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Chateau Rayas: a lengendary winemaker!


The more I taste Rayas… The more I understand how unique his terroir is and why it ages so well and delivers it’s full potential after 10-20 years.  This time it became obvious to me how interesting the sandy soils / North exposure / Forest are!!

2016 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Blanc Château de Fonsalette Reserve
Very nice floral nose, honey, yellow apple… Powerful honey taste, citrus, nice tension, very nice! (93 points)

2016 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Réserve
Very nice minerality, green apple… very elegant, honey, yellow apple(94 points)

2016 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Pignan Reserve
Pepery nose, sous-bois, mushrooms, cerise du Nord… Tannin present, cerise du Nord. This is argile terroir, and personally I prefer the sandy soils from Rayas (89 points)

2016 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette Reserve
Cinsault barrel: nose of red berries, ripe framboise, transparent, hint of salinity, pepery
Grenache barrel: Ripe red cherries, salinity… very fine, saline, groseille, sweet but sappy (94 points)

2016 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve
Levant (PI): Skeleton, long term, black cherries, peper… tannin present, a bit harsh, cerise du Nord (92+/100).
Coeur (PIII): Very nice nose of sappy cherries, framboise… Very ripe taste, beautiful ripe tannin, nice lenght, tight (95/100)
Couchant (PII): Spicy nose of bacon, red cherries, black peper… fat, silky taste, framboise, cherries, salinity (96/100) (96 points)

2016 Château Rayas Côtes du Rhône Château de Fonsalette Cuvée Syrah
Galets/argile (SYI): very spicy, pepery, chocolate, bacon, roasted meat (93/100)
Sable (SYII): deep, cold, humid… Super salinity, groseille rouge… very light tannin, groseille, delicious!! (94/100) (94 points)


Gerard Thomas – Puligny Montrachet 2017

It is always a pleasure to have early tasting of 2017 Puligny vintage this year at Gerard Thomas… The Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Garenne dit particularly well in this vintage!!

2017 Gerard Thomas Bourgogne Blanc
Nose of citrus, freshly cutted grass, yellow and green apple… very nice taste of citrus, mineral, freshness (90 points)

2017 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Nose of yellow and green apple… Hint of mineral in the taste, yellow apple, hint of citrus… to be retasted next year… (91 points)

2017 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenière
Nose of exotic fruit, yellow apple… taste of smoke, matchstick, yellow apple, mineral, citrus finish <(92 points)

2017 Gerard Thomas Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru La Garenne
Very nice nose of mineral, citrus, smoke, apple, spices… Very nice concentration, citrus, fat, exotic fruit, lenght of 30 sec!! (94 points)

Côte Rôtie 2015 – Horizontal tasting

Rotie 2018

Very interesting to taste early this very acclaimed vintage and comparing to older sibblings.  This tasting confirms that 2015 is a great vintage, especially the Côte Jamet Côte Rôtie 2015 that was truly amazing!!

2015 Michel & Stéphane Ogier Côte-Rôtie Le Village
Very nice nose of vanilla, black fruit, Violette, cold ashes… Tannin present, but ripe, good freshness, black ripe cherries (90 points)

2013 Domaine l’Aiguelière Coteaux du Languedoc Montpeyroux Côte Rousse
Huge nose of smoked bacon, sandalwood, cèpes de Bordeaux, ripe red and black cherries… super delicious ripe cherries with loads of super ripe tannin, length of 30 sec (94 points)

2015 Rene Rostaing Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Classique Ampodium
Cold, very black nose, incense, black smoke, violette… Cold tannin, black fruit fresh finish (92 points)

2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde
OXO nose, BBQ meat, very gamey, ripe red cherries, mineral… Light tannin, red cherries, fresh, very nice evolved Côte Rôtie (93 points)

2015 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Syrah
Very nice nose of saline cherries, smoked BBQ meat… Saline cherries kirsch, nice ripe tannin, very fresh, lenght of 30 sec! (95 points)

2015 Domaine Jamet Côte-Rôtie
Very very black and tight nose, incense, herbes de Provence… Super fresh, massive but silky at the same time, black ripe cherries with super high fresh acidity, good mineral… lenght of 30 sec, fabulous wine!! (98 points)

2007 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne
Nice nose of bacon, very gamey, already tertiary aromas… Still very primary and very young taste, hint of drying tannin, loads of ripe black cherries, hint of greenness in the finish, good but not as great as expected… (94 points)


