Les 5 du Vin

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Two delicious Bourgueils from Lame Delisle Boucard + new fraud site

2014 Bourgueil Rosé, Lamé Delisle Boucard 

2014 Bourgueil Rosé, Lamé Delisle Boucard


2014 Bourgueil Rosé, Lamé Delisle Boucard is made from 90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon with a slight maceration to give it a delicate pink colour. This has the usual 2014 ripeness and balance with soft, attractively textured fruit and crisp acidity in the finish. Dangerously easy drinking – open a bottle and it empties by magic!

Perhaps not initially as heralded as 2009, 2010 is a very fine Loire vintage – not only for reds but also dry and sweet whites, which is quite an unusual combination. 

 2010Cuvée Prestige

From a very good vintage this 2010 Cuvée Prestige is simply delicious and amazing value at less than €10 from the domaine. It has a soft mouth-filling texture of black fruits balanced with a fresh finish. Wines from Lamé Delisle Boucard have a remarkable propensity to age. See here a tasting of their Bourgueils back to 1893

WineFraud – home page

WineFraud – home page

New wine fraud – counterfeit site: WineFraud.com. This is a new site that concentrates mainly on the counterfeiting side of wine fraud. It is headed by Maureen Downey. Will be essential for readers of Les 5 du Vin, who regularly purchase old vintages of Romanée-Conti and the like. Further details next week.


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Astonishing! Bourgueil through three centuries: 2011 back to 1893

1947 thru to 1893.

1947 thru to 1893.

This post first appeared in June 2012 on our old Overblog site. I am sure that for all of us this remarkable tasting was one of the high collective points of Les 5 du Vin, so I am delighted to resurrect it on our current site.

Astonishing! Bourgueil through three centuries: 2011 back to 1893
It was on all counts a remarkable experience. To sit in that treasure of a cave deep in the limestone at Domaine Lamé-Delisle-Boucard and taste such a range of wines starting with 2009 and ending with the legendary 1893. Undoubtedly this was the stand-out event of les 5 du Vin’s visit to Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil in early June.

We started on ground level in the chai of Lamé-Delisle-Boucard (LDB) tasting the promising 2011s from vat as well as a 2009 showing the typical concentration from this warm year.

Then we headed underground – leaving the 21st century for the 20th. First we tasted two 1989s – one from LDB and one from Domaine des Ouches. The two Gambiers ­ – Denis and Thomas – had joined us for the tasting.

1989: LDB – rich, sweet ripe fruit with good colour. The hot summer and autumn of 1989 is evident from the level of maturity in the fruit.

1989: Ouches – still keeping well but lighter. The Gambiers say they think they picked a little too early. Prolonged hot summers like 1989 were rare then, so difficult to get the picking date right.

1975: Sweet cherry fruit, less rich than the more famous and more seen 1976 but attractive. In the Chinon tasting from 1934 to 2005 last September the 1975 Domaine Spelty showed very well.

1976: the famously hot and very dry across northern Europe. The weather broke in September soon after UK Prime Minister appointed Denis Howell as the Minister for Drought. I remember flying into Heathrow from Corfu in late August and being struck by how brown the UK looked. The LDB had still rich fruit with an opulent texture. Showing very well.

1969: The 60s were a mixed bag with some fine vintages like 1961 and 1964 but also some very poor ones – 1963, 1965 and 1968. Curiously this 1969 had a touch of apricot, lovely texture and some light acidity. Unsurprisingly not as rich as the 1976 but again lovely texture and good length.

1964: This is a famous vintage in Chinon and the 1964 from Domaine Dozon showed brilliantly at last September’s Chinon tasting. The LDB was a little less impressive – softly textured but quite marked acidity.

(An update: on a visit to the domaine about 10 days ago Philippe Boucard opened another 1964 which showed very well especially but it needed about half an hour to show its best.)

