Steve Weids, Head of Sales | Feb 11, 2019
It was a crisp and sunny Saturday morning outside of High Wycombe and a fresh blanket of snow lay over the ground. The odd crack of a shotgun pierced the quiet country air as a crowd gathered at the shooting ground of EJ Churchill. Richard O'Mahony (Atlas' Commercial Director), Hannah Van Susteren (Marketing) and I joined an Atlas client who organised the charity clay shoot to help raise funds for the children of a colleague who had sadly passed away. Atlas provided the wines for the lunch and it was a privilege to be asked to support such a worthy cause.
Whilst I cannot judge who was the best shot from Atlas, I can say that it was an enjoyable morning in the fresh country air shooting at the unsuspecting clays. After three hours of flurries, we all retired to the warmth of the lodge for a glass of Guy Charlemagne Grand Cru, Les Coulmets Blanc de Blanc 2013. Guy Charlemagne is a grower which we at Atlas have followed for some time, given the quality on show. The Coulmets offers chalky mineral notes and freshly baked bread on the nose. The palate has a graceful softness to it; supple, pure, defined with mouth-watering orchard notes. Elegant, with such a juicy, fresh quality to the fruit.
With the first course of smoked salmon, we poured two white wines from the 2015 vintage, namely 2015 Les Champs Libres, Bordeaux Blanc 2015 and 2015 Curly Flat Chardonnay, Macedon Ranges, Australia.
2015 Les Champs Libres, Bordeaux Blanc
91-93 points Neal Martin, Vinous Media: The 2015 Les Champs Libres (from the Guinaudeau family at Château Lafleur in Pomerol) includes a little Semillon Blanc this year. It was picked between September 5-9. It has an attractive bouquet with lime cordial, dried pineapple and honeysuckle scents that are very well defined. The palate is fresh and crisp on the entry, vibrant and energetic, the 100% new oak barely noticeable. This is one of the less-known gems from the Guinaudeaus and it comes highly recommended.
2015 Curly Flat Chardonnay, Macedon Ranges, Australia
Simon Larkin MW, Atlas’ Managing Director: The Curly Flat Chardonnay 2015 reveals the juicy, ripe limey citrus fruits on the nose allied to notes of white peach and grilled nut. So clearly expressed on the palate, with a zingy grapefruit character taking centre stage. A gentle creaminess builds, with a leesy note complexity. Long, pure and stylish, the palate tightens to the finish, not unexpected at this early post-bottling stage, revealing fine length. There is that noticeable mouth-watering, saline, mineral quality that is evident in so many vintages of this Chardonnay. Very impressive and likely to need a couple of years to show its true colours. Drink: 2020-2027.
For the main course of slow roasted beef, we paired 2014 Domaine Lécheneaut, Nuits-Saint-Georges and 2014 Bekkers Syrah, McLaren Vale, Australia. Both wines showed tremendously well, with my personal highlight being the exceptional Lécheneaut Nuits.
2014 Domaine Lécheneaut, Nuits-Saint-Georges
89-92 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous Media: Dark red-ruby. Complex aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, fresh blood and bitter chocolate, lifted by a violet note. At once sweet and very firmly built, with blackberry and black cherry flavors framed and lifted by strong spice and floral elements.
The Bekkers was no less impressive, with the following comment from Lisa-Perroti Brown
2014 Bekkers Syrah, McLaren Vale, Australia.
95+ points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, The Wine Advocate: Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Mclaren Vale Syrah gives a profoundly scented nose of plum preserves, blueberry tart and blackberry preserves over notes of Indian spices, beef drippings, menthol, licorice and cloves. Full-bodied and packed with taut, muscular fruit, it gives layers of spicy, perfumed blue and black fruit flavors supported by grainy tannins and finishing with a satisfying savory character. Drink to 2030.
I am happy to report that the day managed to raise over £6,000 for the Education Trust.