2018 FRENCH COLLECTION
The castle of Corton-André is emblematic of the Burgundy vineyard, with its enclosed and magnificent glazed tiles that overlook the vineyards of Aloxe-Corton. The seven-hectare vineyard extends over the prestigious appellations of Corton, Corton-Charlemagne, Meursault, Volnay and Pommard.
By acquiring the Château de Corton-André, renamed Château Corton C., the Frey family arrives in Burgundy by remaining loyal to the values of excellence that carry their property in the valley of the Rhône, the Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné, and their Bordeaux vineyards, the Château La Lagune.
“My father and I have been talking about Burgundy for a long time, with the desire to be present in all the great French terroirs. The Château Corton C. is a true jewel with its typical architecture and terroirs of exception, and even if we can imagine to acquire some more vines, we want the property to remain a jewel. The new cellar that we built allows us to develop a dozen hectares, no more, and in a logic of wine exclusively.” – Caroline Frey, Winemaker
Winemaker: Caroline Frey
Château Corton C.
This magnificent estate, created in 1718, of 1100 hectares, of which 100 are vines, niched between Aix en Provence and Frejus, is an ecological gem.
Its environment is protected by new proprietor Yann Pineau who reconverted into viticulture due to his passion, as well as his ardent support for sustainable farming and biodynamics in the vineyard. As such, important investments have been undertaken at the estate in order to make it both exemplary and an exceptional place: an immaculate vineyard of the highest quality, in a unique setting, with parcels nestled between the surrounding hills and trees. Moreover, the brand new cellar continues the estate’s ambition in achieving excellence.
The wines from the AOP Coteaux Varois en Provence, all with beautiful modern packaging, are fine, elegant wines, crafted under the signature of Patrick Lobier, who for over 20 years now, has taken care of all the technical aspects at the Chateau. Cinsault and Grenache essentially make up the roses in different proportions.
Winemaker: Patrick Lobier
Château De L’Escarelle
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux France
Through our relationship with Domaine Clarence Dillon, we have access to the wines of Chateau Haut-Brion, which has been owned by the Dillon family since 1935, directly from their cellars.
Chateau Haut-Brion needs no introduction with history dating back to 1660. In the famous 1855 classification, Chateau Haut-Brion was classed as one of only four Premier Grand Cru’s amongst the wines of the Gironde department, along with Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite-Rothschild and Chateau Margaux. The vineyards of Haut-Brion are planted with 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc.
We have imported directly from Chateau Haut-Brion, in temperature controlled conditions, small quantities of the 2008 vintage, which was considered a very good year for Haut-Brion, although a more difficult year in general with a rainy and cool spring impeding vine growth. A relatively cold and slightly moist August slowed the ripening of grapes, meaning a later vintage than normal. Thanks to the quality of soil in the vineyard and the expertise and experience applied in the vineyard, Chateau Haut-Brion were able to produce a very good wine in 2008. (96 points – Robert Parker)
Winemaker: Jean-Philippe Masclef
Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Through our relationship with Domaine Clarence Dillon, we have access to the wines of Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, which has been owned by the Dillon family since 1983, directly from their cellars.
Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion is located across the road from Chateau Haut-Brion, and has its own illustrious history before becoming part of Domaine Clarence Dillon. The vineyards of La Mission Haut-Brion are planted with 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc.
We have imported directly from Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, in temperature controlled conditions, small quantities of the 2008 vintage, which was considered a very good year for La Mission Haut-Brion, although a more difficult year in general with a rainy and cool spring impeding vine growth. A relatively cold and slightly moist August slowed the ripening of grapes, meaning a later vintage than normal. Thanks to the quality of soil in the vineyard and the expertise and experience applied in the vineyard, Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion were able to produce a very good wine in 2008. (95 points – Robert Parker)
Winemaker: Jean-Philippe Masclef
Château La Mission Haut-Brion
La Lagune was already an important estate in the late 16th century, but it was not until the 18th century that it developed as a wine estate with a ‘chartreuse’ (mansion) built between 1730 and 1734; and in 1855 La Lagune reached the exclusive distinction of classified growths to achieve the status of Third Grand Cru. In 1886, La Lagune passed into the hands of the de Seze family who held it until 1956 when George Brunette arrived and launched La Lagune back to her former glory before passing his stewardship onto the owners of the Champagne House of Ayala in 1964.
The year 2000 saw the Frey family arrive as the new owners of La Lagune. Having invested substantially in rejuvenating vineyards and building a state of the art chai, La Lagune has once again been elevated to an estate of exception and excellence led by oenologist, Caroline Frey.
