Grapevine Archive for Margaux

Mon 13 Apr 2015

Tasting Rauzan-Ségla and Canon with John Kolasa

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John Kolasa tasting

The picture displays the riches that were on offer at The Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh recently but cannot begin to convey the whole experience shared by forty members and their guests. A re-run of a tasting held in London four years ago (just 10 wines then, 14 this time in Scotland) this event brought John Kolasa ‘home’ to Scotland to share his observations and passions over his 40+ years in Bordeaux, eight of which at the helm of first growth Château Latour, the last twenty presiding over Châteaux Rauzan-Ségla in Margaux and Canon in St-Emilion on behalf of the Wertheimer family of Chanel.

The tasting spanned a range of vintages from 2011 back to 1998 across these two fine properties, including second wines Clos (now Croix) Canon and Ségla.

Quality, predictably, was high – to be expected from two top classed growth properties in such safe and experienced hands and with the backing of one of the world’s great fashion houses. The wines also displayed a sense of place coupled with clear vintage differences. A fascinating and very special event we wish more could have enjoyed, especially given the positive feedback from John’s fellow Scots on the night.

Jo Locke MW
Society Buyer

Tue 29 May 2012

250 Dinners Down

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Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to speak when The Wine Society Dining Club celebrated their 250th dinner in Draper?s Hall in London.

Château Margaux

The location is splendid and the wines, which included Château Margaux 1983 and 1990, and the outstanding Pavillon Rouge 2000, were memorably magnificent. The bottles had been wisely laid down by the club en primeur when they cost very much less than they do today.

80 members and 40 guests attended and a very good time was had by us all.

Such bottles are meant to be shared and discussed among like-minded companions.

If you would like to know more about the Dining Club, you can visit their website or contact the Club Administrator by e-mail.

Sebastian Payne MW
Society Buyer

Categories : Bordeaux, France
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Tue 31 Jan 2012

A Good Week

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I particularly enjoyed two member tastings in London last week.

First we displayed Pierre Mansour’s new range from New Zealand to a full house in RIBA. Particular highlights for me were the ranges from Hunter’s, Kumeu River and Prophet’s Rock.

I love Hunter’s food-friendly dry riesling, and our own Exhibition Marlborough Sauvignon which Jane Hunter supplies for is tasting particularly delicious. Pierre has done well to persuade the Brajkovich family of Kumeu River, chardonnay experts, to produce our own-label chardonnay too. Prophet’s Rock have made a pinot gris with real depth and flavour – the secret simply low yields, maturation on lees and later bottling. Their pinot noir is outstanding.

Steve Farrow being presented with the WSET's 'Gruppo Italiano Vini' Scholarship by Hugh Dupre and Jancis Robinson

The growers went on to a tasting in Harrogate. I went on to watch Steve Farrow, well known to members who visit The Cellar Showroom, receive his scholarship prize for passing his Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma with flying colours – a surprise for him, but not for us.

Later in the week, 100 members and guests were lucky enough to taste 10 vintages from 10 different châteaux from the commune of Margaux. As Charles Metcalfe pointed out, Margaux is a very diverse commune spread over quite a wide area with different soil types, and several of the classed growths have altered their vineyards since 1855. The château is just the brand name. It proved to be a vivid example, the diverse qualities, different years and properties. My notes are as follows:

Château Angludet, 2007:
Excellent healthy fruit and subtle palate. Good now.
Château du Tertre, 2006:
Particularly fragrant and delicious now, the property next to Château Angludet has a higher percentage of cabernet franc than other classed growths.
Château Durfort-Vivens, 2005:
A cabernet-based wine from a keeping vintage showing the bright vivid fruit, great perfume and length of flavour of the vintage, but still very young.
Château Kirwan, 2004:
Modern-style late-picked Margaux: generous flavour and enjoyable but less fine.
Château Rauzan-Segla, 2003:
A great vineyard in an exceptionally hot year, which burnt off some of the finesse. Spicy, rich, ready.
Château Giscours, 2002
A vintage that needed time but the true Margaux fragrance grows in the glass. Lean, more old-fashioned Claret, but distinguished.
Château Prieuré-Lichine, 2001:
Full and generous and spicy. Excellent to drink now.
Château Ferrière, 2000:
A tiny vineyard but a superb, full, fine Claret. Delicious now but with a future too.
Château Palmer, 1996:
Not as rich and full as some recent Palmer vintages, but exuding class and quality.
Château Margaux, 1989:
Still a giant of real first-growth quality and many years ahead of it.

What a treat.

Sebastian Payne MW
Chief Buyer