Category Archives: Wine Tastings

Bordeaux 2009

By Aymeric de Clouet

I was qualified after 2009 en primeurs tasting by a charming colleague of mine, Angélique de L, as “the only man who did not like 2009.” After the tasting held on Tuesday, June 26, I can say with confidence that he is no longer the only one.

The tasting was very promising: the three Léovilles, Gruaud-Larose, Beychevelle, Moulin Riche for Saint-Julien, and a few crus Bourgeois (Le Crock, Sociando-Mallet, Chasse-Spleen) for comparison.

The results were appalling, although not disappointing to me (but to the others). If I want to drink Port, I buy Port, and when I want a super strong red, I drink Châteauneuf, but when I want Bordeaux I do not want 2009.

The few wines that pleased me somehow were Chasse-Spleen, very good, fair price, nothing you can blame. Gruaud-Larose, one of my favourites at the time, confirms the great esteem I hold him in. But the others! The worst value ever.

I generally state that most crus classes are too young to really be appreciated at such a young age, but in that case the vintage is already open and sometimes well evolved, so it is not my conclusion. I give it little future. When I taste the same wines in relatively poor vintages like 2002 or 2004, the pleasure that I get from it is far above: well balanced, deep and complex, not as powerful but much more elegant, and a fantastic value.

Among the disastrous tasting, other than the two previously mentioned, I was surprised by Beychevelle, generally not one of my favourite estates, which was quite good.

My beloved estates, Poyferré and Las Cases, did not fare so well. But after this tasting I understand what makes a ‘100 point’ wine. Well, it is definitely not for me.
Next time we will travel to the right bank, let us hope that it will show a better side of 2009.

Average hierarchy (five tasters, all wine professionals)
1.      Chasse-Spleen
2.      Ex-aequo Moulin Riche & Beychevelle
3.      –
4.      Gruaud-Larose
5.      Léoville-Las-Cases
6.      Léoville-Barton
7.      Léoville-Poyferré
8.      Le Crock
9.      Sociando-Mallet

My personal opinion
1.      Chasse-Spleen
2.      Beychevelle
3.      Gruaud-Larose
4.      Sociando-Mallet
5.      Le Crock
6.      Moulin Riche
7.      Léoville-Poyferré
8.      Léoville-Las-Cases
9.      Léoville-Barton

 

Addendum
I tasted the wines over the week, since we were only five for nine bottles, some was left in the decanters. I confirm my judgment. I would only add that Sociando-Mallet is a reliable 2009, not great but fairly good. Barton has a good first sip, the after taste is catastrophic. Poyferré is closer to Port than to wine. Las Cases has a better evolution in the decanter than others. Conclusion still is: avoid 2009.

 

 

London Kimono Fashion Show

One of our services is to create and organise wine-related events for corporates. Sometimes we work with non-profit organisations and charities whose good causes we are proud to support.

Recently Fair Wines participated in the London Kimono Fashion Show which took place at Burgh House in Hampstead. The show was part of a project led by a NGO to promote Japanese Kimonos to be recognised as a World Heritage at the UNESCO.

Before the fashion show itself, the event included a talk about the tradition of Kimono and an actual demonstration of how to put the Obi on (i.e. the sash). Violin play and opera singing added grace to this special Sunday afternoon amongst flowers and champagne. The entire event was filled with the Omotenashi spirit.

Omotenashi defines the spirit of Japanese hospitality, though the meaning goes way deeper than providing hospitality. “Omotenashi” means “to entertain a guest wholeheartedly” as every encounter is single and unique.

It was a truly magical moment surrounded by the beauty and tradition of the Kimono world. Let us share some pictures of the day.

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All set in the beautiful location of Burgh House in Hampstead.

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More than 100 glasses were prepared for the champagne reception which followed the Kimono fashion show.

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Welcome speech from graceful Chieri Ikea, the organiser of the show.

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Soprano solo Masami Suzuki and Violin solo Haru Ushigusa were a real treat to listen to.

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The audience was fascinated by the quotation of a famous Japanese poet, in essence saying that if you look beautiful from the back, you will look beautiful from the front… Until told the quotation was actually made up. Obi joke!

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Let the London Kimono Fashion Show begin! Here is Miss Kimono on a cat walk. A good kimono is made out of silk and is hand-printed and/or dyed. It is a true art of craftsmanship, and is often passed on from generation to generation as a family asset.

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A Kimono with long sleeves is meant for young and unmarried ladies so that they could warm and embrace many potential suitors! In fact there are countless Kimono dress codes specific to ladies.

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At the Champagne & Sushi reception which followed by the fashion show, here is the team from Wasokan, the first Kimono shop in London (located in Notting Hill). A well-deserved celebration after such a large contribution.

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Little helpers were busy offering Japanese cookies to the guests. Thank you my darlings!

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Guests and all the Kimono models. You might spot me amongst the Kimono models. Thank you everyone for such an unforgettable day!

It would be great if you could share this and help the Kimono world receiving greater recognition!