Crystal Wines "French Wine Fair"

Crystal Wines

Tasted November 20, 2010 by ikileo with 934 views


A wine sale and tasting for their French Wines.

Do take note most of the wines tasting had very little breathing. They have ranged from being freshly poured to spending less than an hour in a bottle. Hence the still primary notes and many would improve with sufficient years or breathing.

Flight 1 - White & Sparkler (5 notes)

Lovely Champagne to start with the Pouilly-Fume taking the centre stage.

White - Sparkling
N.V. A. R. Lenoble Champagne Cuvée Intense Brut France, Champagne
Nose: An obvious floral sea-breeze, lychees and apples. Very fresh

Taste: Bready notes along some ginger, citrus and white fruit. Nice minerality and acid as well. For the price it was a pretty good deal.
2008 Maison Kerlann France, Burgundy
Nose: Lovely fresh peaches, white fruit and floral notes

Taste: Surprisingly spicy notes, high acid and very mineral driven. Good quaffer for the price, needs food.
2006 Maison Kerlann Chablis France, Burgundy, Chablis
Nose: Could not get much on the nose. Perhaps some slight white flowers.

Taste: Very crisp and clean. Almost a 'salty' note. Heavy on the minerals and citrus, definitely a food wine.
2007 Grand Bateau Blanc France, Bordeaux
Nose: A surprisingly 'Marmite' nose. Savoury notes but still rather crisp and fresh. Not much fruit going on.

Taste: After the crisp and light Chablis, this Bordeaux Blanc was definitely heavier and rounder on the palate. The oak is quite distinct and not as integrated as I would like. Mid-palate was a little 'meh' and the finish was rather austere. I'm not too sure what to make of it other than the fact i didn't quite like it.
2006 Serge Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Pouilly-Fumé
Nose: Fresh and vibrant with lovely notes of flowers and nectarines.

Taste: Nice oily texture, rich balance of stone fruit, flowers and minerals. My fave white from this tasting.

Flight 2 - Cotes du Rhone (2 notes)

The Santa Duc showed better than the Usseglio CdR with the latter being too extracted and over-the-top for my palate.

2007 Domaine Santa Duc Côtes du Rhône Les Quatre Terres France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
9+ months after my first bottle

Nose: A quirky nose of hoisin and soy sauce. Intriguing notes of dried chinese herbs

Taste: Rich and full bodied blend of Grenache and Syrah. Tasted better than I remembered from my previous tasting. Has a nice streak of minerality at the finish. Perhaps this wine just needed more air and time.
2009 Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils Côtes du Rhône France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
Nose: Strong initial hits of strawberry milkshake followed by some cherry jam. Very very fruity forward.

Taste: If you like your fruit loud and proud, this is it. Super rich and extracted fruit but a little over the top for me.

Flight 3 - The sole Bordeaux Controlee (1 note)


2007 Grand Bateau France, Bordeaux
Nose: Obvious notes of black pepper and crunch red currants.

Taste: The mix of red and dark fruits are quite lovely, marred by a little imbalance of alcohol, slightly disjointed and a short-ish finish.

Flight 4 - Haut-Medoc (4 notes)

Both the wines from Sociando Mallet showed rather nicely compared to the rest.

2004 Château Beaumont France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Nose: Soft but fresh raspberries and plums.

Taste: A rather soft and almost 'feminine' style, rather clean and simple with nothing much to show for.
2004 Château Cantemerle France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Nose: Elegant nose of fruit and hay. Perhaps the more garrigue nose of the bunch.

Taste: I found the wine to be a little thin on the palate compared to the rest of the wine during the tasting, despite a welcome initial attack. Perhaps it is not my style.
2004 Château Sociando-Mallet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Nose: Rasiny red fruit, cassis and cedar. Yum.

Taste: Fresh and vibrant. Developing very nicely with good depth of flavour. Finish could be just a tad longer but i hope this is just an issue of youth and lack of breathing. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this wine very much.
2006 Château Sociando-Mallet La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Haut-Médoc
Nose: Rasin-like nose with some hints of 'port'. Quite enticing.

Taste: Rich and spicy fruit. Lovely structure and delicious dense core of fruit. Still rather primary with the overt spiciness throwing me off a little as not being very bordeaux-like.

