Alex Gambal 2015 Burgundy Tasting Part 2

Friday, May 4, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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“By making this wine known to the public, I have rendered my
country as great a service as if I had enabled it to pay back the
national debt.”-Thomas Jefferson

 

Paying back the national debt is not our goal here at Wine Watch but drinking the world’s greatest wine is and that’s why we’re doing two tasting this year with our good friend Alex Gambal’s 2015 vintage wines.

The best discovery that we have made in the world of Burgundy since I have owned the store (I will celebrate my 20th anniversary here as the “Head Bottle Watcher” on May 1st) are the wines of Alex Gambal. 

An American in Burgundy is a unique story but Alex is a unique guy and we have been on the Gambal band wagon from day one so if this tasting looks like Déjà vu it’s because when we put on a tasting for Alex we want to show every bottle that he makes and this year he sent us 24 different wines!  I thought that was a bit much for one night, so this tasting is the second featuring the outstanding 20015 vintage.

This year Alex will not be here, but we would not want our “Wine Drinking People” to miss out on a chance to taste the highly anticipated 2015 vintage releases so with or without Alex the show must go on and this year we have Andy Gambal (me) here to present the wines!  I have been following Alex his entire career in Burgundy and have been to visit him several times in Beaune and have a few good stories for the group as well as an in-depth knowledge of the wines. 

We will be showing 12 wines from Alex Gambal’s 2015 release along with a special menu for $125 + tax per person and we only have 16 spaces available for this event.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

 

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Alex Gambal 2015 Burgundy Tasting Part 2 at WWWB
Friday, May 4th 2018
7:30 PM

 

2015 Whites

 

2015 Alex Gambal Bourgogne Aligote
Price: $20.25  Sale $17.82

For many years associated with the aperitif named Kir, Bourgogne Aligoté now asserts the qualities of its flavours and shines alone! Made with Aligoté, worthily representing 6% of all grape varieties planted in the Burgundy area, it highlights this type of grape that is making its comeback thanks to winegrowers’ efforts to restrict its yields.  Vines are generally planted in piedmont slopes, but the characteristics
and sensations of this wine depend greatly on provenance.

Our Burgundy Aligoté comes from vines planted in the village of Auxey-Duresses.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Chassagne Montrachet
Price: $54.00  Sale $47.52

The winegrowing area of Chassagne-Montrachet prolongs towards the south that of Puligny-Montrcachet, and also the magnificent
hillside upon which grow the world ’s most coveted Grand Cru white wines. This wide, magnificent hillside brings to perfection the
two Burgundy grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Our Chassagne-Montrachet is a blend of grapes from three plots:  “En l ’Omeau”, from our Domaine, to the south of the village,
“Les Blanchots”, situated just below the Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet and “Les Voillenots”, just below the village.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Puligny Montrachet
Price: $70.50  Sale $62.04

The winegrowing area of Puligny-Montrachet is renowned especially for its fine white wines, highly esteemed all over the world. It is located near the villages of Meursault, to the north, and Chassagne Montrachet, to the south.  At varying levels of intensity, the wines are elegant and stylish.
They combine delicacy, fullness and extraordinary complexity, all of which enhances with time in these fine laying-down wines.

Our Puligny-Montrachet is a blend of two adjoining plots of the domain - Les Grands Champs and Les Petits Grands Champs - which are located just below the Premier Cru Clavaillon.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Meursault
Price: $70.50  Sale $62.04

At the heart of the Côte de Beaune, the Meursault winegrowing area is the entry to the terroir of the very finest white wines, which continues along all the southern part of this hillside. Famous worldwide, the wines of Meursault are distinguished by their qualities of roundness, richness and minerality.

Our Meursault is made with a blend from a plot of our Domaine “Les Narvaux” and from a purchase of grapes in “Clos du Cromin”.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru
Price: $444.00 Sale $390.72

The winegrowing area of Chassagne prolongs towards the south that of Puligny-Montrachet and also extends the magnificent hillside upon which the world ’s most coveted Grand Cru white wines grow.

This vast, magnificent hillside brings the Chardonnay grape to perfection.

