MARIE & CÉCILE ALBRECHT Orschwihr-Alsace
150 years were needed to build up Domaine Albrecht located in the very best Alsace terroir. The first
of three periods of growth in the 19th century with extensive purchase of vineyards in Orschwihr. The
second after the phylloxera crisis, Henri Albrecht planted several vineyards with Riesling, Pinot Gris,
Gewurztraminer. This was the start of grafted vines.
The third in the twentieth century, the Domaine experienced major development under the
guidance of Lucien Albrecht, to become one of the most important in Alsace with holding in 9
villages surrounding Orschwihr. He extended the winery and cellars and replanted large areas of the
vineyard. In 1972 is pioneered he Cremant d’Alsace—which today is one of Albrecht specialities.
The Domaine Marie & Cécile Albrecht is one of the most important owners of the Grand Cru classe
Pfingstberg situated in Orschwihr.
DELAMOTTE Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
Located in the grand cru village of Les Mesnil-sur-Oger, Maison Delamotte has been a benchmark
in Champagne since 1760 (over 250 years) demonstrating an unflagging respect for the terroir and
the villages of the Cote de Blancs, – Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Avize and Oger where the fruit is sourced.
Together with its sister house, Salon, the focus is unashamedly on Chardonnay based Champagnes and
the vintage Blanc de Blanc is the flagship wine in the range which is deliberately limited to NV Brut,
Blanc de Blancs, vintage Blanc de Blancs and Rosé.
This unassuming wine house, part of the Laurent Perrier Group, specialises in wines that work
particularly well as aperitifs. The range is deliberately limited and relies on grapes from the Côtes des
Blanc. The aim is create fresh, slender wines with supple character and a range of aromas highlighted
by a crisp tang of citrus. Text courtesy Battane & Desseauves, “The Wines of France”.
SALON Le Mesnil-sur-Oger
One single terroir (the Cote de Blancs) – one single cru (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger) – one single
grape variety (Chardonnay) and one single year (average of three vintages per decade)…..
The small Salon house was founded in the early twentieth century and now, as then, confines its
production to a vintage Champagne exclusively made from Chardonnay grapes grown in Le Mesnil-sur-
Oger – without doubt the most significant cru on the Côtes des Blanc. Several of the vintages
produced in the 1970s and 1980s are still proving this Champagnes terrific propensity for long and
graceful aging. It has to be said that Salon Champagne has never been better than it is now under
the inspired direction under the team in charge since Laurent Perrier took over. Witness two recent
vintages – the 1995 and 1996 – both certainly the most precise and refined that the house has ever
produced. Text courtesy Bettane & Desseauves.
MAISON ALEXANDRE BONNET Les Riceys
The History of the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne House goes back a long way in the stunning village of Les Riceys. With three Appellations d’Origione controlee (Controlled designation of origin), The place is unique in the world of winemaking. Its 2,086 acres of vineyards make it the largest wine producing area in the Champagne region.
As early as 1934, Lucien Noble, the grandfather on our mother’s side, started growing his own vine stocks. His passion was passed on to the next generations, until 1970 when René, Serge and Alain Bonnet founded the Alexandre Bonnet brand.
With over 110 acres of vineyards, modern and entirely integrated production tools, owners true to their heritage, the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne clearly is today a traditional Champagne House in an exceptional land.
Our Champagne wines are authentic and highlight the Pinot Noir variety with vintages like the Noir Extra Brut, the Blanc de Noirs and Perle Rosée, as well as its iconic Rosé des Riceys wine.
DOMAINE BARRAUD Vergisson/Maconnais
Third generation Daniel and fourth generation Julien are now in charge of this very important domaine in the Pouilly Fuisse district. 11 Ha of prime Chardonnay vineyards in the appellations of Pouilly Fuisse, St Veran and Macon Villages are all organically farmed and hand worked – pruned, picked and tended.
DOMAINE FEUILLAT-JUILLOT Montagny-Les Buxy
Francoise Feuillat-Juillot went to Paris to study international trade after completing high school and once deciding that the wine business was her future, she studied Oenology in Dijon for a year. She joined the estate she now heads and when her employer passed away in 2002, took it over and has steadily revamped the vineyards and winery of the domaine. This is predominantly a white wine domaine with a token red Burgundy of about 100 dozen produced each year.
