Reignac: Balthus

May 24, 2018

A wine that rivals the best of the best 

Balthus from Château Reignac ranks up there with the very best Bordeaux classics such as Petrus, Lafite Rothschild, Cheval Blanc... in blind taste tests. This 100% Merlot nectar is grown in two excellent kinds of soil, one that is rocky, the other chalky-clay to create the perfect conditions for this magnificent wine cultivated in the true Reignac spirit.

This vintage is made using a special micro-vinification technique, with the wine made right in the barrel, ensuring its specific characteristics as well as a higher level of sweetness than obtained through traditional vinification. The mid-palate is fuller with a mellow woodiness, due in part to the fermentation in direct contact with the oak of the barrel, that becomes a note that is systematically better integrated. The union of the finesse of the Graves with the power and freshness of the Argiles makes this quite an exceptional wine.

Key points: Six years of Balthus were blind taste-tasted by the European Grand Jury along with Petrus, Lafite Rothschild, and Cheval Blanc. The Balthus 2007 came in third.

Plus: Thanks to an improvement in knowledge about the growing conditions and the cultivation of additional vineyards, the volume of production of this vintage has been doubled, and today averages close to 12,000 bottles per year.

Price: 60€

For additional information and online sales:



January 3, 2018

Collet Champagne Prestige Vintages

The oldest French Champagne cooperative, Maison Collet is located in town of Ay and produces some of the best Premier and Grand vintages that reflect the diversity of the Champagne region. Collet Champagne is a high-quality wine destined for the world of gourmet cuisine and leading chefs. Every vintage can be paired with various moments of a great meal, from aperitif to dessert. 

The Best Years for Collet Champagnes: 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008

Esprit Couture 

Esprit Couture Champagne epitomizes the entire Collet philosophy of a company whose passionate artisans share a singular goal: to create the most authentic of Champagnes. Also, in homage to tradition, the wine is crafted entirely by hand, from the vine to the tasting (harvesting and riddling by hand as well).  

Esprit Couture is exclusively composed of the most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru Champagne grapes. Each hand-blown bottle is made in a glass mold custom-made for this champagne that is a blend of Pinot Noir (50%) for structure, Chardonnay (40%) for elegance and finesse, and Pinot Meunier (10%) for the fruitiness. Not overly sweet, with just 7.5 grams of sugar per liter, this champagne with its rather fine bubbles can be served as an aperitif just as easily as with poultry (chicken, pigeon, or turkey) or with fish.

Tasting notes:
Appearance: The foam is fine and regular, the color accents elegant, intense golden highlights.
Nose: Defined by a multitude of floral notes, with a slight fragrance of vanilla undertoneTaste: This champagne reveals a delicious exuberance of fruity flavors such as subtle notes of peach and yellow plum. 

The texture is silky, infinitely smooth, and the end result is a rare intensity. 

Serve chilled at 8-9°C.

Key points: Collet Esprit Couture Champagne is aged for seven years, carefully sheltered from light in hundred year-old cellars carved into the earth. Even though legislation imposes minimum aging of 15 months, these wines are intentionally aged longer to make sure they are sold at their perfect maturity. 

Plus: In 2017, Collet Esprit Couture Champagne won eight international awards.

Price: 145 euros at wine shops

Points of sale: 

MONACO: Les Grands Chais Monégasques, 11, rue Baron de Sainte Suzanne


Reignac: Grand Vin de Reignac

December 30, 2017

A wine that has outclassed the best... 

Since 2009, Reignac wines have been gaining in reputation. During a blind taste test of the 2004 and 2001 vintages organized by the European Grand Jury, wine experts put the Grand Vin de Reignac in second place, ahead of many of the best wines from Bordeaux, such as Château Ausone, Pétrus, Château Cheval Blanc.

Château Reignac

Nestled in the country, at the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, in the “Entre-Deux-Mers” region between Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion, one finds a rare pearl: Château Reignac.

Since 1990, Yves and Stéphanie Vatelot have carefully tended this beautiful 135-hectare estate, of which almost 80 hectares are planted with grapevines. Convinced that the region had great potential, legendary wine expert Michel Rolland has worked with the owners since their early days at the chateau.

Little by little, thanks to expertise organized in four steps (viticulture, harvesting, wine-making, growing of the grapes) and land that has particularly rich soil (chalky-clay and gravely-clay), these vintners learned to make wines as good as those with the appellation Bordeaux Supérieur. 




Four Vintages

The quality of these wines ranges from elegant and dense to an exquisite okay flavor. Château Reignac produces: Château de Reignac, Grand Vin de Reignac, Balthus, Reignac Blanc. Each equally appealing, the most prestigious of these wines, the Balthus, sells for approximately 60 euros.  

Prices starting at: 

Château de Reignac: 9.5 €, a good wine at a reasonable price

Grand Vin de Reignac: 21.5 €, intense bouquet, full and structured taste, this is a marvelous, well-balanced, rich wine 

Balthus: 60 €

Reignac Blanc: 29 €

Key points: Grand Vin de Reignac beat some of the best Bordeaux wines in a blind taste test

Plus: Château de Reignac won the 2018 International Best Of Wine Tourism Prize in Chile.

Follow the adventures of Reignyx, the mascot of Château Reignacx!



The Ultimate Organic Chic Champagne,

When Frédéric Zeimett took over the general management of Leclerc-Briant in 2012, the future of this centuries-old champagne company was being questioned by a fair number of observors.

The brand had to start up again, from almost rock bottom, following the death of Pascal Leclerc-Briant, the last in a dynasty of champagne producers, whose origins date back to the 19th century. The majority of the vineyards were sold to competitors, and the American couple that purchased the company inherited only the buildings, the bottles ageing in the wine cellars, and several acres of grapevines.

In four short years, Leclerc-Briant has become a favorite of amateurs and confirmed connoisseurs of champagne, who rave about its sense of innovation and the introduction of new flavors. The French Review of Wines and the Bettane Desseauve Guide have written glowing reviews of the Champagne Blanc de Meuniers premier cru, made exclusively with pinot meunier, the “poor cousin” of the best champagne grapes. This was a first for this region, where tradition is deeply rooted in the vineyards.

For a man with 30 years of experience in top management for such prestigious champagne companies as Moët et Chandon and Chapoutier, Frédéric Zeimett remains humble, and attributes his success to the talents of Hervé Jestin, his cellar master, an oenologist known for his love of biodynamic methods. “Hervé Jestin has a very original approach to his profession,” confides Frédéric Zeimett. “He’s like a wine whisperer. He pushes biodynamic methods to the extreme, both in the vineyards and in the wine cellar, which explains the true uniqueness of our wines.”

There is indeed a unique signature to the Leclerc-Briant brand, which is unique and easily recognizable in its champagnes, with their vibrant and precise character marked by a sense of fruitiness, delicious aromas, a distinct touch of salinity, and the almost total absence of sugar. This is champagne that presents itself without artifice, without pretense, and a wine with vegan certification that is presented in its most natural state.

Something happens during tastings,” adds Frédéric Zeimett. “There is a physiological reaction a very specific emotional response.”  

Their leading cru, Divine Solera, is a perfect example. This perpetual vintage combines a symphony of flavors with several generations of wine that blend in perfect harmony. This represents the exceptional sense of refinement that defines the entire range of Leclerc-Briant Champagne.

In Saint Barthélemy, Leclerc-Briant Champagne can be found at In Vino and at Le Barthélemy, the new 5-star hotel that recently open on the shore of the lagoon in Grand Cul-de-Sac.

Price: 35 euros


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