Friday, April 28, 2017
Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
The final event of the 2016 Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy was a tour of and dinner at Château Haut-Bailly. It was a most memorable evening thanks to our charming host, Diana Paulin, the very special setting in the dining and the living rooms of Château Haut-Bailly, the excellent food of Chef Jean-Charles Poinsot, and – last but not least - the superb Chateau Haut-Bailly wines.
Château Haut-Bailly is a Graves Cru Classé estate that has really hit form in the last 5-7 years. It is located in the commune of Léognan, which is usually more associated with white wine production. Just a stone’s throw away from the city of Bordeaux and our hotel, Château Haut-Bailly, one of the most prestigious Cru Classé de Graves, sits majestically in a 30 hectare vineyard at the heart of the Graves region on the left bank of the river Garonne. Neighboring estates include Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Château Carbonnieux. The estate's second wine is named Le Parde de Haut-Bailly.
At Château Haut-Bailly wine has been produced for more than five centuries. Like many Bordeaux estates, the property changed owners multiple times over the centuries. However, three owner families put their mark on the estate.
First, in 1630 it was bought by the Le Bailly family which eventually gave the estate its name. In those days the château had about 80 acres under vine, roughly the same as today. There were many ups and downs during the centuries and by the 1950s the estate was in a sorry state.
Second, a wine merchant from Belgium, Daniel Sanders, bought the château in 1955 and started intensive renovations. His efforts proofed him right and Château Haut-Bailly was one of the 16 wine producers awarded with the Grand Cru Classé certification in the 1959 classification of the Graves estates.
Finally, in 1998, Elisabeth and Robert G. Wilmers – he is an American banker, she is French – bought Château Haut-Bailly and spared no expenses to invest in the vineyards, winery, and the château to give the estate the possibility to keep producing top quality wines.
Today, Château Haut-Bailly is managed by Véronique Sanders, fourth generation of the Sanders family.
Robert G. Wilmers, Owner of Château Haut-Bailly
In 1998 Château Haut-Bailly was purchased by American Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and CEO of the M & T Bank based in Buffalo, New York. As a lover of Bordeaux Grands Crus, his dream came true when he became the owner at Haut-Bailly. He spent much of his childhood and professional life in Belgium. Along with his French wife, Elisabeth, he continues his close ties with Europe, where some of their family live.
Hugely conscious of Haut-Bailly’s history yet eager to ensure continuity and modernity, he entrusted in 1998 Haut-Bailly’s management to Véronique Sanders, granddaughter of Jean Sanders.
Bordeaux Vintage 2014 in Bottle: Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC) on 2017 North America Tour in New York - Schiller’s Favorites
Véronique Sanders, General Manager
In 1998, at the age of 30, Véronique Sanders became the General Manager of Château Haut-Bailly, making her one of a very small number of women in charge of a vineyard and the fourth generation of her family to be associated with Haut-Bailly. After two years of preparation at the Grandes Ecoles françaises, she obtained a Master’s degree in economics at the Sorbonne. She began her career at Publicis-FCB in Paris and Prague. Deciding to improve her knowledge about wine, she returned to Bordeaux in 1997 to obtain her DUAD diploma from the Faculty of Oenology. Following the sale of Château Haut-Bailly by her grandfather, Jean Sanders, Robert G. Wilmers appointed Véronique as Commercial Director in 1998 and General Manager in 2000.
Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly
We started the dinner with small bites and a Pol Roger Champagne in the living room of the chateau.
NV Pol Roger
One of the great nonvintage Champagnes, this is a wine with considerable bottle age, full of toasty flavors. With its gooseberry and apple fruit flavors, it is still fresh, but its great character comes from its supreme elegance. 94 pts. Wine Enthusiast: December 1, 2005. Approximately US$40
We then moved over to the dining room for dinner.
