I am not entirely sure when it is respectable to stop saying 'Happy New Year' to people. But as this is my first blog post of 2011, I certainly wish everyone a great 2011.
It has been a very busy start to the year. For the last two weeks I have been traveling in Bordeaux. Lots of wine tasting, Chateaux visits and meeting new and old friends. Bordeaux is a strange place. It is a classic quality wine region, which has a tremendous wealth of fascinating history, trade and architecture.
The centre of Bordeaux has undergone an amazing clean up. The tram system works very well. The buildings have been cleaned along the waterfront and the streets are generally very clean.
I love going to Bordeaux, although it is a good 3 and a half hours drive from my house in the Languedoc. The contrast between rural, deepest, agricultural countryside of the Minervois and the grandeur of the Chateaux in the Bordeaux area is striking. I am convinced that the best value wines are produced in the Languedoc Roussillon, but also that the finest, most classic and best quality wines are produced in Bordeaux.
I will be in Bordeaux more often this year running tailor made wine trips visiting the best Chateaux via www.bellawinetours.com as well as tasting at all the Chateaux in early April to see what the 2010 vintage is looking like.
From my recent visits Alfred Tesseron at Chateau Pontet Canet is very optimistic for a great wine being produced in 2010. Whilst Daniel Cathiard the owner of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte in the Graves area is also very bullish for a fantastic wine. As always it will be interesting to guage the international demand for these wines during the Primeur season (between May and July). Last year the 2009's were sold very well, especially to the UK and the 2009 Burgundy campaign seems to be in full flow at the moment in the UK.