Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Winemaker Dinner with Jean-René Matignon (Château Pichon Longueville Baron) and Pierre Montégut (Château Suduiraut) at Ripple in Washington DC, USA/France
Annette Schiller and I joined Michael Sands of Calvert and Woodley for a wonderful dining experience featuring the wines of Château Pichon Longueville Baron and Château Suduiraut, from Bordeaux's Pauillac and Sauternes region, respectively. The guests of honor for the evening were Jean-René Matignon, Technical Director at Château Pichon Longueville Baron, and Pierre Montégut, Technical Director at Château Suduiraut.
With a long and storied tradition that dates back over 150 years, Château Pichon Longueville is a well-known "Super Second" to Bordeaux lovers. They mix tradition and technology to make the best wines possible from their terroir.
Château Suduiraut is one of the truly great properties in Sauternes.
We also had a wine of Château Pibran, which is made by Jean-René Matignon and his team of Château Pichon Longueville, in their state-of-the-art winery.
The dinner was be held at Ripple in Cleveland Park where Executive Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley put together a wonderful meal to pair with these gorgeous Bordeaux wines.
Château Pichon Longueville Baron
Château Pichon Longueville Baron (often referred to as Pichon Baron) in Pauillac is one of 15 Deuxièmes Crus in the Classification of 1855. It was once part of a larger estate, owned by Pierre de Rauzan, along with Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. In 1850 the estate was divided into the two current Pichon estates facing each other as one enters Pauillac along the D2 highway. Since 1987, Jean-Rene Matignon has worked at Pichon Baron as Technical Director. In 1987 the estate was purchased by French insurance company AXA, who immediately appointed Jean-Michel Cazes of Château Lynch-Bages as administrator. The property is currently managed by Christian Seely.
Château Pichon Baron's 73 hectares are situated at the southern end of Pauillac, near border with the Saint-Julien-Beychevelle appellation, and planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (35%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The average age of the vines is 30 years.
Grapes are harvested and sorted by hand, and then macerated for 20-30 days, and fermented at 28-32 °C in temperature controlled stainless steel vats of varying sizes. The wine is transferred into oak barrels for aging after finishing its malolactic fermentation. The estate also produces a second wine, Les Tourelles de Longueville.
Château Suduiraut is located in the commune of Preignac and its vineyards border those of d`Yquem. The property has a long history stretching back to the 15th century. Only a solitary wing remains of the original château, as it was destroyed by the Duc d`Eperon in the 16th century. The present château was built in the 17th century by the Suduiraut family, who also commissioned a spectacular garden designed by Le Nôtre. Suduiraut was classified as a 1er Cru Classé in 1855.
Suduiraut's 90 hectares of vineyards are planted with 80% Sémillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes are harvested in several "tries" and are fermented in 50-hectolitre stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in small barriques (33% new) for 24 months.
Since 1992 Suduiraut has been owned by AXA.
Château Pibran is an old Médoc name. Its highly reputed vineyard covers one of the finest outcrops of Pauillac. The estate, which originally had only just 10 hectares, was expanded in 2001 following the purchase of neighbouring property chateau Tour Pibran to reach the current size of 17 hectares of superb Garonne gravel soil. The attractive little charterhouse, built in the 19th century, can be seen as one leaves Pauillac toward Cissac, perched on a little hill surrounded by a tree-shaded garden. For a long time it belonged to the Billa family, who sold it to AXA Millésimes in 1987. The vineyards were restructured shortly after the purchase, and drainage was improved in order to get the best possible effect of the soil on the wine. Today the wine of Pibran is carefully made by Jean-René Matignon and his team of Château Pichon Longueville, in their state-of-the-art winery.
Jean-Rene Matignon, Technical Director.
Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
The AXA Wine Portfolio
Château Pichon Baron, 2nd Cru Classé Pauillac, France
Château Suduiraut, 1er Cru Classé Sauternes, France
Château Petit-Village, Pomerol, France
Château Pibran, Pauillac, France
Domaine de l’Arlot, Nuits-Saint-Georges, France
Domaine Disznókö, Tokaj, Hongrie
Quinta do Noval, Douro, Portugal
AXA also owns one of the larger Bordeaux wine negociant companies, Compagnie Medocaine.
