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Five Masters of Wine attend Libération Tardive Foundation’s inaugural event

Five Masters of Wine attend Libération Tardive Foundation’s inaugural event

On 25 June, five Masters of Wine attended the Libération Tardive Foundation’s inaugural event celebrating the art of ageing wine. The exclusive tasting featured four verticals from Château Grillet, and the fourth flight was tasted blind. The tasting brought together Masters of Wine Richard Bampfield MW, Christopher Burr MW, Andy Howard MW, Anne McHale MW and Jancis Robinson MW, with leading wine writers and wine experts to celebrate the Foundation’s core belief: ‘Great wine takes time’.

In the Lutyens Room at 67 Pall Mall, Dominic Buckwell, a director of the Foundation, raided his club cellar and presented ten vintages of Château Grillet. Serving three of the wines blind, the experts generally agreed that while terroir, winemaking and age-related variations all play a part, the additional decade or more in bottle allows fine wines like Grillet to express their full potential.

For Jancis Robinson MW OBE, “the most fascinating wine was the 2015, with all of 15.5% alcohol. It was clearly oxidative but not oxidised. Sui generis, though by no means a template for other vintages.”

The 2009 was declared as ‘wine of the night.’ Anne McHale MW noted it as “remarkably youthful, both in appearance and on the nose, for a 15-year-old wine. And yet on the palate it indicates the value of ageing these wines, since it is far more expressive than the slightly closed younger vintages. It shows the most typically ‘Viognier-like’ characteristics so far with elegant notes of peach, honeysuckle and exotic fruits. It has a wonderfully cushiony texture – broad and luscious but still a dry-feeling wine with a savoury edge, balanced by an even acidity and with the 14% alcohol only subtly evident.” Some of the other older vintages from the early 2000s, produced under the previous ownership, garnered a mixed reception.

Christopher Burr MW affirmed “whilst winemaking skills have improved markedly in recent decades, enabling many wines to be released and enjoyed young, a small group of us have been increasingly concerned that maturing and nurturing a great wine is seen as far less fashionable nowadays. Producers, merchants and even collectors are seemingly in a perpetual race to seek out the latest vintages.” He went on to say: “… often wines, that on release were rated less well or a lesser vintage, with good maturity become sublime and a great surprise in latter years.”

Richard Bampfield MW reflected “As a Château Grillet novice, this was very much an education as much as an exceptional wine tasting experience. I was surprised and delighted by the delicacy and finesse of the wines, but it was only in the more mature vintages that I started to find real character and personality.”

Wines tasted

  • Stephane Ogier, Les Vielle Vignes de Jacques Vernay, Condrieu 2018 at 13.5%
  • Côtes du Rhône du Grillet 2018 (2nd wine) at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2018 at 14.5% abv
  • Château Grillet 2017 at 15.5% abv
  • Château Grillet 2016 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2015 at 15.5% abv
  • Château Grillet 2014 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2009 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2007 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2006 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2004 at 14% abv
  • Château Grillet 2001 at 13.5% abv

For more information please contact:

Fran Bridgewater FCIM: fran@drinksnetwork.com +44 (0)7736 184124
Christopher Burr MW: info@Liberation-Tardive.org