stories, to see and feel the passion bursting from the fire in their eyes. I know I’m not making some grand discovery here, but the simple fact is, we need to be more aware of the wines from Champagne that we buy. We need to be critical about the input in the vineyards as well as the cellar, just as we would with any other wine (or any other product for that matter). No longer should these wines hide behind the make-up of winemaking, but instead should be seen as they are, equally to every other wine we would put on our wine list, or serve to our guests, or drink in the comfort of our own homes.

In all summation I refer you to the simple proverb used in the title. Great momentum is with the growers (and producers) of Champagne, substantial strides have been made in the search of terroir and more refined expressive wines. They are moving in the right direction, but be patient, it takes time. It is our jobs as the industry professionals to support this movement, to push for more transparency, and to ask the right questions.

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Aurelien Lemaire with his Amphora
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Corpinnat: An Aim for distinction

Corpinnat was born out of a desire: A desire to realize the potential of a historic place, free of the stained reputation Cava seems stuck with. The quality leap from top to bottom within Cava is huge, and the lack of more precise geographic designations within Cava DO made it hard for the most serious producers to see themselves within the DO; producers with great ambitions of bringing a sense of place to the category and stricter requirements into Spanish sparkling wines. Even with the creation of the Paraje category and the new subzones in Cava, Corpinnat remained relevant and was ratified in 2017 with 6 producing members spearheaded by Xavier Gramona and Ton Mata. Today, that number has grown to 11 producers among them Torelló and Recaredo –some of the greatest icons.

“Is above anything else an idea. An idea that we can make top sparkling wines in our area” - Xavier

S uperficie de 997 km2 22.966 hectarees de vinya TERRITORI CORPINNAT Watch a beautiful, comprehensive introduction to the terroir of Corpinnat here: https://youtu.be/P5N0ZVMwUyI

THE DEFINITION

The word Corpinnat itself is a merger between two concepts: Cor, describing the cradle where the first Spanish sparkling wines were made more than 130 years ago, and Pinnat which is a etymological reference to Penedès itself, which can be traced back to Latin pinna, meaning rock alluding to the rocky soil of Penedès. To create the geographic boundaries of the appellation both the terroir and the historical production was taken into consideration, ending up with a total landmass of 997 square kilometers with just below 23.000ha of vines planted, encapsulating partlyor entirely following regions: Alt Penedès, Alt Camp, Baix Penedès, Garraf, Baix Llobregat and Anoia, counting 46 minicipalities.

The production requirements to be approved for Corpinnat are significantly harsher than for Cava: The grapes must be organic, and hand harvested, the wines estate produced, and it should be composed of minimum 90% historical va -

MEMBERS OF CORPINNAT:

rieties. The winery must pass two annul audits, one of them during harvest time to ensure the stipulations are followed. The minimum aging is 18 months on lees, but vast majority is aged for longer, with 55% of the wines being aged for 30-60months and 28% for longer than 60 months on the lees – numbers that easily surpass Champagne! This is greatly helped by the requirement to all wineries to release minimum one wine aged for 60+ months on lees. Furthermore, by being in Corpinnat, the producer is obligated to live up to a number of sustainable standards touching on subjects such as biodiversity, efficient energies and forest management.

To the members of Corpinnat, the historical part plays a great value to the motivation behind defining Corpinnat. It is clear, that it was an aim for them from the very beginning, to reconnect with something nearly lost. Xavier Gramona: “There are more than 50 countries in the world producing sparkling wines, but most

of them are producing young sparkling wines, recognizing that they can hardly compete with Champagnes. It was our luck that phylloxera came 20 years later to Catalunya than Champagne. We started selling still wines to Champagne, but the idea of making quality sparkling wines locally was born. With Corpinnat we wanted to demonstrate, that Cava could also be a longterm wine made with strict requirements. We realized that we can make sparkling wines for aging, because we have some interesting local varietals. Especially Xarel-lo is unique: in 1997 it was concluded by the university in Dijon that it is the most antioxidant grape used for sparkling wine production, and it was later backed up by Washington University, which proved, that it was one of the most antioxidative grapes not only for sparkling wines, but in fact in the world! It means that it will keep very well, even if it has a little lower acidity than what we know from Champagne”.

