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Les Vins du Siècle est un grand site fédérateur, bilingue et mondial. Dans toute la France, « triés sur le volet », les meilleurs producteurs (la très grande majorité ayant l’exclusivité de leur appellation) sont retenus pour la typicité des vins, leur rapport qualité-prix-plaisir, l'expression de leur terroir et leur passion de vignerons. 

Pas de vins à la mode, surcôtés ou de "jus de bois" dans Les Vins du Siècle. La typicité d’un vin, ce n’est rien d’autre que l’association d’un sol, d’un micro-climat, d’une plante et d’un homme.  On ne peut aimer un vin qu’en appréciant celui qui le fait. Derrière une étiquette, il y a un viticulteur (ou une viticultrice) et c’est fondamental de ne pas les dissocier. Bien sûr, les sols ont une influence considérable et, dans chaque territoire, dans chaque commune, le vigneron fait la différence avec son voisin.

Il ne s’agit donc pas seulement de faire du bon vin, ce que tout le monde peut faire, mais surtout d’élever de vrais vins racés, reconnaissables entre mille, qui sentent ce “fumé” bourguignon, déploient ce “velours” libournais, ces senteurs alsaciennes, cette “chair” en Médoc ou à Châteauneuf, cette “minéralité” à Pouilly ou à Meursault, cette fraîcheur en Champagne comme dans nos grands liquoreux. 

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DOMAINE MOULIN DU POURPRÉ


COTES-DU-RHONE
Françoise Simon has lived a life well lived: she's been a journalist in New York City, hung out with James Brown in Paris and was on friendly terms with Don Cherry. She would have continued to bounce around the globe if only the death of her beloved father in 1995 hadn't put an halt to it all. It's been now more than 18 years that she has been handling practically everything on Domaine du Moulin Pourpré, only using the help of her very small crew. As i visited her domaine in the "hameau" of Colombier in Sabran, she was more than eager to share her experience and her passion for wine with me. When her father passed away, Françoise suddenly found herself as the only heir of a family tradition in winemaking dating back for more than 10 generations… With very little knowledge about the trade (the memories of herself tasting some wine as a child was the closer you can get from her then level of expertise!), she jumped onto the bandwagon. Connecting with the vines, learning their secret was a way to transcend the pain of the grieving process. With the support of one of her neighbour who was able to share with Françoise the knowledge her father didn't have the time to pass on to her, she started taking notes on everything there was to learn about vinification, winemaking, blending, so on and so forth…. Soon enough, she found out that taking notes was far from being the only method to learn about the vines; she had to open up to it, let the vines speak to her and embrace the challenge and the complexity of winemaking . She had to be willing to jump into the big unknown with no holding barrels. After a few hits and misses at her early stages, her tenacity has proven her right. And most importantly, it has shown to everyone who was expecting her to last no more than a year or two that they were wrong, oh so wrong! She has acquired the ability to create amazing blends, which have been highly acclaimed in many agricultural competitions and have received amongst the highest accolades in the region. If i had to list it all, this article would be twice as long, just saying… Even her single varietals are beautifully crafted, and reflect not only a great "savoir-faire", but also an obvious passion for the trade. I was able to sample her Cote du Rhone Blanc Cuve tradition 2012 (a blend of Bourboulenc & Ugni Blanc), which was a nice dry white, with a good acidity. Her second white, "Venus 2012" (using the same varietals, but with a longer time spent in barrels), managed to render a wine more supple, almost sensual, with rounder finish of peach and honey. It was like a voice has said to me "hey, wait a minute, there's something special there…". This was later confirmed by the tasting of her rosé "la Vie en Rose 2011", a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, with a beautiful bouquet of red fruits yet with quite some finesse, nothing like these overly fruity, overly sweet rosés you can sometimes find closer to the South of France. This wine has won two medals at the Concours General Agricole de Paris, which is always a trademark of good taste from lesser known terroirs, as well as a Silver Medal in Avignon in 2009. It is a joyous, friendly wine, very accessible whichever your requirements are when it comes to rosé. Then it was time to taste some reds. The Côte du Rhône Cuvée Tradition 2008 was a good representative of its kind, traditional and without any pretence, yet blunt and straight to the point. But the ones that really got my fancy were "Carmen 2010" and "Reine de Saba 2010". Let's start with "Carmen". Everyone has in mind the amorous passionara Verdi wrote about in his opera. Inspired by the famous arias, Francoise Simon managed to encapsulate the whole she-bang in her wine: it's a voluptuous body draped in a fancy red velvet dress. This Grenache/Syrah reveals a fruity aroma, in which blackcurrant, spices and a hint of chocolate are coming together in perfect balance as the complexity keeps evolving in the mouth. It is an extremely seductive wine that can only put you under a spell, as it did for the jury of the Concours de l'Union des Œnologues which gave it a Gold Medal. As for the "Reine de Saba", there couldn't be any other grape than Shiraz to represent both mystery and sensuality. The Queen of Sheba has been known not only as a stunning beauty, but also a smart and wise lady. She stole the heart of King Solomon, and one had to be pretty confident about its wine to bless it with such heavy heritage. Yet, this wine is a big success: it epitomises all the fantasies one can have about the Middle East. It's a wine which makes you travel far, far away, and before you know it, you are transported in a caravanserai under the desert sky, where belly dancers are doing their sensuous moves… The most masculine wine of Françoise Simon is velvety and strong in tannin, yet stays very supple on the palate, and i particularly enjoyed the little liquorice taste on the finish. Article written by Carolyne Borel, a friendly of Françoise Simon.

