Château Petit-Village: a jewel set in the highest of the Pomerol plateau

Late in January, prior to my MW seminar in Bordeaux, I had the opportunity to visit a few wineries with a friend and fellow MW student - Stefan Metzner. One of the visits was to Château Petit-Village in Pomerol. I didn’t know much about their wines… and what a great surprise it was! Not because of the walk we had in the vineyards (not much walking, as it was extremely muddy from all the rain they were getting in the past days), not even because of the visit to the cellars (which was nice!), but what made it so remarkable was the wines we tasted. That combined with a great conversation with the person responsible for the winemaking of such great wines – Marielle Cazaux (their technical director ) – made January 31st, 2014 a very special day…

Some information about their vineyards: 10.5 hectares on deep gravel with light sandy clays. The average of the vineyards is 30 years.

Château Petit-Village is going through a major process of replanting in the vineyards to improve the quality of their wines in the future. The immediate result is a considerable reduction of the production of their Grand Vin. The good news? While the quantity goes down, the quality goes up as only the grapes from the old vines are used for their GV! As a result of the low yields that old vines usually offer, more concentrated juice is produced…

They are located in Pomerol. So what that means in terms of grape varieties used in their blends to make the wines? It means that most of their vineyards are planted with Merlot  (in their case, about 3/4 of the vineyards). The rest is planted with Cabernet Franc (18%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (7%).

Merlot from Pomerol is not your usual “juicy and easy to drink beverage”. Combined with the two Cabernets, it has enough structure to put in a firm frame all the red-berry fruit, cassis, dried herbs, and exotic spices that you find in the wines.

And they can be rich, silky and fresh…

Some critics don’t like to use the word “delicious” to describe a wine. I’m not sure why… To me it isn’t fair if, possibly, the best quality of the wine is not mentioned…

The best wines from Pomerol are the true definition of #delicious!

Our tasting was in this room with a beautiful view of the vineyards. Does it make the wines taste better? Possibly… :) but I don’t think it was the case this time. That day was rainy and dull.

We had a vertical tasting of their most recent vintages and we could clearly see the difference between the years. However, they all had a pure character, a common thread that made them somehow “siblings”. Why is that? What gives this very specific style to a winery? Is it the “terroir” or is it the winemaking? Probably a bit of both? Hard to tell… but all the wines were showing great purity of fruit, nice integration of the oak, and very good balance. Even vintages defined as mediocre by some famous journalists! (not to be confused with vintages that were defined famous by some mediocre journalists…) :)

My favorite of all the wines we tasted that morning was the Château Petit-Village 2007. This is what they had to say in their own tasting note: “A dark, ruby red color. An extremely expressive, complex nose with notes of black fruit and violets, of remarkable freshness and purity. In the mouth, the wine is straightforward and extremely precise. The tannins are firm but refined and velvety. A wine that combines freshness and elegance.” I couldn’t agree more!  This wine is really fresh and elegant! Amazing silkiness on the palate.

If you like wines that don’t punch you like a heavy-weight boxer… but rather caresses your face like a gentle breeze… (are you getting the picture?), this wine is for you! The other vintages are variations on the same theme: Elegance and balance. So you can make the choice of the vintage… And here is my super secret advice: Pick the vintages that were named “terrible” by the critics. They are cheaper and they will please you as well!

Château Petit-Village is open to individuals and groups (25 people maximum) every day by prior appointment for a visit of the vineyard and technical facilities, followed by a tasting session of two vintages of Château Petit-Village. The visits last approximately one  hour and it costs 6 euros (reduced rates for groups). A shop is also open to their visitors (languages spoken: French and English). Going to Bordeaux? Don’t miss this opportunity to visit this great Château!

Cheers,

Luiz Alberto, #winelover

Founder of the #winelover community – Institute of Masters of Wine candidate. Combining his passion for wine with social media, he is a judge at international wine competitions, wine educator and communicator.

Blog: thewinehub.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Luiz.Alberto.TWH

Twitter: @thewinehub

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Professionals welcome to the 1st edition of the Brussels Wine Market

Adegga, organisers of the Lisbon Wine Market which attracts over 1000 consumers to taste the wine of the 40 selected wine producers will be hosting the first edition of the Brussels Wine Market on 16th November at The Hotel (ex Hilton).