1961: There were two 1961’s one from Domaine des Ouches and one LDB. Both were impressive with the fruit on the Ouches still remaining remarkably fresh, while the LDB had wonderful delicacy and balance.

All the remaining wines came from Lamé-Delisle-Boucard:

1959: This is one of the fabled Loire years of the 20th century – possibly not quite the level of 1947, 1921 and perhaps 1989. However, there are some that put 1990 above 1989. This Prestige was very impressive with rich, concentrated dried fruits and a very longfinish.

1955: Less rich than the imposing 1959 but still sweet fruit, delicate and fine.

1949: Along with 1947 a great vintage from the 1940s. This 1949 had quite a mushroomy character and again a delicacy to this bottle.

1948: This was a surprise as 1947 and 1949 have high reputations but little is heard of 1948. I don’t remember tasting a 1948 before but was impressive.  Again some mushroom character but less marked than the 49. Attractive red currant fruit with quite marked acidity.Also famous for being the birth year of Michel Smith of les 5 du Vin.

1947: Some fungal character – a blend of rich, powerful fruit and finesse.

1947 rosé: The great surprise of the tasting – a dry rosé from 1947. Although I have drunk a range of Cabernet d’Anjou’s from the 1940s, I have never tried a Loire dry rosé of this age. Onion skin colour, remaining wonderfully fresh with peach and apricot flavours and a touch of moka in the finish. Remarkable!

1934: I first tasted a 1934 Loire red (Domaine René Couly) at the Chinon vertical tasting last September and was amazed by its quality and freshness. This 1934 Bourgueil wasn’t as splendid as that bottle but it still had fruit.

1933: This was better than the 34 with delicate sweet wild red fruits.

1906: Slightly fungal but with a lovely Pinot Noir colour and still an extraordinary finesse.

1893: With what other Loire vintage could such an extraordinary vertical tasting conclude? It had to be 1893, still the earliest Loire vintage known. Picking here at Lamé-Delisle-Boucard began on 2nd September. My guess is that picking 2012 won’t start until early October. This 1893 had attractive fungal, sous bois aromas and still wonderfully opulent, sweet fruit and length. Still a bottle to enjoy and savour 119 years on!

This was a real demonstration that Loire reds, as well as its whites, can indeed age and age attractively. Not all Loire reds are fresh and fruity needing to be consumed when young!

Our grateful thanks to the amazing generosity of the Lamé-Delisle-Boucard team!’

Our very generous hosts

Our very generous hosts


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Bourgueil vertical tasting: 100 overshadows 1893!


Bourgueil: 1947 to 1893

The September 2013 issue of Decanter magazine included my article on the ageing qualities of Loire Cabernet Franc, which was based in part by the remarkable tasting that Les 5 du Vin had enjoyed in the cellars of Lamé Delisle Boucard in early June 2012.

Decanter is always published at least a month in advance, so the September edition came out in late July when France was on holiday. It was only after La Rentrée that it was picked up in the Loire and, especially in Bourgueil.

I suppose I should not have ben surprised that it was the score of 100 points given to the 1893 Bourgueil from Lamé that made the news. Decanter has recently changed their policy to require points up to 100 to be awarded to wines cited in articles. Philippe Boucard of Lamé Delisle Boucard was contacted and interviewed by La Nouvelle République and Radio France Bleu.

Although when I take part in judging at wine competitions I use marks as I’m required to do, I prefer to avoid using marks and certainly never use them on Les 5 du Vin or Jim’s Loire. I have always found marks pretty meaningless – difficult to shoehorn a wine’s intrinsic qualities into a set of marks even before you consider the circumstances and ambiance, when it was drunk.

Although I’m delighted that the  ‘perfect score’ caught the media’s attention, I would have much preferred that it was the mythical bottle from 1893 that captured the attention in its own right rather than I gave it 100 points. It was an extraordinary occasion to climax an amazing tasting with a wine of 120, still in possession of its faculties.