DOMAINE JEAN MARECHAL Mercurey
Mercurey takes its name from the Roman god and winged messenger who was also the god of commerce. This is a sizable commune of predominantly Pinot Noir. Domaine Jean Marechal is an important estate of 10 hectares, half of which are premier cru vineyards which are well managed by Jean’s grandsons, Quentin and Thomas. The family has been growing grapes since 1570.
M.CHAPOUTIER Tain L'Ermitage
The name Chapoutier has been present in the Rhône Valley since 1808. Wine grower, wine maker and
wine lover, Michel Chapoutier is one of France’s most dynamic wine producers, championing biodynamic
viticulture and producing a consistent, impeccably high-quality range of wines from the prominent Northern
and Southern Rhône Valley appellations.
Michel Chapoutier is one of the most highly regarded winemakers in France. Since taking over his
family firm in 1990 at age 26, Michel Chapoutier has transformed the winery into the leading Rhône
Valley producer. He combines the modern and the traditional: crusading for biodynamic winemaking,
while expanding operations around the globe and experimenting with cutting edge winemaking
Under Michel’s leadership, dramatic changes brought world acclaim to his wines. He pruned back
the vineyards and boldly reduced yields from 35 or more hectoliters per hectare (2.6 tons per acre)
to 25 hectoliters per hectare (1.8 tons per acre) for both red and white wines. Michel went further,
launching a crusade against chemicals, fertilizers and sprays. He adopted biodynamic and organic
farming techniques in his estate vineyards, harvesting grapes by hand and using only natural yeasts to
produce unfiltered wines.
Today, M. Chapoutier is the only producer to own vineyards in all of the major Rhône appellations.
With Michel’s guidance, the family firm has become the benchmark Rhône wine
These wines are born from Chapoutier’s most venerable plots of vines which are for the most
part located on the Hill of Hermitage but there are also representatives from Côte-Rôtie, Crozes-
Hermitage, St Joseph and Châteauneuf du Pape. One notable curiosity is in the appellation naming;
as two of the appellations here – Ermitage and Crozes-Ermitage – seem to have each lost an important
consonant. According to Michel, this reflects the distinct and singular origin of the wines, each one
sourced from a specific plot on the hill. Wines which are blended across many lieux-dits – as is often
the cases with Hermitage, each plot traditionally regarded as contributing something unique to the
final blend – are eligible for Appellation Contrôlée Hermitage (the same is true for blending within
Crozes-Hermitage). Whereas those sourced from a single lieu-dit – including names familiar to any
committed drinker of these wines, such as Le Méal, Les Greffieux or L’Ermite apparently have the
option to be Ermitage (or Crozes-Ermitage) instead.
Although the range encompasses many of the major Rhône Valley appellations it is without doubt in
my mind those from Hermitage that provoke the greatest interest. These are Les Greffieux (running
along the bottom of the hill, behind the railway station and contiguous with the town), De L’Orée
(sourced from Les Murets, a lieu-dit at the eastern end of the Hermitage vineyards), Le Méal (above
Les Greffieux, running up the hill to the foot of Chapoutier’s little pied-à-terre), Le Pavillon (sourced
from within Les Bessards, perhaps the lieu-dit with the greatest reputation, and named for an old
pavilion) and L’Ermite (which lies behind Les Bessards and Le Méal). A number of these I tasted with
Michel, but – quite rightly – we did not ignore other appellations, including St Joseph, Côte-Rôtie
and Châteauneuf du Pape. The cuvées are unified not by terroir, which despite Michel’s self-confessed
preference for granite is in fact very varied once you get beyond Hermitage, but by viticulture, which
is biodynamic in every case.
Text courtesy of Chris Kissack, author of “The Wine Doctor” – www.thewinedoctor.com
CHATEAU DESMIRAIL Margaux
The elegant 18th century manor house is located behind majestic gates made of pink marble and is the centre of Desmirail operations. The Lurton family are current owners with Denis taking over from his father in 1992. The average age of the vines is 25 years and consist of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc and the 30 ha of vines are in three parcels within the Margaux appellation.
CHATEAU HAUT-BAGES LIBERAL Pauillac
This property has a mixed history and is currently managed by Claire Villars-Lurton. She has set herself the task of overhauling the winemaking as well as adopting a new, sustainable approach in the vineyards experimenting with both organics and biodynamic practises. The vines are a minimum of 15 to 20 years of age over 30 ha and consist of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.
