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08 September 2021

La Place de Bordeaux Tasting Event

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Posted in: Cult Wines News

As summer winds down, fantastic new wine releases are just ramping up! In the coming weeks a diverse range of wines will hit the market, offering wine lovers and investors many chances to get hold of some of the more intriguing names from across the global fine wine map.

Many of these global releases will come via La Place de Bordeaux - the historic system used to distribute the wines of Bordeaux globally. In recent years, ‘La Place’ has distributed an increasing number of fine wines from other European and ‘new world’ regions, a clear acknowledgement of the improving quality and recognition of wines from outside the traditional regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.  

We’ve written about how some of the most impressive growth rates in recent years in the investment market has come from Italy and Rest of World categories. Demand for these regions’ wines is on the rise in key Asia and North American markets which then drives price appreciation.

This week, Cult Wines had the privilege to attend La Place de Bordeaux’s London tasting of the wines released this month. Many of these excellent offerings will likely drive the next stage of market growth as the rosy outlook for Italian and new world wine markets is enhanced by a string of excellent recent vintages.

 “Napa Valley experienced two stunning back-to-back vintages in 2018 and 2019 the likes of which I have never seen….The 2018s are refined and vibrant, while the young 2019s have a bit more depth and energy.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

 “The natural conditions of the year provide such a perfect scenario for producing great wines that express their place of birth and grapes that I truly believe it’s the main news about Chile’s wine production right now.” – Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

Here we highlight a few of our favourite wines from the La Place de Bordeaux’s ‘Beyond Bordeaux’ tasting event:

Argentina

Cheval des Andes 2018                                                                                           98pts James Suckling

70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon

Cult Wines’ view: Argentina's 'Grand Cru' is a joint venture between Bordeaux's Cheval Blanc and Argentina's Terrazas de Los Andes. This partnership has proven to be a winning combination and now places them firmly at the top of our 'new world' investment list. A 98-point score from James Suckling falls short of the perfect 100 points the 2017 received but still demonstrates the amazing quality on offer.

Tasting note: A powerful, complex nose leaps out of the glass with buttery toast character that melts into well-integrated with ripe fruits. The palate is equally complex with the Malbec’s powerful floral and fruity character lasting a long time and mixing with vanilla and savoury qualities from the oak. A very interesting, complex, full-bodied wine.

 

Nicolas Catena Zapata 2018                                                                                   96pts Wine Advocate

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec

Cult Wines’ view: Nicolas Catena Zapata is justly credited with putting Argentinian wines on the world map. Today, the winery prides itself on sustainability practices and revives the classic Bordeaux style with its Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec blend. The 96 points from Wine Advocate matches the highest ever score for this wine over the last 10 years.

Tasting note: A well-balanced, poised wine blends fresh, delicate red fruits and blackberry with a hint of toasty oak and a leathery finish. The palate is smooth with pleasant tannins and refreshing acidity. This wine is approachable in youth but will age nicely. Impossible not to enjoy this one!

 

Chile

Seña 2019                                                                                                                   98pts Wine Advocate

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Carmenère, 4% Petit Verdot

Cult Wines’ view: This 25th anniversary edition of Seña is a standout! Producing 10,000 cases per year on average, the five most recent vintages of Seña have scored 96 points or higher and this 2019 matches its highest-ever Wine Advocate score at 98 points (equalling the 2018). With production levels down 5%-10% versus average, demand will be strong for this anniversary wine.

 

Tasting note: A restrained, fresh nose with mineral and floral notes. The palate is equally subtle but rewards the disciplined as its saline minerality develops slowly alongside refreshing minty tones that brighten up the red fruit flavours. The oak is subdued at this stage while the medium tannins and high acidity makes this an approachable, zippy wine. The flavours developed more an hour after opening. This excellent, balanced 2019 will surely turn into something special in the next few years.