The wine yes but more than that – a reflection on all the events that had taken place in Bourgueil, France and the world during that intervening period. A 100-points doesn’t start to cover that. It is entirely inadequate. It makes no more sense than noting railway engine numbers.

It would be good to think that the wine world and wine enthusiasts will one day overcome the addiction to scores – to hurl away the numerical crutch or at least take it down to the nearest charity shop.

1 Corinthians 13:11 sums it up perfectly: ‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’


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Le marathon de fin janvier

Des photos, peu de texte

Roussillon concours Grenache 128

Cette année, c’est à Perpignan que tout a commencé. La veille de la Convention d’affaires autour des Rencontres du Muscat se tenait le premier Concours International des Grenaches du Monde. Ce style de compétition est dans l’air du temps, mais ce dernier me semble bien plus intéressant que celui du barbant Merlot ou de l’usant Sauvignon, sans parler de celui du Chasselas…

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la belle couleur d’un Grenache ambré

Pour les résultats www.grenachesdumonde.com/fr

Le souci de cette première mouture, l’absence de pointures. Il y avait bien quelques belles bouteilles, mais les grands ténors du genre manquaient à l’appel. Mais ne faut-il pas toujours un round pour rire avant de se faire envahir par une nuée de flacons prestigieux ? Un vœu pieu, certes.

Les Grenaches venaient d’Australie, d’Afrique du Sud, du Brésil, d’Espagne, de France, d’Italie et de la République de Macédoine, soit 364 vins en compétition. L’avantage du Grenache ou plutôt des Grenache, c’est qu’ils existent en plusieurs couleurs et de l’effervescent au VDN;  de quoi ne pas s’ennuyer!

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Un vin incroyable! Il développe des amertumes sucrées superbes, j’y reviendrai, 1913 a été le dernier millésime mis en bouteille; le suivant, l’année prochaine, ce sera 1914 – une année particulière…

Millésime Bio 2013 (49)

Enchaînement avec Millésime Bio, déjà la 20ème  édition. Et sincèrement une montée en qualité assez remarquable. Quelques belles découvertes de cépages, de nouveautés, …

et quelques potes rencontrés

Florian Andre

Avec Frédéric David, Florian André a acheté 1 ha à Châteauneuf, ils l’ont coupé en deux et tiré au sort le côté à conduire

Frédéric David

Malgré le même terroir (derrière La Gardine), l’élevage différent en fait deux vins proches mais… différents

Passage au « off » de Palavas. Les offs sont un peu le sel des ins, ils se renforcent les uns les autres, drainent plus de visiteurs.

Millésime Bio 2013 (98)

Millésime Bio 2013 (104)

Vient après la Percée du Vin Jaune. Cette année, c’est le village de Voiteur au pied de Château-Chalon qui accueillait ce grand évènement jurassien.

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On y a connu toute les saisons, du matin ensoleillé à la fuite sous la neige fondante et la grêle mêlée, une expérience humide que j’ai trouvée amusante.  

Percée 2013 034Percée 2013 058Percée 2013 067

Le Salon des Vins de Loire termine le parcours avec une étape au off de Renaissance au Grenier St Jean. L’affluence y est toujours surprenante, l’ambiance fait penser au marché moyenâgeux, bigarrée, pleine de rencontres exaltantes.

Percée 2013 082

Michel Augé du Domaine des Maisons Brûlées

Le lendemain, le Salon, son Blog Wine Trophy, ses allées peuplées, et l’idée de déguster les satellites ligériens, de la Côte Roannaise au Gros Plant Nantais.

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Vincent bosse.

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Michel s’ennuie (et Dominique Hutin compatit)

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Nous, on déguste de la Côte Roannaise…

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ou ce superbe Gros Plant.

Percée 2013 134

Ou encore, clin d’œil, un vieux Bourgueuil 1974, chez Lamé Delisle Boucard (Johan Degroef, d’IVV, a l’air d’apprécier).


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