Archive for April, 2014

Domaine Devillard Happy Hour

Recently, we had the pleasure of attending an intimate “Happy Hour” tasting of red and white Burgundies, courtesy of our friends at AHD Vintners. The tasting took place in a side room at Michael Symon’s Roast restaurant, in the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit. The wines featured were from the portfolio of Domaine Devillard, which owns and operates, among others, Château De Chamirey and Domaine des Perdrix. At one time, these two estates were imported by Frederick Wildman and Sons, but when the Devillards sold their interests in two other Burgundy producers, Domaine Jacques Prieur and Antonin Rodet, they parted ways with Wildman. The folks at AHD are thrilled to now have these wines in their book, and when Cédric Ducoté of Domaine Devillard (shown on the left in the picture below, along with AHD’s Michelle DeHayes and head honcho Anthony “Chip” Delsener) came to town to promote them, it proved to be an irresistible opportunity to try some wines that haven’t been in the state since about 2009, except for older vintages. (Click on images to enlarge.)

We tasted through seven wines, which ranged from very good to excellent. Burgundy may not be one of my strengths, but I certainly know fine wines when I taste them, I know what I like and these are all quite enjoyable. Here are my snapshot impressions. Prices listed are based on standard markups on the wholesale pricing in this market.
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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s April 26th Release – Tasting Notes

April 26th release showcases wines from several of the lesser known regions within the vast area known as Bordeaux. In great vintages wines from these regions usually offer the consumer very good quality wines at a fraction of the price of their more affluent neighbours.

Most of the wines in this release are from the 2010 vintage along with a couple from 2009. Both were heralded and highly touted and to quote Mr. Robert P who declared ”It is an inescapable truth that 2010 has produced another year of compelling Bordeaux that will go down as a prodigious vintage alongside of 2009.”

Sadly it looks like the LCBO left it to the last minute to shop and got the dregs of what was left over from their suppliers. Many of the wines are overly ripe and extracted; full of aggressive tannins, high levels of acidity and oak, it was tough to taste through them. I fully expect young wines to have ample tannins to survive time away in the cellar, but the levels of tannin in some of these wines is in excess of the norm.

307363 CHÂTEAU LE GRAND MOULIN GRANDE RÉSERVE 2010 Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux $16.95
Bright aromas of plum, cherry and currant, backed with whiffs of cinnamon and toasty oak, the dark cherry flavour hits the palate, and all is good until a whopping veil of tannin comes along and shuts down the fun. It is astringent, tight and really shut down. Find this wine

368159 CHÂTEAU LAMARTINE 2010 Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux $16.95
A wine of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibiting enjoyable aromas of earth, lead pencil, sweet spice, blackberry and cherry. The texture is rich and ripe, but not over the top, its fruit is focused on plum, black raspberry and currant flavours, oak aging is deftly performed and the acids are in fine tune. Find this wine

This starts nicely with gratifying aromas of red raspberry and sweet cherry mixed with forest floor and mineral. The palate however loses its seductive charm, the fruit is thin and the finish is short. Find this wine

365882 CHÂTEAU DE MONBADON 2010 Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux $18.95
A wine showing pure black fruit, dried cherry, cherry cola and forest floor aromas. It has good structure, there is some sweet oak, but the battle between fruit, tannin and oak is evident, hopefully a couple of years in a cellar may bring out its good side. Find this wine

374264 CHÂTEAU VIEILLE DYNASTIE 2011 Lalande-de-Pomerol $25.95
Very ripe, full of dark fruit, cherry cola with underlying aromas of cedar/balsa, smoked meat and tar. It teases the palate with dollops of blackberry and strawberry, the acids are clean and tannins while powerful, are dusty and tea like. Find this wine

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Red Wings and Red Rhônes from Caves Saint-Pierre

When I purchased the 2011 Caves Saint-Pierre Vacqueyras that I reported on in my last blog entry, I had actually opted to try the least expensive of four wines from Caves Saint-Pierre that are available at our friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s. Having enjoyed that selection, I decided the other three were probably worth trying as well, so I picked them up during my next two shopping trips. While they varied some in quality, all three provided solid red Rhône mojo for my beloved Detroit Red Wings late season surge that has seen them clinch a 23rd straight berth in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, despite a rash of injuries throughout the campaign that would leave lesser teams mired in the cellar with nothing but bitter wine.

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Alan Kerr’s Vintage’s April 12th Release – Tasting Notes

Wines made in Veneto’s Appassimento fashion is the theme for this release on April 12th. There are some wonderful wines, but sadly there was not a lot sent for sampling, so here is my take on those that were.

Very good concentration of dried fruit, polished mahogany, brown cardamom shell and cigar leaf on the nose, lively palate has vibrant blackberry and blueberry flavours with a hint of dusty cocoa on the finish. Find this wine

Lovely aromas of blackcurrant, tar, black tea, fresh cut flowers, new leather and dark roasted coffee grounds lead to a mouth-watering palate of pure dark fruit, perfect acidity, bitter clove and dried plum, with a dose of astringent tannin on the finish. Find this wine

A wine brimming with aromas of cherry cola, sweet candy, dried cherry, cassia bark and dried meat. There is a floral background too whilst heady aromas of cherry brandy take centre stage. It has seventeen degree of alcohol, which deposits some heat on the palate, it is quite astringent, dysfunctional and clumsy now, but given time, this could be quite some wine. Find this wine

Earthy, with lots of aromas of wet cut grass, mineral, rosewater, damson and red currant. The fruit aromas flow through to the palate. It’s nicely balanced, lively acidity, with a note of mocha and chocolate tannins on the finish. Find this wine

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