Estates
14 March 2016 News

We have another strong showing this year in The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands published by Drinks International and found here.  Among the 50 brands listed are the following:

#6: Guigal

Like last year, right near the top. Great comments by Philippe Guigal on his focus on the US market in particular. And great quote by our very own South Carolina distributor, Jean-Pierre Chambas, who is spot-on in saying: “It’s hard to believe, but Marcel and Philippe Guigal keep making wines better consistently year after year as they slowly increase production – an extraordinary accomplishment.”

#7: Errazuriz

Tremendous to see this first ever appearance by Errazuriz, right at the top, and the #2 South American brand! This recognition coincides with the enormous opportunity we are seeing with Errazuriz today.

#29: Chateau Margaux

As noted, Chateau Margaux has featured on every Admired Wine Brands list.

#36: Petrus

The non-marketing success of the list!

Click here to read the profiles

 

 
17 April 2015 News

Drinks International released its annual rankings of The World’s Most Admired Wine Brands.  Guigal is number 9 on the list, the top Rhone winery, and there is an excellent full page piece on the Guigals titled, “Family Values”, that gets to the heart of what makes Guigal such an incredible winery.  We also hit with Chateau Margaux at number 8 and Petrus at number 40.  Fantastic!  Click here to see the full piece.

 
5 August 2013 News

Jancis Robinson published an article on FinancialTimes.com describing some of the world’s most expensive wines that she had the privilege of tasting. Along with Robinson’s story of how she came across these wines, she gives a list of 7 that she considers “Perfect Bottles”. On the list is the 1970 and 1971 Pétrus, as well as the 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional Port. To read the full piece click here.

 

 

 

 
3 August 2011 News

We just saw this posted on the Decanter website, and look forward to reading the whole piece.  The Moueix family have been great supporters of all of Bordeaux, and been increasingly concerned for the region as a whole.

 

 
15 December 2010 News, Videos

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.”

 
2nd June 2010 News

“Rarely has a young Bordeaux vintage been so much fun to taste as 2009.” So says Ian D’Agata, Stephen Tanzer’s man in Bordeaux and the director of the International Wine Academy of Rome, in the latest International Wine Cellar.

“If anything, the best wines of 2009 have a vaguely Burgundian quality to them, as difficult as that may be for the Bordelais to stomach! In my experience, this Burgundy quality is only to be found in great vintages. While it’s not too difficult to get powerful, balanced wines from cabernet and merlot in good vintages, it is a much rarer thing to unite the brute force those varieties are capable of achieving with the dainty, almost ethereal aromatics and gentle tannic architecture of 2009. And the best Bordeaux of 2009 are indeed wines of uncommon power, charm and perfume.”

In D’Agata’s telling, Châteaux Pétrus and Margaux come in for particular praise, and he calls Pavillon Rouge “my candidate for the best second wine of the year.” Full reviews are below the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 June 2010 News

“The best vintage of my lifetime.” That’s how Decanter’s Steven Spurrier describes the 2009 vintage in Bordeaux. Spurrier and colleagues James Lawther, MW, and Michel Bettane, have high praise across all appellations. Most astounding is a perfect score, 20 out of 20 points, awarded to Château Margaux, the highest rated wine of the vintage! Full reviews are below, and you can track Decanter’s coverage here.

Pomerol

Château Pétrus 2009, Pomerol
“A powerful tannic frame provides the structure, length and classicism of a grand Bordeaux but there’s also a modern purity and freshness of fruit. Winemaker Olivier Berrouet harvested slightly later, at the beginning of October, to guarantee maturity. Dense, complex and profound.” 19/20 Decanter

Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2009, Pomerol
“Fine, fragrant. Seduces by its elegance. Silky, smooth tannins provide length and persistence. Ripe and warm but balanced.” 17.5/20 Decanter

