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Showing posts from April, 2013

Domaine Brusset 2011 en primeur offer

I visited Laurent Brusset on 4th April when we tasted through the current selections including 2012 whites and the 2011 reds. 
Laurent was clearly pleased with the wines and, as expected, the Cairannes and Gigondas showed extremely well. The reds are forward with attractive fruit and good acidity levels to keep them really interesting. Alcohol levels are not too high in this vintage. They can be enjoyed before the 2010s with "Les Travers" and "Le Grand Montmirail" both approachable already. 
The 2012 "Travers" Blanc is the best example of this wine I have tasted in over 10 years.
Five wines offered from Domaine Brusset. They will be shipped in mid-May. Prices are quote "in bond" (IB) for shipment to our bonded warehouse. We are willing to split cases subject to overall quantities.

2012 Domaine Brusset Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne 'Les Travers'(£87/12 IB) The best white tasted in the southern Rhone this year below Chateauneuf level. A beau…

Canterbury 2013

Once again, I made the trip to Canterbury yesterday to present a range of Southern Rhone wines. As always, it was well attended by a crowd of enthusiastic and lively tasters. Most of the wines came from the superlative 2010 vintage so I started with the caveat that they would not be close to being ready to drink and, quite possibly, closed. Not altogether true, it turned out.

We began with Laurent Brusset's highly aromatic white Cairanne "Les Travers" from 2012 which is already shaping up to be another top class vintage. Whilst only 30% of the blend, the Roussanne (20%) and Viognier (10%) dominate on the nose and palate and there is just a hint of oak fleshing out the wine and giving it an added dimension. Really drinkable.

After that, there was only one way to go with the whites: Raymond Usseglio's 2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc "Rousanne Pur" (only one "s" for some reason), a phenomenal wine which I described to the group as a red wine drinker&#…

Burgundy 2011 - Joblot's Servoisine

When I visited Jean-Marc Joblot in August 2011, he was days away from starting the harvest. He was optimistic about the quality even then and, now, at last from the bottle, the verdict is in.

Servoisine, along with Cellier aux Moines, is regarded as the best of the Joblot's holdings in Givry and I haven't had a new vintage from the bottle for a couple of years at least so I was keen to give it a whirl as soon as I could lay my hands on a bottle. It's been in the country for three or four weeks now so it should be well rested.

The wine is quite purple but, frankly, that is of secondary interest. Diving into the nose, there is a heady perfume of red fruits with mineral overtones. Good depth, especially with aeration. Now for the palate... Its youthfulness is apparent - some tannin but good acidity dominates the structural elements. A mid-weight wine with raspberry fruit, the same as the nose, which lingers well.

Sadly, I must re-cork the bottle until tomorrow and then again …

Domaine de Cristia

A busy morning! I have known Dominique and Baptiste Grangeon for several years now so there is always much to catch up on. Baptiste was heading off to Paris so most of the time, Dominique and I chatted whilst tasting the new vintages.

To start, a new wine from the Cristia Collection, a 2011 Grenache Blanc to partner the red vin de pays. Decent nose, medium-bodied and length with good fruit. 13% ABV. Bottled 02/03.

Next another new wine, this time from the Cristia range (neither Domaine de Cristia nor Cristia Collection but somewhere in between, I think - slightly confusing! I do know the vines are not part of the family's estate), a 2012 Cotes du Rhone Blanc from 30% each Grenache, Roussanne and Clairette with the balance Viognier and Marsanne. 13% ABV and full Ecocert status for this wine. Complex nose follows through to a soft palate. Bottled 02/03.

The last of the whites is from the domaine, a 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc made with 40% each Roussanne and Clairette and 20% Bou…

Raymond Usseglio visit

My first visit to any of the people I work with in the Southern Rhone was to Stef Usseglio who had just bottled most of his new releases. After such a stellar performance in 2010, I was not expecting such great heights this year but, overall, I found a very satisfying range of wines - no great surprise.

First, the 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, a field blend of Grenache, Marsanne, Rousanne and Bourboulenc which had been bottled just two weeks earlier. This has a lovely nose, full and fruity with hobeysuckle and green fruit characters. The palate is a little shy - but that's only to be expected from a wine so recently bottled - but good and the medium-bodied wine finishes well.

The 2012 Rousanne Pur is more intense with some oak coming through on the nose but the wine has not been bottled yet (bottling due tomorrow!). There is a more waxy texture and richer tones to the fruit in this fuller-bodied wine. A red wine drinker's white wine!

There is also a new white Cotes du Rhone …