My Wines of... Last week


I give regular wine classes at Ecole du Vin de France and last week was our second session for EDV 1 (a six-hour class giving all the basics about wine knowledge and wine tasting). On this occasion I selected a few little gems that I would like to share with you. 

We started with Pol Roger Brut Champagne. Each Champagne has its own personnality but what strikes me about Pol Roger Brut is its sheer elegance, its subtlety: all the elements are nicely integrated with delicate notes of brioche, floral touch and fruity notes. Nothing stands out but everything is in perfect balance. The mousse is so delicate on the palate that it feels like velvet and the sensation lingers nicely on the palate. Yes, I can drink it all night. 

We continued on with a fantastic Gewurztraminer from Domaine Schlumberger: Les Princes Abbés 2011. Here we have the quintessence of Gewurz': rose, peony, peach and litchi on the nose with an added touch of passion fruit on the palate. Gewurz is such a unique wine; for me, it epitomises  the meaning of 'aromatic wine'. This one is particularly good because the body and alcohol is not overpowering and the acidity holds it together. Perfect with Thai food. 

We carried on our feast with a 2011 Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Combe aux Moines from Domaine Faiveley. First, I have to admit that Gevrey and Musigny are my top favourite red Burgundy, but this one surpassed my expectations. It was a symphony of aromas and flavours, each very distinct from the other: First floral and vegetal (violet, undergrowth) and then fruity (red cherry, raspberry, wild strawberry, red currant). The amazing thing is that all these distinct components bathed in a kind of dusty smokiness. The word that comes to my mind is ethereal... The effect was superb: very delicate, elegant wine, round and beautifully long on the palate. 

Then the star of the evening arrived in our glasses and I could not help but to let go a few 'oh my god' and 'hummmmms'... Wonder what my students think of my comments sometimes ! Anyway, Cote Rotie 2010 from Domaine Michel Ogier is out of this world. We have so much complexity here. First spices (pepper, cinnamon, camphre, cardamon) then the vegetal touch (garrigue, mint) and then, finally, the beautiful rich black fruits (black cherry, blackberry). Each time I dipped my nose, each time I took a sip, something new was coming up. Perfect balance with enough acidity and tannins to stand the test of time, with the additional touch of cigar and dark chocolate on the palate and with elegance and finesse. This was my outstanding wine of the week. I don't know how easy this is to get in France/UK/Canada but if you live in Hong Kong, get your hands on it now!

We finished the class with Bordeaux, first with Chateau Potensac 2000, a gorgeous vintage for a glorious wine (a Cru Bourgeois exceptionnel) and a great occasion to be able to taste a wine that is 14 years old at a reasonable price. Here the maturation has brought down the fruit aromas (except some blackcurrant liquor) to reveal some undergrowth, prune, leather and savoury (parma ham) aromas. On the palate, we still have acidity and tannins with plum, kirsch and cacao flavours and a long finish. One should drink it now. It will be perfect for Christmas. 

Last but not least, we had a Barsac 2007, Les Cypres de Climens (2nd wine of Chateau Climens). Absolutely gorgeous sweet wine (from noble rot) with floral (acacia) fruity (apricot, quince, pineapple, candied mandarin, peach) and spice (tarte tatin, vanilla, orange marmelade, xmas spice)... Can you believe that I wrote all that ? Well, if you do not believe me, open a bottle of this Barsac and you will see what I mean ! 

Cheers ! 

All the wines were bought at Altaya