Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Canada & USA

We left Sunday, October 14 for Paris, then Canada (Montreal) where we had meetings with our 3 different agents who handle several of our wines on an exclusive basis. Our portfolio of exclusivities is so large that we have to work with different agents as one couldn’t focus on all our wines (in addition to theirs). We also had a meeting with a few managers from the SAQ, the wine and alcohol monopoly in Quebec, who are capable to offer one of the most beautiful collection in the world. We participated to a tasting organized in a school for active sommeliers eager to learn more outside of their working hours, tasting – sales with restaurants, tasting dinners with culinary journalists to speak about our wines already available in Quebec: the cuvees Calvet Thunevin, Calandray, Château Lafont Fourcat, Château Coucy, Présidial., Clos Badon, Château La Dominique, Château Clément-Pichon, Château Compassant, Château de Carles…

Wednesday, 17 in the afternoon, we left Montreal for Los Angeles where we arrived in the evening. We rented a car as Los Angeles is so big. Our hotel the Millenium-Biltmore was very well situated. The room was not too expensive but very noisy and a bit warned out.
Thursday, we had lunch with Jeff Leve and some of his friends, 2 Michelin stars well deserved, and drank cult wines… 03 Marcassin Zio Tony, 77 Weinert, 02 Sine Qua Non Grenache, 98 Sine Qua Non E Raised Syrah, 97 Guigal La Mouline, 98 Haut Brion, 03 Yquem.
We had dinner at the Water Grill (who carries Valandraud on its list) with one of our importers. The conversation focused on Bordeaux futures and its unwritten rules regarding allocations which you have to buy-in if you want to access some of the most sought after wines. It seems that I am one of the most difficult negociant in Bordeaux, the least cool, the most demanding compared to my colleagues who accept to sell the most sought after wines with no strings attached. I will probably try to become customer of some of my colleagues so I can access the wines I cannot get…

Friday, I had a meeting with one of my oldest and most important customer, to ask him to distribute some our wines. The meal at Patina was of very high quality, one of the best QPR. It would so great to have in Saint Emilion, such level of quality.
In the evening, we attended an event organized by a distributor. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned as only 15 people showed up when 150 were invited. The location, the date, the lack of professionalism, maybe we are not interesting enough, in any case, it was a pity… Especially when the next day, only 30 people showed up to our tasting at “THE” wine store of Los Angeles, Wally’s. Even if the results, in terms of probable sales and how the wines were received was OK. Saturday evening, the dinner organized at Spago, high class restaurant, for 24 people was a success. The quality of the guests, great wine connoisseurs made us feel better (after the bruises from the day before), as well as the friendly visit at the very exclusive California Club.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Domaine Calvet-Thunevin

Bettane et Desseauve recently published "Le Grand Guide des Vins de France 2008" and included comments on the various cuvees of Domaine Calvet - Thunevin :

Jean-Luc Thunevin, who built his notoriety with Château Valandraud in Saint-Emilion, created a partnership with Jean-Roger Calvet dedicated to the wines of the Roussillon which he is particularly fond of. The wines are aged in high quality barrels and built on power. Hugo and Les Dentelles are made of a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah aged for eighteen months in new or fairly new barrels. The Trois Marie is produced with only one varietal of Grenache and aged in new barrels. The technical skill is obvious and all the wines are a success in an ultra powerful style.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages Hugo 2004 16/20
A great success for this domain with a generous and well aged wine. The finish is refined and delicious full of fruits in the great style of the Roussillon.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Dentelles 2004 14.5 /20
These Dentelles are produced in a powerful and warm style. Their imposing structure is supported by generous alcohol followed by spices and an elegant finish.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Trois Marie 2004 15/20
A dense and structured red where dark fruits are followed by strong notes of liquorice and cashews. It will be appreciated by people who like wine with a strong aromatic expression built on power.

