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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. 


HALL OF FAME

DOMAINE GERARD TREMBLAY


CHABLIS
A remarkable owner who manages, with his wife Hélène, and his son Vincent, a beautiful vineyard built up patiently over the years and which now covers 37 hectares, including about 10 in Premiers Crus aand others in Chablis, Petit Chablis and Grand Cru, including a fantastic Valmur, one of the greats in Chablis. Gérard Tremblay is meticulous, hard-working and devoted to quality. This tenacious chap makes his wines using all the modern techniques in the name furthering traditional know-how. His strength is that he takes just as much care with the maturing of his Grands Crus as of his Chablis. In blind tasting, many would get quite a surprise at the quality of these wines. The Petit Chablis is rounded and flowery with very expressive primary aromas, whereas the Chablis is more fleshy, full-bodied and long with very strong character. Chablis 1er Cru "Beauroy" has great finesse and good harmony, the Chablis 1er Cru "Côte de Léchet" has a complex nose in which dried fruits dominate. Fresh, very rich aromas in the mouth. The 1er Cru "Montmain" has a fine, complex nose, very long in the mouth. The Chablis 1er Cru "Fourchaume" is the must of the winery - the nose and mouth are charmed by all those aromas of honey and white flowers, as well as the great length in the mouth. The Chablis Cru "Valmur", often splendid, has a very typical nose with a blend of power and distinction. In the mouth, it is fleshy and suave with gentle aromas of honey and good length.

SCEA CHATEAU DAVID


MEDOC
A domain on ground of rocky sands. The vineyard of 13 ha consists of 50 % Cabernet-Sauvignon, 40 % Merlot, 5 % frank Cabernet and Small 5 % Verdot. Wine making according to the traditional médocaines methods, and ageing from 12 to 18 months in oak barrels. The new owner, Thierry Kerdreux, in a real will to work in a more reasoned culture while keeping all the team of the domain which has a big experience and a knowledge of these wines. Here is an excellent Médoc 2012, in the aromas of ripe fruits (blackcurrant, blackberry) and of licorice, an enriched, fleshy wine in mouth, with nuances of fruits cooked in pit and cinnamon, ample and frank, typified and deep color, completed with, for example, A navarin of knuckle of lamb or veal flanks in mushrooms and tomato. Attractive 2011, of dark dress, it is a wine in the velvety tannins, of dense mouth, in the complex bouquet. Beautiful 2010, of beautiful purple tint, in the so rich but ripe tannins, was dominated by the blackcurrant and the raspberry, very fleshy as one needs. The 2009, of intense purple color, in the powerful and subtle nose at the same time, in the notes of ripe fruits (blackcurrant, Morello cherry) and of truffle, allies aromatic concentration and flexibility, and pursues its evolution. Excellent 2008, in the very elegant but firm tannins also, marked by its soil fat, persistent and intense in aromas as in structure, with these nuances of blackcurrant and undergrowth and licorice, a wine of supple and structured skeleton.

DOMAINE DE GRANDMAISON EARL


PESSAC-LEOGNAN
A winegrowing of 19 ha resulting from an exceptional siliceous low register soil and the gravelly clays strewn with hardcores calcareous (65% Sauvignon, 15% Sauvignon gray and 20% Sémillon for the white wines; 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet-Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet franc for the red wines). Manual grape harvest, maturing of the white 30% out of new barrels for 6 months on the lees delicate and 70% out of tanks on the lees also; red: wine of drop 80% of harvest out of barrels for 12 months and wine of press 20%. The wine produced on the winegrowing is characterized by a mineral expression as much in red that in white reflecting the type of ground argilo-limestone. Beautiful sure value with this Pessac-Léognan rouge 2010, rich color, dense, where the morello cherry and the humus mix, a wine fleshy, robust, of guard. Tasty 2009, with spice and the macerated, fleshy fruit notes, with very well-balanced tannins, fleshy the characteristic, full taste in mouth, of beautiful evolution. The 2008, of deep color, structured, full, with rich tannins and which are based well, of the aromas of quite ripe fruits (blackcurrant, morello cherry…), all finally, also promising. The 2007, of garnet-red color to the reflections violine, it is all in mouth, with much of structure, quite well-balanced, with the nose of cherry and humus, very elegant structure. The 2006, dense, where the morello cherry, the currant and the humus mix, with tannins silky, quite fleshy, full and are structured, of guard. The 2005, combining a tannic smoothness with a roundness in persistent mouth, are cordial, of very good evolution. Beautiful Pessac-Léognan blanc 2010, round, with prevailing of white flowers and small dried fruits, powerful but very delicate, a wine all finally. The 2009, with these aromas of fresh fruits, roasted and flowers, mix nervousness and fleshy with the palate, a wine all in nuances and distinction. The 2008, with scents of hazel nut and honeysuckle, are firm and suave, all harmonizes some, really very pleasant. Excellent 2007, with this key of allied acidity to a pleasant roundness, where intermingle with the notes of almond, ripe fruits and heather, of powerful mouth.

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.

SCEV CHAMPAGNE MICHEL ARNOULD ET FILS


VERZENAY
The origins vigneronnes of the Arnould family go up at the end of last century. At the time, the Lefevre grandfathers exploit vines located on the soil Great wine of Verzenay, the grapes being sold at the large Country cottages. The first bottles were marketed in the Thirties. With beginning of the year 60, the little girl of the family Lefevre get maried with Michel Arnould and create together their own brand “Michel Arnould”. In 1972, they begin export in England. Today, their son Patrick and their son-in-law develops the mark in a large number of countries. The vineyard of 12 ha is led in reasoned fight, in the respect of the environment. Maison proposes to you this superb Champagne Grand Cru millésime 2010, where the ripe fruits and the small dried fruits dominate, all in aromatic persistence, of fine foam, an intense vintage, of beautiful yellow color scented with amber, with the ripe apple and hazel nut notes in mouth. The cuvée Mémoire de Vignes Grand Cru 2011 does not have anything to envy to him, mixing richness aromatic and persistence in mouth, complete, with connotations of flowers and toast, fine and fruity foam, a beautiful width to the palate, to lead to a fish pâté or a lemon-flavoured trout in curlpaper. The Tradition Grand Cru Blanc de noirs, is particularly typified, of fine and persistent foam, of a beautiful complexity in mouth, all into fruity and smoothness, Champagne proportioned very well, full, which feels good the toast, apricot and the fresh flowers. The B 50 Grand cru Millésime 2007, delicate but rich, with hazel nut and pear scents, combines smoothness and fruity, with this balanced nervousness, of good mouth, with the notes of lime and quince finally. The cuvée Extra Brut Grand Cru, a pure only one year black Pinot with wine 20% of reserve, not of liquor of discharging, is all in aromatic persistence (almond, fishing, lemon, Narcisse…), Champagne all in nervousness, very balanced, harmonious in mouth, distinguished, all in subtlety, of gilded color. One continues with this brut Réserve Grand Cru, assembly with equal shares of black Pinot and of Chardonnay, which has a ripe apple nose and a suave mouth, powerful and complex, where enters itself mix with the palate the fruits, the heather and the flowers fresh, brut Carte d' Or, of fine and persistent bubbles, beautiful color, of good structure, dense and is scented, with the floral notes (lily, broom) subtle, of a very pretty final, and the brut rosé Grand Cru, which has a nose where the rose and the quince dominate, subtle, of a great persistence with nuances of raspberry.



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