“Why should a trade professional attend what would normally be a consumer event?” we hear you ask… Here are seven reasons we think that you can’t miss being at Brussels Wine Market on 16th November:

1)     Our 22 exhibitors from Portugal and France include some of the top names in Port winemaking that are already known on the Belgian market as well as others that are looking to develop their network of importers and distributors. Take Casa da Passarella (Dão), Casa de Mouraz (Vinho Verde), Damasceno (Setubal), Vale da Capucha e Pynga (Lisboa), Herdade do Cebolal (Setubal), Torre do Frade (Alentejo), João Barbosa (Lisboa and Alentejo) and Julia Kemper (Dão) for example – if you’re looking to develop your range, they could have just what you need.

2)     New Vintages – many of our producers such as Montirius, producers of exquisite biodynamic wines from the Rhone valley will be presenting the new vintages at the Brussels Wine Market. Looking to update your wine list? This could be the place to find those new labels.

3)     Belgian producers – winemakers from Chateau de Miniere and Chateau de Castigno will be on hand showcasing their wines made with Belgian hands in the Loire and Languedoc. Why not come and see how the Belgians are doing in France?

4)     Champagne wine-maker Francoise Bedel, one of the few certified biodynamic producers in the region will be bringing her elegant Pinot Meunier dominant wines to the Brussels Wine Market.  If you’re looking for a different sort of sparkling, look no further.

5)     Niepoort Wine Experience – as a wine professional, you’re almost certainly a wine lover and any wine lover would go weak at the knees for a Port Experience Room ticket. Niepoort will be opening ten vintages ranging from 1952 to their newest releases giving Port fans and wine connoisseurs a unique insight into Portugal’s favourite export. (Tickets to the Port Wine Experience cost 35 euro – a snip considering the high price tags on these old vintages)

6)     Miss Vicky Wines, new to the Belgian market, this bubbly daughter of a French vineyard owner created her own range of wines mirroring her young, elegant, fun and sexy personality. Beginning first with Beaujolais, she developed a range of wines from across France that appeal above all to a younger segment of wine drinkers. If you are looking to woo the younger wine drinkers, these labels will definitely capture the eye.

7)     The Brussels Wine Market – as mentioned this is first edition of the Brussels Wine Market and is sure not to be the last. Adegga events in Lisbon attract 1000 visitors, eager to taste the wines of the 40 wine producers selected by Adegga. Exhibitors are selected for their high quality and unique approach either to wine making or wine marketing. If you think that wines you represent fit this criteria, come along and see for yourself a new approach to wine tastings.

Adegga gives members of the wine trade the chance to participate at the Brussels Wine Market for free between 11 and 12.30. Should you require a ticket, please contact us on bru@adegga.com

More information, the full list of exhibitors and wines that will be served as well as tickets for the Port Wine Experience may be found on   http://www.adegga.com/winemarket/brussels2013/#info (FR & NL also available).

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Brussels Wine Market 25% Discount Code

The festive season is almost upon us and what’s more stressful than thinking of all that Christmas shopping ahead? Well, there may be some relief – the Brussels Wine Market may at least solve some of your present-hunting, meal-preparing headaches.

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On 16th November Adegga, the Portuguese based on-line community for winelovers and organisers of the bi-yearly Lisbon Wine Market, will make its debt international Wine Market event in Brussels providing residents of the Capital of Europe (and further afield!) the chance to discover, taste and buy great wines.

Eighteen wine producers from purchase viagra online Portugal, France and Italy will be presented at this taste and shop event where the organiser’s slogan is “you’ll never leave with a bad bottle of wine”. The producers have been selected by Adegga and include many small boutique wineries producing wines that are sure to woo your palate.

For Port wine enthusiasts, there’s also the Port Wine Experience Room sponsored by Niepoort where the lucky ticket holders (tickets are very limited) have the chance to taste ports that are now in their sixties.

