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Short notes from Saint-Emilion 2019

July 6, 2019

The Jürade de Saint-Emilion du Singapour descended on the commune itself during the last week of June 2019 to partake in the festivities marking 20 years of Saint-Emilion as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Apart from château visits, there was plenty of wining and dining, as expected. There are always plenty of new wines to discover in Saint-Emilion that would not be found outside of the commune due to highly limited production. In particular, thanks to his acute business acumen, the wines of Jean-Luc Thunevin are highly visible in several retail stores where we got to taste some uncommon stuff, including an unexpected vertical of Ch Valandraud. Even within such a large commune, one can find plenty of excellent burgundy in restaurant lists in Saint-Emilion, contrary to popular belief. After a long hard day of tasting, it’s always a pleasure to dive back into burgundy for dinner.

20190625_123146.jpg2010 Axelle de Valandraud, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Only one of its kind. Dull opaque purple, exuding dark fruits and mulberries with a hint of rye. Big, taut and concentrated with ample swathes of raspberries, mulberries and currants, imbued with a fabulous controlled acidity amidst further notes of mahogany, only revealing just a bit of early evolution. Excellent. This is only the second vintage of this wine after the inaugural 2000. Made from a blend of two plots totaling 1.5 ha that was part of the overall blend for 2010 Ch Valandraud.

2014 Ch Valandraud, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Quiet on the nose, while violets and dark currants dominate on the palate with lovely suave acidity. Big, concentrated and intense but not overdone. Persistent finish.

2011 Ch Valandraud, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Deep impenetrable purple. Big and concentrated with  tight acidity, ample in fresh raspberries and wild berries. Excellent ripeness, just a tad short.

2009 Ch Valandraud, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Great colour. Exudes gentle delicious fragrance with fruit of excellent ripeness, resulting in a wine of compelling intensity and presence, imbued with superb acidity amid svelte velvety melted tannins. Outstanding.

2007 Valandraud Blanc, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Delicate tropical fruits on the nose. Minerally and expressive on the palate with clear citrus that is a little more recessed, displaying very good definition and superb acidity. Excellent.

2012 Ch Moulin Saint-Georges, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Medium-bodied. Open and fleshy with a minerally earthiness amidst a generous spread of mulberries and ripe wild berries. Good finish. Still needs time.

2008 Ch Mangot, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. Big but rounded. Deeply layered and dark fruits and currants. Structured with svelte exciting tannins that impart fabulous acidity and intensity.

2010 Ch Le Clos Du Beau-Pere, tasted at Thunevin Girondins on 24 Jun 2019. This full-bodied Pomerol carries an abundance of ripe red fruits and dark currants cloaked within rich creamy textures, nicely rounded, layered with stern earthy minerals. Perhaps a tad too much of extraction. Still highly youthful.

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2008 Ch Grand Puy Lacoste, at Le Tertre on 24 Jun 2019. Decanted on-site. Some early complexity is discernible on the nose whilst the palate is layered with red fruits, delicious currants and tangerines, darkly textured with good depth and quiet intensity, finishing well with traces of sweet.

Jacques Selosse Brut, at L’Envers du Decor, 25 Jun 2019. Deep golden lustre, proffering a generous lift of apricot and tangerines, imbued with lovely oxidative characters amid some yeasty tones on a minerally base. Quite smooth and even. Drinking well.

2013 Ch Monbousquet Blanc, at L’Envers du Decor, 25 Jun 2019. Luscious with a gentle floral fragrance along with traces of nectarine. Medium-bodied, displaying a lovely lightness with an overlay of creme amid delicate ferrous minerals, finishing well.

1998 Ch Gombaude-Guillot, at L’Envers du Decor, 25 Jun 2019. This Pomerol exudes dark roses and currants amid earthy textures, imbued with a gentle sweetness. Quite seamless and well-integrated. Subtly nuanced, finishing with good linearity.