Gramona – Imported by Philipson Wine

Llopart – Imported by D’Wine

Nadal – Currently looking for an importer

Recaredo – Imported by Philipson Wine

Sabaté I Coca – Imported by Løgismose

Torelló – Imported by Winepoint

Huguet de Can Freixes – Currently looking for an importer

Mas Candi – Imported by Lieu-Dit

Júlia Bernet – Imported by af Fuco Wine Import

Descregut – Imported by Vintage only

Pardas – Unknown if imported

Indigenous varities

(minimum 90%): Xarel. lo, Macabeo, Perellada, Malvasia (Subirat, Parent), Garnacha Tinta, Monastrel, Sumoll and Xarel-lo vermell. Authories varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Malvasia de Sitges and Trepat

THE RESULT

The noble mission pursued by the present day 11 producers clearly creates a good foundation of a very high bottom level. I had the pleasure of tasting wines from 10 of the producers giving a good snapshot of what the designation means for the end consumer. The picture painted on the tasting was overall very positive. There were several common features between the wines as well as expected differences. I have tried to focus on the common denominators here, in order to outline what Corpinnat is all about taste-wise. The wines were all disgorged in the first half of 2022 and vintage dated from 2014-2018.

Blanc de blancs wines dominate the picture, which was assumed both from the combination of climate-grape as well from the permitted varietals. Xarel-lo is the major star with Macabeo as a close

second, and it would be fair to call the trio of Xarel-lo and Macabeo (and Parellada) ‘the classic Corpinnat blend’ as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier is for Champagne, with the lion’s share of the wines composed by Xarel-lo and Macabeo only. It was striking to notice the common fruit profile in the wine – sure, the fruit condition varied from tart to cooked, but almost all Corpinnats showed a profile of orange, white peach and more pear-like than apple. Many displayed an exotic twist as well. All had some level of lactic creaminess ranging from subtle to very expressed.

Nearly all of them were at a good, mature drinking state – a state they seem to reach well before Champagne. Even if they are far from oxidized, the softer acidity makes more way for the maturity notes to shine through than a higher level of acidity would, resulting in the Corpinnats reaching

equilibrium sooner. The tertiary notes were very much in the direction of a dark earthyness and a very distinct cheesy note as a common denominator well – accenturated and more umami toned than most mature champagnes. The tertiary profile of the wines made it difficult for me to distinguish oak use in the wines. Perhaps it takes more tastingpractice of Corpinnats to do, but it dawned on me that if was more difficult than with Champagne. In terms of use in a restaurant the mature features can be great, as we can suddenly present wines with long bottle aging, ready to drink. The question is then: Are the guests ready to drink evolved sparkling wines? Speaking from personal experience of pouring 2010 Celler Batlle Font de Jui (Gramona) on a pairing my answer would be yes, but I do believe it very much depends on the setting.

Brut Nature constitutes a large chunk of the Corpinnat wines produced. I’m not a dosage fanatic by any means –yes, my palette does gravitate towards the lower end of the spectrum, but I consider dosage like seasoning a dish with salt: If it is done correctly, you don’t notice, while if it is under- or overdone you will. Sometimes that means adding nothing, sometimes it means adding a little. For Corpinnat Brut Nature makes great sense. As they start off with lower acidity and more rich fruit, I can see how the richness added by bottle fermentation would be enough to balance the base wines. While the wines tasted were all rounded, the single wine having a Brut dosage level seemed lazy and overly voluminous next to the rest. Some of the wines were marked with Vinya de Muntanya – not an official designation (yet) within Corpinnat, but to signify that the grapes were sourced from higher altitude vinyards. To my palette those wines were recognizable for their fresher fruit profile, firmer acidity and less of the cheesy flavour.