 

2015 Reds

 

2015 Alex Gambal Chorey les Beaune
Price: $43.50  Sale $38.28

Close to Beaune, to Aloxe-Corton and Savigny-les-Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune produces reasonably-priced communal appellation wines in abundance. The red wines are an excellent way to explore and enjoy an introduction to the wines of the Côte de Beaune, full of delicacy and fineness. Chorey’s white wines are produced in far smaller quantities.

Our Chorey-les-Beaune wine is made with grapes from a plot cultivated by our Domaine.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Auxey Duresses
Price: $45.00  Sale $39.60

Auxey-Duresses is located between the winegrowing areas of Saint-Romain and Meursault along the Route d ’Autun. With its hamlets named Petit-Auxey and Melin, Auxey Duresses is undoubtedly one of the sanctuaries of Celtic and Gallo-Roman vine growing in Burgundy, thanks to its former collaboration with the Abbey of Cluny.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Gevrey Chambertin
Price: $78.00  Sale $68.64

The Gevrey-Chambertin appellation is home to 9 of the 24 Grands Crus of the Côte-de-Nuits and thus opens flamboyantly the gateway to Burgundy’s Grande Côte.

This winegrowing area produces powerful, full-bodied red wines, marked by intense, complex and extremely elegant aromas. A long period of aging is required for these
laying-down wines to fully express the fine quality of their terroir.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Pommard
Price: $69.00  Sale $60.72

Located in the Côte de Beaune, between Beaune and Volnay, Pommard has a total of 320 hectares of vines which spread across two slopes of a hill with a South, South-East facing orientation, ideal for vine growing.

Pommard was one of the very first AOCs to be established in 1936. The variety of terroirs in this AOC can be found in the diversity of its wines which have a multitude of characters.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Volnay
Price: $66.00  Sale $58.08

The winegrowing area of Volnay is set upon an impressive hillock slightly hollowed by the presence of small, narrow anticlinal valley. The soil composition is relatively consistent and the vines, ideally oriented to face the rising sun, give wines of superb delicacy, often described as feminine.

This wine is a blend of grapes from three very closely situated plots: two belonging to our Domaine, “Robardelle” and “Petits Gamets”, as well as the purchase of grapes from the plot named “Les Famines”

 

2015 Alex Gambal Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru
Price: $208.50 Sale $183.48

Home to 9 of the 24 Grands Crus of the Côte-de-Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin opens flamboyantly the gateway to Burgundy’s Grande Côte.  This winegrowing area produces powerful, full-bodied red wines, marked by intense, complex and extremely elegant aromas. These laying-down wines fully express the fine quality of their terroir after a long period of aging.

The Grands Crus Charmes-Chambertin and Mazoyères-Chambertin are the same, but it is the appellation Charmes-Chambertin which is usually asserted. The grapes come from a plot located in the highest part of the climat named “Mazoyères-Chambertin”.

 

Menu

Charcuterie Selection

Filet Mignon Tartar with Crispy Wild Mushroom Confit fried leeks and Meyer Lemon lavender Thyme Aioli

Seared Duck Breast with Cherry Pinot Noir Reduction and Epoisses mashed potatoes

 

This tasting is $125 + tax and is limited to 16 tasters, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

Other New Releases from Alex Gambal – An American in Burgundy!!

Image result for alex gambal

 

2015 Alex Gambal Whites

 

2015 Alex Gambal Bourgogne Chardonnay
Price: $27.75  Sale $24.42

Bourgogne Chardonnay, a grape variety that has become so well-known worldwide, is the most typical example of what Chardonnay can reveal in
its original birthplace, where it is at its furthest boundary of cultivation.  Vines are generally found in piedmont slopes, but the characteristics and
sensations of the wine will vary depending on provenance. In fact, this appellation now stretches across more than 300 towns and villages.

Our Bourgogne Chardonnay comes from plots located in the villages of Saint-Romain and de Volnay, in the appellations of Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune and Burgundy.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Saint Aubin
Price: $36.00    Your Price: $31.68

Set back from Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet, the winegrowing area of Saint-Aubin is situated in marvellous rolling countryside with the most varied orientations here and soil types that differ greatly. Magnificent and underrated white wines are produced here, as well as some fresh, fruity red wines.