Vinogusto is offering its readers a special discount of 25% on tickets using the promotional code “vinogusto”. The full list of participating wineries and wines included in the Port Wine Experience as well as access to ticket sales can be found on http://www.adegga.com/winemarket/brussels2013/

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Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selections 2013

Not all Americans are preoccupied with the here and now : wine devotees are well accustomed to thinking long term. Laying down bottles and monitoring their evolution are passions of true enthusiasts, and this year in particular has proven to be a wine collector’s dream. Thanks to favorable vintage conditions in many iconic wine regions, as well as more competitively priced and available offerings across the board—the stars were aligned for those looking to build or restock a wine cellar in 2013.

To a large extent, the Wine Enthusiast list of Top 100 Cellar Selections reflects which classic wine regions released the best vintages during the past year. In 2013, that means the list is heavy on 2010 Bordeaux and Burgundy, 2011 vintage Port and 2007 Brunello riservas. The list sprinkle in wines from a wide range of countries and grape varieties, but since most of these ageworthy wines come from established regions and top vintages, the emphasis is on quality, not value.

This is a refined list, and many of the wines are expensive—no surprise there. Many of these wines are also limited in production, and just like selections on our other Top 100 lists, some may have sold out or increased in price since our initial reviews were published. But all are collectible investments, requiring time in a properly temperature-and-humidity controlled cellar to deliver maximum pleasure. Our top-ranked Cellar Selection for 2013 is perhaps the most perfect example of such a bottling: A flawless wine from a highly lauded vintage of a style that ages extremely well for decades. Remarkably, we have six other 100-point wines included on this list, emphasizing it as one of the highest-quality lists we’ve ever released.

Usually, the phrase “you’re not getting older, you’re getting better” is wishful thinking. In these wines, it is the truth. Enjoy!

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Digital Wine Communications Conference Keynote Speakers

Hey there, the 6th Digital Wine Communications Conference is almost there and the keynote speakers are known : Clark & Arto !!!

CLARK has written his “The Postmodern Winemaker” column in Wines & Vines for many years, as well as having been directly involved in several controversial scientific innovations in the world of wine making. At the same time he is also Best Of Appellations Director at Appellation America, a proponent of both living soil and sulphite-free winemaking as well as the influence of music on wine. He brings a great deal of experience to the debate.

What struck me was Clark’s clarion call for openness and a re-examination of the weight of received wisdom that winemakers, as well as wine writers, labour under. Is micro-oxygenation bad? Is ageing in barrel good? Should wines always be protected from oxygen and Brett? Are these the marks of cheats, charlatans and industrial factories, or the tools of educated winemakers who care? Do you think you know the answer to that already?

Is our ongoing reliance on flavour-wheels, WSET standard notes and 100-point scales holding us back? If we can free ourselves from excess baggage, from having to repeat the same clichés in order to be taken seriously, might it also liberate the wine commentator to finally “think different”? Would it also allow winemakers to experiment more openly to create better wines and encourage a more open exchange between wineries and consumers?

Clark will come to present his view on this subject, and his call to develop a new, effective language of flavour and style.

Yet, Clark’s scientific approach, albeit a more open-minded one, is only one side of the story. Consumers may want more honesty, but they don’t want more technical detail. In fact, we already bamboozle them with too much. We need a new generation of communicators who can find new ways to speak about wine and its relationship to our lives.

ARTO is the Finnish Gary ;-) GaryVee did this through sheer exuberance and an ability to put wine in the context of US sports as well as its food and treats. It spoke to a huge number of young, web savvy consumers. He was a great success, no doubt, but a very US phenomenon. Where’s the UK Gary, the French Gary, the German Gary? Thankfully, we have found someone with the claim to be the Finnish Gary.

Arto Koskelo burst into our consciousness through the deliciously crazy, yet highly engaging Viini TV in partnership with Ilkka Sirén. Since then he has gone on to publish a book (his second coming out any minute) and now appears on Finnish TV.

Arto is what I imagined the new generation of wine communicators would look like. Young, funny, friendly, approachable, sporting tattoos rather than cravats, committed to his topic and able to move effortlessly between media for delivering his content – whether print, digital and video.

Arto will present his take on communicating the ‘flavour’ of wines, their styles and stories, to the world at large in the media landscape of 2013.

Maybe the new era of wine communications has finally arrived? Join us for the discussion at this year’s DWCC in Rioja.

Note : text is freely borrowed from the #dwcc website

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