DOMAINE FOUGERAY DE BEAUCLAIR


MARSANNAY
This family winegrowing estate was created in 1978 by Jean-Louis and Evelyne Fougeray, due to the acquisition and tenant farming of vines in prestigious Burgundian names of the côte de nuits and la côte de beaune. It is into 1999 that Patrice Olivier the son-in-law, took over the management as well as the wine making of the Winegrowing estate. The vineyard extends today on 17 ha from Marsannay La Côte until Puligny-Montrachet, our last acquisition. The tasted bottles are particularly delicious.   There is this great Bonnes-Mares 2011, one of the most tempting wines of this year, of a beautiful intense color, well-balanced, rich and concentrated, a great ample wine, elegant, with these notes characteristic of fresh red fruits, spices and truffle, very promising.   Marsannay Les Saint Jacques rouge 2011, fragrant, with firm and melted tannins at the same time, slightly spiced as it should be, is very representative of this particular soil, excellent evolution. The Marsannay rouge Les Favières 2011, with soft tannins, the subtle notes of ripe red fruits (cherry, blackcurrant) and of humus, is a smooth and full bodied wine, very persistent on the palate, of very good development.   The Marsannay blanc Les Aiges Pruniers 2012, fine and rich at the same time, with the complex notes of a peach and nut, of mosses, is cordial charmer and, all in smoothness of flavors.   Superb Chambertin Les Seuvrées 2011, of deep color, with the persistent flavors of ripe red small fruits with notes of spices, leather, truffle, a wine of a great structure, with tannins velvety but dense, of a very nice finish, a distinguished wine with a long keep. The Fixin rouge Clos Marion 2012, with the delicate nose (blackberry, blackcurrant), of subtly spiced mouth, a wine combining intensity and softness, of very good development like this Savigny-lès-Beaune rouge Les Golardes 2011, which is a success, a wine fat and coloured, intense, with macerated small fruits notes. The Fixin blanc Clos Marion 2012 is in the line, of tasty mouth like this Savigny-lès-Beaune blanc Les Golardes 2011, soft in mouth, harmonious, with the flavors of white fruits and lily, of a pretty rich aromatic finish

CHATEAU SAINT-AHON


HAUT-MEDOC
Property of Charles de Montesquieu in XVIIe century, Château Saint-Ahon was acquired by the count and the countess Bernard de Colbert in 1985, it is now their daughter and her husband, Francoise and Nicolas de Courcel, who took again the reins of this winegrowing of 31 ha (60% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 30% Merlot noir, 5% Cabernet franc and 5% Petit Verdot), in 2003. Very favorite for their Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois 2009, of beautiful robe crimson, with ripe tannins but quite as rich, prevailed by blackcurrant and the raspberry, quite fleshy as it is needed, a wine which develops much volume, very promising. The 2008, robust, all in aromatic nuances, with a strong color, with powerful tannins, the nose complexes where the ripe fruits, leather and the undergrowth prevail, deserves a little patience. The 2007, quite fleshy, of full and scented mouth, all in persistence of aromas (ripe red fruits, grooves), all charms, is to be appreciated on an omelet with truffles. Beautiful 2006, gold medal with competition of Bordeaux wines and Bronze with Mâcon in 2009 of steady color, with the complex nose, the notes of strawberry of wood, humus and pepper, a robust wine, with harmonious but powerful tannins, of beautiful structure, fleshy and promising. Remarkable 2005 (60% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet franc and 2% Petit Verdot), silver medal with Mâcon, a wine of beautiful steady robe, with this fleshy and this point of specific spices, mouth powerful and supple, tannic, wine for ageing.

