About

Benjamin Lewin was founding editor of the journal Cell before he started writing about wine. He is one of 300 Masters of Wine and has published five books on wine,  What Price Bordeaux? (2009), Wine Myths and Reality (2010), In Search of Pinot Noir (2011),  Claret & Cabs: the Story of Cabernet Sauvignon (2013), and Wines of Modern France: a Guide to 500 Leading Vineyards.. His objective is to look critically at the factors that determine the character of wine. He also writes the myths and realities column in the World of Fine Wine as well as articles  for Decanter magazine, Wine & Spirits, and TONG. His books have been shortlisted for the prestigious Andre Simon and Roederer wine book awards. He divides his time between the East coast of the United States and the wine regions of Europe.

5 thoughts on “About

    • What Price Bordeaux and Claret & Cabs are on Kindle, so available through Amazon. Afraid Myths and Reality and In search of Pinot Noir are only in print. Wines of France will be available on Kindle soon after print publication (next September).

  1. Hello. I very much enjoyed reading your posts today, especially in regard to Burgundy, premox and oak. Your experiences are similar to mine in may regards.

    Your review of Lucien LeMoine is curious since “the story” of these wines doesn’t fit the reality of the wine, in the glass. You are not the only wine professional to recount Mounir Saouma’s winemaking philosophy without challenging it based on the results. His charm is considerable and the pace at which he delivers his commentary and barrel samples leaves little time for quiet reflection.

    My most critical analysis of the LeMoine wines is at my kitchen table, knowing full well the price I have paid for the bottle in front of me. I have tasted from many 1er Cru and village le Moine bottles in the past 3 years and the whites always smell or taste of oak, in addition to the substantial fruit and lees character. They are not infrequently premoxed, just 5 years after the vintage. I have yet to detect CO2 in any of them. The reds are also well-seasoned with oak but balanced with the fruit and extract – I look forward to these integrating and maturing into real gems!

    If you have you tasted any of the whites after a few years in the bottle I would appreciate hearing your opinion.

    • I’ve had barrel samples and I’ve had wines from the most recent vintages, but I haven’t had any really old bottles, so hard for me to comment. I did not detect excessive oak in any of these, white or red, so it would be interesting if oak became more prominent later. I did not detect carbon dioxide and did not decant any of the bottles. I do finda great sense of precision in the wines at this stage, but I’ve only had them in the period of two or three years after the vintage before Mounir says they close up for several years. I’d certainly be very intereseted to try some older bottles.

  2. In my experience the whites are mainly showy and even plush from barrel to about 5 years after harvest. They do not lack acid, either. To look beyond my narrow experience I suggest you take a look at tasting notes on Cellartracker; there is much use of the words “oak”, “caramel”, “advanced”, and “oxidized”.

    I suggest you can expect Le Moine whites to mature unevenly but quickly overall, like many other heavily oaked whites. In other words the natural winemaking with lees, no racking, 100% new oak and little CO2 is not a pre-mox solution. And the oak and lees taste becomes more apparent after time in the bottle, subjugating the terroir.

    At my home, Lucien Le Moine white wines will be consumed and enjoyed before they are 8 years old, similar to most other white Burgs.

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