Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In the plane: Wines on Air France from Washington DC to Paris in Business in December 2009

Air France serves 4 very good wines on the flight from Washington DC to Paris, one Champagne and 3 still wines. All 4 wines are French - Air France shows no interest in exploring American wines, although the flight originates in the US.

Unfortunately, the flight leaves Washington at 10:00 pm in the evening and one doesn't have the time to fully appreciate the wines because service is fast so people can get some sleep, and ...the wines are served in plastic cups.

NV Champagne Brut, Duval-Leroy

Duval-Leroy is a family business, established in 1859 through the merger of two Champagne growers. The company is still based in its village of origin, Vertus, which is with five hundred hectares of vines now the second largest wine-growing district in the Champagne region, after Les Riceys.

Since 1991, Duval-Leroy has been headed by Carol Duval-Leroy, after the sudden loss of her husband that same year. Reminding me a bit of Veuve Clicquot, Carol Duval-Leroy has focused on the modernisation of the production processes and the expansion of exports.

Tasting notes: A blend of 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay, light yellow in the glass, fine bubbles, delicate texture on the palate, with mineral tones, very satisfying finish—nice wine ...
...but served in a plastic cup by Air France, as were all the wines.

2007 Vire Clesse, Bourgogne Blanc, Jaffelin

The Maison Jaffelin is owned by the Boisset family in the Bourgogne. Jean-Claude Boisset, the head, is very much concerned with “green” wine making, including of reducing its carbon footprint. The company is trying out a range of different packaging options. It is for this approach that Jean-Charles Boisset has been named “Innovator of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine a few years ago.

The Boisset family business, based at Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy, is among France’s five leading wine groups and owns some prestigious estates including Bouchard Aîné & fils, Jaffelin, Ropiteau Frères, Mommessin, J. Moreau & Fils as well as De Loach in California.

The Jaffelin family has been producing Bourgogne for over 100 years. In the heart of the Mâcon wine growing region, the two villages Viré and Clessé form a unique "terroir" on slopes facing South-East.

Tasting notes: An Appelation Vire Clesse, made from Chardonnay grapes grown on lime and clay, a brilliant light gold in color, complex nose of white blossom and fresh butter, with hints of green apple, a full-flavored wine with a lovely acidity and a pleasant finish.

Cote de Beaune-Villages, 2007, Joseph Drouhin

The Maison Joseph Drouhin was founded in 1880. The estate owns vineyards in Chablis, Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, as well as in the Williamette Valley in Oregon. Drouhin is a wine producer and one of the major negociants in the Bourgogne that produces wines made from purchased grapes grown in different parts of Burgundy. Today both Maison Joseph Drouhin and Domaine Drouhin Oregon are owned and operated by the great grandchildren of Joseph Drouhin.

A Chardonnay from the Appellation Cote de Beaune Villages. This Appellation covers the city of Beaune and 16 villages in the Cote de Beaune.

Tasting notes: entry-level red Burgundy from a well recognized negociant of Bourgogne wines, light ruby-red, nice legs in the glass, overwhelming attack of strawberries and other red fruits on the nose, on the palate you have a light, elegant, delectable fruit with great style and refinement, combined with wet leaves, rather than the power of a full body, lovely, but not too long lasting finish.

2005, Medoc, Chateau Haut Condissas

Joël Robuchon, the most Michelin starred Chef of the world (18 stars) entered into a special deal with Jean Guyon earlier this years by selecting the Chateau Tour Seran as his signature wine for all his restaurants. This Cru Bourgeois is the little brother of the Chateaux Rollan de By and Haut Condissas, the latter being served on business class flights of Air France.

At the head of 76 hectares today, Jean Guyon produces 500 000 bottles a year under five labels. Chateau Haut-Condissas in the Medoc was purchased by Jean Guyon in 1998. He also owns Chateaux Tour Seran, La Clare, Rollan de By and La Fleur de By.

Tasting notes: Primarily Merlot, blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc; very dark red in the glass, remarkable intensity on the nose, a full-bodied wine with soft tannins and notes of spicy wood on the palate, combined with notes of ripe blackberries and raspberries, long lasting finish of an intense wine.

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