Throughout the tasting, I noticed a curious thing: The stability of the mousse seemed to

be weaker than that of aged Champagnes, with the bubbles fading away in the glass sooner after pouring, which I wonder if could relate to pH levels (a subject for another time perhaps)?

CHAMPAGNE PARADOX

Across the board the wines were very balanced and gastronomic. The mellow acidity, creamy texture, full body and fine bubbles in combination with the clear autolytic notes, would make any sommeliers mind full of pairing-ideas. To me, they were more suited to be placed further into the menu rather than as aperitif, underscoring the seriousness

of these wines, and with prices starting at 240 dkk for the samples I received, they present a viable option to feature on pairing.

I have continuously compared the wines with Champagne which seems like a paradox, as the wines are very distinguished from precisely Champagne and the whole mission of creating the Corpinnat designation is to craft a new genre within the world of sparkling wines. It is simply because it seems like the easiest way to explain the wines, in the lack of any other frame of reference, but also because that would be the job in restaurants: How is it different to Champagne? Why should we choose this instead?

The wines of Corpinnat are not nervy, mineral nor acidity driven. They don’t have the tension. But they are generous and offer us the opportunity of surprise and a flavour profile unknown to many casual wine drinkers.

Thank you to Corpinnat for providing samples to get a deeper understanding of your mission!

WINES TASTED:

2018 Exsum El Brut Nature Vinya de Muntanya, Júlia Bernet: Smokey, tart peach, lemon zest, light toasty nuance, melted butter, ripe pear. Most fruitforward and vibrant in the lineup. A welcomed, modern style.

2017 Serral del Vell Brut Nature, Recaredo: Refined with harmony between evolution and fruit. Pear, cider apple, mature cheese, underlying saltiness, grapefruit, acaciawood, oolongtea, white smoke, strawberry with nutty finish. Elegant glass.

2016 Édicio Limitada Brut Nature, Nadal: Cheesy, raw chantarelles, walnut, forestfloor, baked quince, oxidized lemon juice yellow pear, abricot, salted lemon, orangejuice. Very much a food-wine at its peak.

2015 Leopardi Brut Nature Vinya de Muntanya, Llopart: Cherryblossom, abricot, grapefruit, light toasted sesameseed, green pear, camembert, mandarin. Fragrant with a generous fruitprofile yet a clear acidity.

2015 Sabaté i Coca Brut Nature, Josep Coca: Fresh cream, brioche, white peach, carrot, red apple, orangepeel, green strawberry, buttermilk, toasted hazelnut, passionfruit, physalis (groundcherry). A citrussy lift on palette counterbalances the toasty notes well.

2014 Clàssic Reserve 7 Anys Brut, Huguet De Can Feixes: Shows a whiff of reduction creating notes of summerrain and a chalky minerality. Pomelo, fresh cream, sweet peach, ripe pear, orangeyoughurt, red apple, rye bread. Feels a little too voluminous on palette.

2014 Ill Lustros Font de Jui Brut Nature, Gramona: Stylish and complex with preserved lemon, fennel, nutmeg, pumpkinseed, buttermilk, ripe lemon, white mold cheese, grapefruit, kumquat, sweet pear, raw ceps, almondmilk, brioche. Slight phenolic texture. By all measures a great, balanced wine. Drinking well now.

2017 Segunyola Brut Nature, Mas Candí: Expressive with notes of fresh orange, chamomile, macadamia, sourdough, earthiness, ripe apple and pear, bloodorange and nutmeg. Lifted and aromatically very harmonious. Has larger, less refined bubbles.

2016 Memòria Brut Nature, Can Descregut: Shy, but shows a pleasant precision. Mandarin, orange, toasted macadamia, almond, raw ceps, toasted bread, red grapefruit. More restraint and less volume.

