I had the opportunity of meeting, Jean-Michel Garcion, technical director of De Mour and discussing the wines in his portfolio when he visited Delhi earlier this year. Subsequently he sent me some wine samples to taste. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I got the opportunity to pour the wines in the company of four wine connoisseurs. Pictured: Château Haut Breton.
The wines were:
-Château Tour Baladoz 2006, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
-Château Haut Breton Larigaudière 2007, Margaux
-Château Tayet Cuvée Prestige 2007, Bordeaux Supérieur
-Château La Croizille 2003, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
– Château Lacombe Cadiot 2009, Bordeaux Supérieur
I opened three bottles that night and saved two for later. The first one we drank was Château Tour Baladoz 2006, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru from the chalky-clay slopes to the east of the appellation. A superb wine, deliciously smooth with 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it went down very well as the first wine of evening. Tour Baladoz is a powerful wine, supple in the mouth with nice structure and an elegant touch of wood. Merlot accounts for the wine’s dark colour and expressive nose of red fruit. The wine was aged 12 to 15 months in oak barrels, of which around 50% were new.
We opened the next bottle while we were still nibbling on cheese and crackers and the occasional olive. This was Château Haut Breton Larigaudière 2007, a brilliant, ruby red with beautiful aromas of red fruit and vanilla. Usually 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Merlot and Petit Verdot, the 2007 Ch. Haut Breton Larigaudière was 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and paired beautifully with our mutton biryani. Pictured: Château Haut Breton Larigaudière 2002, Margaux
The wine surprised me with its power, full, broad taste and extreme freshness that enhanced the flavours of the biryani. We completely ignored the dal and vegetables that were served on the side. Just a cool palak raita (spinach flavoured yoghurt) and a kuchumber of diced onions, tomatoes and cucumber, with mint and lime juice to offset the biryani’s richness was sufficient with this classy Margaux Cru Bourgeois.
Our third wine for the evening was Château Tayet Cuvée Prestige 2007, Bordeaux Supérieur, a blend of 55% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot grapes grown at a sort distance from the Margaux appellation on clay-silt soil that was once marshland around the Gironde river. Better than a standard Bordeaux Supérieur, and the prestige cuvée of Ch Tayet, the wine had a rich colour with an intense, complex nose and full-bodied, ripe tannins. Usually 100% Merlot with no oak, the 2007 vintage was unusual in that it was aged in oak and a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
De Mour are vineyard owners and wine shippers. The company began with Emile De Schepper-De Mour’s purchase of Château Tour Baladoz in 1950 and grew with the acquisition of other estates as well as exclusive distribution agreements with wine growers in various appellations. They became négociants later. Today De Mour (www.demour.com) is managed by the third generation of the De Schepper family, producing wines of great quality at affordable prices.
We may not have been drinking cult wines like Petrus or Haut Brion but the De Mour wines we tasted displayed amazing quality and were a great testimonial for Bordeaux. As is often said, nothing can quite compare with the making of a great Bordeaux.
Watch this space for more on De Mour and the two other wines we have still to taste:
Château La Croizille 2003, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, and Château Lacombe Cadiot 2009, Bordeaux Supérieur.
The company is seeking to export their wines to India and I hope our importers will take note, so that excellent, well priced Bordeaux wines such as these become available to wine lovers in India.
By Reva K. Singh