Estates
28 August 2014 News

In his piece, “Like a Good Neighbor, Gazin is There”, James Molesworth goes in depth on Chateau Gazin with owner Nicolas de Bailliencourt.  He writes about Gazin’s prime site, and that “typically 8,333 cases are made a year, with three-quarters making the cut for the grand vin, while the rest goes to the consistently very good wine, l’Hospitalet de Gazin.”

We second that!  We represent l’Hospitalet de Gazin throughout the US and to have a first-rate producer with a wine that is both serious and offers value in Pomerol, well, it’s not very common!

 

 

 
14 July 2014 News

An article on Christian Moueix in the Huffington Post gives an overview of Christian’s remarkable career and how he  started out in the wine trade. Below is an excerpt. Click here to read the piece.

“Christian Moueix’s biography reads like no one else in the wine trade, and has led to, amongst other accolades, his selection as Decanter magazine’s Man of the Year in 2008. He has involved himself in enology, viticulture, and the sales and promotion of eight chateaux on the Right Bank of the Gironde river in Bordeaux. He is also, along with his wife Cherise, the owner of Dominus Estate In Napa Valley. Their deep involvement in Pomerol, Saint Emilion, and the region of Bordeaux, along with their long ownership of the Dominus Estate have given them a perspective in wine that is truly unique.”

 
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.

 

 
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.

 
19 April 2010 News

We’re back!  Many things happening, including an update of our website, but we digress…this email is about Bordeaux 2009.  The first wines are being released, and we thought it would be a good time to send out a few thoughts on the vintage.

Many of you have heard the hum building around the 2009 vintage, but a lot of variables are still to fall in place – namely, pricing for the classified growths and the thoughts of Robert Parker.  Plenty of press and trade have made their pronouncements; we’ll try and stick to some nice stories and pictures, with softly worded opinions.

Many people are saying something along the lines of, “while there are exceptional wines, they are not as consistent as 2005”; “some wines were too big”; etc.  Objectively, 2009 is a vintage marked by record or near-record levels of concentration, tannin and alcohol.  As stated previously, we’re not going to make overly authoritative statements, and have no desire to contribute in encouraging higher prices in a still very difficult environment.  After two weeks at home, however, and looking back at our notes, we think there are so many spectacular wines among the top hundred properties.  It will be hard not to view 2009 as a great vintage.   We’re happy at this point in time to lay out the same “ifs” and “buts” as everyone else, but the fruit in these wines is so pure, powerful, complex and long, it’s astounding.  And as everyone has been saying, the producers that made wines of freshness and balance made truly extraordinary wines.  That’s our generalization, take it as you will.

It may come as a surprise to some, but among the very first producers to commit to VINTUS back in 2004 were Christian Moueix, Chateau Margaux and Chateau Cos d’Estournel, and we have been heavily involved in Bordeaux with every vintage campaign since 2003.  Michael has spent a quarter century visiting Bordeaux, returning at least once a year for en-primeur and various other occasions.  We are the exclusive US importer for two of Christian Moueix’ jewels, Chateau La Fleur-Pétrus and Chateau Providence, and work with any number of classified growths as well as properties that offer great value.  In a great vintage, we’ll purchase on futures up to 100 of the properties we feel most confident about in terms of quality and trade and consumer interest.

In subsequent posts you’ll see some more specific commentary, as well as photos from our recent trip to Bordeaux.