Thursday, May 9, 2013

Château Léoville-Poyferré Winemaker Dinner with Anne Cuvelier at Eola in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Annette Schiller, ombiasy wine tours, Anne Cuvelier and Chef  Daniel Singhofen at Eola in Washington DC, USA

Anne Cuvelier, from the Cuvelier family (that owns, inter alia, Château Léoville-Poyferré in St. Julien, Bordeaux), was in town (Washington DC) for the Heart’s Delight Events. On the side, she organized, assisted by Annette Schiller, wine tours by ombiasy, a winemaker dinner at Eola. The dinner was $130 plus tax and tip and was sold out within a few days. Calvert Woodley Fine Wine and Spirits graciously supported and promoted this event.

Pictures: Anne Cuvelier, Chef  Daniel Singhofen and  Sommelier Darlin Kulla at Eola in Washington DC, USA

In 2013, two wine tours by ombiasy are coming up:  to Germany (in August) and to Bordeaux (in September): (1) Germany Wine and Culture Tour August 2013 and (2) Bordeaux Wine Tour September 2013 

The Cuvelier Family in the North of France, in Bordeaux and in Argentina

The story of the Cuvelier family begins in 1804 when Henri Cuvelier set out to share his great passion for fine wine with his friends of the grand bourgeoisie residing in the rich and dynamic towns of the North of France. To this aim, he created Maison de Négoce de Vins Henri Cuvelier in Haubourdin, a wine merchant company whose success continued to develop throughout the 19th century.

Pictures:Annette Schiller, Christian G.E. Schiller and Didier Cuvelier at Château Léoville-Poyferréin St. Julien. For more see: Lunch with Didier Cuvelier at Château Léoville-Poyferré in Saint-Julien, Bordeaux

100 years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, Paul Cuvelier and his young brother Albert, decided to purchase top quality estates in the Bordeaux area. They bought Château Le Crock in 1903, then Château Camensac in 1912 (which was later sold) and finally the prestigious Château Léoville Poyferré as well as Chateau Moulin Riche in 1920. In 1947, Max Cuvelier opened a second Wine Merchant company in Bordeaux, moving nearer to the family properties.

Two of Max Cuvelier’s children have taken over the family’s activities in Bordeaux: Didier Cuvelier has been running Chateau Leoville Poyferre, Chateau Moulin-Riche and Chateau Le Crock since 1979 and Olivier Cuvelier has been managing the Wine Merchant company H. Cuvelier and Fils in Bordeaux since 1985.

Pictures: Anne Cuvelier greating Guests

The Haubourdin wine merchant company was sold in 2002. The name has remained unchanged and it continues to distribute the Cuvelier estates wines.

In 1998, the Cuvelier family started to branch out to Argentina. Bertrand Cuvelier, the father of Anne Cuvelier, accompanied Michel Rolland in his great Argentine project, which was to become the “Clos de Los Siete” group. Three years later, Jean-Guy Cuvelier decided to join his cousin Bertrand in the joint aim of building a winery and producing fine wines worthy of the family tradition in Argentina.

Château Léoville-Poyferré

The Cuvelier family bought Château Léoville-Poyferré – one of the 3 Léoville estates that currently exist - in 1920. The 3 Léoville chateaux are the result of vast property broken up a long time ago. But up until the French Revolution, Léoville was the largest Médoc wine-growing property.

Pictures: Sommelier Darlin Kulla and his colleague from the Blue Duck Tavern, Gene Alexeyev, Annette Schiller, Anne Cuvelier and Ben Gilberti from Calvert Woodley Fine Wine and Spirits

In the beginning, the Cuveliers did not operate their chateaux themselves. This changed in 1979 with the accession of Didier Cuvelier, who at 26 became the first member of his family to take charge of Léoville – Poyferré along with Moulin Riche and Le Crock. Didier Cuvelier put Léoville – Poyferré on the map of wine lovers all over the world. Didier Cuvelier trained as a chartered accountant before passing the DUAD (a university diploma in wine tasting) in 1976.

The Grand Vin is Château Léoville-Poyferré (20.000 cases). The second wine is Pavillon de Poyferré.

Château Le Crock

The first purchase made by the Cuvelier family was their property in St. Estephe, Chateau Le Crock in 1903. Today the vineyards of Château Le Crock cover a total of 32.5 hectares and touch two of the most prestigious châteaus of the appellation, Château Cos d’Estournel and Château Montrose.

In the (annulled) 2003 Classification, Château Le Crock was a Cru Bourgeois Superieur. In the new system, in 2010, Chateau Le Crock qualified for the Cru Bourgeois Label.

Pictures: First Floor, Eola

Chateau Moulin Riche

Chateau Moulin Riche was bought in 1920 by the Cuvelier family. Château Moulin Riche has 49 acres of vines which are planted as follows: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.

