Saturday, 28 August 2010

Thierry Manoncourt RIP

Yesterday Thierry Manoncourt passed away at the age of 92. Monsieur Manoncourt had run the exceptional Chateau Figeac(Premier Grand Cru Classe) since the 1947 vintage. He was a pioneer for many modern wine practises such as the use of 100% new oak for certain vintages; the effective use of malo lactic fermentation; varietal seperate fermentation. He also founded the Union de Grands Crus, which is now an effective promotional group for many top Chateaux.
I only met Monsieur Manoncourt once many years ago in Saint Emilion. I always felt that he was an extremely gracious and pleasant, friendly face of Saint Emilion.
Jancis Robinson wrote some splendid notes on Thierry Manoncourt's many many achievements over 3 years ago. Click here to see the full article. It is quite something for one man to have made the wine at one property for 63 years!.....But also to maintain an exceptional quality over all that time.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Porsche 911 or 8 bottles of wine?

I love this comparison of purchases from this article in The Drinks Business, click here .

Although the global economy is still struggling and the UK economy is taking drastic measures to balance the books, there is still an enormous amount of wealth in this World. And an increasing amount of people who want to invest in wine, to drink wine, to enjoy wine.....and to have the very best quality wines on their dining room tables.
My only grumble is that wines such as Chateau Lafite Rothschild(pictured above) are becoming iconic collectors wines and are totally out of reach for the vast majority of us, who are not multi millionaires!
Even the second wine of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which is called Carruades de Lafite is now trading(in the UK) at £3000 per case of 12 bottles for the 2009 vintage.

Wine is fun and enjoyable but the question is: Would you buy 8 bottles of wine or a Porsche 911?

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Languedoc Appelations simplification???

When you have got 29 Appelations and 50,000 small and large growers and +/- 2 billion bottles of wine produced every year; it can be difficult to simplify the region.
But the CIVL (one of the governing bodies for the Languedoc wines) have now created the titles: 'Grands Vins' and 'Grands Crus'. This will obviously make it far easier for the consumer to understand!!!
It is difficult enough trying to explain the three main different classifications in was introduced in 1855 (for the Medoc) one was introduced in 1953 (for the Graves) and one was introduced in 1955 (for Saint Emilion).
The article in decanter here tries to clarify the situation, but also confuses, as there are some exceptions to the rules that they are introducing.
CLARITY???? SIMPLIFICATION????.....I think not.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Bella Wine Tours

I have been busy trying to get a new website launched.
Please let me know what you think

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

App for Bordeaux?

An interesting initiative from the CIVB....the people who market and promote Bordeaux wines. They are trying to get a Bordeaux iphone App up and running. This will make it easier for any consumer in the World to identify a Bordeaux label and to learn more about that wine, the Chateaux and where it comes from. Click here for the story in Decanter.
This is all part of a new promotion 'Bordeaux Tomorrow', which sounds intriguing!!
The only difficult part could be:
'It is hoped the region's 9000 wine estates will upload information on their 15,000 to 20,000 wines during August and September despite the summer vacation and the impending 2010 harvest. '

I will follow this promotion eagerly. A positive initiative, but not too sure about the implementation.

Market Day

Market Day

One of the great advantages of living in France are the markets. Plentiful fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and all sorts of extras such as rotisserie chickens!! Yum! Today is market day in Olonzac, the largest town in the Minervois. The dynamic certainly changes for these markets in the Summer, when the tourists and second homers descend upon the markets. More voyeurs than acheteurs!

Thanks to Chez Loulou for the excellent picture.