Maury 2004 rouge liquoreux 16/20
This Maury has been vinified by the Bordelais school where aging has been done with utmost care. The toasted finish has notes of cream and power ending on dark fruits.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad Boy

Last month, the magazine Le Nouvel Obs published a special section on wine and placed in 4th place in the section "Les vins du rebel" our cuvee Bad Boy 2005 :"Robert Parker, his American accomplice, calls Jean Luc Thunevin " Bad Boy". It is true that the enfant terrible of Bordeaux loves provocation. The cuvee 100% Merlot; dense and concentrated, aged in 100% new barrels, is only the first stage of the production of a vin de pays de France 70% Merlot and 30% Grenache. "I am not afraid of being considered ridiculous in front of people who taste wine like scientists", declares the founder of garages wines, convinced of his success. To be continued. " G. Muteaud September 2007

I don’t think I said "I am not afraid of being considered ridiculous in front of people who taste wine like scientists", even though the fear of looking ridiculous is only a way to think highly of yourself. I intended to say that I am not afraid for this wine, which, tasted blind with more expensive wines, will always stand out in this kind of quality-price confrontation. I am certain of this… However, the wine is still not bottled…

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Below, the results of a study done by World Wealth Report, Cap Gemini & Merrill Lynch (which was sent to us by the Bordeaux brokerage firm Les Grands Crus).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mission accomplished

The harvest was finally done only a few days ago. Under the supervision of Christophe and Guillaume, our teams finished picking the last plots.

Below, a comment found on Mark Squire’s BB, Thank you Peter Hirsch:

1998 Valandraud. Wow, do I love this wine. I keep buying more just to make sure that I don't have a chance of running out. It's a little deeper than the PF, a little more structure, a little more serious. I've had this blind a few times and I often confuse it with good/great vintages of Haut Brion. I get the tobacco aromas and flavors that come with Graves, just a hint of cedar to throw me off. The group agreed that this is 'world class' juice. '97'

Friday, October 19, 2007

A bol of fresh air

Last Saturday, meeting with a Chinese journalist then we visited one of the most famous of the bay of Arcachon… who has been fighting against the ocean to protect his little paradise, the Cap Ferret!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Friday, friends of ours invited us for dinner at the Hôtellerie de Plaisance, the high-end restaurant of Saint-Emilion: the 4 star hotel was entirely redone, with a new dinning room, a €55 menu with one of my favorite appetizer: Chef Etchebest’s Ravioli with truffles and Foie Gras… Great meal.
With all this effort, will they be able to get their 2nd Michelin star?
Answer in the near future…

We drank a very god bottle of Copa Santa from Domaines Clavel 1998, which was decanted. All this nonsense about wines from the South not being able to age.
This 1998 showed its age well and tasted even younger than some of the supposed appellation wines able to age!

This gives me hope that our southern wines will age well: les Dentelles, Hugo, and les 3 Marie (Constance being made on the fruit is intended to be drank young).

I spent the afternoon with one of my client, a Bordeaux negociant. We visited our vineyards not yet harvested near Fleur Cardinale, our cellar and vinification accompanied by his brokers.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

About to leave...

Friday, October 12

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with a journalist from Wein-Markt (Germany), Mr. Klaus Hermann who is doing a piece on Bordeaux wine consultants, which I am a part of…
He already met Denis Dubourdieu, then me, and was meeting with Michel Rolland. He will certainly miss at least a dozen as it is a very prolific profession here.

Again yesterday, beginning of the harvest for the Cabernet Francs and young Sauvignon in the sectors of Badon and Plaisance. Fleur Cardinale stopped and will start again on Saturday. As for us, I will be leaving to spend a few days in Montreal, Canada, then the US in Los Angeles and in the end in Tahiti where we will have the chance to have a few customers.

Friday, October 12, 2007

End of the harvest

Thursday, October 11

The harvest of the black Merlot in our vineyards in the valley of Saint Emilion is now finished. Today, October 11 2007! One month after the early harvest and most likely the last one in the sectors of Badon and La Grézole.

