Bordeaux

 

J. P. Moueix - Bordeaux - See Their Website

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Christian and Edouard Moueix

Christian and Edouard Moueix

Mr. Jean-Pierre Moueix, born in Corrèze in 1913, arrived with his parents in Saint-Emilion following the 1929 depression. In 1937, he founded his wine merchant business on the Quai du Priourat in Libourne. At that time, the wines of Libourne were little known.

Moueix was astute to foresee the Merlot grape’s ability to age as well as their natural charm and ability to seduce. He spent his life promoting these wines internationally. In the 1950’s, he consolidated his merchant business  with the  acquisition of several well-known properties. Years later he enjoyed a quiet retirement before his death in 2003.

His second son, Christian (born in 1946) joined the family business in 1970, directing at first the agricultural activities. Several years later, he also assumed all commercial responsibilities before becoming President in 1991.

Today the Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix is owned by Christian Moueix and his children:

Edouard (born in 1977), Sales Director since 2003, and
Charlotte (born in 1978), a wild animal veterinarian.

Dreyfus, Ashby is proud to represent:

  • Château Trotanoy - Pomerol
  • Esperance de Trotanoy  - Pomerol
  • Château Latour à Pomerol - Pomerol
  • Château Rouget - Pomerol
  • Château Plince - Pomerol
  • Château Bélair-Monange - Saint-Émilion

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News on the 2015 Vintage... by James Suckling

The 2015 vintage for Bordeaux is a unique year. It produced wines with a combination of power and precision, particularly from the Right Bank appellations such as Pomerol and St. Emilion as well as all the others such as Lussac-St.-Emilion and Lalande-de-Pomerol. Pessac-Léognan also made compelling wines (La Mission Haut-Brion) is a possible perfect wine. In addition, the Margaux appellation made some of its best wines ever.

It definitely is a merlot vintage, where the grape produced the most profound wines with fantastic concentration and richness as well as tannin tension and freshness. Tasting many of the wines is like biting into a freshly picked bunch of grapes with the sweet fruit and tannic skins, not to mention the crunchy and nutty ripe seeds. That's as pure as it gets with tasting en primeur 2015.

2015 Château Trotanoy Pomerol - Score 100-100 Points

2015 Château Pétrus Pomerol - Score 100-100 Points

2015 Château Bélair-Monange St.-Emilion - Score 98-99

2015 Château Latour à Pomerol Pomerol - Score 96-97 Points

Read more from James Suckling... subscription required

 

A Little Brother for Pétrus
The Pour - By ERIC ASIMOV - Published: May 2, 2011

esperance de Trotanoy fr 09IN this age of prosperity for the upper echelons of Bordeaux, where the grand chateaux all seem flush with cash, it can be hard to conceive of a time when even prestigious properties were money-losing propositions. Yet those were the stories Christian Moueix heard growing up.

“Mon petit, I got Trotanoy for almost nothing! La Fleur-Pétrus, too!” Mr. Moueix recalled his father, Jean-Pierre Moueix, saying as he recounted the family’s acquisition of two leading Pomerol estates in 1953.

The Moueix family’s ownership of both estates, and numerous others, has long been overshadowed by that great jewel in their possession, Château Pétrus, which produces Pomerols that are among the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world.

Indeed, Mr. Moueix (pronounced moo-EX) was visiting New York last week in an effort to shift a bit of the spotlight onto Château Trotanoy, leading a tasting of nine vintages for writers and a small group from the wine trade in a second-floor room above Benoit, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant on West 55th Street.

In 2008, Mr. Moueix stepped back from Pétrus, which he had managed since 1970, leaving it in the hands of his brother, Jean-François. Now, among his many other interests, which include Dominus in Napa Valley, he is devoting more attention to Trotanoy, which he runs with his son, Edouard.

Not that Trotanoy has really been ignored or eclipsed. Regardless of Pétrus, Trotanoy’s wines have long been recognized as among the best in a region replete with excellent producers. While the price of Pétrus these days is unfathomable, Trotanoy (pronounced troh-tahn-WAH) is merely expensive, still within the realm of possibility for those of ordinarily prosperous means. One can scare up a case of the excellent 2001 Trotanoy for about $1,600, which would not buy even a single bottle of the ’01 Pétrus.

Where fine Bordeaux once had a narrow audience, China and other parts of Asia now drive a global market that helps push up prices. Along with the worldwide demand, viticulture and winemaking have greatly improved. Nowadays, the best producers can make good wine even in poor vintages.

Yet, Mr. Moueix is not sanguine about the state of his home region. He speaks of Bordeaux with reverence as a region that can make profound wines of elegance, balance, intensity and subtlety. But he sees styles in Bordeaux evolving in a way that threatens that distinctiveness.

He decries producers who allow their grapes to shrivel on the vine and become overly concentrated, and then try to pull too much out of the grapes in the winery — “extraction, that ugly word,” he calls it.

“I’ve been a producer of red wines for 42 years,” he said, as the wines for the tasting were poured. “I don’t intend to become a producer of black wines.” Maintaining freshness — a lively, thirst-quenching character — is a prime goal. “Our whole objective is to produce wines that go with food,” he said.

The first wine, from the 2008 vintage, was indeed fresh, though a bit muted at first. With some air, the wine opened, hinting through youthful tannins of the complex aromas and flavors within. It was clear that Mr. Moueix loved the vintage, and that he was initially disappointed in how the wine was showing. He suggested at one point that the large Riedel glasses in front of us might not be the best size vessels for Trotanoy.

