A tasting from the Roberson Wine’s selection
Roberson Wine recently launched an internet based wine shop targeting the Swedish consumer market, as well as one in the UK. The Roberson selection is focused on top-level and exclusive wine. They introduced their activity to Swedish wine lovers by organising a tasting of rare Bordeaux wines from the 2000 vintage. BKWine’s reporter Wilhelm Arnör was there.
The tasting of clarets from 2000 that I participated in recently, organised by Roberson Wine, signalled the launch of their Swedish wine sales. They have a brand new internet wine shop robersonwine.se targeting Swedish consumers. They also have a British on-line wine shop that can be found on www.robersonwine.com. Their speciality is the high quality segment of the market that they have already developed on the UK market. They have some 2000 references, from 2005 and older, of wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, California and some other selected French wine regions.
Krister Bengtsson (founder of BraVin.se) was the organiser of the tasting and has also been key to the establishment of the Swedish business together, of course, with Adam Green responsible for business development at Roberson Wine in the UK. Adam was also leading the tasting.
We had three groups of wines to taste, all from the millennium vintage 2000:
- Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan 1390 kr,
- Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux, 845 kr,
- Château Léoville-Barton, St Julien, 1665 kr,
- Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, 1025 kr,
- Château Pichon-Longueville (Baron), Paullac, 2055,
- Château Cos D’Estournel, St. Estèphe, 1025 kr.
- Château Canon La Gaffelière, St. Emilion, 1210 kr,
- Château Figeac, St. Emilion, 1755 kr,
- Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol, 2415 kr.
(10 kr = 1.16 euro)
All wines were available at Roberson at the time of the tasting (end of August) and the prices quoted are the prices at that time.
The vintage 2000: the catastrophe that never happened
Early in the year 2000 seemed to be heading towards a very poor year. First a cold winter, then problems with mould and late flowering and not particularly warm in June and July. But at the end of July the warm weather arrived and stayed until the harvest with only some modest rain showers in September. Different growers choose different strategies when harvest arrived so even if 2000 is considered a very good year the quality can vary substantially from chateau to chateau.
Tasting the wines from 2000
2000 Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Pessac-Leognan:
Dark concentrated colour with hints of maturity. Elegant on the nose, complex with hints of cedar, and leather. On the palate it is harmonious with a middle-of-the road body, elegant yet structured and relatively long.
A very good wine which was a bit of a surprise to me who have not followed this particular chateau in recent years. The owners, the Cathiards, bought it in 1990 and have invested massively over the years to raise the quality. Today they are looking at moving towards biodynamic farming.
2000 Château Brane-Cantenac, Margaux:
Medium body, starting out on cassis (black currant), tobacco, liquorish, hints of paprika and a touch of plums. Quite powerful, berries on the palate, distinct tannins.
I cannot quite find the typical Margaux elegance.
2000 Château Léoville-Barton, St Julien:
Dark ruby with a hint of maturity. A bit shy on the nose, closed, but with distinct notes of a pleasant earthiness, eucalyptus and fruit. Full-bodied both on the nose and in the mouth, well-developed and balanced tannins and a long straight forward finish.
A well-made wine by Anthony Barton, the seventh generation owner and wine maker at the estate (the oldest Cru Classé family) with the 8th already getting settles in the shape of his daughter Lilian.
Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte was my favourite of the three wines in the first flight thanks to the harmonious elegance that radiated from it, closely followed by Léoville Barton.
2000 Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac:
Dark, classic Bordeaux colour with hints of maturity. On the nose it has some chocolate, tobacco and oak as well as leather. Full-bodied with distinct tannins, but perhaps a finish that is lacking a little bit in length.
Very nicely “polished” and will keep improving for at least another five years.
2000 Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, Pauillac:
Dark, lovely carmine with clear signs of maturity. Delicious, mature on the nose with opulent fruit and classic cassis (black currant). Well-balance in the mouth with tannins that settles rapidly.
2000 Château Cos d’Estournel, St. Estèphe:
Dark and dense colour with some maturity. Elegant nose with some of the minerality that I often find in saint Estèphe, yet warm, fruity almost plumy. Lots of complexity. On the palate it is full-bodied and still very elegant with a distinct feeling of cassis (black currant) without going over the top with too much berries. Well-rounded tannins and a very long finish.
The Chateau Cos d’Estournel is the clear winner in this flight in front of the two Pauillacs, hopefully not simply because I recognise the wine since I recently tasted the 91, 92, and 93 that were surprisingly good.
2000 Château Canon La Gaffelière, St. Emilion:
Dark ruby with obvious maturity. Full and well developed nose with warm notes of eucalyptus, liquorish and plums. Mature bouquet. In the mouth it is harmonious and elegant. It is very easy to like this wine.
The 19.5 ha vineyard is planted with 55% merlot, 45% cabernet franc, and 5% cabernet sauvignon. The German owner Joseph-Hubert, and his son Stephan, Graf von Neippert makes elegant wines.
2000 Château Figeac, St. Emilion:
Dense colour with maturity starting to show, but not very dark. Elegant and complex on the nose with hints of liquorish and mint. This delicious complexity is also there on the palate, rich, big and long with notes of paprika (bell pepper).
A harmonious and well balanced wine that is delicious and has a long life to look forward to.
The Manoncourt family, now headed by the son-in-law count Eric d’Aramon, still runs this old family estate.
2000 Vieux Château Certan, Pomerol:
This is also comparatively light in colour, with some maturity showing. It starts out rather closed with only hints of plums and minerals. With time it opens up and shows more warm fruit. The dominant merlot and the Pomerol style is even more present on the palate with a rich, spicy flavour with plums as the dominant fruit. Long and elegant finish still showing great potential.
Chateau Figeac will have to be my winner in this flight and even in the whole tasting. A very well-balanced wine that will continue to develop over many years, as long as you still have some left in the cellar, or get some from Roberson Wine.
It was a very well organised tasting with exceptionally wines, very well presented by Adam Green.
I have not tested buying from the Roberson site but from the look of it it seems well-written and easy to use (the UK site is www.robersonwine.com). They seem to fill a space in the current market with it. Enjoy!
Wilhelm Arnör occasionally writes on wine on BKWine Magazine. Wilhelm has been a dedicated wine enthusiast ever since he founded Vincollegiet, a still active wine tasting association at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, in 1976. His day job is running a company in the IT business in Sweden.
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