In the Wine Enthusiast February 2012 issue the Moueix wines scored tremendous reviews, with Chateau La-Fleur Petrus finishing as the top Pomerol and Chateau Providence sharing the third best score.
The Wine Spectator has named Christian Moueix its 2011 Distinguished Service Award Winner. Christian is featured in a piece entitled, “The Right Bank’s Quiet Champion” in the current Wine Spectator, and will be honored at the Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience Gala Dinner on Saturday, October 22nd (where Chateau La Fleur-Petrus 2005 will be the wine served).
Congratulations to Christian for this deserved recognition.
You can read the piece by clicking on the picture below.
Chateaux La Fleur Petrus and La Providence both received terrific ratings from Robert Parker in the just-released issue of the Wine Advocate.
The issue focuses in large part on the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux – a vintage which, according to Parker, may just as sensational as 2009: “It is an inescapable truth that 2010 has produced another year of compelling Bordeaux that will go down as a prodigious vintage alongside 2009. Take your pick – this news is either tragic or mythical, but I have tasted enough wines from 2005, 2009 and 2010 to realize that these may be the three greatest Bordeaux vintages I have tasted in my career.”
Here is what Parker had to say on these two extraordinary wines, both owned and run by winemaker Cristian Moueix:
2010 La Fleur Petrus: “This is an incredible effort from this 35-acre vineyard (almost the identical size as Petrus). I had visited the 2010 Petrus about an hour before I had La Fleur Petrus. I was dumbfounded – it appeared to have a character nearly identical to the great Petrus! The fabulous 2010 La Fleur Petrus boasts a dense purple color in addition to a big, sweet perfume of mocha-infused black raspberry and black cherry fruit that is extravagantly rich, textured and long. Super-pure, deep and full-bodied, this remarkable wine will be one for the history books. The tannins are elevated, but the depth of fruit and richness are amazing. For those who will never be able to afford a bottle of Petrus, this is about as close as one can get to the aromas and flavors of that mythical wine.” 95-98 points – Robert Parker
2010 La Providence: Resurrected by Christian Moueix, Providence is made in a muscular, macho style with considerable minerality as well as dense plum, blackberry and black currant fruit, a formidable quantity of tannin and stunning depth and richness. The classic 2010 is similar in style and personality to that of the great Moueix estate of Chateau Trotanoy.” 92-94+ – Robert Parker
Wine Spectator critic James Molesworth recently published his notes on the 2010 Bordeaux Barrel Tastings, giving several of the best scores on the Right Bank to wines produced and represented by world famous winemaker Christian Moueix. Here are a few of his notes:
The Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2010 is creamy and lush, with layers of red, black and purple fruits. It shows muscle on the finish, but the fruit is here in spades, with terrific polish. It’s a great combination of power and freshness and reminds me of the ’98, but with more polish (96-99 points).
The Providence Pomerol 2010 is sleek, with a beautiful beam of red licorice and cassis. Long and supple, with dense structure but thoroughly integrated. It has lots in reserve, with lots of spice too (94-97 points).
The Château La Serre St.-Emilion 2010 is superfresh, with racy red licorice and cassis. It shows bright acidity and a very sleek finish. Sourced from parcels on the limestone plateau above the town, near Trottevieille and Troplong-Mondot, it’s a fine introduction to the minerally side of the appellation (92-95 points).
Moueix’ take on the 2010 vintage vs 2009:
“2010 is a very different year. The acidity is higher. With the dry summer, there was a blockage in maturity and the alcohol and acidity was higher. So the vintage won’t be as charming as ’09 was early on, and they will probably last a little longer. ’09 was so amazing right from the beginning, a blend of ’82, ’89 and ’90. But ’10 is still a bit austere and it will take some time to define itself.”
See more notes on Molesworth’s tasting with Christian Moueix here.
James Molesworth of the Wine Spectator is in Bordeaux tasting the 2008 and 2009 vintages, and spent a day in Pomerol with the master of the region, Christian Moueix, and his son Edouard. In a wide-ranging interview, there are great mentions of Château Providence and Château La Fleur-Pétrus, along with a superb video of Christian Moueix at Château Providence explaining how he prunes his vines.
The tour continued at Providence, back in Pomerol, where the small, efficient cellar has both cement and stainless steels vats.
