Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vos & Partners tasting

Dwayne Perreault - Not wanting to post about an event far too late, I will now report on the Vos & Partners tasting that was held at the beautiful Duin & Kruidberg estate on March 29th. Representatives from 33 reputable producers were assembled to present and discuss their wines. These are some of my more memorable impressions:

Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) – Eric Getten, Commercial Director

Unfortunately, Château Lafite Rothschild was not presented but we were treated to Duhart Milon Rothschild 2006. David posted recently that a combined western and particulary Asian demand with anything Lafite has driven the price of Duhart Milon 2009 up by 72.7% For what it’s worth, I found the 2006 pretty average.

Jean-Claude Boisset - Gregory Patriat, Winemaker

Gregory Patriat is the wunderkind of Burgundy who was making Romanée-Conti when he was 18 years old. And he has some pretty unorthodox ideas about the closures for his bottles. He’s mad about screwcaps. He points out that they have been in use in Burgundy since 1968, when they were first used in Chalon-sur-Saône. The caps he uses are made by Alcan and are specially designed for bottle ageing. I sell his Hautes Côtes de Nuits 2005 and the wine is as fresh as a summer meadow, with hints of acacia honey and blossom. Notable is the Puligny Montrachet 1cru Champs Gains 2006, aged in one year old barrels. Soft and round already, but should reach its peak in five years.

Domaine Buisson-Battault – Francois Buisson, owner/winemaker

I’m proud to sell a number of these quality white Burgundies, including the Meursault 1er Cru Charmes 2005. The 06 is fabulous, very classical with a refined smell of semolina, and the outlook is also very good for Les Criots 2007.

Domaine de la Laidière – Freddy Estienne, owner/winemaker

I’ve previously posted on this blog about the rosé from this house in Bandol and the wine is as excellent as ever, but I wanted to call attention to Estienne’s Bandol Blanc. Let’s face it, white Bandols are not not nearly as popular here as the reds and rosés and this is not an everyday wine, but it is gastronomically an extremely useful wine made from 60% Clairette and 40% Ugni Blanc, perfect for a baked Dorado.

Château Fortia – Pierre Pastre, manager

This estate in Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a piece of French wine history. It was here where Baron Le Roy de Boiseaumarie first proposed a set of rules to classify the wines of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This classification system later evolved into the AOC.

Like all southern Rhône producers, Pierre Pastre has a high regard for Grenache noir and cannot understand why the grape is disparaged in some circles. Even so, Fortia makes two different Chateauneuf-du-Papes: the more elegant Tradition 2006 is made from 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah, but the robust Cuvée du Baron 2007 has 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre.

Grupo Faustino – Antonio Jose Pinilla / Victor Zaragoza

One of the most recognizable names in Rioja, the Faustino group also has vineyards in La Mancha, Navarra and Ribera del Duero. The Navarra wines labelled Fortius are particularly good wines for the money. The Tempranillo 2007 is very refreshing and would make a great house wine. The Merlot Crianza 2004 is darker and more complex, beautiful but still affordable.

Among the Riojas, most notable were the Faustino de Autor Reserva 2001 and especially the Faustino I Gran Reserva 1998.

And after a full day’s tasting, we sat down and ate a four-course dinner.

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