Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > White Wines at Fran Kysela’s Mondovino 2012

White Wines at Fran Kysela’s Mondovino 2012

The New Kysela Warehouse

I was excited when I received an invitation from Jeremy to attend the Kysela Pere et Fils Mondovino 2012.  Located at Fran Kysela’s new warehouse in Winchester, Virginia this annual portfolio tasting is repeated on two, five-hour days. There were over 300 wines being poured at all prices.  Though the new warehouse easily absorbed over the several hundred people, the bottles of wine completely covered the tremendous number of tables so we came up with plan for tasting and writing notes.  Armed with a proper wine glass, spit cup, and notebooks we decided to start with Champagne then work our way through the white wines in an order progressing through  increasingly richer/bigger style.  Upon satisfaction we would then work through the red wines.  We quickly decided to not even attempt tasting everything.  Lou suggested the pattern we followed all afternoon of trying several wines then jotting down our notes.  So my notes might be briefer than usual but logistically this worked the best.

Mondovino In Full Swing

There was a constantly replenished supply of food at various stations which we used to fortify ourselves.  As thoroughly as we tasted through the wines we also ate through the food.  There were over six different types of freshly shucked oysters, freshly grilled venison and pheasant, fried frogs legs, freshly sautéed wild mushrooms, and over 30 cheeses.  If you are attending the upcoming tasting then be sure to arrive hungry.

I have included 25 notes focusing on the producers and regions I enjoyed the most.  Of the Roland Champion Champagnes I particularly enjoyed the Brut, Blanc de Blancs for current drinking.  Of the white wines the 2009 Guillemot-Michel, Macon-Villages, Quintaine, 2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse, Vignes Blanches, the two Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Blancs, and the Mullineux, White Blend provided great pleasure.  At the end of the tasting I refreshed myself with a glass of Grand Veneur, Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc!  My next post will focus on the red wines I tasted at this event.

Roland Champion

NV Roland Champion, Brut, Rose, Chouilly Grand Cru – $58
This is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay with 70% from the 2007 vintage and 30% from 2006.  The color results from the addition of 15% red wine from Verneuil vineyard at least 4 years old.  Thought a light salmon/rose color one would not guess this as a typical rose based on the nose.  There were subtle, dark red flavors with some yeast and a generally lively personality.

NV Roland Champion, Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Chouilly Grand Cru – $54
This is 100% Chardonnay which was aged for 30 months and is a blend of 2005, 2006, and 2007 vintages.  It was recently disgorged.  Very forward, nice wine with a touch of ripe green apple, subtle yeast, and satisfying weight.

2003 Roland Champion, Blanc de Blancs, Chouilly Grand Cru – $66
This is 100% Chardonnay which was recently disgorged.  More subtle in flavors and bubbles than the previous wine with quite nice flavors of apples and a good mineral note.

2004 Roland Champion, Special Club, Chouilly Grand Cru – $80
This is 100% Chardonnay which was recently disgorged.  This revealed tart fruit, yeasty rich flavors, plenty of acidity, and is clearly young.  Very easy to drink.

Corinne Perchaud

2009 Corinne Perchaud, Chablis, AOC – $25
This was produced from vines averaging 25 years of age.  There was a light nose with hints of ripe, buttery fruit.  In the mouth this smooth wine had ripe fruit with chalk notes.

2009 Corinne Perchaud, Chablis, 1er Cru, Vaucoupin – $35
This was produced from vines averaging 35 years of age.  The nose was subtler and darker than the AOC with plenty of fresh fruit flavors, green apple, lots of acidity, and a mineral note.

Sancerre, Muscadet, Puilly-Fume

2011 Jean Reverdy, Sancerre Blanc, La Reine Blanche – $26
This is 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from a single vineyard.  A  lighter nose with very grassy aromatics.  Too much for me and quite different from the 2010 I tried at MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Domaine Michel Thomas, Sancerre, Blanc – $27
This is produced from parcels in 40% Cailottes, 40% Grosses Terres, and 20% Silex.  Darker and rich, it shows good restraint with lighter fruit and citrus acidity.

