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Wisdom and Wine

Fine wines from France
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Maison Alex Gambal Tasting Notes

2012 Gambal Bourgogne Chardonnay

Alex’s 2012 Chardonnay is sourced from his own Domaine in Volnay plus a number of neighbouring lieu-dits. He also added some excellent wine from Saint-Veran to ensure that he had enough volume of the 2012 harvest.

 

There is just a hint o youthful yellow and a dash of green on the rim. The aroma has a very fresh bouquet with lifted citrus, exotic spices and a little spice. With plenty of zest, there are flavours reminiscent of wines somewhere between Corton and St Aubin. The palate shows a combination of freshness and complex nuts, tropical fruits and savoury characters. There are also honey notes with a little pear, apple and peach.


This is lovely and quite complex wine for a Bourgogne Blanc. Once again, this wine punches above its weight for its appellation. It is beautifully balanced and is a real pleasure to rink and it will develop well in the short to medium term.

 

2012 Gambal Puligny-Montrachet


This wine is pale yellow with a real ‘sparkling’ glint that shines from the centre of the glass. There is considerable minerality and some obvious ripeness that is expressed in peach and tropical fruit aromatics. In the background there are some complex match stick smells with increasing levels of complexity and that extra sense of ‘lifted’ fruits.

 

Forceful on the front palate and showing very ripe fruit characters, this wine is also focused and intense. With an excellent mouthfeel, wonderful length and superb acidity this is a wine of great purity and enormous length.

 

This is undoubtedly top quality Puligny-Montrachet that will reward early drinking as well as medium term cellaring.                 

           

2011 Bourgogne Pinot Noir “Cuvée les deux Papis”

The grapes for this wine are from Alex’s property situated in Volnay and the cuvée is complemented with grapes from Pommard and Savigny les Beaune.

 

The wine is once again of very high quality and more akin to a Village or Premier Cru wine. The colour is very deep and the aroma is a delightful expression of fresh, ripe berry fruits with a core of cherry in the middle palate.

 

There is a persistent element that continues through to the back of the palate. The texture of this wine is a feature as is the level of concentration.

 

A lovely, opulent example of Bourgogne Rouge that can be enjoyed young but you will be rewarded by medium term cellaring.

 

2011 Meursault 1er Cru ‘Les Genevrières’

The part of the great Premier cru vineyard of Meursault Genevrières where Alex Gambal acquires his fruit is ‘spot-on’ with the purity of expression of the location and the ‘gift’ of explosive richness, a feature of the site.

 

The wine is pale in colour with just the first signs of yellow appearing. This wine has a fabulous nose with complex match stick, apple, pear and lemon as well as intense spices and the underlying ‘terroir’ of minerals and earth with some nuttiness in the background. The flavours are unctuous and rich with fine acidity and great length.

 

This is the third vintage we have imported and the wine seems to ‘grow’ each year. It is an outstanding example of White Burgundy and could easily be identified as a Grand Cru.            19/20

 

2011 Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

Alex Gambal buys his fruit for this wine from one of the growers in the middle to upper part of this iconic Grand Cru.

 

We can now see what truly fine Clos de Vougeot is all about. In many ways it displays the perfect balance between the stunning power of the Grand Crus of Gevrey-Chambertin and the elegance and spice of those just south around Vosne-Romanée. This expression of Clos de Vougeot displays complex, exotic perfume with cherry and spice supported by powerful, earthy terroir.

 

The palate is very dense and concentrated with wonderful complexity. Overall the wine is rich with underlying ripeness and yet superior elegance and balance. A wonderful example of Clos Vougeot!                                  19-/20

          

 

 

2010 Bourgogne Pinot Noir “Cuvée les deux Papis”

 

High quality Bourgogne Rouge generally comes from declassified Village wine where the vines are youthful or where the vigneron sees an advantage in doing so. This wine is of this style and quality, with the majority of the grapes coming from the famous village of Volnay.

 

Lovely, bright red appearance, the nose here evokes a range of aromas including cherry, strawberry, intense spiciness and forest floor. With sour cherry and wild strawberry flavours the middle palate has a sense of power and persistence that is the hallmark of the Gambal style.

The finish is long and very supple with substantial tannins that will ensure medium term development in the order of 3 to 5 years.

 

A very classy wine!

2010 Bourgogne Chardonnay

The grapes for this wine come from Alex's property in Puligny-Montrachet supplemented with grapes from Volnay and around Beaune. 15% of new oak is used during aging.

 

The wine exhibits rich, ripe fruit with great length. The oak treatment enhances the fruit to produce a wine of length and elegance.

 

This chardonnay has a balance of richness, acidity and minerality. It will gain complexity in the bottle of the next 3-5 years.

