WanderCurtis Wine

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Maison Chapoutier Wine dinner at Frederick’s Restaurant Wednesday September 29th 7.30pm

There was no better way to celebrate our first wine dinner since the start of the Covid pandemic than with the inimitable wines of Michel Chapoutier.

Maison Chapoutier was founded in 1808 and Michel Chapoutier took charge in 1988, he became the seventh generation of his family to run the Domaine. All his vineyards are farmed biodynamically.

We were lucky enough to meet the eccentric and amiable Michel at a party in his Maison when we arrived in Tain Hermitage some years ago. His wines are extremely high quality.

They have vineyards in the best sites including Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph, St Peray, Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

They also produce in other areas of France such as Roussillon and outside France including Australia Portugal and Germany

Guillaume Lafragette, Brand Manager of M.Chapoutier presenting excellent wines


The atmosphere in the Club room at Frederick’s marked the occasion.
A packed crowd on 34 wine lovers included new recruits including a cohort of wine enthusiasts, currently doing their WSET exams. We started with an introduction of Chapoutier.
Guillaume Lafragette Chapoutier brand manager was equally as excited to be back to live events as our attendees

The wines showed incredibly well. Stuart’s Tasting notes below-

Esteban, Domaine de la Combe Pilate, VDF, Sparkling, White

Made using methode ancestralle where there is only a single fermentation which is stopped while the wines are put in a capped bottle to finish without any added yeast or sugar (unlike methode champenoise/traditionelle).

Light bubbles, bready, with a faint apricot nose. Opened up as it warmed up to expose more Viognier character. 9% ABV, very drinkable, not overly complex.

M. Chapoutier Les Tanneurs, Saint-Péray, White

100% Marsanne made in stainless steel. Apples, citrus fruit, mineral nose. Body medium +, acidity med +, very good balance between the fruit and acidity, with a lingering saline and slightly bitter finish. Very elegant, long and worthy of its place.

M. Chapoutier Mathilde Duché d’Uzès Southern rhone blend

A fuller wine made from a blend of Viognier, Grenache blanc, Marsanne and Roussane, fermented and aged in stainless steel, from clay-limestone soils. Apricots and other ripe fruit, some white flowers (Viognier), balanced with the cut of acidity from the Marsanne and Roussane, creating a beautiful blend that somehow balanced all the different weights and flavours.

M. Chapoutier Sicamor, Crozes-Hermitage, Red

100% Syrah from Crozes Hermitage, made in concrete tanks. A very typical Syrah nose of leather, spices, pepper, and black fruit, with great balance. Showing some meaty notes as the wine opened up, with a penetrating fruit concentration, fine tannins and lovely overall balance. A very classic example of Crozes.

Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem Cotes de Roussillon

Blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan from Roussillon. A brute of a wine, dark in colour, exploding with garrigue and dried dark fruit, very herbaceous and spicy nose. On the palate, the wine overwhelms, with a bit of fiery bite, biting tannins as you get a sense of the individual parts of this wine as well as a good dollop of the 14.5% ABV. The wine is still quite primary, not quite knit, but based on experience, will evolve into a balanced beautiful expression of the terroir. Give it 5-7 yrs same to tame and settle.

M. Chapoutier Bila-Haut Banyuls

Made from 100% Grenache noir, fermentation stopped by the addition of alcohol to create this 17% sweet and elegant dessert wine. Chocolate powder notes with kirsch, liquer dipped cherries. Smooth and delicious with both the chocolate pot and surprisingly, the Stilton. From 500cl bottles

My favourites on the night were the St Peray 100% Marsanne for it smooth full body and texture. Stuart was more of a fan of the Clos d’uzes Mathilde and the fruit packed well balanced Sicamor Crozes Hermitage.

I was pining for mature cheese with the Banyuls rather than the chocolate dessert.
True to form my father delved into his travel bag and delivered a selection of mature cheeses including Michel Chapoutier personal favorite Blue Stilton.


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M. Chapoutier Tasting in Tain l’Hermitage May 17th 2013

Tasting Notes courtesy of our travelling sommelier Mr Stuart Grostern

Hosted by the lovely Nelly France, export director for M Chapoutier for UK and Australia and New Zealand. As we progressed it became obvious but Nelly clarified that Michel likes to make his wines mostly from 100% single varietals. We began to run out of time just towards the Monier de la Sizerannes so my notes were abbreviated. Not much attention paid to colour of the wines in the notes.

A truly memorable and special tasting. Thank you to Michel and Nelly for being such wonderful hosts.

