The Judgement of Antwerp: La Peira vs. The First Growths 2005-2015 – Young Charly Dinner
To the beautiful city of Antwerp and the wonderful portside restaurant, Het Pomphuis, for a La Pèira dinner with Young Charly. Young Charly exclusively represents the wines of Gaja, Ornellaia, Chapoutier, Champagne Gosset, Domaine Ott (to name but a few from its exceptional portfolio) and hosted and organised a fantastic exploration of the La Pèira vintages over the last decade.
After an aperitif (Champagne Gosset) while admiring architect Zaha Hadid’s boat atop the old Port House, the dinner began with the whites: 2015 Deusyls de La Pèira and the 2015 La Pèira blanc. The 2015 Deusyls impressed with its youthful exuberance, while the 2015 La Pèira blanc (a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier) was more reserved with the feeling it would make old bones. Two contrasting wines, with both finding favour among the group. There followed the estate’s third wine, Obriers de la Pèira and two vintages (the 2014 & the 2007) of Las Flors de la Pèira. Again the two vintages of Las Flors offered a contrast. The 2007 – in part due to the year – was denser, darker and more concentrated than the 2014 vintage. And the 2014 vintage offered a liveliness, a feeling of more red fruits, and layers of appeal. Both were enjoyed as an expression of their respective vintages with different tasters expressing a fondness for each vintage. And then four contrasting vintages of the La Pèira cuvée: 2006, 2009, 2012, 2014. In short: the 2006 vintage continental and reminiscent of the Medoc perhaps, the 2009 vintage, hugely opulent, rich and Mediterranean, the 2012 vintage, medium-bodied, with a lovely purity and focus and perfect to drink from now on, and the 2014 vintage, full-bodied but balanced with a beautiful transitioning from the attack, to mid palate, to finish. It was a joy to taste the wines, which brought back memories.
The Judgement of Antwerp
La Pèira and the First Growths Over a Decade
Very cleverly, as part of Young Charly’s program notes for the event, La Pèira’s performance over the last decade was charted – alongside that of the First Growths/Premier Grand Crus of Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion. William Mortelmans, Directeur général of the (now) ironically-named Young Charly (one of the biggest wine merchants and importers in Belgium & owners of Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Château Fougueyrat) noticed that La Pèira had outperformed almost all of Bordeaux’s 5 First Growths over the last decade and structured the retrospective dinner and a wonderful evening exploring La Pèira’s wines of that period (the evening solely focused on the La Pèira wines) around that theme: The Judgement of Antwerp.
La Pèira Second
From the group, La Pèira came second to Haut-Brion over the decade when the Wine Advocate’s notes were averaged out. • Château Haut-Brion 96.82 • La Pèira 95.82 • Château Latour 95.73 • Château Margaux 95.36 • Château Mouton-Rothschild 95.09 • Château Lafite Rothschild 95.00 Over the years the wines have been noted by David Schildknecht, Jeb Dunnuck (more recently), Robert Parker, and Neal Martin.
Audrey Bonnet, the Directrice technique, and winemaker at La Pèira explained the work behind the wines, the soils, the appellation, the cepages, the vineyard work, the harvesting and elevage, and it was a real pleasure to meet with supporters of the estate, and to present the wines with Young Charly who have been great supporters of the estate’s work over the years. One of a small select group of supporters in different countries – all who have made the work at La Pèira possible.
For more about the wines tasted:
Deusyls de La Pèira 2015
La Pèira Blanc 201
Obriers de la Pèira 2014
Las Flors de la Pèira 2007
Las Flors de la Pèira 2014
La Pèira 2006
La Pèira 2009
La Pèira 2012
La Pèira 2014