For the fifth year in a row, Margaret River producer Voyager Estate hosted a masterclass in Melbourne and other Australian cities to benchmark new releases of some of their wines. This was my second time at this event; one of my first entries on this blog spoke about the first time back in September of 2011, just before I left for my trip. The exercise is designed to show sommeliers, buyers and media that Voyager is very confident about the quality of their wine against exceptional examples from around the world. Showing even more hubris, they do this against their three key wines; chardonnay, shiraz and a cabernet/merlot blend. That’s serious chutzpah.
Tag Archives: Pauillac
|A lamp shade in the shape of the mouton of Mouton-Rothschild|
|One of the coolest spitoons I have encountered|
How did Bordeaux become the most important wine region in the world? With 120,000 hectares it is by far the largest single viticultural area in France, and when you consider the density of planting here that results in a lot of production. It has some of the highest and lowest yields in France as well, which means you can have some of the best quality and the lowest. Bordeaux was the first region I visited in Europe back in 2010, and it amazed me the size of the area and the extent to which vineyards are planted here. In spite of the quantity of wine they produce they seem to do a pretty good job of selling it, and the reason has less to do with quality and more to do with image. Bordeaux has developed one of the strongest connections with quality in wine second only to champagne. Through the classification system that designates quality of vineyards, to the glamour of the chateaus and then to the system of selling, all combine to make bordeaux wine one of the most immediately recognisable but also mysterious. My second day was spent at two estates on the left bank; Chateau Montrose and Chateau Pichon-Longueville.
|The soils of Saint-Estephe|
2011 Reserve de la Comtesse
Light soft bright merlot colour. Juicy but also quite brisk fruit aromas with toasty balsamic notes. Very full and bold but also soft and juicy, nice clean finish, showing some very subtle red honey notes. Fairly dense but fresh, acids having a minimal influence, structured and very approachable, a nice young wine. Very late aromas of floral.
Much denser and darker from the cabernet sauvignon. Very dark and intense fruit notes, sweet toasty oak notes, some dustiness and earthiness, slightly stalky but quite closed fruit richness. Very broad and lacking a little structure, approachable but also very dense in the tannins, a little full, very good but lacking personality. May open up given tie, but doesn’t look particularly balanced.
Chateau PIchon-Lalande 2004
Lovely and bright, juicy dark fruits with some attractive floral notes, creamy and jubey, like blackcurrant cordial. Softening out beautifully, supple and pretty, good concentration of fruit, structured with some nice acids, will improve for another 10 years or so. Still plenty of time to show more of the complexity. Firm but fresh tannins.
|Chateau Pichon-Lalande 2004|
Very deep intense aromatics, really dark berries and cassis notes, some black olive and slight balsamic notes, nice dusty earthy cabernet fruit notes with some elements of oak and stalky maturity. Very fresh and bright, lively acidity and brisk tannins, a little warmth initially with softens out quite nicely. Well structured and balanced, but very reductive in fruit expression, not open at all. Very linear through the mid-palate, quite subtle vanilla oak characters, but reasonably well integrated. All about the structure and the acidity for the moment, the fruit and more complexity will come in time.
|Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 2010|
2011 Chateau Pibran (Pauillac)
Very intense purple, quite bright and spirited. Bright dark fruits, berries and cherries, slightly creamy and vanilla notes. Creamy texture, almost like wild berry yoghurt, soft but dense with good concentration.
2011 Les Tourelles de Longueville
A little denser and tighter on the nose, slightly stalkier and a little green herb element, nice bright florals and small berry notes. Fresh full and soft, dense and ripe tannins, quite savoury in fact with just a hint of vanilla oak influence. Good lines but still far too early.
2011 Baron Pichon-Longueville
Very mature, old vine elements, much more complexity, density and finesse, less expressive but this will come. Very intense but also fresh and precise. Great structure and density, the cabernet sauvignon is very refined and well balanced. Nice combination of fruit and savoury elements, well managed oak but that may change given more time in barrel.
Baron Pichon-Longueville 2010
Very floral, rosy and violets, lovely intensity of dark fruit, fairly classic Pauillac cabernet sauvignon. Bright intense fresh, quite tannic and showing a lot of barrel at the moment, balanced and structured well with a good long finish. Density and maturity in the flavours and the tannins, mouth-filling but also good acidity. Dominated by youthful tannins and oak, but will develop over the next ten years.
Baron Pichon-Longueville 2009
Fuller but softer notes, fleshier juicier fruits, less floral elements and more intense oak integration. Full dense and soft, robust and broad. Approachable and soft yet well structured, doesn’t have the same concentration and core of acidity though. Looks good now, will improve for ten years or more but won’t last as long as the 2010.
|Baron Pichon-Longeuville in all it’s glory|