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When Majestic Met Moueix

Majestic staff are known for being the best trained in the business, giving our customers qualified opinions and genuine recommendations.

A new staff initiative, designed to run alongside the WSET Diploma course, sees a series of seminars being held at Majestic HQ, with staff from all across the UK coming to meet the people directly responsible for creating some of the world’s finest wines.

And so, on a sunny day in September, Majestic played host to Edouard Moueix, Sales Director for JP Moueix. If you’ve never heard of the Moueix Family before, just quickly google Château Pétrus…

IMG00160-20090907-1304As well as tasting through an intriguing flight of wines from the Moueix stable, this was an opportunity to really get to grips with the Right Bank of Bordeaux, distinguishing Pomerol from St Emilion, and Grand Cru from Grand Cru Classé and Premier Grand Cru Classé.

Edouard was fascinating to listen to – and as well as presenting some unique analogies for wine and its behaviours, he was also very clear about the kinds of wines he and his family make.

‘We make red wines,’ he said. ‘We don’t make black wines and we don’t make purple wines. There is a trend at the moment where winemakers are making super-extracted black wine. This is not a style we like, so we don’t use it.’

Edouard Moueix‘We are just farmers. Flying winemakers don’t love the vineyards. We make wines with character and identity – wines that are your friends.’

Much of a seminar was focused on the differing terroirs of the Right Bank, but winemaking techniques also featured heavily.

‘There is a common mistranslation from French to English concerning the use of oak. We do not age wine in barrels – the place for wine to age is in the bottle. Instead, we use oak to merely raise wine – élevage. We’re enhancing the wine through oak – not storing it.’

Using the example of the 2003 vintage, famous for the heatwave across France, Edouard pressed the need for judicious grape selection in order to make great wine in difficult conditions.

‘So many wines from the 2003 vintage have a taste of something burnt – like burnt rubber. This comes from the tiny grapes of the bunch that have literally been burnt by the sun. Ideally, a vine produces 250 grapes per cluster – the sorting table is vitally important in removing the burnt grapes from the final wine.’

Edouard likened the maturity of great wine to human maturity. ‘Wine starts off being very precious in it’s infancy, demanding lots of time and attention. It then goes through an awkward growing up stage before it finally matures into the finished article.’

‘The Saint Emilion classification is revised every 10 years and  Grand Cru Classé is like a game. If you’re not prepared to put in the work, don’t be surprised if you slide down the table.’

Speaking to staff  after the seminar, there was a great buzz about being able to meet one of Bordeaux’s key players, and an excitement about taking the experience back to the stores and using it to guide customers through Bordeaux’s Right Bank.

Other recent seminars have focused on  E.Guigal from the Rhône Valley and Catena from Argentina.

Wines tasted:

  • Château Puy-Blanquet, Grand Cru St-Emilion 2005
  • Haut Roc Blanquant, Grand Cru St-Emilion, 2003
  • Château Laroze St-Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2003
  • Château La Serre, St-Emilion, Grand Cru Classé, 2003
  • Château Bélair – Monange, St-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé, 2005
  • Château de Sales, Pomerol, 2001
  • Château Guillot, Pomerol, 2002
  • Château Bourgneuf, Pomerol, 1999
  • Château Gazin, Pomerol 1999
  • Château La Fleur-Pétrus, Pomerol, 2005
  • http://www.majestic.co.uk Emma Pook

    Shortly after we filmed this seminar, John moved on in the wine world and became Deputy online Editor at Decanter.com. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for the many fantastic blog articles he has written for us and we wish him every success in his future career.

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