Tag Archives: Chablis

Magnum Lunch

Fraser’s Restaurant

24th May 2013

Eighteen wine enthusiasts, twenty one magnums of outstanding wine and one of Perth’s best chefs recently combined for a truly memorable experience. No occasion was needed to bring a remarkable collection of both wines and people together for the second magnum lunch at Fraser’s Restaurant in Kings Park.

The lunch was conceived by John Jens, but it was Bob Winterbottom who made the lunch a reality. Bob set the guidelines for what wines could be brought and coordinated selections to ensure that there was a spread of wines from various styles. Once the list was finalised, Bob passed this on to Chris Taylor at Fraser’s. Chris developed a spectacular meal that complemented the wines superbly.

There were so many vinous highlights that it seems unfair to give the wines points. Needless to say that many of the wines would have been awarded gold medals. I will go out on a limb and say that the line-up was one of the best collections of wine that I have tasted in years.

One highlight for me was the bracket of Corton Charlemagne’s from Bonneau du Martray. It was fascinating to see how the style has evolved over the last few years. The 2008 was drinking spectacularly, but the 2010 was, quite possibly, the greatest wine of the tasting.

Another highlight was the three Second Growths from Bordeaux. Whilst the quality of the 2000 vintage was superbly highlighted by the Leoville Barton and the Cos d’Estronnel, the 2001 Leoville Las Cases was also a superstar.

The food that was prepared to accompany the wines was uniformly superb. For me, the highlight was the roast whole pig! A special mention must go to William and Bronwyn from Fraser’s who provided us with superb service throughout the event.

Ultimately though, it was the company of the other 17 wine tragics who attended that made the day so memorable.

How soon can we do it again???


We started the lunch on the restaurant forecourt where Chris shucked Ceduna oysters as we sipped on the four Champagnes. It was a perfect start, the picturesque backdrop only adding to the sense of occasion.

Pol Roger – Champagne – 1996. This wine stood out for its great finesse and balance. Yes, it was fully mature, but there was still life and vitality. A great way to start. (From Magnum).

Krug – Champagne – NV. Remarkably, this had spent 11 years in bottle since it was purchased. Fully mature, complex, rich and finely balanced, this was a great drink and perfectly complemented by the ocean tang of the oysters. (From Magnum).

Dom Perignon – Champagne – 1990. Unfortunately, the cork on this spoiled the party. (From Magnum).

Dom Perignon – Champagne – Oenotheque – 1996. Unbelievably fresh and tight, the lemony citrus characters leading the charge on both the nose and the palate. This needs years to reach its drinking peak but is a superb wine!


The pairing of the Climens and the parfait was an inspired combination. The silky texture of the parfait was the perfect foil to the wines richness.

Chateau Climens – Barsac – 1995. Balanced, precise, rich (though not in any way cloying) and very long. Apricot, almond and marzipan combine with wonderful spice notes on both the nose and the palate. Whilst this is superb now, it will last for many more years.

White Burgundy and Chablis

Given the refinement of the wines in this bracket, I was concerned that the mushroom risotto that accompanied it would overwhelm the fruit. In reality, the risotto was remarkably delicate and refined, adding a lovely backdrop to the whites.

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2004. A very complex wine, the minerals and honey on the nose combined well with the toasty, developed characters on the palate. Powerful, intense and very long, this has developed very nicely. (From Magnum).

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2008. Sublime drinking here. Grapefruit and lemony acid lead onto complex mineral characters, spice and a hint of curry leaf. Outstanding drive and length to a wine that is great now, but will also develop well for a few years. (From Magnum).

Bonneau du Martray – Corton Charlemagne – Grand Cru – 2010.  Precise, focused and tight, this is a restrained and silky wine that flows seamlessly to a very long finish. A stunning wine and one of my favourites for the day. (From Magnum).

Domaine Francois RaveneauChapelot – Chablis – 1er Cru – 2009. Very tight, lean and racy, with lemon, nectarine and citrus rind notes. Outstanding length to a wine that needs 5 years to really start to hit its straps. (From Magnum).

Domaine Baron Thenard – Le Montrachet – Grand Cru – 2007. Opens with really tangy citrus notes. A very powerful wine that has subtle minerals and a very fine texture. Creamy and very long, this is a superb wine of power and restraint. Will age for years, but this is sublime!