2015 Ch De La Greniere, at La Maison du Vin., 25 Jun 2019. Comprising 70% merlot, 10% cabernet franc and 20% cabernet sauvignon. Displaying a deep garnet core, this wine from the satellite region of Lussac Saint-Emilion proffers an aromatic lift of violets, lilac and glycerin, highly supple and full on the palate with exciting acidity. Very well balanced. Almost lush with further emerging notes of dark plums and mocha. Quite fabulous in intensity, though finishing with bit of alcoholic trail.

2015 Ch Mauvinon, at La Maison du Vin, 25 Jun 2019. Quite a generous bouquet of mulberries and dark fruits laced with vanillin. More forward in fruit balance though slightly lighter in texture. Warm, ripe and supple but less developed towards the finish where some vegetal trace is evident. 75% merlot, 20% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon. Annual production of 85,000 bottles.

2007 Ch Cadet-Bon, at La Maison du Vin, 25 Jun 2019. Deep garnet red. Comprising 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc, this grand cru classé proffers a deep delicious bouquet of dark fruits and currants, quite open and lush on the palate with superb suppleness, displaying a certain cool ripeness with great acidity and integration. Gently structured with lovely balance, finishing well with good mouthfeel. Quite excellent.

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2011 Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru, 25 Jun 2019 at Logis de la Cadene. Pale. Wonderfully delicate bouquet of light citrus and lime. Very lively, displaying seamless transition between its layers and its lengthy persistence of white flowers and nutmeg, gradually developing in expanse with glowing depth, power and fine intensity. Excellent.

2014 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Porrets Saints-Georges 1er, 25 Jun 2019 at Logis de la Cadene. Somewhat shy, though showing well on the palate with fine presence of gentle dark cherries and rose petals underscored with a dash of mild salinity. Fleshy, open and seamlessly integrated, developing a lovely subtle intensity over time, finishing well with great linearity.

2014 Domaine Trapet Pere et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur 1er, 25 Jun 2019 at Logis de la Cadene. Darker in colour tone. Medium-full with a dominant dark plummy tone. Rounded but still tight. Subtly structured.

1999 Ch La Dominique, at La Terrasse Rouge, 26 Jun 2019. Still very darkly coloured. Generous bouquet of dark and red plums, red currants and dark fruits. Still beautifully fresh and delicious, displaying excellent concentration and depth with superb suppleness. Very subtly structured with svelte velvety tannins, evolving further notes of mocha and black currants, finishing with lovely charm and sophistication. Excellent!

Champagne Henriot Blanc de blancs NV. From the restaurant list of Hostellerie de Plaisance, 26 Jun 2019. Exciting lifted bouquet of clear citrus underscored by gentle yeasty overtones. More forwardly balanced with lovely depth and concentration, imbued with crisp intensity but not too dry. Became more delicate after some time, broadening with a creamy sweetness, finishing well.

2009 Domaine Francois Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er. From the restaurant list of Hostellerie de Plaisance, 26 Jun 2019. Delicate bouquet. Decidedly more plump on the palate, imbued with excellent concentration and intensity of white flowers, clear citrus and chalk. Very ripe and full, showing good definition and linearity all through to its exciting finish.

2010 Domaine Francois Carillon Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts 1er. From the restaurant list of Hostellerie de Plaisance, 26 Jun 2019. Compared with the 2009, the 2010 is even more lifted and more delicate on the nose while the palate is imbued with excellent transparency and sublime acidity, yielding superb definition of elegant white fruits and complex minerals. Highly expressive and lively. Has tremendous verve. Fabulous.

2010 Domaine Georges Noellät Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Boudots 1er. From the restaurant list of Hostellerie de Plaisance, 26 Jun 2019. Deep colour. Exudes lovely rosy hues. Medium-full. Superbly open with lovely intensity and purity of red fruits. Very subtly layered with transparent textures amid distinct ferrous elements and traces of earth. Excellent.