CHATEAU LA HAUTE BRANDE Bordeaux Superieur
Located in the Entre-Deux-Mers region between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, this is a large estate owned by the Boudigue family, now in its fifthgeneration on this property of 62 Ha with an average vine age of 25 years. This is a Merlot dominant vineyard – 60% supported by 40% of Cabernet Sauvignon.
CHATEAU CLOS BEL AIR Pomerol
Owned for five generations by the Lespine family, current owner Jacques Lespine continues the traditions of this small Pomerol producer. The vineyard is around 2.3 Ha and is 80% Merlot, with 10% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The vine age is 5 to 15 years.
CHATEAU LA FON DU BERGER Huat-Medoc
Based in Saint-Sauveur, 3 km west of the famous town of Pauillac, owner Gerard Bouges settled on the property in 1983 and set about buying other parcels of vineyard to expand and improve the viability of the brand.
CHATEAU DES FERRAGES Provence
Half-way between Aix-en-Provence and Saint-Maximin, Château des Ferrages is one of the four fortresses that shaped the history of Pourcieux. Surrounded by wooded parklands, this traditional Renaissance building overlooked the village. Most of the building has been lost over time and only the tower and a few architectural remains still exist today. Its most valuable treasure, however, is
undoubtedly the wine domaine that bears its name.
Its 28 hectares of vines produce four cuvées which are carefully aged in the Château des Ferrages cellars. Over 1000 m2 of cellars combine modern vinification techniques and traditional methods of ageing. The domaine’s Côtes de Provence and Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire wines are regularly awarded medals and listed in top wine guides.
DOMAINE DES PEIRECEDES Provence
Domaine des Peirecèdes is owned by the Baccino family. Since 1900 the wine making and vineyards have been handed down from father to son until the fifth generation when Audrey Baccino took over from her father as the winemaker today. Domaine des Peirecèdes is located close to Cuers and is in the heart of the appellation Cotes de Provence Pierrefeu. The 40 hectares of vines are planted to Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah for the rosé. All the vineyards are now certified organic.
CHATEAU LES CROSTES Provence
Tucked away behind a rich, lush forest, the property is a little hard to find and most would give up
a long way before, but Chateau les Croste near the village of Lorgues is well worth seeking out.
Originally this was a Roman olive grove left to waste and it was in 1986 that a passionate French
investor planted 55 hectares to vines of a 270 hectare prroperty. Progressively the vineyard and
cellars were built up but the investor had other things on his mind and the property was sold in
1998 to a German company headed by Baron Felix de Luxembourg. Commercial Manager, Linda
Schaller-Gallet has been there for 15 years and has seen the property develop into something special.
Rosé makes up the lions share of production using Cinsault and Grenache whilst Syrah, Grenache
and Cabernet makes up the reds and Rolle and Semillon the two whites.
CLOS BAGATELLE Saint-Chinian/Languedoc
An ancient domain in the heart of Saint-Chinian with recent history of five generations passed
down from mother to daughter. Christine took over the estate in 1995 and is supported by
her brother Luc. They have purchased additional plots of land in the appellation as well as the
neighbouring St Jean de Minervois region to increase their production and variety of wines. The
vineyards of Clos Bagatelle are each on very different soils and geology.
The original cellars have undergone extensive renovation and additions of modern equipment as
required to satisfy the vineyard acquisitions and contemporary winemaking techniques.
BERGERIE DU CAPUCIN Pic Saint Loup/Languedoc
At 638 metres and 30 kilometres from the Mediterranean with the Massif Central bearing down,
this 15 hectare vineyard is very special. In addition to the location, the vegetation surrounding
the vineyard adds its own character to the wines. Perfumes and essences of holm oaks, garrigue
scrubland, pines, thyme, laurel and rosemary fill the air from early spring and through summer.
Since 2008 when Guilhem Viau took the decision to make his own wines, he has not looked back.
Managing the property in sympathy with the land and with respect to the soils and native flora and
fauna, Guilhem’s wines reflect those sympathies.
HEGARTY CHAMANS Minervois/Languedoc
“You don’t just drink the wine, you drink the place”. This is our mantra here at Chamans. From
this simple philosophy flows our desire to produce wines that truly reflect the terrior of Chamans.
