Paris tasting of mostly Royal 2019 and 2020 Whites and Roses, with some Reds as well

Well, I can honestly say I never meant it to get this out of hand, I was meant to post this months ago! But, life, shul, and so much more, got in the way. All good, just wine, and my blog had to be put on the back-burner for a bit. Thankfully, I am ready to post more often now.

So, we return to the story, I landed in Paris, and bought lots of wines, and then had lunch with Ari Cohen and Simon Berdugo. I will get to the many wines I bought in the next few posts, God willing.

But let us start with the roses and whites I enjoyed in the company of Menahem Israelievitch. These wines are almost all here, except for the two reds that will get here eventually. My guess is that just like all shipping around the world is waiting on boats, maybe these wines are also being held up behind millions of iPhones, laptops. and Elmo toys. Please, do your Chanukkah shopping NOW, the supply of many items will be very limited in the next few months.

At the tasting, we enjoyed many lovely wines, and you can read the notes below, I want to point out a few thoughts on them.

  • The high-end Chateau Roubine wines tasted FAR better and different in France – like VERY different! All I can say is that the score represents what I had in France, and I noted that the wines here taste different..
  • The 2019 vintage is showing nicely for some parts of France and less so for others, time will tell how well it shows.
  • Finally, the 2019 Chateau Malartic, Blanc is simply one of the best, if not the best white wine I have ever tasted, again, all I drink or taste is kosher. It is shockingly wonderful. Yes, there are the beautiful 2014 Von Hovel Auction Rieslings, I did not forget them, and they may well outlive the Malartic, who knows, but this wine is special!

In closing, all of these wines will get here eventually. I cannot say that for the vast majority of wines I will be posting over the next weeks. So many wines made in France either live and die in France and Europe, as a whole, or are made JUST for Israel. These new phenomena started with Shaked, and others have joined in. Either way, lots of French wine is not sold in France and lots of French wine never leaves the country – just the fascinating life of French wine. Most of it is made by very small producers or ones with horrible distribution, and as such, they are very difficult to find. Thankfully, as I stated all of these wines and many of Bokobsa wines, a post coming soon, should be available in the USA.

My thanks to Menahem Israelievitch and Royal Wines for hosting me and letting us taste the wonderful wines. The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:

2019 Les Marrioners Petit Chablis (M) – Score: 90 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is nice, tart, with floral notes of apple blossom, quince, mineral, slate, hay, straw, and smoke. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is lovely, with great acidity, nice fruit focus, and a life to it that is quite refreshing. The mouth shows apple, quince, pear, hints of melon, blossom, orange pith, nectarines, and nice flint. The finish is long, green, with lemongrass, flint, and smoke, with acidity lingering long. Bravo!! Drink until 2023. (tasted June 2021)

2019 Les Marrionniers Chablis (M) – Score: 91 (QPR: GOOD)
The nose on this wine is quite nice with a rich focus that brings incredible minerality, rich saline, fruit that is more white and yellow with a clear precision that makes me smile. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is rich, layered, and focused, with deep acidity and saline that brings the mouth together incredibly well, followed by rich apple, quince, peach, and mineral galore, the mouthfeel is oily and rich and really incredibly refreshing and also quite elegant, nice! The finish is super long, tart, green, with lemongrass, saline, slate, rock, and smoke, with grapefruit, lemon, and citrus galore. Bravo! Drink until 2024. (tasted June 2021)

2019 Chateau Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc, Grand Vin – Score: 92 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The nose on this wine is lovely, truly elegant, it is not a New Zealand aroma sledgehammer, this is more precise, elegant, and subdued but beautiful nose of saline, mineral, gooseberry, with slight cigar smoke smell from the barrels, with apple, earth, rocks, clay, with Asian pear, passion fruit, and apple. The mouth on this medium to full-bodied wine is lovely, layered, and precise, intense acidity, saline, slight oak tannin, lovely sweet oak notes, sweet yellow apple, gooseberry, lemon/lime candy, more mineral of clay, rock, saline, with green notes of garrigue, lemongrass, and acid that goes on forever. The finish is even longer than I was expecting with acidity that never leaves the mouth, with saline, smoke, tart lemon/lime, grapefruit, all wrapped in sweet tannin, earth, clay, and sweet yet perfectly balanced fruit. Bravo!! (edited here based upon Dan’s comment)
While this wine is truly lovely and a clear step up from the 2018 vintage in style, it is more lithe than the 2018 and has a drop less acidity than the 2018. For me, the wine’s mouthfeel, richness, and yet its incredible acidity and fruit combine for a truly rich, precise, and well-balanced experience. Drink until 2029. (tasted June 2021)