This village wine is a blend of two plots “Les Vellerottes” and “En Bas de Vermarain à l ’Est”. We harvest the grapes from these plots and make the wines.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly
Price: $52.50    Your Price: $46.20

This 1er  Cru “En Remilly” is found just above the Montrachet. With a South-facing orientation, this terroir is one of the finest of Saint-Aubin with our other 1er Cru “Les Murgers des Dents de Chien”. We purchase the grapes from this plot and harvest them.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Saint Aubin 1er Cru Les Murgers des Dents de Chen
Price: $54.00    Your Price: $47.52

This 1er Cru “Les Murgers des Dents de Chien” is located just above the Grand Cru Chevalier Montrachet, at the edge of Puligny-Montrachet.

We have harvested all the grapes from this plot since 1999.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru La Maltroie
Price: $91.50    Your Price: $80.52

Our Chassagne-Montrachet 1er  Cru La Maltroie is situated in the heart of the village of Chassagne-Montrachet on a wide vein of limestone, which often gives it surprising minerality.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru
Price: $157.50    Your Price: $138.60

At the boundary between the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune, the Montagne de Corton is home to two Grand Cru wines: Grand Cru Corton, red or white, and Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne, solely a white wine.  Three villages share the Grand Cru Corton Charlemagne: Aloxe-Corton (climat named Le Charlemagne),  Pernand-Vergelesses (climat named En Charlemagne) and Ladoix-Serrigny (Les Pougets, les Languettes, Le Corton).

 

2015 Alex Gambal Puligny Montrachet Les Enseignères
Price: $91.50  Sale $80.52

Our plot of Puligny-Montrachet “Les Enseignères” is situated just below the Grand Cru Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Saint Romain
Price: $37.50  Sale $33.00

At the foot of its high cliff, Saint-Romain is the finest example of the Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune, where the landscape widens out
to offer vast views. This enclosure brings to perfection the two Burgundy grape varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Our Saint-Romain 2015 comes from a blend of several of our plots named “Sous Roche”, “Sous le Château”, “Le Jarron”, “La Perrière” and “En Chevrot”. We do the winemaking.

 

 

2015 Alex Gambal Reds

 

2015 Alex Gambal Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvée les Deux Papis
Price: $29.25

As usual grapes from our vines at the base of Volnay, this “Baby Volnay” is a perfect example of how great pinot noir can be from the Cote D’Or. Red fruits with a bit of texture allows this wine to deliver way above its weight class.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny
Price: $91.50  Sale $80.52

Between Morey-Saint-Denis to the North and Vougeot to the South, the winegrowing area of Chambolle-Musigny stands at the end of an anticlinal valley, which has scattered its scree and colluvium for the delight of Pinot Noir. This grape variety is known here for producing the most “feminine” red wines of the Côte-de-Nuits.
This small winegrowing area counts 2 Grands Crus and 24 Premiers Crus.

This Chambolle-Musigny wine is made with grapes organically grown in a plot located in the climat named “Les Cras”.

 

Gambal Vosne Romanée
Price: $91.50  Sale $80.52

The name Vosne-Romanée is given to red wines produced in this village, as well as those in the neighbouring village of Flagey-Echezeaux. Between them, these two villages produce fine wines highly esteemed all around the world.  In between Vougeot and Nuits-Saint-Georges, the winegrowing area of Vosne-Romanée spreads across both sides of the anticlinal valley named Concoeur, on slopes facing the sun.

Our Vosne-Romanée comes from the climat named “Les Vigneux”.

 

Gambal Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru Clos des Argillieres
Price: $91.50  Sale $80.52

A superb winegrowing area, it is known as the “Côte de Nuits”. Officially recognized as of 1936, the AOC Nuit-Saint-Georges stretches from the village of Nuit-Saint-Georges to the North to Prémeaux-Prissey to the most Southern part.  The majority of the appellation is planted with Pinot Noir.

Our plot of Nuit-Saint-Georges 1er  Cru “Clos des Argillières” is located in the southern part, in the village of Prémeaux-Prissey

 

2015 Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
Price: $208.50 Sale $183.48

The winegrowing area of Vougeot, in the middle of the Côte de Nuits, is famous all over the world for its prestigious Clos Vougeot, which regulary represents the image of the Burgundy wine-producing region. This Clos alone covers a large part of the village of Vougeot, between Chambolle-Musigny and Flagey-Echezeaux. With its 50 hectares entirely surrounded by walls, this vineyard is indisputably the largest of Burgundy’s Grand Crus and the wines produced reveal many different
expressions depending on where they come from within the Clos.