2010 Domaine Michel Thomas, Sancerre, Blanc, Silex – $33
This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the Silex parcel.  A nice gritty nose, a bit lifted, good fun!

2010 Domaine Tinel-Blondelet, Pouilly-Fume, Genetin – $26
Produced from 25-year-old vines located on limestone soils.  Bracing stuff, the acidity is intense mixing with some citrus notes.

2009 Domaine de l’Ecu, Muscadet, Expression de Gneiss, Sur Lie – $20
This is 100% Melon de Bourgogne.  The light, flinty nose makes way to ample minerals in the mouth.  Light and lithe.


2009 Guillemot-Michel, Macon-Villages, Quintaine – $33
This is 100% Chardonnay which saw malolactic fermentation.  I rather liked this wine with is rich, more ripe fruit, expansive flavors, quite nice.

2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Macon-Villages – $27
This was fermented and raised in 100% wood.  This was much different from the Guillemot-Michel with its more linear firmness and acidity.


2009 Michel Delorme, Pouilly-Fuisse, Vieilles Vignes – $30
This is produced from 80-year-old vines which were fermented in 10% new oak barrels.  There were good flavors, linear delivery, and a nice aftertaste.

2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse, Pentacrine – $43
This was crisp with tart fruit, a lactic note, and acidity.  My least favorite of the four Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse.

2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse, Vignes Blanches- $39
There was crunchy acidity which grabbed the tongue from the beginning, lifted, nice wine to drink right now.

2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse, Clos sur la Roche- $43
The flavors tilted towards green apple with a little less texture to the acidity, some tannins in the finish.  Nice, could use a year of age.

2010 Saumaize-Michelin, Pouilly-Fuisse, Ronchevats- $50
This had a subdued, darker nose with apple flavors that were young and tight.  There was an initial impression of some new wood.  Could use some age.

White Rhones

2011 Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone Blanc Reserve – $15
This is a blend of 50% Roussane, 40% Viognier, and 10% Clairette.  Quite drinkable with its upfront, ripe white fruit.  Good value for the price.

2011 Grand Veneur, Cotes du Rhone, Blanc de Viognier – $25
This is 100% Viognier.  Leaner with more acidity and a floral note.  This did not grab my attention.

2011 Grand Veneur, Chateaneuf du Pape Blanc – $47
This is 60% Clairette and 40% Roussane.  There was a lovely presence on the tongue with mouthfilling flavors of whiter fruit, sweet florals, and a long aftertaste.  I drank a glass of this while we were waiting for dinner and it refreshed my palate.

2010 Grand Veneur, Chateaneuf du Pape Blanc, La Fontaine – $70
This is 100% Roussane.  With a more subdued nature this had a strong, pure nose and palate of clove and nutmeg throughout with a long lasting aftertaste.  The yellower fruit had good weight.  Lovely stuff.

2011 Domaine de la Mordoree, Lirac Blanc, La Reine des Bois – $40
This is a blend of 30% Grenache, 15% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 10% Picpoul, 10% Clairette, and 10% Bourboulenc sourced from 30-year-old vines of which 25% was barrel fermented.  The hard flavors were young, clearly in need of age, but there was good body with a floral perfumed finish.  I would be curious to try this after several years of age.

Chenin Blanc

2011 Kloof Street, Chenin Blanc, Swartland – $20
This is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from 29 and 40-year-old parcels with 80% tank and 20% old-wood fermented.  Dark and lively with an obvious wood component.

2010 Mullineux, White Blend, Swartland – $28
This is a blend of 80% Chenin Blanc, 10% Clairette Blanche, and 10% Viognier which was fermented and aged for 12 months in old French barrels.  Lots of flavors with good acidity, finely textured finish, and spices in the aftertaste.  Well done.  May be drunk for several years.

The Happy Author with a glass of Grand Veneur CdP Blanc

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