2015 G Torelló Brut Nature, Gran Torelló: Rich and extroverted. Exoctic fruit, fresh butter, brown champignon, forestfloor, vanillabean, cheeserind, butterscotch, orangepeel, lemon. Palette centers around the citrus with the rest building around it.

Hos legandariske Alvaro Palacios er der tale om perfektion til fingerspidserne! Her er virkelig tale om storslåede vine, som falder i de flestes smag, hvilket de flotte udmærkelser understreger. Det er absolut ét af Spaniens førende vinhuse, så hvis du ikke allerede har prøvet nogle af de flotte vine, er det nu du skal sætte ind!

2019 FINCA DOFI, D.O.CA. ALVARO PALACIOS

PRIORAT, SPANIEN

Elegant, fin, frisk og klassisk med meget rene aromaer og smagsnoter med kraft og koncentration. Kompleks med smag og aroma af mørk frugt, knuste nelliker, hvid peber og en smule jern. Meget fine tanniner giver en nærmest cremet og rund fylde til vinen.

97 point Robert Parker

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“Winery of the Year – Au Bon Climat. A range of breathtaking wines... To me they represent the very essence of Santa Barbara.”
- Antonio Galloni, Vinous 2019

CHAMPAGNE JACQUES SELOSSE GUILLAUME SELOSSE

DE SOUSA LAUNOIS PHILIPPE LANCELOT MARGUET

FLEURY CHANOINE FRERES RUINART

KRUG DOM PERIGNON CLICQUOT PONSARDIN

EGON MÜLLER SCHARZHOF MAXIMIN GRÜNHAUS

SOFIA THANISCH SCHLOSS JOHANNISBERG

PETER JAKOB KÜHN EYMANN KAI SCHÄTZEL

NICOLAS JOLY LEROY DOMAINE LEROY

DOMAINE D’AUVENAY GUILLAUME VRIGNAUD

DOMAINE PIERRE MOREY DOMAINE J.C. RATEAU

DOMAINE CHANDON DE BRIAILLES LAURENT ROUMIER

DOMAINE DU COUVENT DOMAINE DES VAROILLES

DOMAINE DU TRAGINER MAS PAILLET NENU

CHATEAU CRU PEYRAGUEY CHATEAU GRILLON

CHATEAU MOULIN SANT VINCENT GRAND FERRAND

CHATEAU TOURNEFEUILLE CHATEAU ROCHEYRON

DOMINIO DE PINGUS PETER SISSECK QUINTA SARDONIA

GALIA TERRAS GAUDA CASA LOS FRAILES

54 See more producers and tastings on www.esprit-du-vin.com L’Esprit du Vin · Snaregade 6 · Copenhagen · T +45 70 20 10 60 · email@esprit-du-vin.com
´ ` ´

GÉRARDDOMAINEMILLET Nyhed i familien

Domaine Gérard Millet ligger i Bué, få kilometer fra Sancerre. Ejendommen har været i familiens eje gennem de sidste fem generationer. Vinmarkerne strækker sig over 24 hektar og går gennem Sancerre og Menetou-Salon. Jorden dyrkes på en måde, så hver enkelt marks karakteristika fremhæves. Domaine Gérard Millets dybdegående kendskab

til terroiret er det, der adskiller dem fra alle andre, og dette kendskab kommer tydeligt til udtryk i deres vine. Druerne udvælges nøje, og hver enkelt vinmark høstes separat, ligesom druerne fra hver enkelt gennemgår separate vinfremstillingsprocedurer. Hvert terroir har forskellige karakteristika, som giver hver sin unikke vin.

55
SANCERRE
1021013 Gérard Millet Sancerre Blanc 1021011 Gérard Millet Menetou-Salon Blanc 1021015 Gérard Millet Sancerre Blanc Le Désert Du Petit Bannon ENKELT MARK 1021017 Gérard Millet Sancerre Blanc Chêne Marchand ENKELT MARK

Rueda D.O.