Chamans is a Parker rated vineyard that sits in the south facing foothills of the Montaigne Noire
totally isolated from other vineyards which in Australian terms is – out the back of Bourke! By
design, this enables owners Sir John Hegarty and Philippa Crane with their delightful regisseur
and winemaker Jessica Servet to practise non interventionist biodynamic methods – the property is AB
Certified and Demeter.
We hand-harvest at low yields of around 25hl per ha to produce wines of maximum flavour and
elegance. The property is surrounded by garrigue and woodland with vineyard area at 15 hectares.
Black sheep, an olive grove, a lavender crop, beehives and a winery share the property.
The small range of wines is almost exclusively red from 8 to 60 year old vines based on Grenache,
Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre and Cinsault.
Our symbol of the black sheep reminds us not to follow the many, but seek the few.
CHATEAU SAINT-JACQUES D'ALBAS Minervois/Languedoc
This very interesting property of 90 hectares, wedged between the Montaigne Noire and the Canal
du Midi, has been a labour of love for owner Graham Nutter. When he purchased it in 2001, he
could not have known the history that literally seeps out of the ground. The 11th century chapel,
lovingly restored is the central feature (and namesake) of the property, is on the pilgrim route of the
13th century Cathar movement and Saint Jacques de Compostelle.
The vineyard has been restored and enlarged, soil reinvigorated and yields reduced, a winery and
underground cellar built with modern equipment. Incorporated into these building is a small
concert hall which permanently houses a beautiful Steinway concert grand piano.
The typical Minervois grape varieties of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan make up the
reds and rosés with some Viognier, Vermentino and Rousanne for the single white wine.
DOMAINE PIERRE CROS Minervois/Languedoc
The enigmatic Pierre Cros can’t wait for each Rugby World Cup series so he can watch his Team
thrash the poms, Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans.
A straight up man with no pretences but proud of his land and what it produces, he describes
himself as a peasant, a hill billy. But I see a worldly man of conviction but humble all the same.
A multi generation vigneron and winemaker from Badens where skills have been handed down
rather than learned from books.
The Pierre Cros domain extends to 50 hectares with about half being vineyard and the rest wild
garrigue, almond trees, olive grove and truffle oaks. The local area is quite dry and Pierre has
continued with many of the indigenous varieties, namely, Alicante, Picpoul Noir, Picpoul Blanc
and Aramon for this reason. The majority of the vines are traditional Languedoc though –Cinsault,
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris and Muscat Petit a
Grains. Just because Pierre is pretty much anti establishment, he has planted some Nebbiolo and
Touriga Nacional – non permitted varieties.
MAISON VENTENAC Carbardes/Languedoc
Domaine Ventenac was created in 1973 by Alain Maurel and sometime later, joined forces with
the property of his parents, Domaine Maurel. 115 hectares of vines is divided between the two
properties. With the Ventenac property, Alain pioneered close planting in the Languedoc – 6500
vines per hectare – compared to the norm of 4000 to create greater competition between plants and
to increase the average yield per hectare but still maintain quality fruit.
The next generation is now contributing to the estates fortunes with daughter Stephanie and son
in law, Olivier Rame now both involved. Since 2010 both the vineyard and winery have undergone
extensive enhancements to continually improve the wine in bottle.
Alain firmly believes that non traditional varieties have a place in the region and therefore planted
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Chardonnay, Colombard, Chenin Blanc and
Sauvignon Blanc alongside Syrah and Grenache. Many of these are sold as IGP appellation although
they are top quality.
LE PRIEURE SAINT SEVER Faugeres/Languedoc
The grandson of a vigneron, Thierry Rodrequez, cut his teeth working for large wine producers
before creating le Prieure Saint Sever in 1993. The Prieure Saint Sever is an attractive Roman
chapel from the 11th century and which is used to house Thierry’s Mas Gabinele and la Gabinele
enterprises in Faugeres. A new winery was built close by and inaugurated in 2015 with the first
vintage being made there this year. The vineyards cover just over 18 hectares and are between 30
and 60 years old of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan.
As well as the Gabinele ranges, Thierry purchases fruit from other vineyards within the region to
produce different expressions of wines at various price points.
All Thierry’s wines are well reviewed in the wine press and shows in which he enters.