2019 Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Blanc, Grand Cru Classe – Score: 94+ (QPR: GOOD)
This wine is a blend of 75% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Semillon. The nose on this wine is a new thing, crazy, this thing is incredible, it is a rich elegance, it is richer than the Gazin Blanc, yet more elegant, as well, with a richness of fruit that does not overpower the elegance. The nose on this wine is incredible, notes of white and green fruit, with rich vanilla, with gooseberry, lemongrass, floral notes of jasmine, orange blossom, rich notes of Asian pear, yellow apple, yellow plum, grass, dry hay, and beautiful smoke. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is the next level up from the Gazin, WOW! WOW! Rich, layered, and even more elegant, but also deep, powerful, and attention-grabbing, as if you were drinking a glass of red wine, which happens to be white, the layers, the concentration, and the power are truly mind-blowing, wow! The fruit is rich, gooseberry, tart yellow grapefruit, gooseberry, dry straw, wet grass, all wrapped in rich balanced sweet oak, vanilla, saline, rock, smoke, with a perfume of flowers, tart yellow plum, and crazy grass. I love how the impact of the Semillon, with its minerality and straw/hay mixes beautifully with the Sauvignon Blanc grass and fruit, wow! The finish never leaves the mouth, it is forever, with smoke, tart fruit, vanilla, dirt, clay, and weight that cuts through anything, along with saline, slate, and rock. JUST WOW!! Drink until 2033. You can drink this now and you should taste it once and then let it sit for 4 years and then start opening them every year. (tasted June 2021)

2020 Ramon Cardova Rosado – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
Wow, I love the acid, the price, the fruit, just a lovely all-around winner! The nose on this wine is screaming acid, with the sweet fruit of orange, nectarines, grapefruit, rock, and saline. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has nice acidity, with nice strawberry, grapefruit, raspberry, crazy saline, tart gooseberry, and lovely mineral. The finish is long, piercing, with slate, rock, and lemon/lime, with mineral, and tart fruit. The addition of the white fruit helps here. Drink now. (tasted June 2021)

2020 Les Lauriers de Rothschild Rose – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This is a nice enough wine with good acidity but without as much life as other roses. The nose on this wine is very floral, with green notes, spice, and minerality. The mouth on this medium-bodied shows enough acidity, but not much else, it is a bit empty in the middle, but the acidity all around helps to round it out, with grapefruit, gooseberry, raspberry, and tart lemon. The finish is long, tart, and smoky. Drink now. (tasted June 2021)

2020 Chateau Roubine Lion & Dragon – Score: 90 (QPR: EVEN)
This wine needs time to open up. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Rolle, Mourvedre, and Tibouren. The nose on this wine is elegant, it shows a bit of oak, in which it was fermented and partially aged, the oak does go away with time, along with grapefruit, smoke, fresh blossoms, orange, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. The mouth on this wine starts a bit stunted, give it some time, it comes around, with elegance, and a nice round, rich mouthfeel that is well backed by the Vermentino’s acid, with a lovely elegance that is more white than it is rose, again this wine needs some real air time to open.
With time, the rose notes almost fall away and it shows a richness, weight, and minerality of a mineral-packed white wine, like Albarino, with red fruit notes of strawberry, cherry, and white notes of crazy tart grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry, and sweet spices. The finish is long, elegant, spicy, with green notes, sweet fruit, herb, saline, slate, oak, and dry herbs. This wine sits in-between a white and a rose, it feels a bit like a complex Chablis along with a nice rose. It will be hard for many to see where this fits in the world of kosher wine, for me, think of this wine as a very elegant rose, with an intense lightly oaked chardonnay. This will be hard to sell, in my humble opinion, but worth the effort! Nice! Drink by 2021 (though many say it can last a bit more).
NOTE: I had this wine in the USA and it did not taste the same at all – these notes are from what I had in France. The rose I had here was far less impressive and one I would be less interested in drinking. I am not sure what happened but the wines did not show the same. I had the rose in the USA less than a month from when I had it in France. IMHO, either it was heavily shocked by the shipment or the shipment hurt it in other ways. (tasted in FRANCE June 2021)