Our Clos Vougeot is made with grapes from a plot located in the higher part of the Clos, at the foot of Château du Clos de Vougeot.

 

2015 Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Les Charmes
Price: $171.00 Sale $150.48

Between Morey-Saint-Denis to the North and Vougeot to the South, the winegrowing area of Chambolle-Musigny stands at the end of an anticlinal valley, which has scattered its scree and colluvium for the delight of Pinot Noir. This grape variety is known here for producing the most “feminine” red wines of the Côte-de-Nuits.

This small winegrowing area counts 2 Grands Crus and 24 Premiers Crus.  The plot named “Les Charmes” is located on the Southern part of the Côte,
adjoining Vougeot.

 

 

 

The 2015 Vintage
The 2015 Harvest by Clive Coates

“The bad news is Chablis. In the early hours of Tuesday 1st September a severe storm hit the Chablis area. From Irancy up to the grands crus of Blanchots and Les Clos a swathe of hail – some hailstones as large as golf balls – has affected some 100 hectares of the vineyard. In all 97 mm of rain fell in six hours. The weather then cleared, threatening rot, and most growers rushed out to harvest before it was too late. Thankfully most of the grands crus have reverted to picking by hand, so a preliminary triage could be accomplished before the fruit arrived at the winery.

Elsewhere Burgundy has been spared. It did not rain. A token amount of Chardonnay harvesting began in the week of August 31th, and by the following Monday the harvest was fully under way. The weather then cooled, not only conserving the acidities, but making life more pleasant for the pickers. I can attest from my experience with the 1964 crop over forty years ago that it is not much fun picking grapes in unrelenting heat. The first week – that is the week of September 7th – the weather was fine. Later in September the weather cooled a little. It stayed dry until the weekend of 12th September, when the first serious rain for two months or more fell in the Côte d'Or and further south. For two or three days during that week the picking was interrupted. By Saturday 19th September the harvest was all but over except for a few vineyards in the Hautes Côtes.

All the way from the Côte d'Or down to the Mâconnais the fruit was in splendid condition. Michel Lafarge reported that he has rarely seen such magnificent grapes, and his comments have been echoed by others. Aromas in the cellars are intoxicating. A further bonus is that after several years of short crops the 2015 harvest is reasonably abundant. For this much thanks.

Prices, however seem destined to be high; perhaps the highest in real terms that they have ever been. The Hospices auction will give us an indication of this. But when we read that Henri Jayer's Vosne-Romanée, Cros Parentoux, 1996 now fetches £90000 a case one can hardly expect comparable wines of the 2015 vintage to sell for peanuts.
September 1st 2015

The splendid weather in July has been followed by an August, which, if not quite so continuously hot and sunny, has been for the most part equally good, particularly towards the end of the month.

And it has continued dry. There have been, thankfully, no storms, no hail, and no threat of rot. Indeed the vines are in magnificent condition. The advance weather forecast for September tells us that it will cool over the first ten or so days, but then warm up again. The harvest will start during the next week or so, and all indications are that it will be both plentiful and successful. Just what Burgundy needs. It's all smiles here!
August 1st 2015

The weather has been splendid for a the whole of the month of July: day after day of warm, sometimes very hot temperatures, and almost a complete absence of rain. While this has made the lawns look rather dispiritingly brown and parched, the vines, with their deep root systems, have suffered no drought stress, and those people with swimming pools have been able to indulge in their fortune. For once, while there have been a couple of thunderstorms, the vineyards have escaped any hail damage.