Château Haut-Bailly Portfolio
Château Haut-Bailly has 28 hectares of vineyards which are very well sited on high, gravelly ground just east of Léognan village. In total the estate produces 150,000 bottles annually. Approximately 50% of production from the property is Grand Vin, 30% is second and 20% is third wine, although this will depend on the vintage.
Grand Vin: Château Haut-Bailly
The wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (10%). The grapes are fermented in 26 concrete tanks of different sizes. The wines are aged for 18 months in new (about 50%) and used barrique barrels. There are 3 different cellars for barrel aging.
La Parde de Haut-Bailly
The estate's second wine is La Parde de Haut-Bailly, produced since 1967, but under the name Domaine de la Parde until 1979. It is aged in barrels for 12 months.
Pessac-Léognan by Chateau Haut-Bailly
The property’s third wine, "Pessac-Léognan," which bears the same name as its appellation, was created in 1987. It comes from young vines – an accessible wine that has spent less time in barrel and can be enjoyed young.
Rose de Haut-Bailly
Since 2004, Château Haut-Bailly has produced a ‘rosé de saignée’ when the conditions allow.
La Parde de Haut Bailly 2011
Château Haut-Bailly was one of the first to produce a second wine in 1967. Originated from the same plots and made with the same winemaking techniques as the first label, La Parde Haut-Bailly is subject to the same draconian selection controls. Over time, it has developed its own personality, displaying a pleasant silky texture on the palate and achieving a style of elegance and refinement. Although its softness and forward aroma mean it can be drunk sooner than Château Haut-Bailly, it also has good aging potential (5 to 8 years).
wine-searcher average price in US$: 27
Château Haut-Bailly 2011
Incredible intensity and deep red and black fruit with the finest tannins of the vintage coating the palate. It has precision, grace, complexity and power with an outstanding richness that fills the mouth completely. Better than 2009 or 2010? It sort of sits between the two. The power of 2009 and finesse of 2010. A real must have and I think the price will be down on last year, but I worry about being able to buy enough. Heavenly happiness! Simon Staples, Berry Bros. and Rudd’s Fine Wine Director.
wine-searcher average price in US$: 83
Château Haut-Bailly 2008
The Wine Advocate - "A candidate for the -wine of the vintage,- the 2008 Haut-Bailly possesses incredible complexity. Tell-tale notes of lead pencil shavings, charcoal, damp earth, black cherries and black currants intermixed with a hint of subtle barbecue smoke are present in this classic, quintessential Graves. Medium-bodied with an emerging, precocious complexity, it is a super-pure, beautifully textured, long wine that can be drunk now or cellared for 20-25 years. Bravo!"
wine-searcher average price in US$: 96
After dinner we moved back to the living room.
In the Kitchen with Chef Jean-Charles Poinsot
Thank you very much Chef Jean-Charles Poinsot for an outstanding dinner.