“I prefer smaller glasses,” he said, to the apparent dismay of the Riedel representative taking part in the tasting.

The value of big wine glasses is not the only conventional wisdom with which he takes issue. The importance of using new oak barrels is greatly exaggerated, he said. The proportion of new oak at Trotanoy is generally 30 to 50 percent, depending on the vintage, and is used to let the wine breathe, not to flavor it. And while growers now understand that lower yields produce more concentrated wines, he said yields are often inappropriately low, producing dense wines.

“I was among the first to thin crops in 1973, but I had no idea of the lengths it would come to,” he said.

The 2007 vintage was not great, and while the ’07 Trotanoy was polished and elegant, it was the least interesting of the wines. “The ’07s are a bit ... neutral,” Mr. Moueix said, grasping for the right word.

By contrast, the 2006 was creamy and full in the mouth, bright and energetic, the first of the young wines that I believed I could drink now with pleasure. The 2005 was richer and more complex, a touch spicy and a bit floral but with great potential. It will need a lot of time.

The 2001 and the 2000 were a fascinating pair. The millennial vintage was greatly hyped and overshadowed 2001, but I find many ’01s far more interesting than the ’00s. The ’01 Trotanoy was lovely, graceful, vibrant and precise, while the 2000 seemed dense and ungainly to me, structured but without shape.

The final three vintages, served with lunch, were a treat. The ’98, with its luminous, lingering flavors, was one of the best Trotanoys ever, Mr. Moueix pronounced. That day, I think I preferred the elegant, complex, deeply mineral ’89 and the beautiful, still fresh 1995, which combined lightness with richness as only great wines can do.

Mr. Moueix drank the ’95 and sighed. “It’s so typically Bordeaux,” he said.


Château Petrus Pomerol

Pétrus is considered to be the most interesting of the Pomerols. In Pomerol there is no classification as in Médoc or Saint-Émilion. But the small surface, 11,50 hectares (9 time smaller than Lafite) of Pétrus makes it rare. Situated on the higher point of Pomerol. The new barrels are washed in order not to mark the wine to much. The grapes are harvested when fully matured for the purity of taste to the detriment of productivity. Pétrus, tremendous soil, is first of all the rendezvous of men in love with wine; Michel Gilet, master of the vines, dreams of nature without chemistry; Francois Veyssiere, cellar master is also collector of fruit trees in danger of extinction; the winemaker, Jean-Claude Berrouet brings his enthusiasm of Basque to Pétrus as well as to Lafleur-Pétrus, La Magdeleine and Trotanoy.

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Chateau Laffitte Laujac - Bordeaux - See Their Website

Chateau Laffitte Laujac

Chateau Laffitte Laujac

Due to the “phylloxera invasion” at the beginning of the 20th century, 2 world wars and the terrible frosts of 1956, there were only 8 hectares of vines remaining when Bernard Cruse took over the management of the estate in 1957.

He undertook the revival of the vineyards, modernization of the technical tools and renovation of the buildings. After 55 vintages, this passionate winemaker transmitted management of the Laujac estate to his daughter Vanessa and his son-in-law, René-Philippe Duboscq, in 2012. The vineyards now spread over 60 hectares.

This new generation has made large investments in the vineyards and in the winery in order to raise quality levels and to enable continuation of the vineyard reconstruction while respecting the environment.

Their goal is to produce the best wines possible and to demonstrate the uniqueness of this terroir.

 

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THE ESTATE

The huge estate of Laujac is located in the heart of the Médoc region. It covers some 400 hectares in total, of which 75 hectares are planted to vines.

It encompasses two vineyards classified Crus Bourgeois in 1932: the Laujac vines are beautifully sited on filter gravels, providing excellent natural drainage. While the Laffitte vines grow in chalky-clay soils near the village of Bégadan.

The proximity of the Gironde estuary and the Atlantic Ocean provide very favourable conditions for the vines and good ripening of the grapes.

Below the vineyards lie the lush meadows of the lands created by the polder dam where Limousine cattle graze peacefully along with the French saddle horses bred in Laujac.

  • A controlled grass cover helps to keep the young vine stocks vivacious.
  • Integrated farm management helps to limit chemical treatments.
  • Winemaking is done in stainless steel vats, thermoregulated with long “cuvaisons”.
  • Ageing in oak barrels, regularly replaced, lasts approximately 12 months.
  • The totality of the harvest is bottled at Chateau Laujac after selection and blending.

THE HISTORY
Laujac, which was bought in 1852 by Herman Cruse, a wine merchant in Bordeaux, still belongs to the same family.

Vanessa Cruse-Duboscq

Vanessa Cruse-Duboscq

The Chateau was built around 1810 by Mr. de Villeminot, a weapons supplier for the Empire. The vathouse, cellars and farm buildings were built in 1875 by Theophile Skawinski. This great wine grower from the Medoc made the first attempts to reconstitute the vineyard in Laujac after the phylloxera invasion and treated against mildew with Bordeaux  mixture based on copper-sulphate.  While the foundations of the monumental vathouse were being dug, the laborers found Roman mosaic remains which proved that Chateau Laujac had been inhabited since Antiquity.

Chateau Laujac is now managed by René-Philippe Duboscq and his wife Vanessa Cruse-Duboscq.

Today, Laujac is classified as a French historical monument and prehistoric site by the French state.