IDS tasting of current releases in Paris – Nov 2022
The third organized wine tasting that Avi Davidowitz, from the Kosher Wine Unfiltered blog, and I went to, during our last trip to Paris, in November 2022 was with IDS. IDS is officially called Les Vins IDS and IDS, stands for International Distribution Service. On a lovely Wednesday afternoon, Avi and I jumped in an Uber and went to see Ben Uzan at IDS’s offices.
The tasting was a two-part wine event. The first part featured IDS wines while the second part featured wines that Ben Sitruk of Wine Symphony brought for us to taste. Those included two wines, one lovely Riserva from Terra di Seta and a nice enough Chateau Moutinot, Saint-Estephe.
Le Vin IDS Wines
As I stated in my previous Paris trip preamble post, the timing for the trip was not great. So, these wines were the ones I missed in May and this trip was also too early for the 2021 Jean Luc et Paul Aegerter Burgundies.
There were too few wines to do any of these blindly, as we did in May, with Alexander, but that did not mean there were not lovely wines to enjoy! We started with a very unique 2021 Tokaj-Hetszolo Sarga Muskotaly, Takaji. I will leave the notes to describe it better than words here.
Next, we had the 2021 Tour du Barail Bordeaux Superieur which is a solid wine for the poor 2021 vintage. That was followed by the QPR WINNER 2020 Chateau du Bosquay, which we had the last tasting, but I asked for it as I forgot Avi had already tasted it.
Next came two CRUSHING QPR (Quality to Price Ratio) WINNER wines for those who live in the France area. The 2020 Chateau Labegorce and the 2020 Chateau Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estephe. Both of them were exceptional and for the price, in France, they merit the QPR WINNER standard!
My notes of the 2015 Chateau Labegorce and the 2017 Chateau Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estephe, are not the same as the 2020 Chateau Labegorce and Chateau Lafon-Rochet, but the structures of both them reminded me of those vintages. To me the 2020 vintage is a conundrum, it is not the green 2021 vintage, but it also does not have the precision of the 2019 vintage or the power of the 2015/2018 vintage. The 2017 vintage at times reminds me of the 2020 vintage, with certain wines, while with others the 2020 vintage can be as good as 2019. This will be fully showcased when I do the post of the Royal wines, but for now, understand, that the 2020 vintage will at times leave you breathless and at times leave you wondering.
In the end, the two wines are clear QPR WINNERs in France, and even outside of it they are MUST-HAVE wines for one’s cellar.
As is customary, I ask Ben to open the windows to air out the room, as soon as I enter, as the smell of tobacco ash is always insufferable. I understand France is one of the few advanced nations in the world where smoking is still a thing. I have never tolerated it, the smell makes me retch, so Ben is always so kind to air out the room before we begin tasting his wonderful wines.
My many thanks to Ben Uzan for setting up the meeting, sharing his wines with us, and taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with us. The wine notes follow below in the order they were tasted – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here and the explanation for QPR scores can be found here:
2021 Tokaj-Hetszolo Sarga Muskotaly, Tokaji – Score: 91 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose of this wine is ripe, and tropical, with ripe mango, lychee, guava, tart pineapple, orange blossom, gooseberry, and passion fruit, very unique. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is nice with nice sweet and ripe fruit, more controlled and drier than in the nose, with intense acidity, dry mango, very floral with orange blossom, violet, elderberry, nice honeyed orange, and green notes. The finish is long, green, tart, and fruity, with great acidity, mango, pineapple, and waxy notes.
To be clear this is not a dry wine but it is also not a dessert wine, it fits in between, and it is off-dry. It would accompany dishes in the main meal as well if they are spicy or they are rich like cream sauces. Drink by 2024. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 12.5%)
2021 Tour du Barail Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: 90 (QPR: GREAT)
The nose of this wine is nice with green notes, herbal, floral notes, violet, cloves, vanilla, and rosehip, with some sweet tobacco, some nice funk, and lovely red fruit. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is a nice 2021 wine with lovely acidity, a nice mouthfeel, good red and green fruit, nice minerality, saline, graphite, loam, and a lovely approach, with good enough fruit focus, showing tart cranberry, cherry, rhubarb, lovely texture, and nice elegant tannin. The finish is long, tart, green, and fruity, with saline, graphite, and smoke. Drink by 2025. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)
2020 Chateau du Bosquay, Bordeaux Superieur – Score: 91 (QPR: WINNER (France))
The nose of this wine is quite lovely with bramble, plum, and elegant, with green notes, foliage, ripe plum, iron, raspberry gastrique, tart cherry, and lovely spices. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is lovely, floral, and elegant, with green notes, good fruit structure, lovely acid, nice mouth-coating tannin, plum, raspberry, and dark cherry, with dried rosehip, and a focus and attack of acidity that really pumps up the wine impressively. The finish is long, green, crazy acid, rich saline, graphite, more tart and juicy fruit, foliage, and forest floor. Nice! Drink until 2025. (tasted November 2021) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)
2020 Chateau Labegorce, Margaux – Score: 93 (QPR: WINNER (FRANCE))
This wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot.
