MMD tasting: Three producers to watch

Imbibe Editorial

Imbibe Editorial

31 January 2018

Last week Maisons Marques et Domaines brought its annual portfolio tasting to London’s Tate Modern, showcasing the impressive selection of wineries in its range, from Champagne Louis Roederer to Domaine Faiveley, via Meerlus and Château Pichon Lalande and Meerlust.

Domaines Ott

Domaines Ott might be best known for its rosés, but expect to see an increased focus on its red wine in coming vintages.

‘We’re trying to improve the quality of the red,’ Domaines Ott’s Christophe Renard explained at last Wednesday’s tasting. ‘It’s not at the level of the other wines yet, but we’re working on it.’

That’s not idle talk either – Ott’s owner Roederer acquired two chateaux in 2014, including Domaine de l’Hermitage in Bandol, which will markedly improve its red, Renard explained. ‘The terroir of l’Hermitage is wonderful,’ he added.

With the current vintage of Ott’s red at 2013, and that post-acquisition improvement expected from the 2015, we have a couple years to wait.

What is ready, however, is the By Ott Rosé 2017, bottled specifically for the tasting just two days before, and landing here in two to three weeks.

Marqués de Murrieta

An exceptional run of vintages at the start of the decade means that Marques de Murrieta is set to make history for its flagship Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva over the next few years.

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva is only made when the quality of the wine warrants it – the current 2007 vintage is only the 52nd to be produced in the 166 years since Marqués de Murrieta was established.

There’s no 2008, but when the 2009 is released in March, it’ll be the first in a run of three vintages, and the first hat-trick in the wine’s history. And there is, according to export director Joao Machete Pereira, ‘a strong probability of 2012’.

That’s likely to be where the streak ends, with 2013 proving ‘challenging’, particularly in comparison to the excellent 2010, 2011 and 2012.


Tommasi’s Amarone not top-end enough for you? Not even its premium Ca Florian? You’re in luck. The Italian winery is has been working on an even more niche, and limited-production, Amarone.

Amarone de Buris 2008, consisting of just 4,000 bottles in its first vintage, is expected to hit the market at the end of the year, export manager Elena Zin told Imbibe.

Sommelier recommendations

Lukasz Walkowiak, Aqua

Meerlust, Stellenbosch, Chardonnay 2016

Great value for this oaky Chardonnay! The palate is packed with citrus fruit, quince, nuts and almonds, with oak supporting the fruit. A fresh wine with great potential.

Marques de Murrieta, Rioja, Blanco Reserva 'Capellania' 2013

A masterpiece of Viura blended with fine oak. Full of ripe stone fruits and yellow apples, mixed with some spices, nutmeg and vanilla. Savoury with very nice acidity to balance all the components.

Castello Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013

A complex wine full of red and dark fruits, blackberries, red cherries, plums and spices, as well as tobacco. Nice earthy flavours, fine tannins and a very long finish. A very food friendly wine with lots to offer.

Domaine Faiveley, Nuits Saint Georges 1er Cru 2012

A lovely nose of red fruit, spices and cedar. The palate is rich, yet very elegant, and full of red berries, forest floor and spices. Very earthy and meaty with great structure. A Pinot Noir for meditation.

Kevin Dupont, Yauatcha

Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2009

Very elegant aromas of Menton lemon followed by pleasant bready notes of sourdough and rye. On the palate, the wine shows a great concentration with reminiscent flavours of tangy lemon and a very fine yet lively mousse. The finish is clean, mineral and precise with just enough zing to balance its nuttiness.

Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé 2010

The nose is rich and sophisticated marked by aromas of mirabelle, candied lemon, citron and a touch of orange, tar and smoke. On the mouth, this generous and ample wine displays again notes of ripe lemon, mirabelle and a flinty mineral finish despite residual sugar. Beautiful.

Ramos Pinto Vintage Port 2000

Complex nose of cooked red fruits (strawberry, dark cherry), prune, dark chocolate and a hint of black olive and pepper. The first palate is generous, ripe and utterly elegant with flavours of black cherry jam, black olive and a herbal finish. The chunky tannins are very pleasant, bringing structure to the wine and a velvety mouthfeel while balancing sweetness. Stunning dessert wine.


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