Two new wines that M&M is importing, 2016 Chateau Haut Brisson and 2016 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe
The French wines keep coming! From crazy 2014 wines that started the reboot of a full line of Royal wines from France, to the 2015 and 2016 vintages from Royal that essentially completed the full reboot of Royal’s French wine lineup. To the new 2016 and 2017 wines from Royal that have a couple of new wines and more of the existing Chateaus.
With that said, shockingly, not all French wines are marketed through Royal or its friends (Taieb, Bokobsa, Rivière, and Rollan de by). Kosherwine.com has also brought in some French wines. As has Red Garden, and the Rashbi wines, which shockingly is NOT predominately French, Andrew Breskin and Liquid Kosher, which brings in the DRC wines, and Victor Wines (maybe the first to bring in French wines outside of Royal of course). As well as the Megrez wines which are now being brought in by International Kosher Wine.
UPDATED: I wanted to point out a very interesting fact about these new wines, they are made by Vignobles K, Peter Kwok’s wineries. NO! The K is not for kosher, it is for Kwok. He is an Asian mogul who made his billions in China and now owns these wineries, and he is always growing his Bordeaux property list. I mistakenly said that IDS had made these wines, but actually they were made by Cedev, a wine producer based out of Belgium.
The interesting point though is that of his original 5 current wineries under his portfolio (he recently added 3 more), three have kosher versions. The two aforementioned Chateau Tour Saint Christophe and the Chateau Haut Brisson, both in 2014 and 2016, along with the 2014 Chateau LaPatche, which I tasted last year. The other two Chateau in his portfolio, are equally or better respected, and both are located in Pomerol, like Chateau LaPatche. Chateau Enclose Tourmaline and Enclos de Viaud. Recently he added, Château Le Rey, Château Tourans, and most recently Château Bellefront-Belcier in Saint Emilion.
Mr. Kwok started his Chateau buying binge in 1997, with the purchase of Chateau Haut-Brisson, and after that, he as upgraded and bought more wineries. Maybe we can hope for more kosher wines from his portfolio, or maybe it is all just a nice coincidence. Sadly, Cedev has not made any more kosher Vignobles K’s wines, after the 2016 vintage. M&M is helping in distributing the wines that they have made. In the end, as of now, there have only been 5 Vignobles K wines made kosher, the 2014 and 2016 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe and the Chateau Haut Brisson, along with the 2014 Chateau LaPatche.
The wine notes follow below – the explanation of my “scores” can be found here:
2016 Chateau Haut Brisson – Score: 92
This wine is made by Vignobles K, Peter Kwok’s properties. The Non-kosher bottling is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and it shows akin to that with clear Merlot leanings, and pepper/foliage from the Cabernet Franc.
What a crazy nose, ripe, yet well controlled, with rich earth, terroir, with ripe black fruit, bushels of red fruit, and interestingly some blueberry/boysenberry as well, followed by mushroom, white pepper, and well-tilled earth. The mouth on this full-bodied wine is young, absurdly young, with beautiful layers of ripe but perfectly controlled and juicy cherry, raspberry, dark plum, and blackberry, all wrapped in incredible fruit structure, with mouth coating and puckering tannin, that gives way to rich foliage, more forest floor, and mineral. Nice! The finish is long, green, with butterscotch, hints of real butter, followed by almonds, tobacco, rich dark/milk chocolate, and mint. Bravo!! Drink from 2022 till 2032.
2016 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe – Score: 93
This wine is made by Vignobles K, Peter Kwok’s properties. The Non-kosher bottling is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc and again it shows akin to that with clear Merlot leanings, and even more pepper/foliage from the Cabernet Franc, but also more bulk from the Franc as well. This wine has ZERO blue fruit on it, it is all red with hints of black, but primarily it is smoke, tar, with lovely pepper notes, followed by herb/mint, with rich salinity, mineral, and balance. The mouth on this medium-plus bodied wine shows rich elegance, more controlled than the Haut-Brisson, less power, more finesse, with more of that dirt, earth, and juicy red fruit, showing well with an incredible fruit structure and supple mouth coating tannin, that envelopes sweet and juicy raspberry, dark cherry, blackberry, and green notes take center stage. The finish is long, green, and elegant, with tobacco, rich leather, heather, followed by graphite, tilled earth, hints of mushroom, and all the things that bring a smile to my face. Bravo!!! Drink from 2021 till 2033.