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France (Posted and Forthcoming):
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics
Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction
How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dining and Wining on Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris: La Rotonde, Le Dôme and La Coupole, France – Pre-Bordeaux Wine Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours, France
Tour and Tasting from Barrel at Domaine de Chevalier, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Adrien Bernard - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dinner with a View: At Restaurant L’Estacade in Bordeaux City - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City - An Update
Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update
Saint Emilion Wines and their Classification, Bordeaux, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany
Tour and Tasting at Château Canon La Gaffelière, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Château Beauséjour, Appellation Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, with Owner/ Winemaker Gérard Dupuis - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, in Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Beauregard, Appellation Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tasting were it all Started: At the "Garage" of Jean-Luc Thunevin, Owner and Winermaker of Château Valandraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé since 2012 - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Charcuterie and Fromage at Chez Pascal in Saint Emilion - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château de Fargues, Sauternes, with Prince Eudes d’Orléans - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Wine-pairing Lunch at the 1-star Michelin Restaurant Claude Darroze, with Marie-Hélène Lévêque, Owner of Châteaux Chantegrive - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit: Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave, with Owner Marie-Hélène Lévêque - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit and Tasting: Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Lunch at the Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte Restaurant La Grand’ Vigne (Chef: Nicolas Masse, 2 Stars Michelin) - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visit of La Cité du Vin - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch at Pinasse Café, Cap Ferret - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Visiting an Oyster Farm at Arcachon Bay, Bordeaux: Raphael Doerfler at Earl Ostrea Chanca - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
The 5 Premiers Grands Crus Chateaux en 1855 of Bordeaux, France
What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France
Tour and Tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Pichon-Longueville Baron in Pauillac - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron with Chef à Domicile Bernadet Damien - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet with Owner Michel Tesseron – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
At the Invitation of Owner Michel Tesseron: Private Dinner at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Sociando Mallet, Appellation Haut-Médoc – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Lunch were the Locals Eat: At Restaurant Le Peyrat in Saint-Estèphe – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Cos d’Estournel, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Managing Director Aymeric de Gironde - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Anne Cuvelier - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Margaux, Appellation Margaux, 1ière Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour, Tasting and Lunch at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Natalie Schyler - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Daina Paulin
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Robert Weil Goes Burgundy - A New Line of Wines: Weinhaus Robert Weil Junior, Chardonnay and Pinot Unique
Founded in 1875, Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich is the #1 estate in the Rheingau and one the best in Germany. Weingut Robert Weil only makes Riesling wines, ranging from entry-level dry wines to ultra-premium Grosse Gewächs wines and world class noble-sweet Riesling wines. The grapes are grown around the historic and very impressive Robert Weil estate, in the Gräfenberg and other vineyards. Weingut Robert Weil is strong in the domestic market but also available around the world. Arguably, Weingut Robert Weil Riesling has become a flagship wine of Germany over the past decades.
Wilhelm Weil, the 53 year old Great-grandson of the founder, General Manager and Owner (jointly with the Japanese Suntory beverage group since 1988) of Weingut Robert Weil, recently embarked on a new venture. He enlarged the Weil Rheingau/ Riesling portfolio with entry-level Chardonnay and Pinot wines (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) from Rheinhessen. These wines are sold under the Weil Junior name. The production is handled by Weinhaus Robert Weil, a newly founded, completely independent company, with an identical ownership structure as Weingut Robert Weil.
In March 2017 , the Robert Weil Junior Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder and Chardonnay wines started to become available on the shelves. In September, a Weil Junior Spätburgunder will be added. The wines are from the year 2016. The wines are exclusively sold through the EDEKA chain during the first 2 years. They are offered for Euro 7.99 per bottle and are thus about five euros under the price of the entry-level Riesling from Weingut Robert Weil. I want high quality coupled with good market presence and reasonable prices for my Robert Weil Junior wines said Wilhelm Weil.
While Weingut Robert Weil’s Riesling wines from the Rheingau can be pricey and are mainly sold to restaurants, private customers and specialized retail wine stores, never via supermarkt chains, Weinhaus Robert Weil's Burgundy wines from Rheinhessen are sold exclusively via a supermarkt chain initially. This may change over time. Eventually, Wilhelm Weil is also eyeing the internal markets with his Weil Junior wines.
Wilhelm Weil compared his enlarged portfolio with that of car producer BMW. The world class car producer's portfolio includes high-end modells (corresponding to the Weingut Robert Weil Riesling wines) but also the low-end Mini (corresponding to the Weinhaus Robert Weil Junior wines). From a different angle, Robert Weil's overall portfolio now includes not only Right Bank (Rheingau) wines but also wines from the Left Bank (Rheinhessen), as Wilhelm Weil put it.
With the establishment of a “Weinhaus” using the domestic and international reputation of the Robert Weil name, Wilhelm Weil follows into the footsteps of others who have gone this route before. The Dr. L wine of Ernst Loosen of the famous Mosel Weingut Dr. Ernst Loosen is perhaps the best example of how this concept works.