The wine-searcher average prices in US$ per 0.75 liter bottle are in brackets.
yuzu ponzu, cucumber, celery, radish
2013 Château Suduiraut "S" de Suduiraut (US$33)
This is a dry Sauternes. “Sauternes is one of the greatest white wine terroirs in the world, for sweet or dry wine,” Olivier Bernard says. “What the market wants now is dry wine.”
Pierre Montégut: S de Suduiraut, an exception to the rule. A dry white wine that expresses another facet of the terroir and Suduiraut’s expertise, S is outstanding. It has a strong bond with the terroir through its high percentage of Sémillon. This wine’s finely integrated wood ageing, its fruit and floral aromas, its rich, supple structure and its freshness make it an elegant and sophisticated wine and an ideal partner for a wide range of culinary matches.
lamb shank ragu, rutabaga, apples
2009 Château Pibran (US$51)
The Wine Advocate: A major sleeper of the vintage from the owners of Pichon Longueville Baron, this blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon displays plenty of coffee bean, creme de cassis and sweet cherry notes in a very intense, full-bodied, opulent style There is some serious power underlying the extravagant fruit.
Les Tourelles de Longueville 2012 (US$41)
The grapes that are used to blend Les Tourelles de Longueville come essentially from the Sainte Anne plot, planted mainly to Merlot, giving this wine a distinctive personality which is heightened by its specific blend. This wine with the typical profile of a true Pauillac, full-bodied with supple tannins and notes of summer berry fruit, is highly approachable.
la belle farms duck breast
foie gras grits, baby hakurei turnips
Château Pichon Longueville Baron 2005 (US$155)
Château Pichon Longueville Baron 2003 (US$144)
Château Pichon Longueville Baron 1989 (US$261)
No so long ago, Annette Schiller and I enjoyed an extensive tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville wines, co-presented by Jean-René Matignon and Panos Kakaviatos, also at Restaurant Ripple. I wrote about the event here and I am copying Jean-René and Annette’s comments on the 3 vintages. See: Vertical Tasting of Château Pichon-Longueville Baron with Jean-Rene Matignon and Panos Kakaviatos in Washington DC, USA
Jean-René Matignon: The 2003 vintage was famously hot and difficult to sort out the very ripe fruit. For the second wine a second pick was employed. The 2005 vintage was strict and austere being about terroir and one for our children.
Annette Schiller: 2003: The nose was similar to the 2000, but a bit more on the fruity side. This full-bodied, very complex wine was softer on the tannins than the 2000. It was beautifully balanced, also very pure with a lower acidity, and in general a more gentle wine.
2005: On the first encounter the nose was very restrained, and it did not really open up during the dinner. There were subtle hints of dark berries, but the balanced, polished, yet substantial and concentrated body made the wine very pleasant. This wine certainly will benefit from some more years of aging.
Jean-René Matignon: The 1989 and 1990 vintages produced from the historic, smaller vineyard on the estate. The new winery was not built until 1991 so they reflect the raw quality of the fruit. The 1989 vintage experienced such nice weather that the fruit was picked with students. There were exceptional berries so it was not necessary to sort as it is recently common.
Annette Schiller: 1989: The nose was unique: very restrained, a cigar box mix with still sweet and fragrant fruit, which made the wine extremely interesting and seductive. On the palate the wine clearly showed its age but it still had a lovely body with lots of aromas, and a surprising freshness.
apple tartine poached apples, creme fraiche
Château Suduiraut 2001 (US$73)
Château Suduiraut 2011 (US$117)
Thanks Executive Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley for an outstanding meal. She oversees the kitchens at the upscale casual Ripple restaurant in Cleveland Park and the American gastropub Roofers Union in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC.
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2015 and 2016
During the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2015, we had a wonderful tour and tasting at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron. We were there in the middle of the harvest. And it was at the sorting tables, when we greeted by Jean-René Matignon, Technical Director. Following a tasting, we went over to the old château and enjoyed a gourmet menu in the private quarters of Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, prepared by Chef Thibaut Gervas, with wine pairings.
The visit of Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron was definitely one of the highlights of the 2015 tour and we will go back there this year.
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
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Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
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Tour and Wine Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé
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Announcement: 5 Exciting ombiasy WineTours in 2016 - BURGUNDY BORDEAUX GERMANY