Giving both youthful and feminine lustre to this historical estate, Caroline ascended the ranks amongst Bordeaux’s rising stars with her outstanding 2004 vintage. Her philosophy of producing wines of harmony, of finesse, which speak of terroir above power, substance and winemaking style have achieved great improvements in the wines of La Lagune which, today, are considered seamless.
The Grand Vin ‘Château La Lagune’ is a wine of elegance and balance, two features which typify the Great Bordeaux wines. Caroline has added freshness, harmony and a touch of femininity to those descriptors and has given La Lagune true personality that is recognised by oenologists and wine critics alike.
From vine to bottling, the second wine ‘Moulin de La Lagune’ is prepared with the very same concern for perfection as the Grand Vin – only the blend varies. In essence the Moulin is a little richer in Merlot than the Château with about 40% on average followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. Moulin de La Lagune is matured in exclusively French oak, of which 20% is renewed each year.
Since 2004, the La Lagune team have been developing a new cuvee: Mademoiselle L. Produced from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and originating from a sandy-gravelly hilltop of the same geological origins as La Lagune, Mademoiselle L wines display that same elegance.
Winemaker: Caroline Frey
Château La Lagune
Southern Rhone, France
It was a rich history of vine growing that attracted the de Pins family in the 19th century to the parish of Montfaucon, already with a strong reputation for the wines made from Grenache, Carignan and Cinsault. Due to good maintenance and replanting over a long period, the average vine age here is over 40 years with some plantings approaching 100 years. The old castle you see on the label dominates the area around Montfaucon, overlooking the Rhône River, next to which it was built in the 11th Century, to guard against pirates and to levy taxes. On the opposite side of the river is Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
One of the strengths of Montfaucon is the diversity of soils (mainly calcareous pebble stone on silty sandy soil, or clay and sand) and its exposures. These combine with a large selection of almost all the true, traditional Rhône grape varieties – Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Counoise, Viognier, Marsanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Picpoul – plus the long-time Spanish interloper, Tempranillo (known locally as Carignan Noir).
The current family custodian and winemaker Rodolphe ‘Rudi’ de Pins puts his curiosity and a number of vintage experiences in South Africa, California and Australia in making traditional Rhône wines that are fresh and complex wines showing their fruit and soil origins.
So the benchmark wine of Montfaucon, Cotes du Rhône, blends all the contributions of the classic varieties – Grenache for plum and fleshiness, Mourvedre for darkness, spice and vigour and Cinsault for its radiant notes of Rosés.
Winemaker: Rodolphe de Pins
*Field Blend – 15 Varieties
Through our relationship with Domaine Clarence Dillon, we have access to the wines of Chateau Quintus, which has been owned by the Dillon family since 2011, directly from their cellars.
Domaine Clarence Dillon, owners of Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion, acquired a beautiful estate in Saint-Emilion in 2011, today renamed Château Quintus. In October 2013, Château Quintus in turn acquired the neighbouring property, Château L’Arrosée, and these two exceptional estates are now united in order to produce one of the very finest wines of Saint-Emilion. “By uniting these two exceptional estates we have improved our team’s ability to make one of the very finest wines of Saint-Emilion. This merger of equals will prove that the whole can be greater than the two parts. I am confident that this vineyard will soon come to rival its Domaine Clarence Dillon siblings as one of the finest wines of our region” Prince Robert of Luxembourg (President, Quintus SAS).
Perched on a 62-meter-high limestone hillock, Château Quintus is located at the south-western end of the Saint-Emilion plateau. Surrounded by some of the most eminent estates in Saint-Emilion, the property boasts some of the finest land and exposures in the region. The originality of this extraordinary terroir lies in its diversity of soils, slopes and orientations. Made up of 28 hectares of vines that have today attained an optimum average age of 30 years, the estate naturally wraps itself around a high natural promontory and also offers 360o breath-taking views across to the village of Saint-Emilion and over the entire Dordogne valley.
The vines of Château Quintus extend over a remarkable landscape. The form of the land itself is characterised by a stratum of limestone that lies in criss-cross shelves across the south-facing slopes of the plateau. The limestone to the north of the property is replaced by a varied mixture of clayey sands and gravels, dipping towards the south. Merlot represents 66% of the surface in production and the rest, 26% is planted with Cabernet Franc and 8% with Cabernet Sauvignon.
We have imported directly from Chateau Quintus, in temperature controlled conditions, small quantities of the 2012 vintage of Le Dragon de Quintus, the second label of the Chateau, which was considered a very good year for Quintus, although a more difficult year in general with uneven bud break, and a cool, wet month in April.
