Vertical tasting: Chateau des Jacques, Clos de Rochegres, Moulin-A-Vent
by Nick Breeze
Vertical tastings are interesting because they give us the opportunity to view the wine from multiple perspectives. We can gaze down the passage of time, marvel at the effects of climatic variations, different hands at the productive helm, and so on. Chateau des Jacques was featured on this web site a few months ago as a top tip, so when the chance came to attend this tasting in St James’s, London, I could hardly say no.
Guillaume de Castelnau - winemaker and estate manager at Chateau des Jacques
It was fun to meet the charismatic Guillaume and I was very pleased he was as generous with his time as he was with the vintages. He gave Secret Sommelier a filmed interview (see below) where he talked about each vintage imparting knowledge about production and how they have developed over the years. These are really worth watching for an insight into this exciting wine, as well as to hear Guillaume’s description of the gamay grape variety and a succinct definition of ‘terroir’.
Rich, succulent, perfect for paté plates, white meats and roasted vegetables
If you are searching for a wine that is rich, succulent and easily paired with paté plates and white meats then look no further than La Falousie from Anjou in the Loire. This 2011 vintage is quality chenin blanc laced with honey flavours, a touch of butterscotch creaminess and gorgeous acidity to clear the palate for another mouthful of whatever you’re treating yourself to.
A must-try fo chenin lovers (everyone then!). Very pleasurable and a bargain at £14 per bottle!
As we toured the tunnels and subterranean rooms, we stopped to have a glass of sparkling wine and view a cross-section of the rock strata through which the roots of the vines had to do battle.
Interest in the winery has created demand for aficionados to lease whole alcoves in the cellar to store vintages for subsequent decades. They are looking oversubscribed but I must say, I rather fancied one myself!
Sauvignon Blanc late harvest 2014 - This was young fresh and really zesty with a pear-drop boiled sweet flavour that is so attractive. Easy and uncomplicated; a great party wine because everyone loves chatting with titivated, watering gums, no?
The Velke Pavlovice, Chardonnay 2012 - Exceptional wine, completely unexpected. It could easily have slipped out of a Burgundian cellar with buttery and creamy softness. Luxurious and rakish… we bought a case of 6 and only have 1 left!
Velke Pavlovice Andre Rose 2012 - Think fresh ripe summer fruits: raspberries, strawberries. This is balanced with mouth watering acidity that make another sip inevitable! Delicious, easy drinking and is certain to put a smile on your face. The Andre Rose is the kind of wine to store in the back fridge on stand-by!
Velke Pavlovice, Andre 2012 (red) old vines - Plummy, dark berry fruits with a good grip of tannin. A perfect wine for a wide range of dishes. In this part of Europe it would be meat dishes such as goose or beef but roasted or fried vegetables would also be a fine partner. I am surprised that this wine has developed so well considering the climate here and Thomas admits it has been a challenge. But climate is changing and the reds are on the up!
The Velke Pavlovice, “Agni” 2014 - this was a surprise and really quite a special wine. A big sweet red number with 35g sugar added but, wow, what a joy! Deep ruby red in colour with big burst of cranberry on the nose and the secondary aromas of all kinds of summer berries. A real treat but, I am told, drink it within 3 years!