Michel Couvreur Whisky/May 2007

Dear Readers,

It is with pleasure that I would like to introduce you to Mr. Michel Couvreur(below). At the end of May, I had a special day with him at his house not far from “Beaune” in burgundy region.

Actually, we are in Bouze-lès-Beaune. Pure coincidence Mr.Couvreur would tell you. In fact, he started in 1951 as Burgundian wine dealer, set himself up in London in 1959 before emigrating to Scotland in 1964.

Of Flemish ilk and nicknamed The Last of the Mohicans named by the Danish media in 1988, he found himself spellbound by the mystique of whisky to the extent that he immersed himself in the production process from the choice of the most ancient strain of cereals through to that of the sherry casks -the real key to the worldwide thrimph of Scotch. He added to Scottich practice and tradition an uncompromising respect of “ancient and honest usages” instituted by the French laws concerning the “Appellations d’Origine Controlee” and became the epitome of excellence despite the obstacles created by the rapid industrialisation of the production process of whisky. For him whisky is the most refined spirit of the world!

Let’s enter to “Paradise” in the depths of the Bouze-lès-Beaune shed where lay under glass the very old whiskies, at the heart of Burgundians rocks, where the greatest wines of the world are taking roots. What can I say, just listen this dream…..but it is real.

After this walk, I felt I was in Scotland but 150 years ago especially with the atmosphere of the cellars combined with an excellent rate of humidity.
After the ageing part in oak sherry casks, the immensly precious residuum is then sealed into large demijohns or giant bottles where it will indefefinitely stay intact. (see below)

Then, we had tasting with Mr. Jean-Arnaud Frantzen(below left) who is trully the second head taster and an extreme connoisseur in term of blending at Michel Couvreur’s house.

We started with the Grain Whisky which aged 4 years in oak casks. Slight iodine fragance with a hint of almond.
It is superb on ice (below right side)

 

 

 

 

After we tasted the Single Malt Couvreur’s Clearack which is a vatting of malts distilled in Scotland and aged in pristine casks of very old sherry then reduced at bottling to 43% alcohol by volume with Loch Katrine water. When you sip, you can find the dry fruits and elegant grassy freshness with the spicy. Needs to be served chilled.

Of course, something else was brought to me as a new born of Michel Couvreur’s series The Blossoming Auld Sherried. An exact replica of the best Victorian era malt: unforgettable roundness and strengh, together with some freshness only barley can yield. Grand Bas-Armagnac style enhanced by Scottish craftmanship. 45° a truly signature of unusual style but if you are curious you won’t be disapointed!

 

 

Finally, we have the chance to taste two rarities the Very Sherried which was distilled on the 26th November and aged over 24 years in a Sherry cask. Dark, amber robe with some ruby reflects. Fascinating tropical-style sensuality, vanilla, almond and sherry with very long finish. 45° (see on the left)

 

 

To end up my day, I had some Ever Young Prisitine
with the master blender. Astounding : juvenile strenght within very old age! Distilled on the 23rd May 1970 limpid ruby colour with golden glints, caressing aroma, long warm sherry flavours. Total production 350 litres at 49° bottled only in 50cl to satisfy demand.

I would like to thank you again for your warm welcome.
Cheers! Michel

J.De Telmont House/May 2007

Bonjour, we are in Champagne region at J.De Telmont house. Family business from generation to generation since 1912 in Damery.

The Damery vineyard lies on the banks of the Marne, 5km from Epernay. The 200 hectares of slopes, with their appellation controlled label, receive an exceptionnal amount of sunshine, which sublimates the grapes’ flavour and bouquet. Surrounded by forests, this terroir draws its unique character from its soil, a savoury mixture of plant life, chalk, and sand, where the precious varietals of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier reveal all their secrets.

At the end of May, I was in Damery with Mr.Bertrand Lhopital (below) to understand more about his marvelous champagne and the legacy of his family.

The Cellars!!!

After my arrival, Mr.Lhopital took me directly to the heart of J.De Telmont just below their office the “paradise reserve”.

The ageing part goes to 3 years up to 10 years in their cellars for instance the prestige cuvée as Cuvée O.R. 1735 goes to 10 years.

 

In the morning, I have the chance to meet their cellar master Mr. Dominique Jondreville who was doing a selection of white chardonnay for their white wine Insolite (100% Chardonnay, production only 2,000 cs a year)

With the company of Mr. Parinet (brother in law of Mr.Lhopital) we went through the best cuvée during the afternoon.

O.R. 1735 (Brut) combines all savoir-Faire of champagne through the selection of terroirs, the expression of Chardonnay grapes grown in the best best villages and a long ageing process in our cellars under cork. This cuvée represents 200 years of Champagne history.

I will say this champagne is only for special occasion.

 

Cuvée Grand Couronnement is made exclusively from white Chadonnay grapes from the best Côte des Blancs crus.

After a meticulous choice of the finest grapes, only the premiere cuvée obtained from the first pressing was used in its composition. The nobolity of its origins, its slow production in the purest Champagne tradition and an ageing process bringing up to its apogee all make this an exceptional vintage that “Crowns” their production, and gives it a place of honour among the top Champagnes.