Visit: Chassagne-Montrachet: Lamy-Caillat

Sebastien is definitely a perfectionist! You can feel it in his wines, winery cleanliness, quality of the corks, sleek bottle wax… in everything!  But what I like the most is the style of his wines, with huge citrus, mineral, great concentration in his Caillerets… but above all the “matchstick” magic, that only the greatest winemakers have, you know who I mean 🙂

2016 Lamy-Caillat Chassagne-Montrachet
Barrel sample: Very nice nose of citrus, hint of smoke, hint of matchstick… very nice yellow citrus taste, the mineral appears after 10 seconds, very straight, very precise, nice fatness in the finish! (92 points)

2016 Lamy-Caillat Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée
Very nice nose of citrus, hint of vanilla, lychee, exotic fruit… very nice taste of citrus, matchstick, exotic fruit, nice fatness, length of 30 sec! (93-95/100)

2016 Lamy-Caillat Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Caillerets
Nice nose of exotic citrus, yellow apple, hint of smoke… huge concentration in the mouth, enormous, lenght of 60 sec!! (95-96 points)

2013 Lamy-Caillat Chassagne-Montrachet
Nose of citrus, huge matchstick, yellow apple, hint of mineral… Delicious citrus, good fruit concentration… 20 sec finish on mineral, delicious wine!! (94 points)





Vertical tasting Clos Mogador 1989 – 2015

It is the best way to understand a domain and the evolution of the wine over the years… The 2013 and 2010 ware amazing delicious young wines… and the 2004 & 2003 magic Clos Mogador at maturity!!

2015 Clos Mogador Priorat
Nice nose of red and black cherries, sous-bois, mushrooms… Taste of very primary black fruit, loads of sappy tannin, nice concentration, nice lenght. (94 points)

2014 Clos Mogador Priorat
Nose of cedar, sous-bois, black fruit… high acidity, red berries, tannin a little bit present, maybe a hint of greeness… (93 points)

2013 Clos Mogador Priorat
Huge nose of black fruit and chocolate, very concentrated, almost decadent, cigar box, cèpes de Bordeaux… Taste is loaded with tons of very sappy tannin, huge ripe black fruit, but super refreshing acidity… Lenght of 45 sec!! (97 points)

2012 Clos Mogador Priorat
Average nose a bit closed, black fruit, graphite, sandalwood… Taste is fresh, tannin present, red vibrant fruit, doesn’t have the concentration of the 2013, but more “vin de garde” (96 points)

2010 Clos Mogador Priorat
Wow wow wow, mega huge attractive nose of bacon, roasted meat, ripe red cherries, strawberries… Super delicious, sappy tannin, fresh and ripe red cherries, lenght of 30 sec, killer wine approaching maturity. (97 points)

2005 Clos Mogador Priorat
I remember how spectacular this wine was on release… but now the wine was a bit overripe, hint of cooked, a bit thick and lacking freshness and tension… Still okay wine, but this style doesn’t seem to age well compared to how it showed at release!! (93 points)

2004 Clos Mogador Priorat
Huge nose of bacon, leather, cèpes de Bordeaux, roasted meat… Loads of ripe cherries with refreshing acidity, totally integrated tannins, good lenght of 30 sec, great mogador at maturity!! (96 points)

2003 Clos Mogador Priorat
Very evolved and ripe nose, ripe red cherries, smoked meat… Super meaty, juicy ripe red cherries, loads of silky and ripe tannins, super delicious!! (95 points)

2000 Clos Mogador Priorat
Wow, loads of leather, gamey, sandalwood, very tertiary, delicious!! Super silky, loads of ripe tannin, strawberries, lenght of 30 sec, still at peak with potential at 17 years of age!! (95 points)

1999 Clos Mogador Priorat
Meaty and herbal nose, red cherries, sous-bois, mushrooms… Lighter than other vintages, integrated tannin, red fruit, lenght of 20 seconds! (93 points)

1989 Clos Mogador Priorat
We have opened two bottles of 1989 Clos Mogador and both seemed flawed, high acidity hint of vinegear, searing tannin, no fruit… didn’t improve with aeration… very different from previous bottles that were beautiful… (NR/flawed)

Bourgogne 2015 – Millésime de garde!

Charlopin 2015_after bottling

The Charlopin 2015’s are just bottled… and I couldn’t resist revisiting them since I tasted them in barrel… But it is no big surprise that most of these 2015’s red Burgundy are still painfully closed, but have a huge potential to become a great vintage… patience, patience!!