 

Clos Apalta 2018                                                                                                       96pts Wine Advocate

64% Carmenère, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot

Cult Wines’ View: With un-grafted vines over 100 years old, Clos Apalta is quite literally rooted in history. Clos Apalta is owned by the French family behind the Grand Marnier liqueur brand, but as a Carmenère-led blend (64%), this wine adds a distinct Chilean entry to the fine wine market. The 96-points matches its highest-ever Wine Advocate score.

Tasting note: The unique qualities of Chilean Carmenère are evident right away with fresh, leafy spearmint aromas livening up the cassis core. The palate is fruitier with red plum, blackberry balanced by a hint of vanilla and those lovely wafts of mint leading to a tobacco leaf finish. The tannins are fine but not yet entirely integrated. As the flavours merge and soften with time, this wine will make its mark as a bold example of how Chilean wine can differentiate itself. 

 

Almaviva 2019                                                                                                           95+pts Wine Advocate

68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Carmenère, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot

Cult Wines’ view: Almaviva is a collaboration of two great winemaking dynasties – Concha y Toro of Chile and Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild. The 2018 wine was a standout with the producer’s highest-ever Wine Advocate score of 96 points. With the 2019 following close on its heels, Almaviva is bound to start generating enthusiasm from a wider global audience.

Tasting note: Rich, powerful, and luxurious – the 2019 Almaviva delivers for those who seeking a big, full-body wine. Spicy, textured red fruit aromas jump out of the glass but are balanced by a green leafiness from the Carmenère. The palate is full, round and smooth with velvety ripe fruits with herbal undertones that give way to an oaky, toasted finish. With a high 15% abv, this isn’t for the faint-hearted but manages to stay balanced throughout and is a great example of new world excellence.

Italy

Solaia 2018                                                                                                                 97+pts Wine Advocate

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Franc

Cult Wines’ view:  Solaia is only produced during vintages deemed good enough for this iconic Super Tuscan. Solaia recently enjoyed back-to-back 100-point scores from the Wine Advocate in 2015 and 2016. Although the new 2018 does not match these perfect vintages, it’s still a fantastic, low-production wine that offers healthy appreciation potential.

Tasting note: Rich, powerful plum and floral aromas promise a luxurious wine and the palate does not disappoint with sweet spices, creamy red and black fruits, and slight toasted character. The 15% abv is hardly noticed as the complex, concentrated flavours and refreshing acidity keep this excellent Solaia in beautiful harmony. One of our favourites from the La Place tasting!  

 

Caiarossa 2018                                                                                                           95pts Wine Advocate

30% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Sangiovese, 2% Alicante

Cult Wines’ view:  This super-blend of seven varieties shows the versatility of the Tuscan coast.  This estate can sometimes fly under the radar compared to some of the iconic Super Tuscan names, but recent years have seen a step-up in quality, and we think the global reputation of Caiarossa is set to grow.

Tasting note: This 2018 Caiarossa manages to adeptly blend the different components into an extremely alluring wine. Floral aromas and spices from the Cabernet Franc and Syrah enhance a rich core of blackberry and dark plum. The nice undercurrent of savoury charred wood adds depth. The tannins are still astringent at the end, but this wine will only improve and soften with age.

 

Masseto 2018                                                                                                            97pts Wine Advocate

100% Merlot

Cult Wines’ view:  First produced in 1987, Masseto’s reputation has soared in the last decade and a recently-opened winery dedicated solely to Masseto production bodes well for its continued excellence. It is regarded by many as Italy’s finest single-varietal Merlot and comes in small quantities similar to the exclusive Pomerol wines. The price tag is not small, but all the ingredients are in place for onward appreciation potential.

Tasting note: The nose started slowly with the delicate spiced fruits needing a bit of coaxing but they developed into a lovely bouquet. The palate brought in a bolder character of ripe plums with a tobacco and herbal notes adding an incredible uplifting complexity. A true exercise in slow seduction!

 

Massetino 2019                                                                                                         94-96pts Wine Advocate

94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc

Cult Wines’ view:  The ‘second wine’ of Masseto incorporates a dose of Cabernet Franc to create its own identity. In Bordeaux, we’ve been tracking the amazing progress of second wines in recent years and firmly believe Massetino will find an increasingly large following in the coming years.