The Merlots from Bel Air Ouÿ in Saint Etienne de Lisse will most likely be harvested next week, after October 15. It is certainly due to my role as consultant at Fleur Cardinale that I felt the need to let my team manage this late harvest. I felt that this particular vintage was conducive to take maximum risk. I actually accepted the risk of losing part of the crop or even fail (which is not in my nature) to allow Jean-Philippe Fort and Christophe Lardière not to limit themselves by my nagging later on. Why has Fleur Cardinal influenced us to do such a late harvest? You just have to taste their wines which, each year, gain in softness and maturity. And there is not one reason, or reasons to question the success of this property which, in a short time, was able to be classified (even if the Saint Emilion classification is being held-up by a few bad players – “IMO”). And especially if you look at the favorable comments from almost all the wine critics in the world, except maybe the Wine Spectator and Le Point. And why not give credit to Robert parker who listed this property as one of the 50 best Bordeaux. I must also ad that Jean-Marc Quarin was way ahead of every critics as he was aware of the work done before the current owners Florence and Dominique Decoster, by the previous one, Mr Asso. He often complemented me on Murielle’s involvement in our neighboring property which was then called Bel Air Ouÿ and that we changed in 1999 into Château Valandraud. This late sector in Saint Emilion on Clayey limestone terroirs already includes a few well known crus in addition to ours: Rol Valentin (in part), Faugères and Peby Faugères, Pressac, etc…

Last night for cocktails at l’Essentiel, we drank a Hacienda Monasterio 2001 (Sapin) and especially a great Montepeloso Eneo 2000 (Italy).

For lunch, we drank a Côte de Baleau 1999 which could have questioned us on the date of the harvest. Grandes Murailles 2001, perfect and the rare Clos Saint Martin 2000 which tasted like a privilege, if you consider the nice group of people assembled by Sophie Fourcade in the Château Côte de Baleau for the end of the harvest, with her colleagues, negociants, brokers and friends.

Sentimental blog

Wednesday, October 10

Did you have a chance to read the English, Japanese and Chinese translations of this blog ? Is it easy for my translators to retranscribe the emotions you get from the comments of Jérome Perez and Marie Calvet’s response? It’s a pity that non-speaking French readers miss comments posted in Dégustateurs.com, La Passion du Vin, as they are quite different (in my opinion) from the ones posted on Mark Squire’s BB, for they feature more than just talking about wine.
The poetic, love or historical dimension of ones achievements, innate and sometimes excessive, hysterical, dishonest, is in general human and often very sentimental.

Ah, the French! Always romantic, despite globalization, eager for esthetic, gastronomy, capable of seducing as well Americans, Chinese, Japanese who idealize France. I am now starting to understand, each time I travel around the world and rediscover my story, that the roots I chose give a true meaning to my life.

Murielle prepared 2 meals for 3 sommeliers from the restaurant Martin Berasategui (3 stars Michelin) located in the Basque region of Spain, in Lasarte-Oria, who participated in the harvest with us. We drank:
Rabaja 2000 from Bruno Rocca (Barbaresco Italy) very original, silky, tight
Compassant 2004, decanted for more than one hour
Valandraud Blanc N° 1 2005
Valandraud 2002 decanted for more than 2 hours
And to finish, with a home-made apple tart, we served a Pacherenc du Vic Bilh from our friend Alain Brumont. Le Frimaire (December) 1996, with curious aromas of asparagus. Great pairing with the tart.

The next day, we drank a Clos Badon 2003 and especially one of Murielle’s favorite wine : Flor de Pingus 2003 to celebrate the visit of the Spanish sommeliers, recognizing that sommeliers have played a major role in our success. I am especially thinking of our early days, where La Tour d’Argent, or today’s sommeliers as well as the Conrad in Tokyo, etc.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Les 3 Marie

La Passion du Vin selected Les 3 Marie from Domaine Calvet Thunevin as “bottle of the week”.
This is what Jérôme Pérez wrote :

« Up to now, how many wines have affected me in a way that I will remember them for a long time, keep the souvenir if not precise, at least faithful of having greater pleasure than usual? Which wine I’ve tasted have seduced me to the point of wanting to taste them again or introduce them to others? How many have enough depth, personality, beyond their obvious quality to mark me with their imprint?
In the end, wines are like people. I am mostly interested, by far, by the ones generating controversy than popular ones, which have nothing to say.

