Wednesday, 23 December 2009

2009 Bordeaux Vintage

There has been very positive comments regarding the 2009 harvest in Bordeaux. Now that the initial hype may have calmed slightly, there seems to be some concerns about the alcohol levels (relatively high). But these richer fuller wines are similar to 2005,2003 and 2000 which all had higher than normal alcohol levels and produced some of the best wines of the last 10 years.
I was fortunate to be able to pick some Merlot at Chateau de la Riviere in Fronsac.

Xavier Buffo, (the winemaker) and James Gregoire (the owner) were both very confident for this harvest. The pure ripe quality of the grapes bodes well for the wines, which will be produced.

I will be in Bordeaux in January for business meetings as well as tastings, so I should be able to get a clearer picture from various respected Chateaux owners and tasters.

The crazy week of 'Primeur Tastings' in April should be an interesting time. The exchange rate is still not favorable for UK or US wine buyers, but if the wines are top quality people will always want to buy them .The efforts and energies of many negociants have shifted to the exciting markets in the East. Will these relatively new markets of Russia, India, Singapore, China and Hong Kong be the new future for Bordeaux wines?

I am looking forward to 2010 to spend more time at the top quality wine estates in Bordeaux.

Here are some interesting observations from Stephane Derenoncourt, who is one of the top consultant winemakers in the Bordeaux area. (Click on Stephane's name to read the interview.)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Chateau Cheval Blanc

Recently I was fortunate enough to fly in a helicopter over Saint Emilion. We hovered over the village and then went to explore various Chateaux. This picture is the fabulous Premier Grand Cru Classe Chateau Cheval Blanc. It is an un assuming Chateau, but it produces some of the finest wines of the World. It is interesting the sight from the air, where we could see the earth and the patchwork of exploratory works in the replanted vineyard.
One of the best wines that I have ever tasted was the Chateau Cheval Blanc 1983. I enjoyed this wine at the Jockey Club in Newmarket, whilst celebrating my 30th birthday (10 years ago). I remember the wine. My wife organised a surprise birthday party so I was surrounded by friends and family and enjoying very fine wines. What a treat. And the memories of the wine and the fabulous evening are still vivid 10 years later.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is an interesting character who has embraced social media and the internet in order to communicate about wine.
It is well worth having a look at his recent presentation at the Wine Future conference in Rioja. It is a 25 minute talk (without notes) but shows an insight to this modern style of wine communication. Click on the link here.