“I love the cement vats for their temperature inertia,” said Moueix. “I am a bit old school. But they are large so it’s hard to do smaller parcel selections in them, and we are going more and more that way as we look for precision. The stainless steel tanks give us that flexibility.”
Precision is now the buzzword around Bordeaux. It’s what all the vignerons say they are striving for in their wine, the way Rhône vignerons talk of minerality for example. In Bordeaux, it’s popular to tout the latest technological toy—an optical sorter for example—as the châteaus try to leapfrog each other in pursuit of the precision.
“I am looking for precision,” said Moueix, when I press him on the issue. At what point does human control of the winemaking process become too much? Can you eliminate complexity by searching for an unattainable goal of perfect precision?
“It’s true, we have become maniacs with selection. I agree at some point it could be too much. This is a question we have to ask ourselves,” said Christian, before turning to Edouard.
“You’re right,” said Edouard. “There is the old school and then there is technology. They can work together if you ask yourself first, before you try something new, ‘Who am I?’. If you can answer yourself that question, then you can move forward.”
Molesworth singles out the Providence 2009 as one of Moueix’s top-flight wines, along with the 2009 La Fleur-Pétrus, both VINTUS US exclusives.
Château Providence 2009
“The Providence Pomerol 2009 is super lush, but refined at the same time, with raspberry, cherry compote and red licorice. It stays pure and driven and has latent power but this is about finesse, even in a grippy vintage like ’09.”
Château Lafleur-Pétrus 2009
“The Château La Fleur-Pétrus Pomerol 2009 (Merlot with 10 percent Cabernet Franc) is very tight today and showing its wood too, with a briar note on the edges of the dark raspberry, blackberry and cherry compote notes. It has a long, spice- and tobacco-filled finish and is showing lots of range and plenty of grip too.”
“2009 may turn out to be the finest vintage I have tasted in 32 years of covering Bordeaux.” That’s quite a statement coming from Robert Parker, but it solidifies the general consensus that is brewing among the wine press and trade. The 2009 Bordeaux vintage was one of the greatest on record, and gave many properties their best wines ever (these wines are denoted with an asterisk, “*”). Among the standouts were, of course, Châteaux Pétrus, Margaux, and Cos d’Estournel, but also Château La Fleur-Pétrus, a VINTUS exclusive, “a mind-boggling effort.” Full reviews are below the jump.
The Moueix wines stood out for their incredible elegance and balance. On the right bank, as some have commented, there were some real monsters (in St. Emilion especially) and there were some Pomerols that seemed a bit disjointed, but the whole range of Moueix wines were absolutely some of the very best 2009s we tasted, really extraordinary. Christian Moueix has been saying for some time that he feels 2009 is an exceptional vintage, and characterized it to us as somewhere between 1982 and 1990. His 2009s are magnificent. The following are a few of the wines we tasted either produced by Christian Moueix or exclusively represented by his firm, Jean-Pierre Moueix.
Three days into the tasting, and after tasting a lot of wines on the right bank, we finally got to taste our right-bank babies. Wow. Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2009 is truly something special. There is so much going on in the nose, beautiful red fruits and spices, totally complete throughout the palate but a sense that the wine creeps up and starts building and building, and stays so long through the palate. Every year we fall in love with this wine all over again becaussine of its character – so elegant, almost Burgundian in some years; not about power but about nuance, beautiful structure and length. This 2009 is getting universally great press and for good reason.
Terroir has real meaning in Christian Moueix’ Bordeaux. The restoration of Château Providence (acquired in 2005) and construction of its cellar was painstakingly carried out for just a 10 acre vineyard, and a minute production of 1,250 cases a year. Starting with the inaugural 2005 vintage, the first after Christian Moueix purchased the property, Providence has become one of the most exciting properties in all of Bordeaux. The vineyard is picture-perfect, and had always been well-managed even before Christian Moueix purchased it. The changes Christian made were, as in all his vineyards, the elimination of herbicides and chemicals, and a specific system of single guyot pruning that best allows easy circulation of sap within the vine. There is no formula for pruning, each vine is pruned differently, treated as an individual. At harvest time, there are an extraordinary 300 pickers covering the Moueix vineyard patches that ultimately total only around 200 acres. That is the definition of making wine in the vineyard, and not in the winery.
