One bottle at a Time. April 2022

Written by Guillaume Celante | April 17, 2022

One Bottle at a time

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One Bottle at a Time

Each month we ask Guillaume Celante Sommelier Ambassador of The Wine Merchant and our resident wine writer to tell us about his favourite wines he is drinking. Each month he will ask some of the best sommeliers from around the world to join him and give their seasonal bottle must buy list! 

Here is your one-stop shop for your cellar based on seasonality and small producers. With tasting notes, food pairing recommendations and more, you can build your own interest of wine with One Bottle at a Time.

 

April, I’ve always loved this month.

In Europe, where I am from, spring is just around the corner, The sun is shining once again. It’s also a time to celebrate my Birthday.

Thailand is a country where the sun always shines and this week Songkran celebrations, the Thai New year, are underway.

In my experience, birthdays or new years always begin with Champagne. This month, I want to discuss a champagne house I’ve encountered while living in London.

London was for me a great experience, one of the best cities around the world for my industry, and I will always cherish the memories I made there. I’ve tried the most classic Cuvée of Henri Giraud a few times back there but I only discovered the Blanc de Craie a few years later when working in Bangkok. And this little gem became one of my favourites.

My second pick of the month will go with the fact that Burgundy is always in my mind and this time I would like to put forward the Côte Chalonnaise. An area that sometimes stays in the shadow of the bigger appellation coming from a bit more in the north of Burgundy.”

1

Champagne Henri Giraud Blanc de Craie N.V.

Grapes: 100% Chardonnay from 55% Aÿ and 45% Louvois fruit. 

Region: Champagne, France

Aÿ, a prestigious name forever associated with the region’s history, has produced wines that have ranked among the best in the world for at least ten centuries.

Many kings of France have wished to own a vineyard in Aÿ. Henri IV, King of France, was even called “Sir of Aÿ”. Until 1887, wine from the Champagne region were called “wines of Aÿ”, and after this date, they acquired the designation “Champagne”.

Today, 323 Champagne wines can produce Champagne, but only 17 are legally classified “Grands Crus”. Aÿ, classified Grand Cru, is the geographic, qualitative, and historic heart of the Champagne region. The vine on this mythic land is rooted in a deep calcareous soil, to draw from it extraordinary expressions that are mineral and floral.

Henri Giraud is one of the oldest and most exceptional Champagne Houses in France, with a fascinating history dating back to the 17th century.

This Champagne House is known for its Pinot Noir dominant cuvees and their unique use of Argonne Oak barrels. I’ve always loved Blanc de Blancs Champagne and even knowing the fact that Henri Giraud has not made its fame on the Chardonnay grapes but mainly on their exceptional Pinot Noir.

Their latest cuvee Blanc de Craie made 100% from Chardonnay is just magnificent.

With scents of lemon and honeysuckle, the nose is lively and pleasant, the texture is perfectly defined, displaying a great acidity and perfect balance.

3

Domaine Joblot, Givry 1er Cru Les Bois Chevaux 2020

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir.

Region: Burgundy, France

Beautiful introduction of the Côte Chalonnaise made by Vins de Bourgogne this month:

“Between the Côte de Beaune, to the north, and the Mâconnais mountains, to the south, the Côte Chalonnaise stretches its vines over 25 km long and 7 km wide. Here, in the heart of landscapes punctuated by hills, the vineyards have found their favourite place on the south-east facing slopes. With warm summers and dry autumns, the grapes ripen easily.

The Côte Chalonnaise has 5 village appellations, some of which have Climates classified as Premiers Crus) and several regional appellations, including 2 specific to this wine region, namely the Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise and Bourgogne Côtes du Couchois appellations.”

Big fan of Burgundy, I’ve always loved the wines from the Côte Chalonnaise and especially the Domaine Joblot that I’ve had the chance to try a few times in different places during the past years.