Blain Gagnard – Batard Montrachet – Grand Cru – 2006. This is a very powerful wine, though the nose is remarkably tight at present. A big wine that still needs a few years for the powerful fruit to fully integrate with the oak and show its best. (From Magnum).

Red Burgundy

The Burgundies were accompanied by a complex and artistically prepared dish of braised lamb. A delicious dish, with the natural acidity of the wines complementing the richness of the food.

Pousse d’Or  – Volnay – 1er Cru – Caillerets – 1990. This bottle had, perhaps, seen better days as it was very earthy and old fashioned. (From Magnum).

Armand Rousseau – Ruchottes-Chambertin – Grand Cru – Clos des Ruchottes – 2007. Silky, sweet fruit with pepper and lovely spice highlights. The texture, balance and power have all the hallmarks of a great wine! Despite the powerful fruit, this is elegant, refined and very long. A great wine!

Mommessin – Clos de Tart – Grand Cru – 2008. Pepper, spice and cinnamon come to the fore here. Superb length and balance combine with a silky texture to make this a stunning wine. (From Magnum).

Mongeard Mugneret – Clos de Vougeot – Grand Cru – 2005. Leaner and more structured than the Clos de Tart, this is still youthful, long, fine and powerful. There are cherry fruit notes, while the finish fans out like the proverbial peacocks tail. A superb wine that is immensely long. (From Magnum).

Bordeaux and Dry Reds

From a food perspective, the roast pork that accompanied the bigger reds was spectacular. The crispy skin combined beautifully with the succulent meat. There were Asian cues to the preparation with galangal being an integral part of the seasoning.

In many respects, this dish stole the show!

Chateau Léoville Las Cases – St Julien – 2001. A brilliant wine, though the fruit is wrapped up in a very structured cloak. The tannins are firm, though very fine, while the supple oak complements the fruit perfectly. A powerful wine that will last for years, yet is a joy to drink now. (From Magnum).

Chateau Cos d’Estournel – St Julien – 2000. This is a great wine. The fruit is sweeter than the Las Cases (perhaps reflecting the year), though the wine is still very powerful. Wonderful length and texture, the fruit framed by very fine tannins. A complete wine. (From Magnum).

Chateau Leoville Barton – St Julien – 2000. Another stunning effort. This wine is silky and supple, with wonderful tannin and oak management. The most structured of the three St Juliens, this is masculine and very youthful. (From Magnum).

Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard  – Cabernet Sauvignon – 1986. Perhaps more than any wine here, the Phelps polarised the group. Spectacular fruit quality and power, but the wine initially appeared a little rustic and old fashioned courtesy of a touch of Brettanomyces. Certainly evolved in the glass and improved significantly as it opened up. (From Magnum).

J L Chave – Hermitage – 1983. This wine is totally, seductive, elegant and fully mature. The palate is defined by its finesse and length, the acidity providing drive right through to the close. From a drinking point of view, this wine was my favourite of the reds! (From Magnum).


At the end of such a spectacular lunch and with plenty of red wine still on the table, we finished with a selection of cheeses. An excellent way to end a memorable day.

Franck Bonville – Champagne – Blanc de Blanc – 2006. A superb way to end the meal, the freshness, balance and power left the palate refreshed (although it did not really refresh my mind at this point!)


Aged White Wines

Whites – Mixed

Reviewed: 10 February 2011

With Summer in full swing, our group embarked on a tasting of quality whites that were a few years old. We ended up with an eclectic selection of (very) high quality wines.


Bruno Sorg – Riesling – Pfersigberg – Grand Cru – 2003 (17.5). Lovely oily texture, a hint of residual sugar and fresh acid makes for a lovely wine. Has a hint of floral notes and the very creamy, high quality oak rounds out the finish. Smart, seamless and beautifully crafted. From Alsace.

Clairault – Chardonnay – 2006 (17.3). Perfectly ripe fruit on the nose with pineapple overtones. The oak is evident on the palate, though there are some tropical fruit notes underneath. Opens with air, developing butterscotch and stonefruit. Gets better and will settle further with age.

