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Yes, bottle size matters!

Pegau 2003

It seems that magnum is not better, but ages much more slower… The first magnum I open from Pégau Réserve 2003, after going through almost 3 cases of the 75Cl version… I’m really amazed how young the magnum tastes compared to the 75Cl sibbling!!  It seems at least 5-8 years younger and deserves at least 5 more years before opening the next magnum!!

2003 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée
From magnum – Beautiful nose of very black ripe cherries, sandalwood, farmyard, still tight and a bit closed, opened up with air… tannins are present, dark cherries, bacon, still painfully young! Wait at least 5-10 years before opening up the next magnum… and finish the 75Cl bottles first! (96+/100 pts.)


Bottle variation, in the same wooden case!!

Carbonnieux 2004

Three bottles of the very same wine, from the very same wooden case showed very differently at our tasting … As Parker says “There are no great wines, only great bottles!”.  Interesting fact is that there was a clear corellation between the color and the gustative quality of the wine, the darker the wine, the older it tastes!!

2004 Château Carbonnieux Blanc
Yellow-greenish color… mature nose of yellow and green apple, doesn’t have the lasersharpness of it’s youth, but the “markers” of the Sauvignon blanc are present… taste of yellow and green apple, good acidity and freshness here, good sound bottle, drink-up! (88 pts.)

2004 Château Carbonnieux Blanc
Yellow color… nose of yellow apple, yellow straw in the sun, the typical grany smith nose has dissepeared here… taste of yellow apple, lacking a bit acidity and tension… clearly downhill, should have been consumed at least 5 years ago… old and tired bottle! (85 pts.)

2004 Château Carbonnieux Blanc
Color is golden, orange straw… the nose has a hind of reduced, maderized, clearly some nuts… Taste is flat yellow apples lacking tension… seems a defective bottle! NR (flawed)


Cult wines: Sine Qua Non (US) vs. Clos Saint-Jean (Chateauneuf-du-Pape)

It is always very exciting to bring together these two cult wines in a blind tasting… These are no girls wines, as they represent the essence of the best that California and Chateauneuf can produce !!  As a general rule, the wine technique is very advanced and “polished” on the SQN side… and the Chateauneuf has a more diverse and complex terroir… the results were quite interesting as # 1 was SQN Touché 2012, #2 Deus Ex-Machina 2015, #3 Combe des Fous 2010 and #4 SQN grenache Stein…

2012 Familia Nin-Ortiz Priorat Selma de Nin
Nose of freshly cutted grass, mineral, honey… nice fatness, finish with nice acidity and freshness and a hint of honey… still too young, will develop in the next 2-3 years! (93 points)

2014 Sine Qua Non Lightmotif
Huge nose, yellow grass drying in the sun, apricot… huge concentration, very fat, lacking a bit acidity and freshness… (94 points)

2010 Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast
Nose of cerise griotte, licorice, hint of vanilla… pure black cherries, mûre, nice acidity… very well made, but a bit simple and monolithic (94 points)

2015 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Syrah
Nose of garrigue, herbes de Provence, nice acidity… Black cherries, nice freshness, nice complexity, nice lenght, almost salty taste, very delicious!! (95 points)

2012 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina
Nose of garrigue, figue, licorice, salty, herbes de Provence… taste of bacon fat, roasted meat, garrigue, huge ripe tannin, very very long aftertaste… this wine has a huge life ahead! (97 points)

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein
Huge explosive nose of pure balck cherries, nice freshness, super delicious, nice balanced acidity, a little bit monolithic compared to the Chateauneuf that has much more complexity, but very great wine anyway! (96 points)

2005 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Deus-Ex Machina
Wow wow wow, huge nose of black salty licorice, bacon fat, huge ripe black cherries… whaouw, super delicious, super sappy black cherries, huge minerality and lenght of 60 seconds… A perfect wine!! <b>(100 points)</b></p>

2008 Sine Qua Non Grenache THE Line
Huge nose of smoke, bacon, black cherries… super fresh, a bit monolithic lacking complexity, but very well made wine! (98 points)

2010 Clos Saint Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Combe des Fous
Nose of candied ripe red cherries, saltiness, bacon, hint of chocolate… very salty, integrated tannin, good freshness, loads of salty red cherries, 30 seconds finish, quite sappy!! (97 points)

2012 Sine Qua Non Syrah Touché
Magic SQN!! Now I understand all the fuzz about these extended barrel age of SQN 🙂 Very black characoal nose, refreshing, black dry cherries, sandalwood… super concentrated black cherries, tannin still a bit young, great great wine improving a lot with aeration!! (99 points)

2003 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de mon Aïeul
Very nice nose of leather, bacon, herbes de Provence, sandalwood, orange peel… Very evolved, gamey, fur, ripe strawberries, lenght of 45 seconds. Super delicious, still 10 years of potential ahead!! (98 points)

2013 Huerta de Albalá Vino de la Tierra de Cádiz Taberner
Huge nose of chocolate, dark red cherries, nice refreshing acidity… Taste of very silky tannin, chocolate, ripe red cherries. (92 points)

1993 Gaja Barolo Sperss
Huge nose of iodine, red berries, sandalwood… Nice fresh drying tannin, red berries, sandalwood, roasted meat… great mature Barolo!! (95 points)

Le tour de la montagne de Puligny: Le Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet and St-Aubin


It was very interesting to taste 3 Saint Aubin premier Cru from different altitudes, as the lowest in altitude “Les Combes” showed ripe fruit, the highest “Murgers dents de chien” showed high minerality and acidity, and “En Remilly” in the middle showed the best of both!!

