Burgundy Tasting featuring the wines of Alex Gambal

Friday, October 21, 2022 - 07:30 PM

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"Away with you, water, destruction of wine!"

 

Catullus | (84 BC – ca. 54 BC) Latin Poet

 

 

 

Wine is on average 85% water but it’s safer to add alcohol to the mix when you are drinking any beverage that could have fecal matter in it.   

 

 

The best discovery that we have made in the world of Burgundy since I have owned the store are the wines of Alex Gambal.  We hosted a tasting with these wines every year in February/March and Alex has been here several times to host the tasting in person. 

 

An American in Burgundy is a unique story, but Alex is a unique guy.  We were sad to see it come to an end when he sold to the farm to the Boisset family a few years ago but we are glad that we were able to secure a good amount of his last few vintages to offer our “Wine Drinking People” that have got to know Alex and his wines over the years. 

 

We have sent dozens of people to see his winery in Beaune and he never let us down, not only were our people a big fan of his wines but there is something that makes you feel at home when you meet an American in Burgundy. 

 

We thought that when Alex sold the farm to the Boisset family that the 2018 vintage would be the last with his name on it.  But when our good friends at Boisset found out that Alex built a successful brand and that there was a strong demand for his wines in the US market they decided to continue making wines under this label as Jean Charles Boisset loves a good story.

 

Alex will not be here for this tasting, but we have the export manager Arthur Gentils from the Boisset family who is now handling the Alex Gambal brand.  Arthur will be bringing some of the 2019 and 2020 vintage wines along with him to give us a preview of the two last vintages.

 

Join us as we welcome Burgundys favorite American son’s wines back to the Wine Watch and chef Toni has made a special meal to accompany the tasting wines.  The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $195 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

 

Alex Gambal Burgundy Wine Tasting

With Special Guest Arthur Gentils

Friday October 21st 2022

7:30pm

 

2018 Alex Gambal Bourgogne Chardonnay

     2017 Alex Gambal Saint Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly

2016 Alex Gambal Chassagne Montrachet

2016 Alex Gambal Meursault Clos Du Cromin

2018 Alex Gambal Bourgogne Pinot Noir Cuvée les Deux Papis

2015 Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny

2015 Alex Gambal Gevrey Chambertin

2015 Alex Gambal Volnay

2018 Alex Gambal St. Romain Rouge

2018 Alex Gambal Clos Vougeot Grand Cru

 

 

Menu

 

Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie

Sea Scallop Carpaccio with Candied Lemon/Orange Zest and Lavender Aioli

Pan Seared Foie Gras with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms and Brioche Toast

Deconstructed Coq Au Vin

Cherry and Red Hawk Cheese Tart

 

 

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $195 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

 

 

A bit about Alex Gambal

 

 

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).