2020 Chateau Roubine Inspire Rose, Cru Classe – Score: 91+ (QPR: EVEN)
This wine is a blend of Tibouren, Mourvedre, and Rolle. There is a unique freshness to this wine over the Lion and Dragon, showing notes of grapefruit, peach, sweet strawberry, tart raspberry, and lovely floral notes, with minerality. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine has a tension that is more white than it is rose, with piercing acidity, but not the same richness as the Lion & Dragon, showing a precision that is more representative of white wine than a rose, with peach, apricot, intense tart strawberry, cherry, and a saline backbone, with a unique mineral backbone. The finish is long, tart, with an incredible tension that makes me happier than the Lion & Dragon, showing slate, rock, loam, and a fruit backbone that works perfectly in a dance that will make you stand up and take notice for a rose. Again, IMHO, it is a white wine with red notes. Bravo!!!
NOTE: I had this wine in the USA and it did not taste the same at all – these notes are from what I had in France. The rose I had here was far less impressive and one I would be less interested in drinking. I am not sure what happened but the wines did not show the same. I had the rose in the USA less than a month from when I had it in France. IMHO, either it was heavily shocked by the shipment or the shipment hurt it in other ways. (tasted in FRANCE June 2021)

2020 Chateau Les Riganes – Score: 90+ (QPR: GREAT)
This wine reminds me more of the 2018 vintage than the 2019 vintages of Riganes. The nose on this wine is tart, with intense dark cherry, tart raspberry, intense floral notes of rosehip, white flowers, and intense roasted herb. The mouth on this wine is medium-bodied wine has incredible acidity, with nice raspberry, dark cherry, plum, smoke, tar, with a nice fruit focus, loads of roasted herb, smoke, sweet oak, garrigue, all wrapped in a nice tannin structure, along with some green notes. The finish is long, green, herbal, menthol, smoke, nice saline, green notes, green olives, and nice tar. Nice!!! Drink until 2024. (tasted June 2021)

2018 Chateau de Parsac (M) – Score: 89 (QPR: GREAT)
This is not as good as the 2016 vintage but it is still a nice vintage. The nose on this wine is deeply floral, with rosehip, lavender, and hints of jasmine, with tart cherry, raspberry, dirt, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is deeply acidic and tart with green notes, raspberry, tart cherry, dirt. and nice mouth-filling tannin. The finish is long, green, earthy, and tart. The finish is long, green, tart, and acidic with dirt and tannin. Drink until 2025. (tasted June 2021)

2019 Etoiles de Mondorion, Grand Vin de Bordeaux – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER)
This wine is a blend of 82% Merlot and 18% Cabernet Franc. The nose on this wine is nice, green, with ripe fruit, but tart and balanced, with lovely flowers, lavender, rosehip, rich loam, dirt, red fruit, and green notes. The mouth on this medium-bodied wine is well-balanced with intense acidity, followed by a nice mouthfeel, good searing tannin, backed by dark cherry, raspberry, plum, dirt, and good smoke. The finish is long, green, with garrigue, scraping tannin, nice graphite, earth, and smoke, with dry tobacco, and menthol. Nice! Drink from 2024 until 2030. (tasted June 2021)

Posted on October 5, 2021, in Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher Rose Wine, Kosher White Wine, Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Interesting that you say that the 2019 Gazin Rocquencourt, Blanc is a clear step up from the 2018 vintage, yet you scored the 2019 a 92 (QPR: GREAT) and the 2018 a 93 (QPR: GOOD). Is something inaccurate?

    • You are correct – I think I should have said it clearly – a step up in style but not the overall score. The weight is less and the acidity while nice is also a drop less. Will love to taste them side by side soon.

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