Wilhelm Weil works with around 20 contract growers in Rheinhessen, who are paid for in a quality-oriented way and who are given clear guidelines for the respective work steps in the vineyard. The total vineyard area is 40 hectares and the annual production is 8000 cases.
The grapes are processed by Adam Trautwein in Lonsheim. Trautwein produces 60 million liters of wine annually. The Weil Junior wines will be bottled by WIV Wein International in Burg Layen. The Rheinberg Kellerei in Bingen will be resoponsible for the distribution to the EDEKA stores.
The magazine "Weinwirtschaft" calls the step of Wilhelm Weil the "most exciting new project in the German wine industry of the past few years".
I guess it will take some time before we see the Weil Junior also in the US and other export markets. Loosen Bros. is currently the US importer of Weingut Robert Weil wines
Weingut Robert Weil
Founded in 1875, Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich is the Rheingau’s #1 estate and one of Germany’s best. Four generations and over a century ago Dr. Robert Weil, who was a Professor of German at the Sorbonne, was forced to leave Paris because of the Franco-Prussian War (1870/1871). He subsequently joined his brother August in Kiedrich in the Rheingau and established the Robert Weil winery.
Dr. Robert Weil purchased his first vineyards in Kiedrich and moved there in 1875, when he bought the estate manor from the heirs of Sir John Sutton, an English baronet. A man of vision, he built up the estate by purchasing 2 local wine estates and the vineyards of Count von Fürstenberg. Contacts throughout the world and the production of great wines brought rapid growth to the Weingut Robert Weil.
Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany and Tasting with Wilhelm Weil the 2010 Weingut Weil Wines in Kiedrich, Germany
Today, Weingut Robert Weil is managed by Wilhelm Weil, who owns the winery jointly with Suntory from Japan. With 75 hectares under vine, it is one of the largest estates in the Rheingau. The historical manor house, the ultra-modern cellars and the vinothek stand side by side in a beautiful park – the same synthesis of old and new that is reflected in the estate’s philosophy of winemaking.
In 1988, the estate was sold by Robert Weil to the Japanese beverage group Suntory, and his son Wilhelm appointed as estate director.
Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine and of Weingut Robert Weil - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
The vineyards are planted 100% with Riesling. The estate’s dedication to Riesling since 1875 has led numerous observers of the international wine world to regard Weingut Robert Weil as a worldwide symbol of German Riesling culture. A Riesling wine of the 1893 vintage, grown on the Gräfenberg site, made the estate famous. The imperial Habsburg court in Vienna purchased 800 bottles of this wine at a price of 16 gold Marks per bottle in 1900. The 1920 vintage of the Kiedricher Gräfenberg Trockenbeerenauslese is described as a Zeppelin wine, as it was served on board the LZ 127 „Graf Zeppelin” dirigible on its circumnavigation of the world in 1929. Robert Weil’s top botrytis wines are sold today at extremely high prices - they are among the most expensive in the world. The current world record (in 2006) is held by a 1999 Weil Trockenbeerenauslese, at DM 5.000 (EUR 2500).
Rheingau Riesling Gala 2013 at Kloster Eberbach, Germany
Weingut Robert Weil’s top vineyards all belong to the group of the highlying sites of the Rheingau: Kiedricher Klosterberg, Kiedricher Turmberg and Kiedricher Gräfenberg. Inclination (up to 60 %), exposure (southwest) and the ability of the barren stony soils to absorb heat are the factors that make for three perfect Riesling sites. These conditions, as well as ideal circulation, enable the grapes to remain on the vine for a long time, ripening well into November.
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Christian G.E. Schiller's Review of the Book: Ralf Frenzel (ed.) - Riesling, Robert Weil. Tre Torri, Wiesbaden, Germany, 2013, in: Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 9, 2014, No. 1, Cambridge University Press
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