The nose of this wine is epic, dense, ripe, rich, buttery, and creamy, with toasted cedar, lovely, great bright, and ripe fruit, rich minerality, sweet loam, roasted animal, iron, and rich licorice. The mouth of this full-bodied wine starts a bit closed but with time the wine opens with lovely dense fruit, rich salinity, dense minerality, plush, layered, concentrated, and ripe fruit of blackberry, plum, earthy and smoky, with dark raspberry, dense and mouth draping elegant tannin, so lovely, with rich loam and lovely smoke. The finish is lovely, ripe, dense, and rich, with elegant extraction, the most elegant extraction we have seen so far from the 2020 vintage, with scraping graphite, gravel, rock, iron, and floral notes of violet, with ripe red fruit, tannin, black pepper, leather, and smoke lingering very long, forever. BRAVO! Drink until 2033. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 14%)
2020 Chateau Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estephe – Score: 93.5 (QPR: WINNER (FRANCE))
This wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon & 45% Merlot.
The nose of this wine is a less ripe wine, with savory notes, lovely green and red fruit, elegant redolence, minerality, lovely iron shavings graphite, beautiful pencil shavings, with incredible raspberry, cherry, and rich smoke. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is lovely, elegant, extracted, rich, and beautiful with ripe and juicy cherry, elegant tart/juicy raspberry, beautiful smoke, intense and elegant charcoal/graphite, just lovely, with red fruit, loam, and mouth-scraping tannin. The finish is long, red, ripe, and smoky, with great tobacco, rosemary, savory notes, dark chocolate, loam, leather, and lovely smoke. Drink from 2023 until 2033. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13%)
2014 Chateau Moutinot, Saint-Estephe – Score: 90.5 (QPR: GREAT)
This wine is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. The nose of this wine is balanced, beautiful, ripe, and rich, with dense minerality, ripe and bright with lovely dark raspberry, with green notes, smoke, and sweet/roasted herb. The mouth of this medium-bodied wine is lovely with rich mushrooms, cranberry, plum, dark cherry, and ripe raspberry, with lovely acidity, nice sweet tannin, and graphite. The finish is long, ripe, and almost candied, with nice tannin, graphite, and green notes. Drink by 2025. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 13.5%)
2018 Terra di Seta Chianti Classico, Riserva, Chianti Classico – Score: 93 (QPR: WINNER)
The nose of this wine is incredible, showing pure elegance, with toasty oak, mushroom, smoke, rich salinity, and incredible density, with weight, richness, and elegance all wrapped in black and red fruit, lovely! The mouth of this full-bodied wine is dense, rich, layered, concentrated, and extracted, with great acidity, yet very approachable, with smoke, scraping minerality, graphite, mushroom, loam, dirt, and almost barnyard, great blackberry, and nice loam. The finish is super long, dense, and ripe, with great fruit, minerality, dense tannin, and coffee, lovely! This feels like the most accessible of the Terra di Seta wines I have had in a long time. Drink by 2030. (tasted November 2022) (in Paris, France) (ABV = 15%)
Posted on January 1, 2023, in Kosher French Wine, Kosher Red Wine, Kosher White Wine, Kosher Wine, Wine Tasting and tagged Bordeaux Superieur, Chateau Labegorce, Chateau Lafon Rochet, Chateau Moutinot, Chateau Tour du Barail, Chateau Tour du Bosquay, Chianti Classico, Riserva, Sarga Muskotaly, Terra di Seta, Tokaj-Hetszolo, Tokaji. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Do i need to look for the kosher version of the 2020 Chateau Labegorce, Margaux or the entire vintage is kosher?
Hello Joe, no, there is NO kosher winery in all of Bordeaux, other than Domaine de Roses Camille in Pomerol. Anyway, at all times, a kosher wine will always have a symbol on it. All Herzog wines (a kosher winery in Oxnard, CA) have a “hechsher” (kosher supervision symbol) on all of its wines. Be well!
Hi David, Did Terra di Setta skip the 2017 riserva? Why?
2017 was not a great vintage for Chianti so they did not make a 2017 vintage for either Riserva or Assai