Same in the Puligny Montrachet where the Champ Gain was just amazing… we finished on the Le Montrachet from Bouchard 2014, was probably too young, showed indeed very well, but not much better than the best 1er Cru…

2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Combes
Golden colour, ripe nose freshly cutted grass dried in the sun, quite complex ananas, yellow apple… Taste nice flinstones, mineral, hint of acidity, yellow apple, hint of greeness, seems a bit warm compared to other St-Aubins (90 pts.)

2011 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Puligny-Montrachet Le Trézin
Light nose of flintstones, mineral, very high freshness and acidity, golden dried grass in the sun… Nice concentration, nice citrus, good lenght, nice mineral finish (93 pts.)

2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Very very mineral, high acidity nose, loads of flintstones… Huge freshness, great great citrus, huge mineral, good lenght… This is one of the most mineral and high acidity St-Aubins!! (93 pts.)

2015 Gerard Thomas Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne
Huge nose of honey, yellow apple, freshnly cutted grass dried in the sun, hint of vanilla… Sharp acidity, huge minerality, good lenght… a very good QPR compared to the more expensive PYCM’s… (93 pts.)

2014 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly
One of the best St-Aubins I’ve had!! Huge minerality, flintstones, lasersharp citrus… huge freshness and minerality and quite long aftertaste. I just love it!! (94 pts.)

2013 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Champs-Gain
Super concentrated and beautifull nose of honey and citrus, hint of green grass, orange peel, ananas, yellow apple… Very complex and long aftertaste, citrus, mineral, good concentration… This is one of the best Puligny’s I’ve had!! (96 pts.)

2015 Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Perrières
Light and delicate nose of matchstick, honey, loads of citrus, very “Coche” style… High acidity, citrus, hint of mineral, good lenght… great wine, but I believe the Clos de la Mouchère is even better! (94 pts.)

2014 Bouchard Père et Fils Montrachet
Huge nose of ripe citrus, nice balanced minerality and acidity, tropical fruit, a bit more oily than the 1er Crus… Lenght of 60 seconds. This is a fabulous wine, but far from a good QPR!! (95 pts.)

2000 Coche-Dury Bourgogne
Very light and dusty nose, red berries… quite thin and evolved, this wine should have been drunken 5 years ago… Coche is a genuis in white, but I’m not a big fan of this red… dissapointing! (87 pts.)

Château Le Pin Trilogie 11.12.13
Very nice nose of chocolate, dark ripe black fruit, cedar box… taste is nice with polished tannins, average lenght… this is a good but not great Pomerol (93 pts.)

2011 Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux Monts
Delicious nose of ripe red berries and barbecue spices, very transparent, very nice refreshing acidity balancing the ripe fruit, good lenght, great red Burgundy! (93 pts.)

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello 2017

The Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino confirmed that 1997 is still the star vintage!  Recent vintages like 2010 or 2012 are far too primary… 2004 is starting to emerge… So it seems that 15 years is the ideal drinking window for top Brunello!!

2012 La Querciolina Maremma Toscana Istriciaia
Very nice nose of ripe red berries, sandalwood, mushrooms… Nice acidity, sappy red berries, hint of tannic grip, nice entry wine. (89 points)

2015 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Rosso di Montalcino
Discrete nose of red berries, very primary, sous-bois… Nice polished tannin, red berries, average lenght, still too young, to revisit in 5 years. (90 points)

2007 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino
Animal, gamey nose, cèpes de Bordeaux, ripe red cherries… sappy red berries, tannic but well integrated, good lenght. Acid and sappy finish, needs food! (91 points)

1990 Castello di San Polo in Rosso Chianti Classico Cetinaia
Nose of BBQ, roasted beef, ripe red cherries, exotic wood, cigar box gamey… Super polished tannin, super sappy red cherries, this little wine is not very concentrated, but is at perfect maturity and is very delicious at age 27!! (93 points)

2009 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino
Nose of mokka and coffee, gamey, beef blood… Ripe tanins, red cherries, a bit flat and lacking the tension of colder years. (91 points)

2010 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino
Very primary nose of exotic wood, cigar box, black cherries; iodine, still incredibly young… Tannic monster, cigar box, red berries and cherries, lenght of 30 seconds, wait 5 or 10 more years minimum! needs food. (95 points)