Moss Wood – Chardonnay – 2004 (17.8). Seamless and beautifully balanced, this is a superb wine. The texture and mouth-feel are spot on and the finish is near seamless. The quality oak merely caresses the finish on the close and the length is driven by the elegant fruit.

Leasingham – Riesling – Classic Clare – 2005 (17.7). Lovely riesling that is fresh, lively, floral, vibrant, seamless, long and intense. This is a very fine wine of real class. Excellent length. Is showing the first signs of age, but is still very youthful.

Sonoma Cutrer – Chardonnay – Russian River Ranchs – 2008 (17.8). Another superb wine. This is a richer style with plenty of quality winemaking inputs. Think creamy oak, lees stirring and (partial?) malo-lactic fermentation. Again, the mendoza clone is evident, but the pineapple fruit characters are well handled. There are plenty of stonefruit notes and almond to close.

Domain Emilan Gillet – Chardonnay – Quintaine – Vire-Clesse – 2002 (18.2). Very interesting wine. Superb palate with great length. It is the exhilarating acid that makes the finish so memorable. Lemon brullee, texture and spice on a palate that builds and evolves. Excellent chablis with minerals to burn. At its peak.

Domaine Chandon De-Brialles – Chardonnay – Corton – Grand Cru – 2005 (18). Very creamy nose, this wine is a highlight. Intense and powerful, there is still a degree of restraint. Superb fruit, the wine really builds and is classically structured. The minerality on the palate is superb.

Penfolds – Chardonnay – Bin 06A – 2006 (17.5+). Wow. Amazing wine. Young and fresh, the high quality fruit and oak are evident, but not integrated. Has a long future, but needs five to ten years to peak.

Alain Gautheron – Chardonnay – Chablis – Vaucaupin – 1er Cru – 2005 (18.3). A superb wine here. Very tight and fresh, this is a seamless version of fine burgundy. Refined, this is delicate and very fine. Needs years, but enjoyable now. Amazing Chablis.

Rene Lequin-Colin – Chardonnay – Batard-Montrachet – Grand Cru – 2002 (18). Honeyed, long and rich, this is a developed but delightful wine of class and pedigree.

Heidi Schrock – Welsch Riesling/Pinot Gri/Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay – Ruster Ausbruch – 2005 (18.5). Apricot to the fore on the nose, this is really rich and enticing. Wow, immensely intense, yet beautifully balanced and refined. Botrytis to the fore, but the balance is special. Superb!

Guiraut – Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc – Saturnes – 1er Cru – 1997 (18). Very cold. Pungent and raisin-like on the nose, this is a less mainstream and less sweet style that is refreshing yet spicy. As it warms, this opens to show viscosity and texture. Shows lots of almond meal and cashew with air. Delicious.

Le Mont – Chenin Blanc – Vouvray – Molleux – 1997 (17.5). Bread dough and a touch of ferment notes. Shines on the palate with great line and length. This is a very precise wine, that is aged and long. Complex, this really builds in the mouth. Drying finish, this is a delicate wine that shows spice to close. Won’t appeal to everyone, but worth trying.

Castagnia – Viognier – Aqua Santa – NV (17.7). Complex and deve


University Wine Society

7 March 2011

For many years, Andrew Baird has been coordinating the tastings for the University Wine Society. The tastings are always informative and entertaining. When the presenter from this month’s tasting became unavailable, he managed to convince John Jens to present a snapshot of Chablis. John has been a good friend to the society for many years, and pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable evening.

Chablis is a sub-region of the Burgundy region in France. The principal grape variety used is chardonnay. An interesting dimension to Chablis is the attitude towards the use of oak. Historically, all but the best wines were un-oaked, but over the last two decades, there has been a gradual increase in oak use to the point where even some generic chablis have oak influences.

There are several designators of quality that are dependent on the location of the vineyards used to grow the grapes. The lowest appellation is Petite Chablis. This is followed by Chablis, Premier Cru (1er Cru) and Grand Cru. There are numerous different vineyards that have premier or Grand Cru status and these sub-regions are mentioned on the label. For example, the Christian Moreau – Chardonnay – Vaillons – 1er Cru is from the Vaillons region. This region has a 1er Cru appellation.