Pictures: Second Floor, Eola

Eola, Chef/Owner Daniel Singhofen and Sommelier Darlin Kulla

When President Obama was elected for the second time as President of the United States of America, Todd Kliman from the monthly “Washingtonian” wrote a piece entitled “Where Barack Obama Should Eat Out During His Second Term”.

Pictures: Chef Daniel Singhofen, Eola, Washington DC

One of the recommendations was Eola: “You and Michelle have done well in this category, having already logged meals at Citronelle (now temporarily closed), Tosca, Vermilion, and Komi. The next restaurants on your list should be two Dupont Circle-area gems: Eola and Little Serow. Both are independently owned, with kitchens that are—to put it in political terms—rigorously “on message.” Eola serves a rustic version of contemporary American cooking in a charming rowhouse; Little Serow (from Komi chef Johnny Monis) is a spicy and thrilling tour of northern Thailand.”

Daniel Singhofen came to Washington DC by way of Orlando, his hometown, where he cooked at a couple of well-regarded restaurants before turning in his apron to follow his fiancée, an employee of the World Bank, north in 2007. Sommelier Darlin Kulla worked at the Blue Duck Restaurant, before joining the Eola team as the Sommelier.

For more see:
Dining on the Cutting-edge - Daniel Singhofen’s Eola in Washington DC, USA
Announcement: Château Léoville-Poyferré Winemaker Dinner with Anne Cuvelier at Eola on May 1, 2013 in Washington DC

The Dinner


Pavillion de Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien 2010

Wine searcher average price in US$: 36

The second wine of Léoville Poyferré - excellent.

Lamb’s Sweetbreads, fava beans, radish, morels and molasses butter

Moulin Riche, Saint-Julien 2007

Wine searcher average price in US$: 37

62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc.

Red-ruby in the glass, notes of mulberry, red currant and mocha on the nose, a medium-bodied wine, flavors of dark berries, cassis, and earth on the palate,  tannins are still a bit tight, firm finish.

Terrine of Wild Maine Lobster and Leeks, watercress, caviar and oyster gelee

Le Crock, Saint-Estephe 2009

Wine searcher average price in US$: 33

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate :  A blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 7% petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine tips the scales at 14+% alcohol. Dense ruby/purple, with notes of blueberry pie interwoven with charcoal, licorice, some chalky crushed rocks and a distinctive floral note, the wine is succulent, unctuously textured, and fleshy, with low acidity and layers of fruit. A sensational effort from this cru bourgeois, it should drink well for 15-20 more years. As I reported from barrel, this is the best Le Crock ever made. It's about time, since the family that has makes such compelling wines at Leoville-Poyferre, the Cuveliers, also own this little fantasy chateau with its beautifully landscaped grounds, sandwiched between Chateau Montrose and Cos d'Estournel.

Tomato Braised Snails, bacon, kale and puff pastry

Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien 2005

Wine searcher average price in US$: 136

Deep red garnet in the glass, notes of pepper, cassis and Asian spices on the nose, a mouth filling wine, with firm but suave tannins and a long finish.

Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien 2006

Wine searcher average price in US$: 87

Deep red garnet in the glass, ripe aromas of currant, milk chocolate and smoky oak on the nose, good structure, lush, sweet with  flavors of dark berries, dark chocolate and minerals on the palate, long finish.

Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien 2008

Wine searcher average price in US$: 87

Deep red garnet in the glass, notes of mulberry, mocha, and spicy oak on the nose, soft on the palate, a pleasure, a very attractive wine.

Dry Aged Pekin Duck Breast, barley, ramps, wild licorice jus

Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien 2000

Wine searcher average price in US$: 198

Deep red garnet color in the glass, tobacco, cedar, earth, wood, chocolate nose, a big wine, with good tannins and a long finish.

Tomme de Savoie, smoked honey, caraway flatbread, cashews

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Bordeaux Trip September 2012, France

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

An Afternoon with Owner Michel Tesseron at Château Lafon-Rochet, 4ème Cru Classé en 1855, in Saint-Estèphe, Bordeaux

The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany 

Château Léoville-Poyferré, Chateau Le Crock, Didier Cuvelier in Bordeaux and the Cuvelier Los Andes Wines in Argentina

Château Pape Clément in Pessac-Léognan and the World Wide Wine Empire of Bernard Magrez, France

Tasting with Alfred Tesseron the last 10 Vintages of Château Pontet-Canet in Washington DC, USA/France

Tasting the Wines of Chateau Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ème Cru Classé en 1855, with Owner Basil Tesseron at the French Embassy in Washington DC, USA/France

Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) on North America Tour in Washington DC - Schiller’s Favorites

Owner Jean-Bernard Grenié and Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos Presented the Wines of Chateau Angélus and Chateau Daugay at Black Salt Restaurant in Washington DC, USA

Dining on the Cutting-edge - Daniel Singhofen’s Eola in Washington DC, USA

Announcement: Château Léoville-Poyferré Winemaker Dinner with Anne Cuvelier at Eola on May 1, 2013 in Washington DC

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