2012 Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT
Black characoal, black primary fruit… Tons of black fruit, laser sharp tannin present, but finish very polished… Lenght of 45 seconds, great Flaccianello!! (96 points)

2004 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino
Light nose of red berries, forest floor… Very concentrated taste, loads of sappy tannin, loads of ripe red cherries, good balancing acidity, great lenght of 30 sec, still a bit closed, wait 2-3 more years. (95 points)

2012 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino
Light but complex nose of cerise griotte, Cohiba cigar, little red berries, hint of salinity, very elegant nose… Loads of polished and ripe tannin, super delicate red berries, hint of minerality, pure elegance, still very young, will be better in 5 years. (95 points)

1997 Pertimali (Livio Sassetti) Brunello di Montalcino
WOW, nose of brown sugar, cigar box, soy sauce, gamey, roasted meat, exotic wood… Taste is super concentrated, super ripe tannin coating the mouth, loads of cohiba cigar, lenght of 30-45 seconds, great Brunello at perfect maturity, I love Brunello!! (98 points)

Saint-Aubin: The Puligny-Montrachet of the poor man… :-)


Saint-Aubin is one of my preferred terroir in white Burgundy and very much in the style of Puligny-Montrachet…  It is the only village in white Burgundy that has a majority of 1er Cru parcels… and even some the Saint-Aubin village parcels have the steepness of 1er Cru of other villages!!  From a vintage perspective, the 2015’s are very rich and concentrated, and the 2016 look very promising with a laser sharp acidity and minerality!!

2015 Gerard Thomas Bourgogne Blanc
Light nose of green apple, light grilled hazelnut… delicious taste of yellow apple, almonds, grilled hazelnut, very delicious little Bourgogne. From the parcel “Les Charmeaux” in the village of Saint-Aubin (89 pts.)

2015 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenière
Delicious nose of hazelnuts, yellow apple, hint of vanilla, very floral and feminine… Taste is very delicious and en finesse, very nice fat and acidity, good balance, and finish of hazelnut (91 pts.)

2015 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Light nose of smoke and Grany Smith… Nice roundness, yellow apple, hint of fat and nice acidity to balance the wine (91 pts.)

2016 Gerard Thomas Bourgogne Blanc
Very nice nose of green apples, citrus, pamplemousse, hint of vanilla… Delicious grilled hazelnut, green and yellow apple, pamplemouse, really really nice white Bourgogne. (90 pts.)

2016 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenière
Nose of citrus and mineral… taste of pamplemousse and citrus, superb acicity and minerality, very nice balance, very nice vintage!! (93 pts.)

2016 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Nose of citrus and pamplemousse… Very nice taste of citrus, pamplemousse, hint of mineral, good tension, good lenght and concentration… The barrels from Alliet are a bit better than Vosges… (93 pts.)

2016 Gerard Thomas Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chenevottes
Superb nose of pamplemousse and citrus… Super delicious taste of citrus and pamplemousse, 2016 looks like a great vintage in white Burgundy!! (93 pts.)

2016 Gerard Thomas Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne
Nose of yellow and green apple… Very nice acidity, citrus, pamplemousse, hint of minerality, very nice lenght and balance (94 pts.)

2015 Chateauneuf: Laurent Charvin



Laurent Charvin is the closest in style to Chateau Rayas… And he is also strongly defending the identity of the Côtes du Rhone terroir, and indeed, his côtes du Rhone 2014 is fabulous, the 2016 is even better… In fact the whole line-up was fabulous!!  I love Charvin 🙂

2014 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet)
Wow wow huge nose super spicy with black licorice… Super delicious, salty salty salty delicious, griotte ripe red cherries, I love Charvin!! (92 pts.)

2015 Domaine Charvin Vin de Pays de la Principauté d’Orange ‘à côté’
Very black fruit, black licorice, very salty… Nice freshness, black fruit, super long nice fresh mineral (90 pts.)

2016 Domaine Charvin Côtes du Rhône (Le Poutet)
Huge nose, very black licorice, very ripe black cherries, blueberries… Delicious, super fruity, perfect balance, red and black cherries, this is a Côtes du Rhone at Chateauneuf level, super silky tannins!! (93 pts.)

2014 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Closed nose of licorice, super spicy, griotte cherries… Very concentrated, loads of ripe tannins, super delicious, cerise griotte, I love it!! (95 pts.)

2015 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape
HUGE, FABULOUS, KNOCKS YOUR PANTS OFF, super black licorice, super salty black cherries, blueberries… Super delicious, fresh mineral, black characoal, very dark but ripe and gourmand!! (97 pts.)

2016 Domaine Charvin Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Very nice red and black cherries, a little bit closed now… Licorice, blueberries, salty black cherries, super long aftertaste of 45 seconds!! (97 pts.)