Tasting note: A layered nose balances fresh fruit with a more savoury earthy element. The palate is wonderfully ripe and balanced. It’s approachable now but this is a serious second wine with long ageing potential.

 

Maya Dalla Valle 2018                                                                                             100pts Wine Advocate

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc

Cult Wines’ view:Winemaker and estate director Maya Dalla Valle delivers some of the very best of California with her eponymous wine from this in-demand Napa winery. This new 2018 Maya received a perfect 100 points from Wine Advocate, telling you all you need to know about the kind of demand this wine will generate over its long lifespan.

Tasting note: A showstopper of a wine! This 2018 deftly manages to exude power and intensity alongside careful nuance. Creamy aromas of blackberry, blueberry and light vanilla with notes of pepper and minerals sneaking through. The palate burst forth with incredible pure fruit with balanced acidity and a mineral backbone. This then develops slowly into mocha and sweet oak as the ripe tannins linger. This brings much pleasure today but will be fascinating to see how it evolves.

 

Cardinale                                                                                                                     98pts Wine Advocate

90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot

Cult Wines’ view:This Oakville-based estate in the Napa Valley sources top quality Cabernet Sauvignon from primarily mountain vineyards in the region with the exact blend varying depending on where the best grapes are found each year. The result is consistent scores above 95 points with the 2018’s 98 points equalling Cardinale’s highest-ever mark.

Tasting note: A rich, classic California nose of sweet, toasted oak and dark fruits. The palate is more subtle with blueberry and cassis mixing with leather, charred wood. The tannins are still grippy, but this should develop complex tertiary flavours with several decades of life ahead.

 

France

Château de Beaucastel, Hommage à Jacques Perrin 2019                            96pts James Suckling

60% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache

Cult Wines’ view:A icon of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Château Beaucastel was among the first non-Bordeaux wines to get sold via La Place. The high-end Mourvèdre-led blend is a tribute to Jacques Perrin who presided over the family estate until 1978 and championed the focus on this native southern French grape variety. Today, Hommage à Jacques Perrin regularly pull in scores in the high 90s.

Tasting note: Wonderfully pure fruit bubbles out of the glass with a background of southern Rhone’s signature herbal and olives aromas. The palate is full of sweet spices, earthy flavours, black cherry and mocha. Another fantastic edition of one of our Rhone favourites!

As summer winds down, fantastic new wine releases are just ramping up! In the coming weeks a diverse range of wines will hit the market, offering wine lovers and investors many chances to get hold of some of the more intriguing names from across the global fine wine map.

Many of these global releases will come via La Place de Bordeaux - the historic system used to distribute the wines of Bordeaux globally. In recent years, ‘La Place’ has distributed an increasing number of fine wines from other European and ‘new world’ regions, a clear acknowledgement of the improving quality and recognition of wines from outside the traditional regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.  

beyond bordeaux 

We’ve written about how some of the most impressive growth rates in recent years in the investment market has come from Italy and Rest of World categories. Demand for these regions’ wines is on the rise in key Asia and North American markets which then drives price appreciation.

This week, Cult Wines had the privilege to attend La Place de Bordeaux’s London tasting of the wines released this month. Many of these excellent offerings will likely drive the next stage of market growth as the rosy outlook for Italian and new world wine markets is enhanced by a string of excellent recent vintages.

 “Napa Valley experienced two stunning back-to-back vintages in 2018 and 2019 the likes of which I have never seen….The 2018s are refined and vibrant, while the young 2019s have a bit more depth and energy.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

 “The natural conditions of the year provide such a perfect scenario for producing great wines that express their place of birth and grapes that I truly believe it’s the main news about Chile’s wine production right now.” – Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate

Here we highlight a few of our favourite wines from the La Place de Bordeaux’s ‘Beyond Bordeaux’ tasting event:

Tasting Notes