 

 

 

 

2010 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru "Les Murgers des Dents de Chien"

As St Aubin "sits above" both Chassagne and Puligny there is a distinct difference in wine smells, flavours and styles. With an excellent light yellow colour and a hint of green on the rim, there are citrus fruits but then some tropical characters emerge along with spice, minerality, orange blossom and some Meursault-like nuttiness.

 

There are attractive flavours that include tropical fruits, some spice and fine, subtle oak that is well balanced by some very persistent acidity. There are some complex minerals and a long finish.

 

This wine is an example that quality, fine white Burgundy is not confined to the three main appellations of the Cote de Beaune and the hill of Corton.

 

 

 

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2010 Meursault "Clos du Cromin"

The vineyard known as "Clos du Cromin" is a classic example of a development in Meursault where a particular part of the overall appellation has been identified as producing finer and better wines and hence has been able to employ its particular "named" vineyard for the label.

 

Many in the industry regard Clos de Cromin as premier cru quality. A slightly deeper yellow greets the eye and the fruits are a little more obvious and intense with a pineapple-like aroma, distinctive nuttiness, hints of butter and spice as well as a nectarine character. In the background there is the minerality of the appellation.

 

The front palate shows obvious nectarine richness with a tangy, exciting citrusy middle palate and a very long and most persistent finish.

 

Wonderful wine with a range of entr?e dishes like prawns.

 

2010 Chassagne-Montrachet

 

The appearance is light, bright yellow and looks most attractive. The bouquet has the distinctive terroir of peach, pear, apple and spices along with some underlying citrus, honey and an undertone of herbs, very Chassagne-Montrachet.

 

For a village wine this has amazing complexity with an unctuous, rich citrus fruit flavor and a suggestion of coriander and spices which is supported by excellent middle palate weight, very fine acidity, persistence and length.

 

Superbly balanced, this wine is three to five years before it will be at its best but can be consumed immediately with a range of seafood options.

 

 

2010 Puligny-Montrachet

 

Alex Gambal’s Puligny-Montrachet has almost achieved “icon” status as the preferred White Burgundy of the fictitious British spy, James Bond. With a pale, yellow colour there are very attractive citrus notes supported by tropical fruits, peach, apple and some distinctive spiciness.

 

In the background there is an attractive barrel-ferment aroma that suggests very high quality oak. The front palate has an outstanding, clean lemon flavor with all manner of tree fruits coming in to play. The mouth feel is superb with an almost creamy texture that leads to a long, very fine, acid balance finish.

 

This is a wine of great substance and weight with plenty of persistence to suggest that time will treat this wine well.

 

 

 

2010 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "La Maltroie"

This particular vineyard is located just south of, and abuts, the village of Chassagne - a very prestigious location. The designation of Premier Cru status provides the wine with extra layers of flavour and complexity.

 

There is a glint of green on the rim of this lightish, yellow-coloured wine. The nose has ripe lemon notes, white peach, some tropical overtones and a wet stone aroma that is a hallmark of the Premier Cru vineyards of Meursault. The front palate has a delicious flavor of ripe tree fruits and white peach, in particular, some apricots and honey.

 

The oak has been very deftly handled and the palate seems to go for ages. This is a most complex and rewarding wine with at least 5 to 8 years of maturation.

 

 

 

2010 Volnay 1er Cru "En Champans"

 

This intense, powerful wine has a deep red colour with no sign of age on the rim. The wonderful bouquet reveals deeply scented fruits like morello cherries, red berries, ripe raspberry and wild strawberry.

 

There are also intense spices, underlying earthiness and some attractive mushroom characters. The palate has a powerful rich, red-berry fruit flavor with all manner of spices and a hint of fungus and other savoury elements.

 

Wonderfully constructed wine with a persistent and most attractive middle palate the tannins enter the picture with a lovely, drying finish.

 

This is classical Premier Cru Volnay and suits a range of dishes, but especially feathered game.

 

 

2010 Beaune 1er Cru “Les Grèves”

Designated during the 19th Century as one of the “Têtes de Cuvée”, "Les Greves" is keenly sought after by lovers of Beaune. This is an intense, superbly structured wine with a deep red colour. The most attractive bouquet reveals cherries, red berries, ripe raspberry and powerful strawberry overtones. There are also earthy notes, hints of exotic spice and some attractive fungal characters. The palate has a complex rich red-berry fruit flavour with al manner of spices and a hint of fungus and other savoury elements.

 

This wonderfully structured wine has great persistence and a most attractive middle palate with the tannic structure that provides a lovely drying finish. This is classical Premier Cru Beaune and it suits a range of dishes, especially feathered game.