Fortunately the months of July and August were ideal; warm and dry. The fine summer enabled everything possible in the vineyard in order to make up for the poor spring. For two months, the team worked meticulously to make ripening as homogenous as possible, and removed and green grapes at veraison. The harvest began under sunny skies, and ended being a truly fine vintage for early ripening terroirs like Quintus. The 2012 Le Dragon de Quintus is a blend of 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc.
Winemaker: Jean-Philippe Masclef
Bandol, Provence, France
Château Salettes is located just outside La Cadière d’Azur to the north-west and has been in the same family for 18 generations. In 2011 Jean-Pierre Boyer, who runs the estate, a sonin-law of the original Ricard family who, as traders in nearby Marseille, founded the property in 1604, took on Alexandre Le Corguillé, a trained agronomist and oenologist who oversees all operations on the estate.
In 2015 he extended the cellars in to allow fashionable and fastidious plot-by-plot vinifcation. (The cellars had until 1985 been in the original 17th-century olive-oil mill but the 1956 frosts killed of the olives that had once been responsible for half of the estate’s production.)
Le Corguillé has also completed a programme of replanting the restanques, stony terraces facing the Mediterranean, with Mourvèdre, the characteristic grape of this quintessentially Provençal appellation whose wines are so much more serious than the norm for this holiday region. The estate is currently being converted to certifed organic and is moving towards biodynamic viticulture – which must be a lot easier in this dry, sunny corner than elsewhere in France.
Vine density is 5,000 plants per hectare on south-facing clay-limestone terraces, partly on a limestone base and partly on sandstone. Alcoholic fermentation in concrete and stainless steel is followed by six months’ ageing there and the malolactic conversion is suppressed.
The Château Salettes Rosé is generally a blend of around 40% Mourvedre, 30% Cinsault, 25% Grenache and 5% Syrah.
Wine Maker: Alexandre Le Corguille
Seventy years after Clarence Dillon arrived in Bordeaux, his first great grandson, Prince Robert of Luxembourg has started a new chapter in the history of the Dillon family in Bordeaux, with the creation of Clarence Dillon Wines, its Negoce division.
Clarence Dillon Wines produces, sells and promotes the first premium brand in Bordeaux: Clarendelle (see page 23). Clarence Dillon Wines is also a negociant for Grands Crus Estates. As such, besides the wines of Domaine Clarence Dillon (owners of Château Haut-Brion and Château La Mission Haut-Brion in Pessac-Léognan, and Château Quintus in Saint-Émilion), they represent over fifty prestigious Château in two different ways- En Primeurs and back vintages.
Clarence Dillon Wines guarantee that all of the wines are always sourced directly from the Château. Storage conditions are strictly monitored in terms of temperature, humidity and security.
2012 Blason d’Issan – this is the second wine of Château d’Issan in Margaux, first introduced in 1995 to enable selection amongst their vines growing in the Margaux appellation area. Fruit from their youngest vines is used to produce this wine. Blason d’Issan is also aged in barrels for 14-16 months, one third of which are new. The 2012 vintage is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.
2013 Le Haut-Médoc de Lagrange– This 18 hectare island of gravelly-clay soils located in the neighbouring commune was purchased by Château Lagrange in 2012. This cooler area
is less than 5km from Lagrange and its milder climate near the river. The winemaking team from Château Lagrange are now producing some excellent wines from this vineyard. The 2013 was a difficult year in general, but managed well in the vineyard by the team at Lagrange, with a very short harvesting period. The 2013 vintage is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.
Winemaker: Rodolphe De Pins
Clarence Dillon Wines
Today, Domaine Clarence Dillon, has the unique privilege of producing five rare and exceptional estate wines of unequalled reputation as well as their second wines. Domaine Clarence Dillon’s expertise, founded on five centuries of history, is reflected in every wine produced by the estate.
In 2005, seventy years after Clarence Dillon’s arrival, his great-grandson, Prince Robert de Luxembourg, began writing a new chapter of the Dillon family’s history by establishing Clarence Dillon Wines to produce and sell the first premium brand wine in Bordeaux: “Clarendelle”.
Through the creation of Clarendelle, Clarence Dillon Wines and Domaine Clarence Dillon wish to shed a new light on the tremendous potential and savoir faire of this region, that have made it a benchmark for the entire world. With this outstanding terroir, passionate and qualified men and women, and an expertise handed down over centuries, all the necessary ingredients were there for the creation of a top-end Bordeaux brand.It is in the pure tradition of the Domaine Clarence Dillon estate wines that the oenologists at the family-owned company also elaborate Clarendelle, with the traditional Bordeaux varieties. Bringing out the finest characteristics of the vintage, skilful blending leads to high quality year after year.