Margaux

Château Margaux 2009. Margaux
“Fine black red, quite magical bouquet, pure quality of cashmere silkiness on the palate with a touch of fragrance from Cabernet Franc, blending softness of attack with pure density. A wine of stunning fragrance and purity, the most perfect expression imaginable of the greatest of Margaux vineyards.” 20/20 Decanter

Pavillion Rouge 2009, Margaux
“Fine deep colour, great purity of Cabernet on the nose, a really beautiful wine, pure Margaux, perfect balance and unexpected length.” 18/20 Decanter

Pavillon Blanc 2009, Margaux
“Lemon pale, fresh and floral, much lighter in alcohol than in recent years and what it has lost in richness it has gained in minerality, both floral and steely and will age well.” 18/20 Decanter

Saint Estèphe

Chateau Cos d’Estournel 2009, Saint-Estèphe
“Superb black red, very full and spicy, very broadly structured, really quite massive and will take years to pick up finesse, a ‘baroque’ almost Porty wine, explosively rich and definitely impressive if not a typical Saint-Estèphe.” 18.5/20 Decanter

 
28 April 2010 News

“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.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
21 April 2010 News

Tim Atkin, MW, has posted his take on the 2009 vintage, with Château Margaux, Pétrus, and La Fleur-Pétrus coming in for particular praise. And, in “the year of the second wine,” Pavillon Rouge and Pavillon Blanc are standouts. Tim’s full report is here.

Pomerol

Château Pétrus 2009, Pomerol
“Rain in the middle of September was the key to the success of the 2009 Pétrus, according to Jean-Claude Berrouet, enabling the Château to avoid water stress in the vineyard. The resulting wine is delicious, showing great finesse, though not quite as good as 2005. The oak is quite prominent at the moment, but this will age well, thanks to its acidity and underlying structure.” 97 Tim Atkin, MW

Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2009, Pomerol
“One of a number of very good to outstanding wines chez JP Moueix in 2009, this is a very impressive La Fleur. Deeply coloured, aromatic and slightly spicy, with great texture, integrated tannins, fresh acidity and considerable length. A wine that gets better and better in the glass and doesn’t rely on over-extraction or alcohol for effect.” 96 Tim Atkin, MW

Margaux

Château Margaux 2009. Margaux
“Paul Pontallier calls this one of the “densest wines, but also the sweetest” he has ever made. Very aromatic and alluring, this has cherry and redcurrant fruit, a touch of bramble, well-integrated oak, assertive tannins and lively, refreshing, palate- cleansing acidity.” 98 Tim Atkin, MW

Pavillion Rouge 2009, Margaux
“Paul Pontallier is considering the possibility of a third wine in 2009, such (in his view) is the quality of his second wine, Pavillon Rouge. This has a delightful elegance to it: silky and fresh, with red and black fruits intermingled on the palate and grainy tannins. The 60% new barrels are a little too prominent at the moment, but should fade into the background with time.” 93 Tim Atkin, MW

Pavillon Blanc 2009, Margaux
“This pure, barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc is one of the great dry whites of the vintage. It may be a varietal wine on paper, but it transcends its grape to produce something that is all its own: creamy, aniseedy and lightly toasty, with lovely “leesy” fatness and a grapefruity tang.” 93 Tim Atkin, MW

 
19 April 2010 News

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.

Château La Fleur-Petrus 2009 (VINTUS US Exclusive)

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.




Ch La Fleur-Pétrus as viewed from its famous neighbor, Pétrus





Château Providence 2009 (VINTUS US Exclusive)

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.




A perfect gem, the restored Château Providence








Providence is a tiny vineyard. The barrel room you see actually contains the entire 2009 production of both Providence and Hosanna.





Château La Serre 2009, Saint-Emilion (VINTUS US Exclusive)

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.




Monsieur et Madame d'Arfeuille








La Serre Vineyard Plot right in front of the house





l’Hospitalet de Gazin 2009, Pomerol (VINTUS US Exclusive)

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.