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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 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.

H. DARTIGALONGUE ET FILS


ARMAGNAC
It is in 1838 pennies Louis Philippe, that Pascal DARTIGALONGUE originating in Saint Lannes close to Madiran settled in Nogaro in the Gers and founded its House of trade of Armagnac which is still ours. In 1969, Pierre Dartigalongue installed its distilling with Salles d ' Armagnac. Since, five generations followed one another to ensure and perennialize “the oldest house of the Armagnac”. Producer, distiller and stockbreeder, installed in the area of best believed of this brandy seven times centenary, Dartigalongue is specialized in the very old Bas Armagnacs, products selected and matured according to the ancestral tradition. It offers this single Eau de Vie, declined in credits or vintages, in luxurious and personalized presentations. The house holds in its old original wine storehouses a very important range of old Armagnacs Millésimés, growing old and improving in barrels in oak of the country under the permanent control of the Master of wine storehouse which supervises the evolution and carries out of it various handling of transfer and ventilation. In addition, following meticulous research and tastings, certain vintages are assembled in order to create “special vintages” giving rise to traditional assemblies such V.S.O.P., OUT OF OLD, or to “15 YEARS of OLD”,” 25 YEARS”…, thus to celebrate the 170ème birthday of the creation of the house an exceptional assembly of 70% of 1974 and 30% of 1976, was carried out under the denomination Cuvée Louis-Philippe 42%,70 Cl. (Carafe) (king of the French in 1838). Remarkable Bas-Armagnac cuvée Louis-Philippe (70% of 1974 and 30% of 1976), with the nuances of rancio and spices, very floral, at the same time dry and suave, very persistent with the palate. Also discover this 25 years Bas-Armagnac, assembly of several Armagnac of which young person is at least 25 years old, elegant, with these cocoa and dry fig connotations, slightly fume, of a great consistency in mouth, very scented (nut, prune), of a long final.

CHATEAU DES PEYREGRANDES


FAUGERES
Family winegrowing of 25 ha since 5 generations, Marie-Geneviève Boudal-Benezech and her sons perpetuates the tradition and the destiny of the Winegrowing since 1995. Quality orders the control of our vines, our estate is qualified under l' Agriculture raisonnée. The wines are very typified “Faugères”: a great richness aromatic, much of structure, large smoothnesses of tannins. Our goal is to transmit to the consumer the typicity of this appellation, by working out wines resulting from assembly and in constant research from balance between the powerfull and the smoothness. In fact, as in a work of art, we try to transmit through our products, the love and the passion which we have for our area, our vines and our wine. The winegrowing estate is an exploitation qualified with the title of the agriculture reasoned, according to the step Terra Vitis and in biological conversion. “2013: cold time, from where later grape harvest which finished on October 15th, tells us Marie-Genevieve Boudal-Benezech. There was run-out on Grenaches but of very good Syrahs. They are concentrated, fruity, for ageing wines. 2014: early maturity, the white and the rosé are aromatic, fresh, elegant, the reds have a little more freshness. ” It is the occasion to enjoy this superb Faugères cuvée Marie Laurencie 2011, Grenache 40%, Syrah 40%, Mourvèdre 10%, Carignan 10%, output of 25 hl/ha… That gives this wine of beautiful intensity, with the flavors of cooked black fruits, pepper and leather, with velvety but powerful tannins, of complex, for ageing mouth. Faugères Prestige 2011 (40% Syrah, 40% Carignan and 20% Mourvèdre, on the slopes of Serre, arid slope on the heights of the southern full exposed village vis-a-vis the sea), partly high out of barrels, is faithful to itself, the blackcurrant and spice nose ripe, fleshy, of color supported, intense crimson in mouth, with silky tannins. Faugères cuvée Charlotte 2011, 80% Syrah, 10% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre, with the nose dominated by the cooked red small fruits (currant, strawberry) and of the notes of underwood, is slightly peppered with the palate, firm and silky tannins at the same time, of cordial mouth. Also taste Faugères blanc 2013, Roussane 60%, Marsanne 30%, Grenache white 10%, of a beautiful floral intensity, charmer, with the nose from vervain, which associates smoothness and structure, complex, with a finale all in smoothness and fruity, and Faugères red 2012, 50% Syrah and 50% Grenache, coloured and quite constructed, with the nose dominated by the red small fruits with core, of tasty mouth.

DOMAINE DE LA RENAUDIE


TOURAINE
They have been vine-growers for three generations; the great-grandfather, Albert Denis, set up the Domaine de la Renaudie in 1928. Since 1982, Bruno Denis has been running the estate. He is a perfectionist, thoroughly committed to his profession, and since he started making the wines, they have progressed steadily in quality. His wife, Patricia Denis, is a trained oenologist, but mainly deals with sales. The age of the vines (35 years on average) and the poor, shallow soils result in wines for laying down. The winery is a complex of buildings, each with its own specific role in the various stages of winemaking. The main, recently-built vinification winery is set apart and is equipped with stainless-steel vats and all the equipment required to turn grapes into wine and to control temperatures. The storage and ageing cellar has a capacity of 120,000 bottles and is also used to prepare orders, while a former cellar, which has been turned into a client reception, can hold up to 50 people. Several wines are most successful, such as the very fruity Touraine-les-Guinetières, the Touraine-Cabernet, a colourful, rich wine with silky tannins, aromas of raspberry and underwood, and the Tradition, rich and aromatic, with a powerful, lasting nose in which red fruit and spices stand out, a round, well-structured wine which is mellow in the mouth and which has excellent ageing capacity. The Touraine white, very typical of the Sauvignon, is fresh and fruity with characteristic notes of lime and dried fruit, combining roundness and aromatic freshness in the mouth - as does the rosé, Perle de Rosée.

CHAMPAGNE ETIENNE OUDART


BRUGNY
A village a few kilometres from Épernay, cradle of the Oudart house since 1958. The passion of the soil engaged for a long time already, this family to preserve her vineyard by privileging the maintenance of a biodiversity, the choice of products and techniques natural. This step of “reasoned” vine growing is a true frame of mind. Member of the network Magister, the estate is committed in a durable and effective wine step: total suppression of the use of insecticide since 10 years, quite simply by maintaining balance between certain parasites being made competition and destroying themselves. The search for quality led this estate to work its wine makings in a small family co-operative, profiting from a modern and powerful production equipment, supporting the compartmental one and thus the soil. The love of champagne, perpetuated of father as son, makes it possible today to propose a range of mature champagnes, with the atypical aromas revealed by the play of the assemblies type of vines/soil. The whole explains this brut Champagne Référence, with equal shares of 33% Pinot noir, 33% Chardonnay and 33% of Pinot Meunier, Golden medal in the International Competition Gilbert & Gaillard 2017, with delicate and light foam, with prevailing of fruits ripe, very fruity, very well-balanced, harmonious stop some, very persistent, also ideal with table. Chardonnay Millésimé, pure Chardonnay, resulting exclusively from harvest 2010, of beautiful pale robe, very out of fruits, very round in mouth, all of structure and perfumes, with the subtle nose, full and charmer. I as liked this Extra brut, assembly 40% Pinot noir, 20% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Meunier with an extra dry proportioning to 2 G, a distinguished vintage, mixing fullness and freshness, all in smoothness, with the nose of dried fruits and lily.



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