All posts filed under: English

Best of Bordeaux primeurs 2015 – château Beychevelle St-Julien

On arrival, you’re greeted by the aromas of the earth, the gurgling of the Gironde River and the crunch of footsteps on gravel. At the end of drive stands an ivy-covered château that has been standing here since the 16th century. It once belonged to the duc d’Epernon, who asked approaching ships to lower their sails as a sign of allegiance, with “Baisse-voile” becoming Beychevelle. Over the centuries, wine-making fourished at the “little Versailles of the Médoc“. The estate now also offers 11 guestrooms and 2 suites. With their high ceilings, old wardrobes, rugs and silk hangings, they offer views of the formal gardens or the vineyards. A personal chef is available on request to pair your plates with the red rubis of the grands crus of the estate. Château Beychevelle “en primeur” 2015 :  the clocks are silent, as if gripped with respect; during the tasting time stops and seems to expand. This wine is slipping into the interstices of the world, spurred along by the winds of the Gironde River and add depth …

Late “En Primeur” Tasting, 2014 Vintage

22nd March 2016 : The over 300 industry professionals in attendance — journalists, brokers, merchants, chateaux owners—did not hide their pleasure to rediscover the 2014 grands crus, only just three months away from bottling. 144 chateaux from both the Left and Right Banks were available for tasting and judgement by these professionals at Millésima’s Cellars in Bordeaux, who once again responded overwhelmingly positively for one of the most highly-anticipated tastings of the year. As for the vintage, the wines were showing well even in the cool cellars—temperature control being obligatory for the 2,500,000 bottles in stock! Many of the samples were quite expressive, showing notable fruit and a firm structure. Though 2014 lacks the intensity concentration of 2009 and 2010, it shines with its richness, something its predecessor in 2013 lacked. The 2014s were also more competitively priced (and still are), making them much more attractive on the market. Tasting just before bottling present the opportunity to appreciate these wines before they are subject to review, meaning that opinions are not tainted or influenced by …

The Mandarin Oriental in Paris, a sustainable change

“Embrace the earth, watch over its fragile splendor, tend to its melancholia and its joys; and then strive, little by little, to change the course of destiny. Cast aside our doubts. Transform ourselves, to transform our lives. And rethink the future, to reinvent the world.” Aude Revier And #Paris is cultivating the future. The City of Light has taken on an audacious challenge for the 21st century: more nature, fewer cars, less waste and greater sharing. Paris has set its sights on 2020 and a collective future in which everyone participates in sustainable change. The Mandarin Oriental near Place Vendôme is the only High Environmental Quality hotel. Bouquets of mauve hydrangeas adorn the pearly white spa cabins, fostering a sense of peace and freedom, free of dogma and uniformity. Here is a haven for spontaneous moments of enjoyment and secrets among friends; eternity can wait. Built around a 500 m2 garden, the establishment has 138 rooms and 40 suites, conceived with a careful duality in mind. The works of the brilliant artist Man Ray, and …

Endrizzi, the alphabet of flavors from the Trentino hills

Since 1885 Cantina Endrizzi has been producing Trentino wines. But Endrizzi is above all a family. This name preserves the charm of a locality : San Michele all’Adige and the passion for wine as a work of art. A philosophy of life embodied today by Paolo and Christine Endrici (Endrizzi in the local dialect) and the younger generation with Lisa Maria and Daniele. Endrizzi’s wines are made in the fresh climate of the Trentino hills, a land cultivated with environmentally friendly practices. The Masetto vineyard The sparkling Trento DOC is coming from the Pian Castello vineyard, one of the few in Trentino with an authentic clos structure. This Metodo Classico is left to mature on lees from 2 to 5 years, with a minimum dosage that does not alter the characteristics of the original grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Nero). The Riserva Pian Castello arrive in complete simplicity, unadorned, and it taste so good! You look at it almost with astonishment, as if you hadn’t been introduced to each other. But then you start to reconstruct your alphabet …

Throw a stone in Portland and you’ll hit a food cart…

…If you don’t hit a coffee roaster or a micro-brewer…. or a cyclist. There are Polish carts, Cuban carts, Indian carts, carts from the most unlikely exporters of gastronomy. Alaskan reindeer sits next to Czech schnitzels. Do you like a cucumber finish or an oyster with more grit? Portland’s speciality is its vibrant street food scene, whereby those without an office desk take lunch in the street, sitting on doorsteps, squatting mid-pavement or just standing around eating with their fingers out of boxes delivered by one-man-band restaurant wagons known as food carts. At the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers , the city is set back from the Pacific in Oregon’s land of plenty, a green corridor of prodigious fertility between coastal rainforest and the semi-desert. So these titbits are real food: fresh local ingredients, cooked to order, inexpensive and good. There are more than 600 carts, no two the same, in colourful corrals filling downtown parking lots. Portland’s selection of food carts has drawn global acclaim (CNN declared Portland home to the world’s …