2015 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Chatenière
Very nice nose of mineral and honey, smoke, hint of citrus… Taste is lasersharp citrus, followed by mineral, a hint of honey, yellow apples in the finish. (93 points)

2015 Gerard Thomas Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chien
Very cold nose of mineral and citrus, hint of yellow apple … Very high yellow citrus and loads of mineral, dried herbs in the background, this wine is still painfully young but with a lenght of 30 seconds finish, this wine has still a lot of potential ahead!! (92 points)

2013 Domaine Belleville Rully Les Chauchoux
Beautiful nose of ripe strawberries, gamey, cerise rouge griotte, un nez qui “pinote”… Very light, fresh acidity, cerise griotte, nice sappy sweeteness in the finish, great little wine! (91 points)

2015 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Bourgogne Cuvée Prestige
Broading nose of forest floor, black cherries, sandalwood… really concentrated sappy red cherries, very nice refreshing acidity, already very concentrated for a simple Bourgogne! (92 points)

2014 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Marsannay En Montchenevoy
Very nice nose of ripe strawberries, farmyard, sandalwood… Super fresh high acid, silky tannin, almost transparent, but beautifully sappy!! (92 points)

2015 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Marsannay En Montchenevoy
Huge nose of black cherries, forest floor, characoal… Loads of red sappy fruit and silky tannin, lenght of 20 sec… (93 points)

2014 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Very masculine and animal nose, farmyard, red cherries in the background… Nice fresh red cherries, high acidity, light on it’s feet but very delicious!! (93 points)

2015 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Very black nose, ripe black cherries, animal, characoal, hint of bacon fat… Loads of super fine and silky tannin, ripe red and black cherries, lenght of 30 sec… Don’t touch it for the next 5-10 years, plenty of potential ahead! (94 points)

2015 Domaine Philippe Charlopin Clos Vougeot
Beautiful nose of ripe red cherries, cèpes de Bordeaux, sandalwood… Loads of red fruit, high acidity, nice freshness, lenght of 30 sec (94 points)

Bordeaux horizontal 2003

Bordeaux 2003

It is amazing to see that at the age of 14, these wines from the most torrid and hot vintage 2003 in France, show very little signs of this hot vintage, on the contrary the freshness has appeared and the wines are now hedonistic and opulent with a perfect balance… and some wines are becoming legendary like the Clos Fourtet St-Emilion “1er Grand Cru Classé B” 2003!!

2003 Château Lagrange – St. Julien
Color is still pretty dark for a 14 year old wine… Huge nose of cedar, leather, ripe black fruit, sandalwood, textbook St-Julien nose… Very black taste, fresh integrated tannin with black fruit in the background, very nice! (92 points)

2003 Château Beausejour Duffau Lagarrosse – St. Émilion Grand Cru Classé B
Huge nose of mokka, chocolate, hint of mint, very black fruit… Nice sappy and elegant tannin, red and black fruit, good freshness…. Absolutely no signs of hot vintage here, I can’t believe this is the same wine I tasted 10 years ago!!! (92 points)

2000 Château Haut Condissas Prestige – Medoc
Very cold and black nose, mineral, cold, iron, characoal… Dry tannin, very black fruit, super fresh, not very long, goes better with food… (89 points)

2003 Château Saint-Pierre – St. Julien
Cigar box, cèpes de Bordeaux, Havana cigar, sous-bois, red cherries… Quite light, but building up in the mouth, super ripe silky coating finishing on ripe strawberries and fresh aftertaste. (93 points)

2003 Bodegas Mauro Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León Terreus Pago de Cueva Baja
Huge nose of coffee, chocolate, very ripe black fruit, hint of mint… Loads of ripe red and black fruit, almost syrupy, still fresh, super modern! (94 points)

2003 San Giusto a Rentennano La Ricolma Toscana IGT
Loads of iodine, dark chocolate, minty, red berries, sandalwood… Cold and fresh tannin, high acidity, red berries, super super fresh, absolutely nos signs of warm vintage here! (96 points)

2003 Château Léoville Poyferré  – St. Julien
WOW nose of cigar box, huge leather, ripe black fruit, characoal… Very nice concentration of ripe strawberries, coated with super silky tannin, cèpes de Bordeaux, lenght of 30 seconds! (96 points)

2003 Clos Fourtet – St. Émilion 1er Grand Cru Classé B
Huge nose of ripe and very black fruit, mineral, characoal… delicious taste of black chocolate, super dark fruit, characoal, mineral, aftertaste of 60 seconds… Whaouw, whaouw, whaouw, what a great mature Bordeaux!!! (99 points)