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A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the de Fieuzal Rouge is a wine that delivers a deep rubied hue and a delightful dark plum and blackcurrant nose, elegantly wrapped in the embrace of creamy vanilla new oak. Its soft(maybe too soft) palate mirrors the nose, is ripe and round, and finishes with a smooth, satisfying mineral finish. We accord it with a DD91, a mark of its excellence.


Awarded it RP 87, Parker writes,  "The 2013 De Fieuzal has an open, quite sensual bouquet with scents of black cherry, wild strawberry and wet stone, an attractive floral aspect developing with time. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, succulent in the mouth with good acidity, and polished with a smooth, harmonious finish. This is commendable for the vintage, even if it lacks a little personality." Edited.


Awarded it WS89, Wine Spectator writes, "A prickly spine, a term used to describe the wine's acidity and structure, provides some energy to the core of plum and pomegranate flavours, with a light bay leaf hinting in. Reve, a French term for 'dream ', is a light snap of anise at the very end."


Upon revisiting this bottle, we were again captivated by its unique deep rubied hue, with a tight ​​garnet rim and a bright, violet-filled core. Despite 13 years of bottle age, the youthful character is evident in its ripe dark berry and red cherry fruit notes, delicate plums and figs, and a hint of nougat. The profile is a delightful blend of juicy red forest berry confit, fresh, fine tannins, and a lively, easy-to-drink nature. The cherries on the finish, the excellent balance, the careful handling of wood, and its light-footed food companion status all contribute to its unique charm.


The 2011 vintage, while more structured than 2013, exudes a unique charm and truly pleasing elegance. Its style, reminiscent of La Fleur and le Gay, is a testament to the influence of Stephane Derenocourt and the Robin sisters. Falstaff's 91-point rating is well-deserved, as the wine presents fine black wild berry fruit, delicate herbal spices, and a hint of nougat. It is juicy and complex and offers a delightful interplay of dark fruit, firm tannins, a pleasant nougat touch, a mineral finish, elegance, and good length. The other scores include RP90, WS91, and Andrea Lasson 90.


Chateau Rol Valentin's modern history tells a lot about its transformation and evolution, which is marked by the dedication and passion of its owners. It debuted with the challenging 1994 vintage under Clos Valentin, a vision of the former European soccer star Eric Prissette. In 2009, a new chapter began for Chateau Rol Valentin, as it was acquired by the daughter of Leclerc's chief wine buyer, Jean-Luc Roche, and her husband, Nicolas Robin, the nephew of the illustrious Robin sisters of the Right Bank. These sisters were the previous owners of Chateau Lafleur and Chateau Le Gay in Pomerol. Under the new ownership, the small vineyard was expanded to its current size, a testament to their commitment and passion for the craft.




2001 Château d'Issan is crafted from 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Merlot. Emmanuel Cruse has restored d'Issan to its former glory. This vintage offers ripe red raspberry flavours and smooth tannins, representing a more classic style than 2000. Decanter awarded it 95 points and praised it for its prosperous and deeper fruit feel compared to the 2000 vintage. This bright, young wine with juicy berry notes has a well-balanced 52hl/ha yield and is ready to drink, with the potential to age for at least another decade. The wine was released at only €14 ex-château.


The d'Issan wines have received impressive scores for the 2011 vintage. For example, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave it 92 points, noting its dense ruby/purple colour and abundant cassis, kirsch, liquorice, and loamy soil undertones. Meanwhile, Decanter also awarded it 95 points, highlighting its high aromatics and freshness, making it great with food due to its high acidity.


The 2012 d'Issan received exceptional acclaim from critics. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate awarded it 95 points, praising its concentration and promising significant ageing potential. Neal Martin at Vinous noted its adherence to the traditional style of the Margaux region, while Decanter awarded it 94 points for its impressive complexity. Wine Enthusiast also emphasized its fruit quality, awarding it 93 points and describing it as a ripe, fruity wine with well-balanced acidity.

This is a consolidation of the tasting and papers

written from 2006 to 2013. These write-ups had been with the orginal site Wine and Beyond, Yahoo, until the service stopped by Yahoo in September 2013.

 

For years I have been working with wines, either buying it, selling it to wine companies, lecturing and writing about it, and, not unimportantly, enjoying it with friends. If any of the articles on this site are worth reading it is due to my teachers, my mentors, my peers and friends, my students, and in particularly my editors who ignite in me a desire to communicate in wines.

 

Clinging to the trellis of wine, I started to get more and more involved with estates and winemakers, by supporting them with consultancy in communication and marketing. The more I spend my time outside Hong Kong, the more I sense a desire to be part of the international wine family.

 

Writing about wine represents a moment of reflection, curiosity, atitudes and a desire to analyse often hidden structures and history, in an effort to make the wealth of wine accessible to a targetted, and hopefully larger audience.

 

I am not sure if I can wine proivde more accessible to all through this blog. But I am sure to write in wine means being involved in wine and  to remain as impartial and objective as possible.

 

Kevin Tang.

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