The very first Médoc International Film Festival #VD7A , gems from terroir

Wherever you gaze between the Gironde estuary and the ocean, the undulating vineyards reflect a landscape shaped and configured by man according to the contours and gravelly outcrops. The place works its charme immediately. A barren region strewn with proud castles, the Médoc owes its success to the prestigious marriage in 1152 between Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, and Henry Plantagenet, the future king of England. The alliance promoted trade between Bordeaux and the British Isles, boosting the business of Bordeaux winemakers and merchants. This was a boon for the Médoc, where the great terroirs began to produce the most famous wines in the world. You have to breathe in the salty smell of the ocean and the resinous scent of the pine trees in spring, and see the first flights of wood pigeons over the vines in early autumn to understand that the Médoc is a world of its own. Wine is the only treasure of the land here, along with nature. People pay as close attention to their vines as Kobe beef producers to …

The twentieth time of a unique wine : 1993 – 2012, a milestone tasting of Luce

An idea was born, in the early 1990s, giving life to a project, the fruit of a dream of two major personalities in the history of wine, Vittorio Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi. What they wanted to do together, was to unite their individual wine passions, skills and personal traditions, and offer to the world as a result, a truly exceptional and different wine, grown in the heart of Montalcino. Their sons Lamberto and Tim (at that time both young winemakers) were the ones who brought to fruition their fathers’ vision, uniting together Sangiovese and Merlot. The first tasting of the first vintage of Luce in 1993, revealed that this vintage would gain some maturity already in the tanks, and that it was already a strinking, complex wine, one with excellent ageing potential. Today the 1993 Luce is impressive from its deep purple color. The seductive, perfumed bouquet and flavors unfold with nuances of blueberries, blackberries, violets and minerals. The flavors are concentrated and powerful, with a silky texture. Here are the vintages that I prefer …

Querciabella’s Batàr, an essential marker of the time

Who hasn’t dreamed of penetrating the secret of winery creation; of entering the heart of the demiurge and illuminating their wines with the light of everyday life? Wineries homes resemble the winemakers and thus shine a new light on their work. For me wine is an essential marker of the time, he concentrates great historical events and invites a multiplicity of viewpoints. Here, in Querciabella, the “altitude” winemaking is challenging and demanding yet produces nectars well worth the effort and worthy of cellaring. Rows of squat vines clinging to Chianti’s hillsides (800m). Vintners challenge the laws of nature to ensure proper maturation. By virtue of having cultivated their vines over generations, Querciabella have also developed a cutting-edge art. The most classy cuvee is Batar (Chardonnay 50%; Pinot  Bianco 50%), rich and tender, that exudes dried and fruit flavor, hint of salinity and great minerality, a remarkable heritage of Batard Montrachet, a love for strange and elegant things.

Heidsieck, the globetrotting dandy Champagne for this Christmas

A legend cannot be built on sand. The “Maison” of Charles Heidsieck understands this. Its president has therefore revived a somewhat forgotten legend, the man who was one of the first to introduce his wines to the New World. Known to Americans as “Champagne Charlie”, he first crossed the Atlantic in 1852 with chestfuls of bottles to convince Americans of the superiority of his wines. For the 2014 Holiday season, the house is reissuing three of these maple-wood truncks. The most prestigious, the Malle 1852 Oenothèque, contains six bottles of the iconic Brut Réserve, six of the Rosé Réserve, six of the legendary Blanc des Millénaires 1995, and three of each of the rare 1983 and 1985 vintages, along with a Riedel decanter and flutes, and a writing kit (5 000€). This ends the hunting Christmas gift season with a fantasmagoric phenomena to be captured by eye and mouth, with effects of relief and touch, a master of the cantilevered construction that mobilizes all the possibilities of space. If this sinfully “malle” lands under your Christmas tree, there’s …

Lights on at the Mercato Centrale in Florence for a magic Christmas

The Florentine Mercato Centrale offers in abundance everything grown and produced on fertile soils of Tuscany. If you’re looking for Tuscany’s signature specialty, you can buy Fiorentina for dinner, a sizable, at least one kilo heavy, piece of Chianina beef on the bone. There’s also trippa, aromatic sausages made from boar and donkey, ham and mortadella, lard from Colonnata, mature and young sheep cheese, farmer’s yoghourt, dried boletus mushrooms and, of course, extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, tangy, with a distinct bitter note. Bakeries sell Tuscan bread, baked without salt, and crispy cantucci with almond. Traditionally you have to deep them in sweet Vin Santo before putting them in your mouth. Of course, it is possible to have snack at the Central Market. Moreover, it is essential to arrive hungry and elbow your way to the queue at Da Nerbone café. Place your order at the bar, and then eat your catch slowly, washing it down with wine from Chianti Classico. Here, the Chianti Classico Company has a wine shop. The Enoteca Chianti Classico is …