CHAMPAGNE JEAUNAUX-ROBIN


TALUS-SAINT-PRIX
Michel Jeaunaux begins the trade of vine grower, in 1965. With this date, the grape is brought to the co-operative of the village. In 1973, it mary with Marie-Claude, and they install the first press (traditional) of the house. The first wine makings start then. Since, the fermenting room and the cellar were built. In 1999, Cyril, their son, joined them, and in 2003, a second traditional press is installed. Of 500 bottles produced at the beginning, the house endeavors from now on to vinify approximately 45000 bottles. The step remains faithful to a durable vine growing: work of the grounds, putting under grass, wine makings out of tanks but also out of barrels of oak. The wine makings are carried out out of tanks (stainless and enamel) or out of barrels of oak for three type of vines. Alcoholic fermentations start spontaneously or after sowing levurien. The malo-lactic fermentation, always carried out until now, should not become systematic more in the future to preserve more tension and of minerality on our basic wines. The vintages have patience then between 2 and 7 years in cellar. Lastly, always in the research of the minerality and the naturalness, proportionings are moderated to leave with the wine the possibility of being expressed fully. The Champagne Extra brut Les Grands Nots millésimé 2003, resulting from an assembly of heads of the vintages not filtered from Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier with equal shares, a vintage vinified and matured out of barrels of oak, full and is scented, with the subtle nose where citrus fruits aromas and small flowers develop, all in persistent and delicate mouth, of yellow robe gold. Excellent brut rosé de Saignée, contrary to rosé traditional from assembly, this vintage results from subtle and short maceration from the red grapes, elaborate exclusively starting from Pinot meunier and of the only vintage 2006, a Champagne all in smoothness, of delicate mouth, with the aromas of fresh fruits and pink, of a long scented final. The Champagne brut Prestige, Chardonnay majority (80%), supplemented by Pinot noir, is dense, combining smoothness and structure, of a yellow shining, with the connotations of flowers and spices.

DOMAINE BRISSON


MORGON
The Brisson family, originating in the Pays-de-la-Loire is known since 1431. Its apply in the region of Lion are old. Acquired in 1958 per Michel Brisson, the family winegrowing, enjoys a situation privileged in mid-slopes directed in the south. Old property of the lords of Fonterenne de Villié (1604), it constituted one of the smallholdings of the lords of the manor. A hunting lodge of the XVIII ème century equipped with a superb arched cellar is currently occupied by Gerard Brisson and his family. After its training of oenologist in Burgundy, it joined his father on the estate in 1974 and, since the death of Michel in 1980, continues and develops the work of development of the winegrowing with an attentive care and a rigorous requirement. Reasoned culture, Terra Vitis in 2009. One thus gives pleasure with this Morgon Les Charmes La Louve 2011, of beautiful steady robe, with the intense nose of ripe red small fruits and of humus, fleshy, rich and generous, is well spiced. Superb 2010, with very well-balanced and harmonious tannins, the aromas of strawberry of wood and blackberry, a wine which fills up the mouth well, with these nuances of pepper and plum, of guard. Exceptional 2009, of complex and persistent mouth, with the spice and ripe blackcurrant notes which persist finally, a wine all in aromas and structure, of a beautiful fullness. Formidable Morgon Les Charmes Vieilles Vignes 2006, vines of more than 50 years, maturing in tuns of oak between 12 and 18 months, with its notes of crystallized blackberry, a nice wine with rich tannins, closes, all in perfumes, which mixes roundness and structure with the palate. Morgon Les Charmes Noble Tradition 2010, matured in Burgundian part, is typified, of intense color ruby, of very good mouth, with the connotations of blackcurrant and strawberry of wood, concentrate, combining color and matter, of a nice spiced final, guard as proves it the 2005, to the nose where the currant and the spices prevail, all in aromatic complexity, with round tannins, a wine which combines richness and harmony. Gerard also addressed a magnum of the same vintage to me, vintage 2004, which consolidates what I know of the potential of evolution of these wines, with this fleshy mouth, full, with the nuances of blackcurrant and pepper, with tannins molten but structured at the same time. Nice Beaujolais-Villages 2011. One practices here also the œnotourism in the old cars (Bentley of 1965 and Citroen 2 CV) on a tour of wines, of the vineyards and the cultural heritage and gastronomical.



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