The vintage is due to commence around the week of September 7th. Keep your fingers crossed that the good weather continues. The long range weather forecast indicates that, though not as hot or as dry as July, the weather in August will be mainly sunny and warm.
July 1st 2015

The weather has been splendid for a month now, and the projections continue promising. Slowly but surely during the month the temperatures rose, and in this last week they have reached well above 30°. Meanwhile it has been dry but not excessively so. The vines have flowered successfully, indicating a plentiful crop, bar disasters. As I indicated a month ago, the harvest should commence around September 10th.
June 1st 2015

It was an uneventful winter. When it was cold – and it was never very cold – it was dry. When it rained the temperatures were mild. So there was no problem with icy roads. April was warmer and drier than usual, as it often has been recently, and this encouraged a bud-break a little earlier than usual. But May, apart from a couple of days in the middle of the month when it reached 32°, was characterised by sunny mornings, clouding over by lunchtime, and temperatures which struggled to exceed 20°. But it has been dry. The vines began to flower around the 25th. So we can expect the harvest to commence around the 10th September.”

Clive Coates - The Vine

 

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Burgundy today is a paradox, one of the planets greatest terroirs for growing pinot noir and chardonnay and yet so many of the wines from this region remain average, overpriced examples of these two varietals.  I visited this region in March of 2008 for the Grand Jours de Bourgogne, a tasting that encompasses the entire region of Burgundy, with each village hosting a tasting highlighting their appellations wines with almost all of the major properties showing their wines.  The Corton tasting included a whopping 150 wines with equally as many vintners.  This tasting is one event that sums up the opening statement of this offering.  This is by far the largest grand cru in Burgundy and of the 150 different wines that have Grand Cru status only about 1/3 of the wines were grand- leaving the latter 2/3 of the wines shown at this event just grandly overpriced. 

Much of the dilemma that plagues Burgundy and causes the mass amount of mediocrity is that many of the new generation of producers are not enthusiastic about making wine.  They also have come to the realization they can sell everything they produce without working very hard.  This is not to say that there is a lack of passionate producers that worked hard to be the best regardless of profit, but that for the quality of the vineyards here there seems to be an alarming amount of average wines.  One of the things that add to the confusion here is that there are more small subdivided vineyard plots here probably than anywhere else in France or the world for that matter.  If you look at the most famous wine region of France and compare Burgundy to it you will find a few interesting facts.  Each time Burgundy produces one bottle of red wine, Bordeaux produces nine. For white wines, the ratio is one for two. Furthermore, Grand Crus in Burgundy only represent 3% of the total production!  In a year, the prestigious Château d'Yquem may produce around 8.000 cases whereas the Marquis de Laguiche (the largest owner of the prized Le Montrachet vineyard) will only produce 700 cases of Le Montrachet. 

Alex Gambal, one of the newcomers to this area has made one of the biggest impacts on the quality and the marketability of this region.  Alex has brought the American work ethic and his enthusiastic approach to marketing his wines and during the Grand Jours de Bourgogne he did what very few vintners do for the influx of Burgundy fans, he opened up his cuverie to his patrons so they could taste his newest releases in a relaxed and comfortable environment.  Most other producers only show their wines at the big tastings hosted by each appellation.

Born in Washington D.C., Alex Gambal discovered Burgundy in 1993, along with a passion for its wine.  He had caught the wine bug so bad that he decided to move the entire family to Burgundy to work with one of the leading U.S. importers of Burgundy Becky Wasserman.  It was not long before he was enrolled in the famous wine school in Beaune studying about winemaking and viticulture.  Only a few short years later he left Wasserman and created a négociant-éleveur business in 1997.

During the first year, Alex began by purchasing 1996 vintage finished wines and by 1998 had already established relationships with local growers.  Alex began to vinify the wine, beginning with grapes and must. In 2005, Maison Alex Gambal vinified 95% of the wines that will be bottled and they now own vineyards in the Bourgogne appellation that account for about 50% of the production of their two entry level wines; the Bourgogne Rouge and the Bourgogne Blanc.  In 2011 Alex make international wine news as he became the first American ever to buy Grand Cru vineyards as he managed to buy a small parcel of Batard Montrachet along with a few parcels located in Puligny and Chassagne Montrachet.  He is constantly enlarging his holdings to make as many domaine wines as possible.

The philosophy of Alex Gambal is a respect for the character of each appellation and vintage.  In addition, he believes that good winemaking, although imperative, should be secondary to the quality of the grapes which result from relationships and a sharing of ideas with the growers.  Achieving this goal requires constant attention to the individual vineyards including pruning techniques, green harvesting, vine maturity, etc. (certain vineyard sites are even picked by his own small team of vendangeurs). 

 

 

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