 

2010 Vosne-Romanée “Vieilles Vignes”

 

This is a wine of Premier Cru quality at an Appellation Contr?l?e price point. Very deep in colour the nose has a brooding, powerful ripe berry fruit character with a bramble-like overtone. It is classically spiced with underlying earthiness that is the hallmark of Vosne-Roman?e.

 

The palate is lacy, fine, seamless and full of rich berries and alluring eastern spices. The power in this wine is all wrapped up in the most elegant and supple tannins one will find at the finish of a red wine.

 

This will age superbly and is already a classic wine for roasted Chinese Duck.

Price

 

 

2010 Chambolle-Musigny

 

Of all the AOC red wines Chambolle-Musigny generally delivers more ‘bang-for-your-buck’ that any of the others. This wine fits into this picture quite readily with its deep red colour, exotic perfume and fine, long finish. The aromatic character is straight out of the Arabian Nights with a wonderful floral perfume and underlying spices.

 

There are also some cherries with hints of aniseed and liquorice to complete the aromatic palette. The middle flavours are full of elegant, fine and deeply fruited flavours of berry and some cherries. The structure of the wine is nearly perfect with a persistent flavor bound together by some of the finest tannins to be found in Burgundy.

 

This is a classical Chambolle and will repay cellaring for 8-12 years.

 

 

2010 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru "Les Charmes"

 

For many, Grand Cru Musigny exemplifies what Red Burgundy is all about and a Premier Cru of this quality provides a sneak preview into the wonders of that great wine. Deeply coloured and scented, the aromas include violets, cherry-blossom, exotic spices, hints of wild strawberry and fresh leather with blackcurrants, forest-floor, fennel and star of anise.

 

The palate is equally exotic and enticing with its layers of ripe berry fruits, spices and other ‘sweet’ fruits. The palate is a symphony of great flavours, intensity, persistence and texture. There is an almost endless release of pure fruits and wonderful mouth feel.

 

This is easily of Grand Cru quality and makes many of those wines pale into insignificance by comparison. An absolute ‘must’ for any lover of great Burgundy.

 

2009 Meursault ‘Clos De Cromin’

Light, bright yellow appearance suggests a hint of development. The classy aroma is ripe stone fruits, melons, peach, cashew nuts and very subtle oak.

 

In the background there is a hint of butter and tropical fruits but there are also spicy notes as well. The front palate shows ripe fruit with peach and melon the most obvious. In the background there are layers of lemon and tropical flavours with an elegant, balanced acid finish.

 

The 2009 vintage is known for the superb quality of the fruit but with the necessary acid structure that will ensure at least 2 to 4 years of development.

 

In the typical Gambal style this is a very restrained, yet most elegant expression of Meursault and is readily comparable with most other producers? Premier Crus.

 

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2008 Puligny-Montrachet

This is an outstanding wine from a passionate winemaker/negociant in Beaune.

 

The grapes came from old vines in the heart of Puligny. Alex kept back the picking for a week after most others in the village.

 

This wine shows relatively youthful yellow hues at the moment. The aroma is ripe tropical fruits, melons and peach with a suggestion of honeycomb. In the background there is a hint of butterscotch and pineapple but there are also savory, spicy notes as well.

 

A lot of ripe fruit is found at the beginning of the palate with peach and melon to the fore. In the background there are layers of spice and lemon with an elegant, yet piercing, finely balanced acid finish.

 

The 2008 vintage is renowned for the superb quality of the fruit but with the necessary structure that will ensure at least 3 to 5 years of development.

 

At the same time it can be enjoyed now with a range of seafood and poultry dishes. A wine to savour!

 

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2009 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru ‘Les Murgers des Dents de Chien’

The colour is very bright with a light yellow hue. The fruit character is very much to the fore with a tropical fruit component along with lemon and a hint of peach and other tree fruits. In the background there is an attractive hint of oak that highlights the fresh fruits.

 

The palate begins with a real fruit rush but then distinctive minerality appears along with a plenty of fine acidity that keeps the fruit focused on the middle of the tongue.

 

Really attractive mouth-feel with some concentration at the back of the palate keeps this wine in fine fettle. Well suited to flavourful white flesh fish like King George Whiting.

Price

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2009 Volnay 1er Cru ‘En Chevret’

Alex Gambal?s passion for producing wines of style, character and terroir are no better expressed than here. The colour is very deep with a bright purple rim. The aroma has a heady, powerful ripe cherry character with complex chocolate, licorice and a noted spiciness.

 

The front palate exhibits very dense berry fruits with a lush, ripe middle flavor of rich cherries. At this point the early tannins arrive to keep the wine delightfully focused on the middle and back of the mouth.

 

This is a wine of exemplary finesse and yet the underlying power comes through. Unlike some of the other 2009s we have tasted this has the appropriate structure and intensity to improve for at least ten years. But still a wonderful wine to drink now!

A few bottles remaining.