2015: the dawn of a great vintage…
Located on the 45th parallel, the northern limit for the world’s great red wine regions, Bordeaux likes sunny summers to produce great vintages. The months of May, June, and July 2015 were among the hottest and driest on record. Water stress, so important for stopping vegetative growth and starting the ripening process, took place early, in July, and brought on a magnificent véraison (colour change) in early August. I have not seen such an early, even véraison since 2009. All our grapes
Fortunately, the month of August was less hot and more wet, which gave a certain vigor to the vines.
This month of August enabled the grapes, especially the white wine grapes, to “breathe” and retain their freshness. The first grapes were picked at the end August. Their juices were superb and the weather forecast for the next two weeks is looking excellent… We are thus quite confident this will be a great year!!!
The Merlot grapes will be harvested the last ten days of September and the Cabernets the first two weeks of October. These are showing magnificent potential, but we still need six weeks without a major disturbance.
The Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are slowly reaching perfect ripeness. As with every vintage, botrytis will call all the shots, but the conditions conducive to its development are all there.
It has been several years since Bordeaux has seen the dawn of such a beautiful vintage…
There are still a few weeks of suspense left before this promise is fulfilled.
Article by Union des Grand Cru Bordeaux
On Febuaray 27th, 2015 I had the opportunity to have lunch with Grand Reserve head wine maker Marcio Ramirez. Marcio explained the reasons why the Grand Reserve a riverbank series of wines were so special. Marcio explain that the wines come from 3 very unique rivers beds Rapel, Cachapoal, and Tinguiririca which provides very distinct and different qualities to each wine. All the Gran Reserva series wines start with the triple Marine Mediterranean advantage.
* Areas which have a cool breeze close to the coast,
* Areas with a temperature between cold ocean air and warm air current from the valley combine to produce cooling winds.
* Ancient river banks or oil, mineral rich free draining and unfertile.
Marcio has been the wine maker at Concha Y Toro since he graduated from Universidad de Chile in 1997 degree in Oenology, he is a well-traveled and a well educated winemaker spending time in Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Mendoza, Spain St Emilion Pomerol District. We Tasted through several of the Gran Reserva series.
The Gran Reserva series Sauvignon Blanc 2014, was well rounded on the palate with a long lingering finish.
The Gran Reserva 2013 Chardonnay was golden in color, ripe pineapple fruit, balanced acidity and just a lovely wine.
Gran Reserva 2011 Carmenere displayed a deep ruby color blackberry/ blueberry fruit with a hint of chocolate on the palate, a well structured complex wine. Also in my opinion the best wine of the luncheon .
The Gran Reserva Malbec 2012 and 13 were deep ruby in color, the fruit comes from the river bed area Tinguiririca which is layered in red clay, I thought it was a very good expression of a very good Malbec.
Last was the Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and 14 these wines were very young but the 2014 has signs of being a star because of its complexity and structure, finished with well rounded firm tannin.
Contributing editor Alyssa Alvarez, @Tipsygypsea
In 1993, another family became stewards of the winery, the Catena family. Dr. Nicolas Catena, known as a modern pioneer in the development of Argentine Malbec, gathered a group of investors and bought the winery in order to carry the legacy of Don Miguel into a new millennium.
During the 1940’s, the Gascón family bottled Argentina’s first 100 percent varietal Malbec. Now, Ernesto Catena, a fourth generation winemaker, has brought the wines of Bodegas Escorihuela Gascón to high status in Argentina, and to prominence with critics and connoisseurs throughout the world.
Bodega Gascón is a winery that makes several different varieties of wines from which I tasted through the following wines with the assistance of their very talented Sommelier: Extra Burt Sparkling, Viognier, Pinot Noir, and Malbec.
These are well made wines that were complex in structure and balance, and they have the expertise in making a world class Malbec for the past 100 years.
The story begins in 1804 when Henri Cuvelier set out to share his great passion for fine wine with his friends of the grand bourgeoisie residing in the rich and dynamic towns of the North of France, (Lille, Boulogne Sur Mer, Arras, Valenciennes…) To this aim, he created H. Cuvelier And Fils, a wine Merchant company whose rapid success continued to develop throughout the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Cuvelier and his young brother Albert, anticipating the inevitable rise in « château-bottled wines » to the detriment of the « tailor-made » blends of the wine merchants, decided to purchase top quality estates in the Bordeaux area. They bought Château Le Crock in 1903, then Château Camensac in 1912 and finally the prestigious Château Léoville Poyferré in 1920. It is interesting to note that, in early 1914, Paul Cuvelier had already come to Argentina, to discover the wines of Mendoza. He found them « pleasant to drink » although not adapted to the French taste at that time. He recommended a watchful eye be kept on their development. In 1946, the family group asked Max Cuvelier to create a second Fine Wine Merchant’s based in Bordeaux. It was, as it transpired, essential to have an address in the Pavé des Chartrons if one wished to be part of the Bordeaux wine world. This company has since flourished both in France and around the world.
In 1998 Bertrand Cuvelier made the happy choice of personally accompanying Michel Rolland in his great Argentine project, which was to become the« Clos de Los Siete »group. Three years later, Jean-Guy Cuvelier decided to join his cousin Bertrand in the joint aim of building a Winery and producing fine wines worthy of the family tradition. The agreement between Bertrand and Jean-Guy Cuvelier was symbolically signed in the great office of their common ancestor, Henri Cuvelier, in Lille-Haubourdin, in the north of France. Since then, the Winery has been built and each year the vines of Cuvelier Los Andes have contributed 50% of their production to « Clos de Los Siete », the wine signed by Michel Rolland. The success of this wine is worldwide due to the exceptional value for money it offers.
The 2003 yield has also allowed the production of the first edition of «Cuvelier Los Andes-Coleccion». Then the 2004 harvest saw the arrival of our first edition of «Cuvelier Los Andes – Grand Vin ». With the 2005, Cuvelier Los Andes S.A., aside from its significant contribution to «Clos de Los Siete», can now present three wines, produced with the help and advice of Michel Rolland: Coleccion – Grand Vin – Grand Malbec. The quality of these wines, produced from young wines, is well beyond our original hopes. Will the Argentine cousins rival in the future with the fine wines of Bordeaux. It is for the consumers to decide. Time will tell.
A last word: We are proud to announce that the new generation has decided to join the crew, taking on the sales and marketing of the Cuvelier Los Andes S.A.
Cuvelier Los Andes is a great winery in Mendoza Argentina, led by there very talented winemaker Fedemco Bieeotto who was well trained in his craft in California and assisted by the world renown consultant Michel Rolland.
One of the reasons there wines are so fresh and vibrant is the introduction to a new wine making technique called Micro Vinification which means the winemaker put whole berry fruit in steel tank or barrel for fermentation. This technique reduces the amount of oxygen the grapes are exposed to during fermentation.
This winery make very good white wines, Viognier, and Chardonnay, but make no mistake they are a great red wine making winery. These wines aren’t your ordinary Argentina wines they are made fresh, lively and in the French style of wine making.
I tasted through several of the Cuvelier wines and the best of the best was the 2008 Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin “WOW” what a great wine that was powerful from the first time I smell the wine and when I put it on my palate it was explosive with fruits of blackberry, blueberry, spices, my final description as it coated my palate was “A Mouth Full of Joy”.
Thank you Pablo for a great tasting. Cheers