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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


Russias Bordeaux

I cant believe this is Russian wine, was a phrase we heard many times from the Passport wine panel during the tasting of Russian wines from Chateau le Grand Vostock, located in the South of Russia, close to the resort of Anapa.

Wine has been grown in this region of Russia for a very long time; the vineyards around Chateau le Grand Vostock were first planted in the 19th century, when the land was given to General Karsov, in reward for his victory over the Turks at the siege of Kars. Karsov was a wine connoisseur who understood the potential of the land for wine production; it is on the same latitude as Bordeaux, and has a very similar terroir.

The 500 hectares of vineyards and the new winery built in 2003 now boast French equipment, French oak barrels, French bottles, and most important of all, a French winemaker. Frank Duseigneur and his wife Gael Brullon of France, serve as Vineyard and Winery Manager, Quality and Laboratory Manager respectively, with the assistance of wine consultants from Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Red wines contain different blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Krasnostop, Pinot Franc, Golubok, Saperavi, while white wines contain Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Aligote and Rkatsiteli grapes. We decided to give the wine a tasting at Uleys restaurant.

The Passport wine tasting team included:

  • Charles Borden, Russian wine expert, Consultant at Meridian Capital
  • Jeffrey Combs, Director of NCI Telecommunications
  • Mr and Mrs Oleg Myshkin, Director of Colliers International Realty
  • Paul OBrien, Owner of Starlite Diners, Uleys and Guillys restaurants
  • John Ortega, Publisher of Passport Magazine
  • Svetlana Vasilieva, Director of Baruch Trading N.V.
  • Guillaume Vorstelman, President of Cobalt Boats, and Baruch Trading N.V.
  • Tony Wong, General Director of Schering-Plough Central East AG

We asked our tasting panel to look out for four main indicators of quality:

  • Look Best wines are clear and brilliant
  • Smell Best wines have intense aromas
  • Taste Best wines have complex structure and flavours
  • Swallow Best wines have a flavourful aftertaste that lingers

Without exception everybody on the panel was surprised at how good the wines are. This they all agreed was a matter of perception not many people know that there is such a thing as Russian wine; they know Moldovan wine, or Georgian wine, but not Russian. Inevitably, much of the talk amongst the panel was about comparisons with wines from France or Chile or California.

How the Wines Rate

5 pts. I love this wine
4 pts. I really like this wine
3 pts. This wine is good
2 pts. This wine is not that good
1 pt. I dont really care for this wine


Chateau le Grand Vostock le Chene Royal Red
Deep, dark red colour; thick, bright aromas; excellent balance with full tannin; excellent potential for long storage and ageing in bottle.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Cuvee Karsov Red
Intense red color with ruby tones; strong, full wine with bright expressive character; notes of cherry and wood.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Selection
Very deep wine with tannin, forest aromas; hint of strawberry and spices;Saperavi grape adds notes of curry and black pepper to the bouquet; deep ruby colour with varied tones.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Terres du Sud
Harmonious rich fruity wine; velvety with black pepper notes; red-violet colour.

Chateau le Grand Vostock le Chene Royal

Bright sunny colour; fine integration of aromas of flowers, vanilla and woody tones; full taste with spicy acidity.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Cuvee Karsov
Soft gold colour; full and lively wine with the bright aroma of the grapes; hints of apple and pleasant spicy notes.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Selection
Aromatic, live wine with tones of muscat; spicy character provided by the Rkatsiteli grape; straw yellow colour with a hint of green.
Chateau le Grand Vostock Terres du Sud
Harmonious fruity bouquet; notes of acacia and grapefruit; straw yellow colour.








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