During the en primeur week (1st March to 3rd April) of winetastings when the world’s wine press and trade comes to Bordeaux to taste the newly released vintage (2007), the new star on the block Stephane Derenoncourt presented all of the domaines for which he is wine consultant – 60 different properties under the name of ‘La Grappe’ held at Chateau La Gaffeliere in St Emilion.
If one could try to describe a style (very difficult as the properties include those from the Rhone, Cahors, Ribera del Duero in Spain and even one from Virginia, USA) it would be an incredible purity of fruit and freshness whatever the provenance of the wine.
How he achieves this is a question I hope to ask the man himself one day. I am certainly a fan of his wines.
My favorite properties included who showed their 2007;
Chateau Jean Faux, Bordeaux Superieur: Fragrant black fruits with pleasant integration of creamy wood notes. 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc
Chateau L’Isle Fort, Bordeaux Superieur: Toasted nutty nose with creamy smooth black fruit palate with slightly sharp finish. 58% Merlot 28% Cabernet Franc 14% Cabernet Saugnon
Chateau Le Pin Beausoleil, Bordeaux Superieur: Well balanced concentration of blackcurrant fruit and silky smooth tannins. 78% Merlot 15% Cabernet Franc 7% Cabernet Saugnon
Chateau La Prade, Cotes de Francs: Exotic blueberry spicy flavours fruity and soft. 80% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc
Chateau Le Prieure, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe: Purity of fresh fruit and smooth tannins. 90% Merlot 10% Cabernet Franc
Chateau Branas Grand Poujeaux, Moulis: Fleshy cherry and blackcurrant fruit and firm finish. 50% Merlot 40% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Petit Verdot
Domaine de la Soumade, Cotes du Rhone Rasteau: Les Violettes 90% Syrah 10 Viognier. Very fragrant nose of thyme and liquorice. Density of cherry fruit but still retaining uplifting freshness.
Alonso del Yerro, Ribera del Duero: Rich and concentrated black fruits of this 100% Tempranillo wine. Firm structure with pleasant freshness.
Domaine de l’A, Cotes de Castillon: Fleshy blueberries fruity soft and rounded. 70% Merlot 20% Cabernet Franc 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Clos Fourtet, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe: Fresh blackberry fruit, soft and rounded on the palate with smooth finish. 85% Merlot 10% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Cabernet Franc
Chateau Larcis Ducasse, St Emilion Grand Cru Classe: see 2007 Bordeaux Vintage Report
Chateau Pavie-Macquin, St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe (recent promotion with Troplong Mondot): see 2007 Bordeaux Vintage Report
Domaine de Chevalier (rouge), Pessac Leognan: Complex toasty aromas of spice and black fruits and minerals. Very powerful and complex with a long finish. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot 5% Cabernet Franc 5% Petit Verdot
Chateau Prieure Lichine, Margaux: see separate entry
Chateau de Chamboureau, Savennieres, Loire (blanc): Organic production of this complex smokey mineral (schist soils) white wine from 100% Chenin from “Roche Aux Moins”. White peach and caramel notes on the nose of this dry powerful wine.