- How well do you really know it?

56

Notes from a recent trip uncovering the area of Rueda.

WHERE IS IT?

Rueda D.O. is within Castilla y León, in Spain. Located north-west of Madrid, it’s vineyards lies in altitudes of 700-920m above sea level with 3 different areas: Valladolid, Ávila and Segovia.

WHAT IS IT?

It's a white wine region with focus on Verdejo, the indigenous variety responsible for 90% of the plantings. The name itself means green grape which very well describes the young color in the glass but also the initial aromatics. The other grapes you will find are: Sauvignon Blanc, Palomino, Viura, Chardonnay and Viognier for the whites, you can though, if you’re lucky, also encounter one of the rare red wines, or even more unusual: Their Pálido and Dorado wines. Most reds are made on Tempranillo with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Merlot allowed, while

Pálido and Dorado are sherrylike wines from Palomino Fino and/or Verdejo.

Rueda displays and array of different characters of the Verdejo grape. It has evolved with the region and adapted to the changing environment over the years and has become the main focus and identity of Rueda.

The north (Valladolid) has darker, heavier clay and pebble soil. The south (Segovia) has a more sandy composition in combination with the pebble; here you can find old, ungrafted vines of more than 100 years with the original pre-phylloxera rootstocks. Effectively this difference creates a stylistic distinction between the heavier and more structured wines of the north and the more aromatic and mineral wines of the south.

HOW BIG IS IT?

The size is 19.892 ha (2020), with a massive increase the last 20 years. The hectares

under vine have increased more than 300% since 2000! This means, Rueda is indirectly stealing vineyard area from other regions such as Rioja or Priorat, since only a certain amount of vineyard expansion is permitted annually from EU and the hectare count is national rather than regional. Thus, Rueda has become a hotspot that many already established producers look to invest in.

WHEN IS IT?

Rueda D.O. was in 1980 the first region subregion of Castilla y León to receive D.O., but the area has a long history stretching far longer back in time: The indigenous variety of Verdejo has been cultivated since the 11th century, some rare vines have survived the phylloxera, but the region largely suffered as most other. The region is windy with a large diurnal shift, giving them full phenolic maturity while maintaining the acidity.

57
Soil snapshot

The wind creates good conditions fo organic farming and also permits the harvest season to stretch over months, beginning in August in Valladolid and finishing in Segovia as late as October.

I had the pleasure to visit this rather unknown region, try the wines and get a grasp of the area. One of the reasons for Rueda D.O. still to be somewhat unknown is that the majority of it's wines never leave Spain with 86% of the production consumed domestically – the largest export markets being Netherlands followed by Germany.

AROUND THE LANDSCAPE

Our first visit was with Finca Montepedroso , a rather large producer, with some interesting fresh and crispy wines, we had the option to try some older vintages where we first saw an idea in ageing these wine, when we tasted the 2014 Montepedroso Verdejo Sobre Lias and later the next

day with 2016 Finca Las Comas Parente Verdejo, aged in new fudres.

2014 Finca Montepedroso Verdejo, Sobre Lias , showed with a Golden color, baked bread, fennel, leeks, chalk, overripe apples, quince, honey, honey melon and some citrussy notes too. Both the taste and the aromas showed well. I found that with age, the wines get an even deeper taste with more nuances and the ”Sur Lie” character showed itself with brioche, honey, ripe fruits and honey.

2016 Finca las comas, Verdejo, Jose Pariente, Rueda D.O. - First Vintage(new Fudres) Deep Hay color with green hue, ripe apples, oaky, pear, quince, cedar wood, lactic, white flowers, honey melon, honey, oxi apples, brioche, lees, caramel, textural with moderate acidity and a zesty twist.