I will say it is reserved for the most dedicated connoisseurs.

Cuvée Consécration is the perfection from the finest selection Chardonnay grand crus in Chouilly and in Avize.
A complete vinification in oak casks brings out the final expression of these two terroirs.

I will say this champagne is only for champagne lovers looking for an exclusive cuvée.

 

 

Grand Rosé, one of the finest, they attain this sensation of fruit through their selection of old Pinot vines, a partial “Saignée” to preserve the fruit’s aromatic potential, and assembly with Chardonnay grapes.

This is a champagne to share with friends.

As, Mr. Lhopital said to me “you only make a saignée when it is really good year vintage otherwise it is no point to do it”

I would like to thank you again for your warm welcome.

Cheers! Michel

Moleca Cachaca/May 2007

Buem Dia readers,
The truly authentic spirit of Brazil is capture in the “Moleca”, a sensual young woman who enjoys life at the fullest. Rio de Janeiro is the field where Brazilian Moleca invite us to merge with this country magnetic environment.

Here’s the distillery located in the south of Brazil.

 

 

 

Mr. Silvio Leal (below) is behind the brand with my brother Laurent F-Martell (in charge of Europe) but he is also the president of Leading Edge Brands in Miami, Florida.

Moleca Silver shows the freshness of newly cut sugar canes and open fields after a morning breeze, and therefore it’s excellent for mixing fruit cocktails, such as the caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink).

Moleca Gold has been aged for at least 3 years in white oak barrels (above), which gives it the sweet properties found in wood. Ageing longer than 3 years results in too much absorption of the oak barrel “woody” elements and would hide the characteristic flavor of the sugarcane juice so typical of the cachaca flavor.

It’s being promoted in the trendy bars and nightclubs in Miami, New York, Paris and very recently in Cannes during the Film Festival’s at the Nikky Beach as the perfect drink to have straight up (like a super premium Tequila).
First came Gin, then Vodka, Rum and Sake. Now, it’s Moleca’s turn to contribute to the Martini’s spectrum by representing the smoothest freshest and most exclusive fruit martinis ever created. And, they recently received the Gold Medal in San Francisco during the World Spirits competition as the best cachaca so don’t wait too long to sip it!
Good to see you Silvio and Laurent in Paris last May, Salute!!!Michel

Chateau Leoville-Poyferré and Chateau Le Crock/ Visit May 2007

 

Dear Readers,

Here we are in St-Julien Beychevelle small town located 45km north-west of Bordeaux in the heart of Medoc region with a jewel dating back to 1638: “Chateau Léoville-Poyferré” (2nd cru classé in Saint-Julien estate since 1855).
The Chateau was acquired in 1920 by the Cuvelier family, wine merchants in Lille since 1804. In 1947, one of the partners from north of France settled in Bordeaux and opened a second wine merchant business.
Today his son, Didier Cuvelier is still running the vineyard since 1979.

At the end of May 2007, the visit was conducted by Mrs. Anne Cuvelier (above holding the magnum of LP) and the tasting was done by the Cellar Master Mr. Didier Thomann (below)

Of course, I have also tasted Chateau Moulin Riche (second wine) which benefits from the same careful attention as its big brother Chateau LP. It displays similar qualities: balance, elegance and finesse. Faster evolution makes this wine enjoyable in its youth. And, finally we tasted Pavillon-Poyferré (third wine) which can be tasted young, received the same careness as its elder: Moulin Riche and has good potential for more than 5 years of ageing.

What a cellar!!! Now, we moved to another great Chateau acquired by Cuvelier family in Saint Estèphe in 1903: Chateau Le Crock (Cru Bourgeois Supérieur).

Le Crock is wine estate of 32.5 hectares, situated between the classified growths of Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Montrose.

 

 

I met over there, Ms. Isabelle Davin (Oenologist) who told me Chateau Le Crock produces wines with solid tannins but with a delicate bouquet. Full-Bodied, these wines will age perfectly for years to give finally raced and complex wines.

And, to end up our visit the baby brother of Chateau Le Crock is Chateau La Croix St-Estèphe (second wine) same style as its elder, well-balanced and complex but you can drink it a bit earlier than Le Crock.

I would like to thank you again for your warm welcome during that special day.
Cheers! Michel



Jean Fillioux Cognac/ Visit May 2007

“Cognac is the best brandy that money can buy”, I am sure that eveybody heard about this sentence. It is true but especially when savoir-faire and passion are added to it.

 

 

In May 2007, I had the privilege to taste and visit during an entire day the house of Jean Fillioux located in Juillac-Le-Coq (heart of Grande Champagne estate) with Mrs. Monique Fillioux (above) and her son Christophe (below) who recently joined the family business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house of Jean Fillioux belongs to a select group of traditional family estates who have successfully defended their upper quality niche over several decades by producing consistently authentic Cognacs that rest on century-old traditions, patience and love to become the masterpieces true connoisseurs appreciate.

What I can say, the house of Jean Fillioux has not simply been producing Cognacs since 1880 from Grande Champagne 1st cru of cognac region but it is the cognac for connoiseurs only!!!

I would like to thank you again for sharing your philosophy and your passion during my visit.
Cheers! Michel