Josh Greene, editor in chief of Wine & Spirits Magazine, chose Lucien Le Moine’s 2010 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru as his “Red Wine of the Month.” The following review went out in the magazine’s March newsletter:
Bruce Sanderson blogs from Burgundy, writing a post exclusively devoted to Lucien Le Moine which appeared yesterday afternoon on Wine Spectator’s home page. The coverage is part of Sanderson’s preview of the 2011 vintage in Burgundy. Great preliminary scores and comments all around! He notes that Mounir’s counter-culture winemaking ideology has paid off in 2011, resulting in “potentially classic Pinots and Chardonnays.” Below is an excerpt, click here for the full article (subscription only).
“Tasting the wines of Lucien Le Moine is a fascinating exercise, in part because co-proprietor sources excellent wines, but mainly because Saouma’s ideology often runs counter to the prevailing wisdom in Burgundy.
Saouma generally loves a long élevage with plenty of healthy lees to nourish the wines. To that end, nothing in the cellar had been racked or treated with sulfites; every barrel was still on lees. “On paper,  looks like 2010,” Saouma said. “There’s not a lot of alcohol, not a lot of acidity, but to have 13.2 [degrees of potential alcohol] in 2011, we had to chaptalize. Both vintages started too fruity, almost boring, until 14 months after the harvest. Then both vintages started to become an adult,” he added.”
Wine Spectators December/January issue released a long list of the “Classic-Scoring Wines of 2012″. The chart lists about 340 wines that have been reviewed over the course of 2012 and scored 95 points or higher. On that list is Guigal’s Ermitage Ex Voto Blanc (97 points) and St. Joseph Vignes de l’Hospice (95 points), Disznoko’s 6 Puttonyos (95 points), and Lucien Le Moine’s Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses (95 points), Clos de Vougeot (95 points), Mazis-Chambertin (95 points) and Volnay les Caillerets (95 points).
Lucien Le Moine’s Mounir Saouma talks with Gerrie Lim about, among other things, his love of Pinot Noir and why only bottles his wines on a full moon. Saouma was born in Lebanon and learned to make wine in a Trappist monastery, and then studied viticulture and oenology in Montepellier. Although he truly learned winemaking in France, the most important thing he gained from the monks influence was, “Don’t touch”. He says, “they like things to be made naturally and to let things grow, and to have us just observe”. A philosophy he carries out in own cellar. To read the full article click the image below.
In their Fall 2012 special issue, Wine & Spirits creates a list of their “Terroir Top 100″. They create a little scale, and list 100 wines ranging between 5.0 and 8.4 that “transport us, that completely rock our world”. Included among the wines are Lucien Le Moine Chambolle-Musigny Les Haut Doix 2008 and Telmo Rodriguez Gaba do Xil Mencia 2009. Love the line, “the kind of Burgundy Lisbeth Salander might drink on the lam.”
Click on the picture below to see the reviews in full size.
The recently closed elBulli will be auctioning off its entire wine cellar (which takes the form of a 139-page wine list!). The auction will be held by Sotheby’s and will include as many as 1,600 different wines from the cellar. Lucien Le Moine is all over the elBulli wine list, with verticals of many Mounir Saouma’s wines including Corton-Charlemagne, Chambertin-Clos de Beze, and Vosne-Romanee Les Suchots. A total of 34 Le Moine wines are on the outstanding wine list. The auction was featured in an article that can be found here, notice the two bottles of Lucien Le Moine in the article’s main photo!
This is the second Wine Spectator Insider in the last few weeks featuring 2009 Burgundies, and the second time Lucien Le Moine gets into the “Hot Wines” section! The Insider scores Le Moine’s 2009 Mazis-Chambertin with 95 points. The other Le Moine that was featured a little while back was the 2009 Charmes-Chambertin scoring 94 points. Check out the reviews below!
A little video of Mounir Saouma on his walk from Gevrey over to Chambertin. On a cold morning in November 2011, Mounir discusses the difference between Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint Denis, topographically and geologically, and then how those factors affect the wines – as he states, in his cellars the Clos Saint Denis takes an entire year to go through alcoholic fermentation, making it a “difficult” wine.
This little walk we took explains his whole “operation” – in quotes because in the video you see his wife Rotem (pouring) and it is just the two of them. One to two barrels of wine from who he thinks are the most interesting growers in his favorite vineyards. Then….nothing…for a long time…his fermentations are typically the longest in Burgundy as is his maturation. He does little lees stirring, and only sulfurs once, a few months before bottling (his wines typically have ¼ the average sulfur levels in Burgundy, but they are protected because he prefers traditional, coarser pressings which leave more lees in the wine).