The Mathilde 2006, (Second Wine of Chateau La Fleur Morange) has won a Bronze Medal at the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC is considered to be the largest pan-Asian wine competition and is judged by a top class panel of Asian born and Asian-based judges from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan – including the competition’s Director and Master of Wine, Hong Kong-based Debra Meiburg MW and Chinese food and wine expert Simon Tam.
This is the second year that the competition has been held in Hong Kong and the 24 judges came from Hong Kong, India, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, People’s Republic of China and South Korea. Categories were judged by country, region, variety and style, as well as a world-first Chinese food and wine pairing category, and trophies awarded reflect the unique sensibilities of the Asian palate. The judges had to blind taste their way through 6500 bottles which involved 672 hours of judging!
The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC is run by the IWSC Group Ltd (owner of the London-based 40 year-old International Wine and Spirit Competition) and is the only competition to hold food and wine pairing to provide Asians with an easy and informative way to explore and enjoy the world of wines and spirits.
Simon, Director of Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC, said; “Chinese cuisine is universally popular, but many people find identifying the perfectly paired wine with Chinese food difficult. With no other wine competition in the world awarding trophies for wine paired with specific Chinese dishes, we expect gourmands everywhere will be eagerly anticipating the results.”
Mathilde is produced by Jean-Francois and Véronique Julien with the renowned Claude Gros as consultant oenologist. The wine is named after their daughter, and is made from the same 100 year old vines and terroir as the Grand Vin. The vineyard is a 4 acre plot of unique soil with the added rarity of having 100 year old vines. The soil is sand and clay layers over limestone and clinker sub soil – the only complex mixture known to exist in Saint Emilion.
As Jean-Francois says it is not by chance that this wine is named after his daughter as he sees it as being the future of Saint Emilion. Mathilde is deliberately designed to be approachable when young but with all the qualities of a Grand Vin. The wine has been receiving high acclaim from respected wine critics across the globe. Robert Parker has said about the chateau: “This is a property I first started watching very carefully with this vintage, and I have loved just about everything that has been produced” and Jancis Robinson made the 2006 Mathilde her “Wine of the Week”.Parker went on to say that the 2006 “is a gorgeously knit, flamboyant, sensual, exotic St.-Emilion offering up notes of overripe black cherry and cassis fruit intermixed with notions of flowers and toasty oak.”
Jancis was very impressed by the management of tannins: “It looks rich and nuanced, then is very solid, meaty and polished with great balance already. It’s a wine that manages to be both serious and opulent at the same time – very ripe-tasting (13% alcohol on the label) but without any specious sweetness. It really covers the palate in the way that top quality wine does, and should provide extremely rewarding drinking for the price.”
I am very pleased that Mathilde has won the Bronze in Hong Kong – it is starting to catch up to its big sister in the award stakes (the La Fleur Morange 2006 won Gold at the Decanter World Wine Awards this year!).