The Givry 1er Cru Les Bois Chevaux 2020 is a 100% Pinot Noir with aromas of black cherry, black pepper with an earthy hint. On the palate there is vibrant acidity, bright, clear red fruit and berry, and a subtle finish. Body is medium and the tannins are light.

Atchara Wongthai Palleros

Sommelier of Central Wine Cellar

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Prior to joining Central Wine Cellar, Atchara served as the sommelier at Paste, and as the General Manager/ Brand Ambassador at Riedel Wine Bar & Cellar at Gaysorn before that.

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ST. MICHAEL EPPAN, APPIUS, 2015

Grapes: A blend of Chardonnay 55%, Pinot Grigio 20%, Pinot Bianco 15% and Sauvignon Blanc 10%
Residual Sugar: 3 gr/l

Region: Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

This is the most memorable white wine I have ever had. I call this wine “Expect the unexpected”. In 2019, a Wine critic who I really admire, appeared to dine-in at my restaurant with his team. I was so overwhelmed since I never thought it would happen. They gave this wine for me to try and asked about my opinion. This moment was such a great honour and totally unforgettable. This wine has become my inspiration wine ever since.

The sixth edition of the dream wine by Hans Terzer. The APPIUS is rich and full. 2015 is considered to be one of the best vintages of the last decade, evidenced by a harvest of perfectly ripened grapes. Made from carefully selected premium-class grapes, APPIUS 2015 has a solid backbone of Chardonnay grape which has been enhanced by a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon. The wine delights with its harmonious balance of intense fragrance, mineral and lively freshness with a long aromatic finish.

The wine was fermented in barriques-tonneaux, biological acid reduction (except Sauvignon) and vinification. Assemblage takes place after just under one year, followed by another three years of maturation in steel tanks with fine yeast.

On the nose it is complex, Exotic fruits such as pineapple, mango, hints of white fruit like apple, pear, melon, apricot, peach, citrus fruits, subtle smoke and tobacco.
On the Palate: compact with a lively freshness. Balanced and full with balsamic notes, hints of mint and resin. Long and intense finish.

4

DOMAINE DE CHEVALIER BLANC, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé de Graves, 2016

Grapes: Sauvignon 70%, Sémillon 30%

Region: Bordeaux, France

One of my favourite refined white, blends is 70 % Sauvignon, 30 % Sémillon from Pessac-Léognan. Vines seem to have first been plants in the 1770s. Soils are black sand, over the subsoil with clays mixed with sand stone and gravel. Hand-harvest, only fully ripened bunches are picked. The wine was aged in oak barrels lightly toasted for 18 months for structure and texture. Vinification takes place in 30% new, French oak barrels.

I found the wine to be intense, fresh and complex on the nose. Peach, mango with mineral (quartz, flint) aromas. On the palate, elegant, soft white fruits, with some touch of sweetness reflects the perfect maturity of healthy grapes. Rich, focused and persistent. I look forward to visiting the winery on the next trip to Bordeaux!

2

Chateau Dassault, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2010

Grapes: Merlot 83%, Cabernet Franc 12%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%

Region: Bordeaux, France

This is one of those surprising hidden gem Merlot based wines for me. Vintage 2010 production is estimated at 80,000 bottles. The property belongs to the Dassault family, passionate pioneers in the aeronautic industry. Average age of vines is more than 35 years. The soils are ancient siliceous and siliceous limestone sand.

Winemaking was made in small concrete vats with internal temperature control and Malolactic fermentation in new barrels. Wine was aged 80% in new barrels, 20% in one-year-old barrels for 14 to 18 months (estimate).

I found this wine powerful, intense, bold, rich, mature tannin, persistent with ripe dark berries, coffee bean, dark chocolate along with a touch of spices and tobacco. The wine expresses itself the most after decanting approximately 30 min.

We put them in the Bordeaux Grand Cru Blind tasting at Central Wine Cellar on December last year and it was a memorable experience.

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