Our second vist was at Bodega Garciarevalo , where we

had the pleasure of both the winemaker and the owner. The wines they showed was in different production vessels, we were presented with wines made in Amphora and INOX. The wines showed quite different due to this. When produced in stainless steel the exotic fruits, lime, green grass fresh hay and quince were in focus but going for the Amphora wines we tasted wines with a riper fruit and caramel character.

For our second day in Rueda, we had 4 visits, the producers that opened their bodegas for us were: Hijos de Alberto Gutierrez, Jose Pariente, Hermanos Del Villar and Verderrubi.

The visit at Hijos de Alberto was an interesting one. Besides the white wines that the area is mainly making, they make Pálido and Dorado. Grouped together under Vino de Licor, these are unique styles akin to Sherry.

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Vineyard overview

DORADO AND PÁLIDO CATEGORIES ARE FORTIFIED WINES PRODUCED IN THE D.O. RUEDA.

- Rueda Pálido it´s a dry, fortified wine made from Palomino Fino and/or Verdejo varietals, made with biological ageing that must be left in oak barrels for at least 3 years before bottling, being the minimum ABV of 15 degrees. These wines can be similar to Fino styles of Sherry.

- Rueda Dorado is a fortified wine madre from Palomino Fino and or Verdejo varietals, made via oxidative ageing (usually in glass demijohns), that must be left in oak barrels for at least 2 years before bottling. The solera system can be used but is not mandatory. Dorado are sharing many traits with Amontillado sherries.

The showcase of the bodega was with a deep huge cellar for storage and a large outside area for ageing the Dorado, in demijohns. Hijos de Alberto is one of the biggest producers of the local unique wines and one of the only ones still practicing the production of fortified wine from Rueda.

The style of these wines really makes one think about sherry, they have many similarities with taste and color, but of course they are their own. This was my first time tasting these unique wines The production we had the option to taste were 3 different wines, Pálido, Dorado Dry and Dorado Sweet.

NV Palido, De Alberto, Verdejo, Fortified, Rueda D.O. 15% ABV

Color: Deep Hay towards golden, high viscosity, watery rim, high brilliance.

Nose: Flor, mushrooms, overripe quince, apple, pear, chalk, flint, minerality, saline, wet forest flor, wet cellar

Taste: Dry, moderate acidity, overripe apples, pear, quince, flor, mushrooms, wet forest

floor, saline, minerality, flint, granite, lingering flor, mushrooms, and overripe apples.

NV Dorado, De Alberto, Verdejo, Fortified, Rueda D.O. 17.5% ABV

Color: Deep golden, slight green hue, color consistency towards the rim, high brilliance, high viscosity.

Nose: Caramel, mushrooms, Oxidative, mashed potatoes, browned butter, acetone, overripe quince, overripe pear, overripe apples, lactin, lees, Taste: Dry, high acidity, light body, flavors of caramel, mushrooms, overripe; pear, apple, quince, oxidative, lingering caramel and mushrooms.

Our visit at Jose Pariente we were shown many different ways to store the wines, with both large wooden tanks, clay eggs, stainless steel, large and smaller barrels. All of them with white wines aging on the lees. The wines showed themselves as they should with the green fresh citrus, green apples and a great minerality. We could really taste a saline minerality in both the Verde -

jo as well as the Sauvignon Blancs. The wines aged in wood gave a different expression with an oxidative style matching well the minerality and freshness of the wines.

Hermanos Del Villar - Oro de Castilla was next up. Our visit at Oro de Castilla was quite a textbook visit. We were presented with diffetent wines of Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc stylistically straying within the classic expressions of Rueda, with lemon, freshly cut hay and apple as the main nuances.

The last visit of the day was with: Verderrubi.

The winery consisted of large steel tanks with both red, rose and whites in production. The wines showed typical for the area with a clear focus on the whites with green fresh nuances; freshly cut grass, green apples, bay leaves, saline minerality and lemon. The reds showed with lactic, red berries, easy drinking and low viscosity.