2010 Domaine Henri Gouges Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Vaucrains 1er. From the restaurant list of Hostellerie de Plaisance, 26 Jun 2019. Deep colour, exuding fragrant red fruits and roses. Highly open and supple, displaying excellent concentration and depth marked by a subtle saline sharpness. Developed a distinct NSG character of soil and earthy minerals along with a silky intensity. Excellent.

2000 L’Interdit de Valandraud, tasted at Maison des Vins du Libournais on 28 Jun 2019. Deeply layered on the nose, exuding lovely aromas of dark roses and red currants. Softly rounded and open, imbued with fine concentration of delicate red fruits and haw flakes that tapered to a gentle finish. Almost burgundian in character. Caught at its best. Made from 100% merlot without quite adhering to strict A.O.C. regulations (plastic sheets were used to drain off excess water during viticulture), hence its unique name.

2016 L’Interdit de V……..d, tasted at Maison des Vins du Libournais on 28 Jun 2019. Deep garnet red. Deeply aromatic with notes of green pepper, Asian spices, savoury cold cuts and ripe cherries. Medium-full and fleshy, showing good transparency through its placid but lifted mid-body. Understated in character and balance. From 100% merlot.

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2010 Ch Valandraud, tasted at Maison des Vins du Libournais on 28 Jun 2019. Deep garnet red. Lovely deep aromas of dark plums and currants. Dense and fleshy. Beautifully layered and structured with great acidity, finishing with wonderful length and linearity.

2016 Ch Valandraud, tasted at Maison des Vins du Libournais on 28 Jun 2019. Deep impenetrable purple. Highly aromatic, densely layered with raspberries, mulberrries, dark cherries and currants, still shrouded in overtones of vanilla and creme from the new oak. A huge wine, fleshy and highly supple with a very clean feel through its striking acidity, perhaps a tad too much of that as the fruit is somewhat obscured.

2001 Ch Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse, from the excellent list of Cafe Saigon, 28 Jun 2019. Significantly evolved with a rusty tone, exuding lifted aromas of earth, herbal and medicinal flavors along with that of seasoned red fruits and tangerines, imbued with striking acidity through its seamless body, supported by saline minerals on a cedary floor. Drinking well but I wouldn’t keep any longer.

20190628_204246.jpg2010 Ch La Rose Cotes Rol, tasted at the chateau’s open house hosted by Pierre Mirande, 28 Jun 2019. Poured from magnum with its caves. Deep garnet red, exuding a sweet savoury nose. Medium-full. Excellent in concentration, weight and depth with plump savoury characters, finishing with a slight acidic trace, slightly short.

2005 Ch La Rose Cotes Rol, tasted at the chateau’s open house hosted by Pierre Mirande, 28 Jun 2019. Poured from magnum with its caves. Well-defined bouquet of rose petals, raspberries and red fruits. Softly rounded and fleshy, excellent in concentration with expressive purity amid ferrous minerals. Highly supple and flavorful. Good finish. Quite excellent.

1985 Ch La Rose Cotes Rol, tasted at the chateau’s open house hosted by Pierre Mirande, 28 Jun 2019. Poured from magnum with its caves. Open with some mild bottle stink that blew off, giving way to effusive notes of red currants and dark roses though the fruit is surprisingly recessed on the medium-bodied palate, showing more of ferrous dominance. Doesn’t quite have the depth and layering, short as well. Past its best.

2015 Ch La Rose Cotes Rol, 28 Jun 2019. Closed, proffering only glimpses of violets and raspberries. Good concentration with sleek acidity and graphite overtones, structured with dusty tannins. Fleshed out better with good intensity after some time. Lively finish.

2015 Ch Mangot, 28 Jun 2019. Deep purple. Closed. Imbued with abundant dark fruits, showing very good presence and depth. Cloaked in dusty tannins and a tad stern.

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