Overall, this was a fantastic tasting that highlighted the quality and diversity of the wines of Chablis.

The wines are reviewed in the order tasted.


Christian Moreau – Chardonnay – Petit Chablis – 2008 (16.75). More expressive fruit. The balance here is the key. Lovely expression of fruit in the mouth. No rough edges to this wine.

Sylvian Mosnier – Chardonnay – Petit Chablis – 2008 (16.5). More restrained nose. Creamy mouth-feel with gentle mineral and nutty notes. Lovely mouth-feel and texture on a creamy, long and almost chewy palate.

Simonnet Febvre – Chardonnay – Petit Chablis – 2008 (16.4). Creamy and textured, but with a touch of curry leaf and minerals running through the palate. Not a lot of character, but a pleasant drink.

Denis Pommier – Chardonnay – Petit Chablis – 2008 (16). Fresh and creamy nose, with some stonefruit characters that are actually quite peachy. Minerals and flint frame the steely palate. Quite long but not complex. Some caramel to close.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Petit Chablis – 2008 (17). More structure than some. Floral and very pretty, this has an appeal that some others lack. Long palate with refreshing grapefruit acidity. A good wine with real character. An impressive entry level wine.

Sebastien Dampt – Chardonnay – Chablis – 2009 (16.8). More complex aromas. The palate has a step up in complexity. Long, with a sea salt tang to the finish. Creamy and generous, this is an interesting wine, but could do with a touch more depth of fruit.

Sebastien Dampt – Chardonnay – Vaillons – 1er Cru – 2008 (17.2). More complex, with grapefruit and lemon citrus notes. Minerals, steel, powerful palate, with lemon, creamy oak, minerals and a steely finish. The acid is not shy, but carries the finish with aplomb. A solid wine.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Vaillons – 1er Cru 2008 (17.7). More balanced and rounded than the Dampt. Creamy, textured, long and complex. The acid structure is a little firm now but will settle with time. Great balance and mouth-feel. Not as obvious as some, but an excellent wine with great finesse.

Christian Moreau – Chardonnay – Vaillons – 1er Cru – 2008 (17.9). Lemony fruit combine perfectly with textural wine-maker’s inputs on the nose. The creamy lees aromas complement well judged oak. Pineapple fruit, with lemon butter on the palate is reminiscent of mendoza clone, and the oak is layered over the top of the fruit. Excellent length and persistence. A powerful wine of real appeal.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Beauroy – 1er Cru – 2008 (18.1). Really intense nose that is quite lovely. Citrus, minerals, spice and perfumed fruit all add to the appeal. Creamy, with seamless acidity. Fresh and vibrant, this is good drinking now, but will get even better with bottle age.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Beauroy – 1er Cru – 2007 (18.3). A touch more expressive than the 2008, but with a very similar profile. If anything, there is more power on the palate and the finish is a little closed. There are hints of tropical fruit and white-fleshed nectarines. There is fresh acidity on an excellent finish.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Beauroy – 1er Cru – 2006 (17.7). More seductive and inviting. This is richer and more generous than the younger wines. Powerful fruit on the palate is complemented by acid that is softening. The minerality on the finish is the dominant character. The balance is not quite as good as the 2007

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Beauroy – 1er Cru – 2005 (16.8). More developed and complex than the earlier wines. This is balanced and rich with some honey and textured components. This bottle is perhaps not the best example.

Christian Moreau – Chardonnay – Les Clos – 1er Cru – 2008 (18). Wow! Complex and powerful. This is a powerhouse of flavour. Intense, textured, viscous, long and balanced. There is no subtlety here, but an impressive wine all the same.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Bougros – Cote Bouguerots – Chablis – Grand Cru – 2008 (18.6). Subtle, complex, intense yet feminine. This is a very seductive and appealing wine. Seamless, this is deceiving as the balance and soft texture make it very appealing. Underneath though, there is immensely powerful fruit. A balanced and complete wine.

William Fevre – Chardonnay – Bougros – Cote Bouguerots – Chablis – Grand Cru – 2005 (18.3). Starting to show the benefits of age. Complexity is increasing, but the acidity is still firm and taught. Again, this is deceptive, as the latent power of fruit is masked in a creamy, silky envelope