The red wines come primarily from the Saint-Emilion, Haut-Médoc, and Pessac-Léognan regions (including the Domaine Clarence Dillon estates). The white wines come mainly from the Graves (including Pessac-Léognan).
Winemaker: Jean-Philippe Delmas
This 41 hectare Estate, owned by Veuve Ambal, is the largest in Chatillonnais, which is part of Burgundy that borders the Champagne region. Planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the vines are closely planted on low trellising, benefitting from the clay limestone soils. The limestone is so prevalent, that they use it to build homes in the local region.
Beginning in the 17th century, Cistercian monks from the Molesme Abbey established the vineyards on these slopes. This Estate produces Crémant de Bourgogne that expresses their mineral qualities with a lot of elegance and subtle but powerful aromas.
Winemaker: Sylvain Depiesse
Domaine de La Grande Cote
Rhone Valley, France
In 2006, the Freys, a family of long standing in the Champagne region and owners of Château La Lagune in Bordeaux, took over Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné. Caroline the eldest daughter of the family, who has a degree in oenology from Bordeaux, works with her teams in a single minded quest for perfection.
Their cutting-edge winemaking, combined with the scrupulous care given to vines grown in exceptional terroirs, encourages one to believe that the greatest vintages are yet to come. The vineyards acquired in the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Condrieu and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are following in the historic Maison Jaboulet tradition. Under Caroline’s leadership the vineyards have earned sustainable farming status while the winegrowing is slowly but surely moving towards biodynamic certification.
The jewel in the Jaboulet collection has always been the legendary ‘La Chapelle’ Hermitage, a great red wine made purely from Syrah, which owes its name to the famous little Sainte Christophe chapel which overlooks the Hermitage vineyards. ‘La Chapelle’ which has been solely owned by Paul Jaboulet Aîné since 1919 is made by blending grapes from the best terroirs in the appellation (Meal, les Bessards, les Rocoules, etc.). The 1961 ‘La Chapelle’ was ranked amongst the 12 greatest wines of the 20th century by the Wine Spectator.
Winemaker: Caroline Frey
Domaines Paul Jaboulet Aîné
*Screw cap **Very Limited ***Limited/November
Francois Crochet is located in the town of Bue, slightly south-west of Sancerre. A family owned domaine, very small at 10.5 hectares with a focus on Sauvignon Blanc, they have a classic pairing of terrors in this region, with 70% planted on chalky limestone soils (known as Caillottes) and the remaining 30% planted on a clay-chalk combination (known as Terres Blanches). The vines have a 25 year average age and the first vintage was in 2000.
What makes Francois so unique is that he was one of the very first – and for a while, one of very few – winemakers of Sauvignon to see the developments over the other side of the world (New Zealand), as something that just might have some lessons for folks at home. So the young Francois packed himself off for a vintage in Kiwi. What he brought back helped him go some way ahead of many others, in producing fresher and more technically sound (clean) wines. They didn’t lose their identity though, and remain very Sancerre, with its characteristic, herbal, honey, peach and chalky persona.
Winemaker: Francois Crochet
From the heart of their Domaine on the Corton hillside, Maison Louis Latour have witnessed more than two centuries of Burgundian history. Founded in 1797 Maison Louis Latour has survived the ages and has become a natural custodian of Burgundy’s ancient traditions. Authentic and determinedly independent, the House has always made it a point of honour to remain family owned. It is now run by the seventh Louis Latour who represents the 11th generation of the founding family, who like each generation before him, has worked hard to preserve the company’s unique heritage whilst ensuring the future with an ambitious and visionary spirit.
The Latour family Domaine has been built up over the years with patience and determination, and today, covers 50 hectares of exceptional vineyard which are recognised each vintage for the quality of their wines.
The Domaine wines, like those from the négociant side of their business, are profoundly influenced by their origin. They are vinified and aged with care in the traditional style of the House, with elegance and finesse. Louis Latour’s famous logo is their sign of quality and is placed on the many of bottles that are shipped around the world each year. They strive for perfection in everything they do in order to meet the demands and expectations of their customers.
In 1997 Maison Louis Latour celebrated its bicentennial and was admitted to the Henokiens Club, a select circle of companies who have remained in founding family ownership for at least 200 years and still bear the name of their founder.
Winemaker: Boris Champy
Maison Louis Latour
*1er Cru **Grand Cru