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Before our return to Denmark on our 3rd day we had a visit at Belondrade.

The winery started producing wines back in 1994 and have been organic since 2019. All the Rueda DO wines are aged in oak barrels with 20% new oak added every year for 9 months. They work with malolactic fermentation but in a different approach every year. Malolactic fermentation can be high or low: 2012 had almost no malolaction fer-

mentation while 2017 had almost 100% malo. The approach in the vinyard is to use green pruning instead of green harvesting.

The quality of the wines speak for themselves, the combination of oak and the powerful primary fruit of the wine creates a great harmony and gives the wines depth, length, power and complexity in a way that really shows what quality Verdejo can produce in the right hands.

2020 Belondrade Y Lurton, Verdejo, Rueda D.O.

Nose: Green oak leafs, oak, green grass, green apple peel, pineapple, lactic, quince, green pear, honey melon, butter, yeast, lees, cream fraiche, cedar wood,

Taste: Dry, moderate acidity, Creamy texture, flavors of apple peel, cream fraiche, quince, oak, cedar wood, fennel, pear, chalk, limestone, citrus, lemon - lingering cream fraiche and apples

2015 Belondrade Y Lurton, Verdejo, Rueda D.O.

Nose: Underripe pineapple, pear, apple, quince, lees, limestone, chalk, white flowers, honey melon, oak, cedar wood, yeast, bread

Taste: Great balance of fruit, creamy texture and acidity. Moderate acidity, creamy texture, flavors of yellow apples, quince, pear, butter, brioche, lactic, lemon, lees, limestone lingering yellow apples and brioche

In the future, hopefully we will see more of these wines getting out of Spain. With a the largest production ever of 155mio kilos in 2022 the trend is clear. Being a very adaptable varietal, Verdejo can do well in varied weather circumstances, which is a much needed feature in these changing times.

Verdejo is a great companion for the early part of the many and matches many different styles of cuisines. With a high quality, affordable prices and and increased interest in the area, I would say it is only a matter of time.

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Wines of Belondrade Vino Dorado in demi-johns

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Wine & Spirits, Top 100 Wineries of the Year: 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011

Wine & Spirits: #1 Oregon Pinot Noir in America’s Top Restaurants: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

Wine & Spirits: Top 50 Pinot Noirs 2022

Wine & Spirits: Top 50 Wine Brands in America’s Top Restaurants: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: Extraordinary Winery of the Year Nominee 2020

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: Best Oregon Winery Nominee 2017

Food & Wine Magazine: Best Oregon Wineries to Visit 2016

97 Points – Jeremy Young, International Wine Report, November 2022

2021 Mt. Jefferson Cuvée Pinot Noir

I’m incredibly impressed with the 2021’s coming from the Cristom Estate, and this one is a perfect example of the phenomenal wines from the vintage. The Mt. Jefferson (Cuvée) Pinot Noir was just recently released, but it feels ready to drink now with impeccable balance, structure, and length. Notes of wild huckleberry, toasted anise, perfumed flowers, spiced red plum, and a hint of tangerine zest combine beautifully on the tongue. Delivering perfect balance, mouthwatering acidity, and rounded tannins, this will be a fun wine to watch over the next ten years to see how it evolves with age. Highly recommended. 2022-2032

Skal Cristom Vineyards være på dit vinkort?

Øst: Kontakt Jesper Søgaard på tlf. 29700015 eller jes@jmk.dk

Vest (syd for rute 15): Kontakt Christian Kollerup Rahbek på tlf. 29700017 eller ckr@jmk.dk

Vest (nord for rute 15): Kontakt Søren Borrisholt på tlf. 29700012 eller sb@jmk.dk

26 25 82 50 info@nybaekgrafisk.dk
66 92-94
POINT ud af 100 2020:
HOS ROBERT PARKER
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