As since its first release, Providence has a darker fruit profile and is more powerful than La Fleur-Pétrus. It’s a power that is apparent right away and stays right on through the long, long finish. An extremely impressive wine, and utterly fascinating in how different it is from La Fleur-Pétrus, just down the road; come to think of it, Providence is perhaps more like Pétrus in character than La Fleur-Pétrus.
This property is an absolute joy for us to represent. Just below you can see Luc d’Arfeuille, whose family has owned the property for 100 years. He and his wife are just wonderful people, with huge hearts, and their wine is one of the undiscovered treasures of the right bank. Their 17 acre vineyard is at the very top of St. Emilion, just outside the village, running onto southern slopes; “La Serre” means greenhouse, and references the fact that the vineyards see sun all day long. The vines sit on shallow clay soils above limestone – the road dividing two major vineyard parcels on Château La Serre is in fact blocked off, since there is an old limestone quarry below the vineyard and it’s dangerous for cars to drive over it.
La Serre’s neighbors include Pavie Macquin, Ausone, Trottevielle, and some vineyards used for Valandraud. La Serre is in other words in an incredible location, and is noteworthy for several reasons: the grapes achieve fantastic ripeness and as a result they see no need to green harvest and increase concentration; consequently the style is one of elegance over weight. Secondly, the wine offers tremendous quality for the money, it is one of the absolute little gems of Saint-Emilion.
The 2009 is just so pretty. Lovely red fruit and freshness, powerful and persistent. I also had a bottle of 2004 over the weekend in honor of this wonderful couple, and it was spot-on. La Serre is among the most serious QPR we’ve found on the right bank. It is getting very strong initial press for the 2009 vintage, as well.
This is the second wine of Château Gazin, which as a property has been reclaiming its position as one of the top sites in Pomerol. Beautifully fresh, balanced – a pleasure to drink. Many of the 2009s across Bordeaux had tannins that, because they achieved such high levels of ripeness, were another universe from the barrel samples we are used to; as a number of people have pointed out, you could drink the wines. With Pomerol, however, we found that our favorite wines, including the entire range Christian Moueix represents, had tannins that gave the wine structure, and was not just part of mass of “a lot of everything” – i.e. fruit and alcohol. This style of wine we found had more freshness, balance and complexity. Certainly the case here, and none the less drinkable.
Jancis Robinson, MW, has posted her reviews of the 2009 Bordeaux vintage. Château Margaux came in for the highest score of the vintage, 19+/20, followed closely by Château Pétrus (19), Château La Fleur-Pétrus (17+), and Pavillon Blanc and Rouge (17 each). Full reviews are below the jump.
James Suckling of the Wine Spectator is on the ground tasting the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux, and he is deeply impressed with the quality coming out of the Right Bank. Says Suckling,
“That’s what is so impressive with the vintage. Apparently, many of the young wines are the most concentrated ever from their respective wineries, yet the young reds remain fresh and balanced. I keep hearing about the concentration levels of polyphenolic compounds, or tannins, being off the charts. Winemakers say they are 88, or 95, or whatever. It doesn’t mean that much to me. But it does mean that the 2009s, in many cases, are packed with ripe tannins, yet they are balanced and remain fresh.”
2009 is shaping up to be one of the best vintages of the decade, with powerful, concentrated wines that will likely be long-lived. James’ initial reviews below speak for themselves.
Château Pétrus 2009
“What a nose this has. I close my eyes when I smell this, and I see perfectly ripe Merlot grapes crushed in the vats. Blackberry, mineral, black licorice, coffee bean and chocolate lead to a full body, with round yet firm tannins and beautiful fruit. The luxurious finish offers a cashmere texture and gorgeous fruit. Rich and subtle.” 97-100 Wine Sepctator
Château Providence 2009
“Offers fabulous aromas of crushed blackberry and blueberry, with lightly roasted coffee bean and black olive. Full-bodied, delivering polished, chewy tannins and a long, juicy finish. Rich and powerful. Blockbuster. Roasted fruit on this. Best ever from here?” 95-98 Wine Sepctator
Château La Serre 2009
“Blueberry, blackberry and mineral aromas follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a juicy, chocolate finish, turning velvety and beautiful.” 90-93 Wine Sepctator