It was a Moueix Monday this week with the great man himself, Christian, in London for our Moueix Dinner at The Groucho Club. This was an evening as much about Moueix the merchant as Moueix the owner, and lets face it when you have Petrus, Trotannoy, Magdelaine, Hosanna etc in the stable it is easy for people only to think of these very great names. Their own website explains well what they do ( but essentially Moueix are Château owners (producing, marketing and distributing their own wines), Wine Merchants (buying, maturing and selling the wines of other right bank estates) and also a Negociant dealing on the Bordeaux marketplace in the futures market. Interetsingly they never get involved in whites wines, focusing purely on red (not black!!) wines.

The tasting dinner was planned to co-incide with our Christmas offering of Clarets sourced by Moueix exclusively for us. The format was a relaxed walk around tasting of the six wines below :

Lafleur Beauséjour 2005, Côtes de Castillon – Ripe but classical and drinking well now will improve for decanting.
B de Belair 2001, Saint-Emilion – The third wine of Belair St.Emilion, now re-named Belair Monange and also owned by Moueix (but wasn’t when this was made), starting to develop but not earthy, good fruit and structure, perfect now.
Haut Roc Blanquant 2002, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – We joked that this was a super blend between Haut Brion, Roc de Cambes and Cheval Blanc (ok the Cheval bit was too ludicrous even for us) but actually it was the surprise of the night for me, glamourous, well fruited and with a kiss of oak. I am not a 2002 fan but this was very good.
L’Hospitalet de Gazin 2006, Pomerol – Second wine of Gazin and a wine I know well…..really good honest Pomerol that is versatile and very reliable (why does that sound bad ?), try it…
Capet-Guiller 2005, Saint Emilion – I hadn’t tasted this in a little while and it is a surprisingly serious wine, earthy and structured and in need of more time in my opinion, very good potential.
La Grave à Pomerol 2004 – I have always had a soft sport for the relatively easy charms of La Grave a Pomerol, soft and succulent but with lots of life left too.

A really good tasting of wines that are easy on the palate and good with food but have little pretence to profoundity.

Dinner Menu & Wines
To wash the palate and accompany the Crab Risotto we had a glass or two of Mâcon-Verzé 2007 Domaines Leflaive, still only the fourth vintage but already becoming an old friend, just starting to fatten out too, if you have 2 cases, start one!

We then moved on to two vintages of Certan Marzelle the 2003 & 2004 with slow cooked rump of lamb, mashed potato, pea purée, glazed beetroot, thyme jus. Certan Marzelle is 100% Merlot and when Moueix bought Certan Giraud (last vintage 1998) the estate was split as there were two distinct soil types, one half was made into what is now the mighty Hosanna, the other portion became Certan Marzelle. Both vintage are showing well and for those that like younger Bordeaux, starting to drink well, the style is one I like. Christian, who was on sparkling form all evening, possibly helped by the bottle of Certan Marzelle Adam and Christian shared at lunch, wanted the floor to vote on which wine they preferred. This vote went to the 2003 in a 2:1 ratio. Myself and Paul (Marus) were firmly in the 2004 camp, Adam firmly in the 2003 camp…some things never change.

Next up……Latour à Pomerol 1999 & La Fleur-Pétrus 2003 – a lovely contrast of vintages and properties. A vote would have been interesting but it was not to be. I thought the Latour a Pomerol was absolutely spot on, combining savoury nuances with sweet gamey fruit character and finished with a mineral edge. The La Fleur Petrus had a very un2003 nose, pure fruit, but to me was just not as balanced as the Latour…I think a vote may have been 50:50.

A great evening and not a mention on 2009!!