Flight 5 - St Julien (2 notes)

The Lagrange took top spot for this tasting with it finesse, poise and quality.

2006 Pavillon de Poyferré France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
Nose: Dried prunes with some hint of cream crackers. Some earthy notes as well.

Taste: Lovely fruit and structure, but a lacked some depth in flavour. Perhaps needed more time.
2006 Château Lagrange (St. Julien) France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
My favourite wine for this tasting

Nose: beautiful and alluring smokey fruit and lead

Taste: Still tight on the palate and primary but the quality is there. Like a tightly wound spring that will slowly release over the years. Power and restraint all in one.

Flight 6 - The sole Pauillac (1 note)

One of the better all-rounded wines. Delicious through and through.

2004 Lacoste Borie France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
Nose: Alongside the dark and red fruits was a obvious but still integrated nose of burnt wood and hay. Quite attractive.

Taste: Still rather primary but a lovely wine showing some robust sweet and savoury fruit. An all round wine without anything exceptionally good.

Flight 7 - Margaux (4 notes)

The '03s were definitely easy to pick out due to their jammy richness but it was both the wines from Lascombes that showed the best. However the du Tertre put up a very tough fight.

2003 Château Durfort-Vivens France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Nose: A straight up nose of rich jammy fruit, notably raspberries. Along with some dried herbs

Taste: Clearly a child of the 03 vintage. Notably more extracted and fruit forward but balanced with just sufficient acid to keep it in check. A rather flamboyant wine, although the finish was a tad bitter and austere.
2003 Château du Tertre France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Nose: Prunes, rasins and brandy. Rich and intoxicating.

Taste: A favourite of the girlfriend for this lineup. Definitely a warm vintage wine but has nice balance. Tannins and structure help keep the fruit aligned although the slightly bitter finish I have observed in other notes still has not disappeared as yet during my tasting.
2005 Château Lascombes France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Nose: Just opened. Hence a rather tight nose. Could only detect the primary fruit notes which were expected but very fragrant.

Taste: Power and elegance in a bottle. Very precise and steady stream of flavours. The tannins are rather grippy here and would require several years before it shows its best. But very impressive.
2006 Chevalier de Lascombes France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
Nose: Thai fish sauce and cherries. Yes.

Taste: A textured and well rounded wine. Integrated flavours and structure. Good depth of flavour and a good wine to drink over a long dinner. Will develop more with time.

Flight 8 - St Emilion (2 notes)

Chateau Teyssier, delivering one of the better values for this tasting.

2004 Château Teyssier St. Émilion Grand Cru France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Nose: A seductive blend of dark chocolate and dark forest fruits.

Taste: Bright acid along with a good supple fruit flavours and some secondary notes of lead and tobacco. Good buy for the price!
2004 Château Quinault L'Enclos France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru
Nose: I could not get much out of the very tight nose. New bottle. Still very tight.

Taste: Perhaps it could be the lack of sufficient breathing due to a freshly popped bottle, but I found the wine to be uninspiring with a thin fruit (perhaps in comparison to the richer '03 I had just tasted) and a short finish. Give it a chance, let it breathe.

Flight 9 - Pomerol (3 notes)

The 04 Clinet was so close to being my fave for this tasting but nevertheless a wine I would definitely buy given the chance. Classic, well made and age worthy. It's 2nd wine from 07 showed remarkable well despite the vintage while Mazeyres is another all rounded delicious wine. Very good showing by Pomerol.

2007 Fleur de Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Nose: Rich fruitcake nose along with some smoke. Elegant.

Taste: A lovely rounded merlot, savoury and delicious with rich fruits. Lovely structure and soft tannins. Lovely to drink now and with some air. My only gripe is the finish could have been a little longer. Still a lovely second wine produced in a not as robust vintage.
2004 Château Clinet France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Nose: A rather perfume like nose of sandalwood and sweet red fruit. Hints of brandy

Taste: Possibly the most elegant and refined wine of the tasting. Not big and burly like the '03 but stocked with precision and substance. Structure is beautiful and will age nicely. My second fave wine of the tasting.
2005 Château Mazeyres France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
Nose: Delicious smoked dark fruit and Ribena concentrate.

Taste: A downright delicious but elegant wine. Well made and well put together. Drinking wonderfully now but will reward the patient.
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