Mirabel 2012, vins de pays de Coteaux de l’Ardeche

 100% ViognierFresh, mineral and stone, pure floral almost grapefruity nose. Palate had great balance with acidity there. Rich but not overwhelmingly so. Medium to long finish.Very good.

Invitare  2011, Condrieu

 100% Viognier Initial hint of sea shells and sea, with saline character, which I found incredible. Flowers and peaches emerge after a time. Lovely peachy sweetness, with pears and a hint of vanilla. Medium to short in length. Good, perhaps young.

Petite Ruche 2011, Crozes Hermitage blanc

 100% Marsanne, stainless steel ageing. Apricot, baked apple, stones, licorice, spices including pepper. Great nose. Fat a round in the mouth, good fruit. Very good.

Hongrie 2011, Saint-Peray

 100% Marsanne from old vines Oak aged. Baked apples, vanilla, butter, peppery and spicy nose. Very interesting. Hotter and broader as it settles on the palate. Medium to long finish. Very good.

 Chant-Alouette 2011, Hermitage blanc

100% Marsanne 10-12 months in oak. Smokey mineral, spice and vanilla nose. Sweet pear, honey, spices with great balance and fantastic length. Slightly drying on the finish. Very very good.

Ermitage de l’Oree 2006, Hermitage blanc

100% Marsanne.Now we’re really talking! Waxy nose, with high toned chemical, citrus and apricot fruit underneath, roses, almonds nose.  Big heady waxy, coating the mouth, with savoury, chewy flavours, slightly bitter edge in the aftertaste balancing it out. Great acidity leaving fantastic balance, perfectly integrated. Very long. Excellent.

 La Bernardine 2012, Chateauneuf de Pape

 100% Grenache.Fresh strawberries, garrigue, oregano, licorice, very elegant lifted nose. Tannic and drying in the mouth, dark cherry. Good acidity and balance, beautiful wine. Very long. Very very good.

Barbe Rac 2012, Chateauneuf de Pape

 100% Grenache, barrel sample, not yet bottled.Confected strawberry, dark spicey meaty and herbal nose. Powerful and intriguing.

Ripe strawberry, licorice, dark and brooding fruit, super concentrated but locked up given its age. Great balance and incredible length. Amazing.

Les Granilites 2011, St Joseph

 100% Syrah,Pepper, stones, animal, red berries and gunpowder on the nose. Drying tannins but concentrated red currant taste. Long finish. Very very good.

Les Meysonniers 2011, Crozes Hermitage

100% Syrah.Dark purple colour. Floral (Violets?), animal, reminiscent of cote de nuits/gevrey, light and lifted high tones. Bright red fruits, not overly complex but well balanced and lovely.  Medium finish. Very good

Les Arenes 2010, Cornas

 100% Syrah.Dark chocolate, wet animal fur, spice, flowers, granite, cherries, more spices, licorice.  Great nose. Good tannins, excellent balance with concentrated bright red fruits. Lovely long finish. Very very good.

Les Arenes 2009, Cornas

100% Syrah.Dark cherry nose with spices. Riper broader palate, locked up flavours with plenty of materials there. Very long. Will be incredible in 5+ years, with huge length. Excellent

Les Becasses 2010, Cote Rotie

 100% Syrah.Lifted spicy syrah nose, violets, sweet ripe fruits, ripe blackberries. Fine dry tannins, savoury and complex palate, with great balance. Really interesting and long. Great.

La Mordoree 2010, Cote Rotie

100% Syrah made from a single block on the Cote Brun.Smokey bacon, sweet caramel, garrigue, vanilla, licorice, spices and sweet ripe blackberry. Strong fine tannins, amazing concentration  of purple fruits. Long finish. Fantastic, Amazing!

Monier de la Sizeranne 2010, Hermitage

100% Syrah.Roasted coffee, lifted animal nose. Fine tannins, red and black currants, really concentrated, excellent balance. Very long. Great.

Monier de la Sizeranne 2009, Hermitage

100% Syrah.Riper than the 2010 on the nose, darker and more concentrated. Running out of time at this stage – I wrote – Crazy wine, will be great in 10+ years – so I guess that makes it amazing!

Monier de la Sizeranne 2008, Hermitage

100% Syrah.Starts with red fruit, lifted aromas, some cough medicine. Tannins balanced and ripe, med to long finish. Very good.

Monier de la Sizeranne 2007, Hermitage

100% Syrah.Animal, earth, spices, licorice, flowers, granite, red fruit, spices. Amazing concentration of fruit, great balance, and very long. Excellent!