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Deep ruby coloured; medium rim. Suppressed dark fruit(blackberries) and red fruit(plums, cherries and strawberries). The 43% Cabernet Sauvignon gives a structure with the right acidities. Yet, its open and easy-drinking nature from the high proportion of 20% Cabernet Franc offers an intriguing combination of fruity, vegetal, graphite, liquorice and earthy flavours. We like the 2012 vintage, which is a fruity and easy vintage. Starts drinking. You either like it or don't like it, though.


The word Du Tertre means 'of the soil' on top of Arsac and the gravelly site of the commune. The site is excellent; fruit quality is fine with the gravity method. Partial oak fermentation: There is always some weight and creaminess on the finish. There is 50% new oak; hence, the nose is still shy. Although not a super complex Margaux, the style is easy to understand. The Giscours team made it. The scores are high, such as RP91 and Smedley 92.


Parker wrote that this 125-acre vineyard is beautifully situated in the southern sector of the Margaux appellation. Dense ruby/purple with sweet cassis fruit, Du Tertre's 2012 has an aromatic, elegant, lush, velvety-textured mouthfeel and impressive purity and depth. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. He said the wine-drinking window is long, with ten more years to go.


MW D Smedley said the sensory experience of Du Tertre 2012 is a journey through ripe, very black fruit. The nose is filled with cassis richness, backed by the depth of black cherry and a hint of liquorice and dark chocolate. The ripe and sweet tannins create a velvety texture on the back palate, with the long finish leaving a lingering taste of cassis. This wine invites you to savour each sip, promising a rich and complex experience. He was of the view that there were still five years to go.




The wine has a deep colour and is entirely closed on the nose, dark and brooding. It is an excellent and severe wine with dense black fruit—a classic example of Montrose---a nose of rose from the wild forest, inky, firm, and tightly structured. There is certainly plenty of depth here. This magnificent second-growth overlooks the estuary in the southern section of St. Estephe. Recently purchased and reinvigorated, Montrose is now in top form. 2011 has a low yield of 35hl/ha overall, and most of the Merlot was used for the second label. The final blend comprises 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot, hence the inherent complexity of the diverse grapes.


The 2011 vintage is more structured overall (compared to 2012 and 2013). This 2011 vintage is a powerful black wine, restrained with the fragrance of Cabernet fruit, an iron backbone, and the classic depth and firmness of a great Montrose. It is expected to reach its peak in ten years. In our view, 2011 is slightly better than 2013. It will improve over time for another ten years.


The score of the Montrose 2011 vintage is a testament to the exceptional terroir and the skilled winemaking that often rises to the occasion in challenging years. The inviting aromas of rose petals, tar, and liquorice lead you into a bold, powerful, yet beautifully balanced experience. This wine triumphs over adversity with layers of graphite, dark plums, toasty oak, and sweet blackcurrant fruit. It is one of the vintage's best wines, a testament to the winemakers' skill and the vineyard's potential. This wine will continue to impress for over 20 years and is a true masterpiece of winemaking. , according to Tim Atkins, who gave a 97-point.


Awarded 94 points, Derek Smedley's opinion is that this wine begins with a deep and brooding nose brimming with decadent black fruits. The wine holds a substantial fruit weight on the palate, with abundant black cherry and sloe, complemented by slightly sweeter damson. The layers of fruit not only add complexity to the tannins but also create a sense of balance. This wine engages all the senses: a testament to the vineyard's quality and the winemakers' skill.




We, again, could not re-taste Rol Valentine 2011 because of the small, rationed quantities before we wrote. From memory years back, it is of deep dark ruby ​​garnet, with a deep core and bright, violet reflections, shows on the nose ripe dark berry and red cherry fruit, delicate plums and figs, and a hint of nougat. Juicy red forest berry confit, fresh, fine tannins, lively and easy to drink, cherries on the finish, shows a good balance, careful handling of wood, a light-footed food companion. 2011 is more structured than 2013 and with slightly less intense fruit and tannins, but it was just pleasing. Style is quite elegant with La Fleur and le Gay type of charm and maybe that's the influence is from Stephane Derenocourt and the Robin sisters. Falstaff awarded 91 points and wrote that 2011 gives fine black wild berry fruit, delicate herbal spices, and a hint of nougat. It is juicy, has good complexity, has dark fruit, firm tannins, a pleasant nougat touch, a mineral finish, is elegant, and has good length.


Chateau Rol Valentin has a fascinating history marked by transformation and evolution. It debuted with the challenging 1994 vintage under the name Clos Valentin. The visionary behind Rol Valentin was Eric Prissette, a former European soccer star. 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.



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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