It's a pity that I didn't have the opportunity to write a review on JC le Roux a year or two ago. A year or two ago, the tastings were conducted by people who were well informed and the focus was on the wines. Things have certainly changed.
I revisited the House of JC le Roux after they completed their renovations in December. I was disappointed to find how much things had changed. The focus now seems to be squarely on satisfying large tourist groups. It has lost the personal touch that it used to have.
We used to bring colleagues and friends to JC le Roux to enjoy either the sparkling wine or MCC tasting. During the recent visit, the staff didn't seem to know what the MCC tasting was anymore or what wines were included. The "MCC tasting" which was then given to us included two sweet sparkling wines - that is hardly the best way to impress customers with an MCC tasting.
It seems that one can't really do the MCC tasting anymore? It is also no longer possible to taste the Scintilla, we were told, which is the flagship MCC at JC le Roux. This seems terribly strange. Couldn't one simply pay a higher or separate tasting fee to taste the Scintilla as many other farms do with their flagship wines?
The staff were clearly new because they could offer only bland, rehearsed information about the wines. The were very friendly but this is not acceptable for anyone who is actually coming to buy wine for the sake of buying good wine. You are forced to have either the marshmallow or nougat tastings and, in my view, the flavours totally overpower the wines. The presentation looks gorgeous and the nougat and marshmallows are indeed delicious - BUT we came for the wine. The wine we were served was actually quite warm AND it had obviously been allowed to stand open for some time because some were totally flat. The person assisting us apologised for this but did nothing else.
I'm sure that inexperienced wine drinkers and young adults looking for typical CT entertainment will continue to flock to JC le Roux and be impressed by the beautiful venue and the pretty design of the tastings - yet I can't help but feel that JC le Roux has forgotten about its customers who bought their MCCs because they were good, not just for the sake of drinking.
I will not recommend this tasting to anyone who takes their wine a little more seriously. It's tailored to students and tourists only. What a pity when one remembers how it used to be. Why does the farm not offer a separate tasting, at a higher cost with more personalised service? I suggest that they look at what a place like Fairview offers as their "master tasting". I really think people will pay more for better wine and better service, if that is what they came for.
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