And if the quality of this wine doesn’t generate controversy, his price will certainly do.

How much should a wine cost? What is the price of happiness? Is there a price for happiness? Is it reserved for just a few? How many of us who will buy this wine will be able to appreciate it at its right value (we’ll come back to the right value!)? How many wine lovers will appreciate it as it should and will never taste it because they cannot afford it or even not wanting to spend this kind of money for a bottle of wine?

I asked myself other questions: I met Jean-Luc Thunevin, I was seduced by the man, attracted by his acute view about everything, his vivacity, his way to destabilize you, wanting to know who he is dealing with (does business with). I was totally impressed by his knowledge of the business and his capacity to evaluate a wine, including its price. I brought a few bottles: Limbardié tradition 2001 and Lo Vielh 2000. The rascal, even if he liked them, he guessed almost exactly the price! (he only made a mistake on Rotier 2002, but who else wouldn’t?)

So, if this wine has been released into the marketplace for over one hundred Euros, it is for a reason.

But still…

2500 bottles of Grenache Noir made from 80 to 100 years old vines on a 2 hectare plot of schist and limestone, with ridiculously low yields, and aged for 18 months in new barrels of 300 and 600 liters. Is that a recipe for success? Is this wine beautiful because it was made with a specific process? Was it designed before even being produced in order to enter in this “niche” category from its first vintage (this one)? I dare not believe it and still: I bow like I bowed in front of the cuvée Charles Dupuy from Mas Amiel or the cuvée Jean Sirven from Domaine Bertrand Bergé. Few wines left this feeling of fullness, few wines have given me this delicate taste of ecstasy. Me, who likes wines from the South, I got my answer…. And if my reservations about this wine is bit stupid, my initial reservation still stands… But I loved it fully, totally, so I let go, I let my guards down for a moment and talk about my paradox.
I just wanted to comment it but instead it brought many questions up, which describe well the debates found on the forum of “La Passion du Vin”; a recurring discussion which seems to linger with no end in site.

Tasting notes :

Very dark robe, violet, very dense.

Grenache nose which reminds a vintage Maury: Raspberry, blackberry, cacao and pepper. Nice olfactory harmony. A thick and profound nose.

The mouth has great volume, roundness with enormous fruit set on a tight texture. The middle palate explodes with smoothness, filled with exact fruit, mixed with spices (especially pepper).
The finish lingers on notes of cacao and fruit where a touch of noticeable heat doesn’t spoil this unique flavor. Soft tannins lift this sublime and baroque ensemble.

In the end, this is a wine out of the ordinary recalling a vintage neither a fortified wine nor containing residual sugar, still with a quintessence of Grenache. Out of the norm, big, but not too-much. This is where the tour-de-force resides. Sensation of strength or strong sensations, however you see it ! »

Jérome Perez

And what can I ad to Marie Calvet’s response?

« Monsieur Perez,
This is the first time I participate to this forum, because I am touched by your comments on Les Trois Marie (you might guess that I am one of them…). I regularly visit the site and my husband and I are very attentive to the critics and opinion from the contributors on the forum (we noted the comments on Constance 2005;-))

In all modesty and from the depth of our Roussillon, we try hard to express the best qualities our terroir can offer. Your interest and comments are great encouragements for us to carry on.

I have a special spot for Les Trois Marie because it gives me emotions. I can recall every step which brought this wine to life. Sharing these emotions with you gives me great pride.

Therefore, I would like to thank you and reaffirm that your recognition and the one from other passionate or enthusiast are an essential drive for us to always do better. I would also like to welcome you in Maury and if by any chance you visit us, we will welcome you with great pleasure. (and maybe taste the 2007, very promising).
Best regards,

Marie Calvet
Domaine Calvet-Thunevin

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


“Watch out for the old lady at the bottom of the well” : I think this comes from a local saying intended to warn children from falling in a well and drown.
Bordeaux has many sayings with common sense, and unfortunately some a bit silly too: “to drown in a glass of water” makes me think of “watch-out for over-ripeness”. How many wines affected by over-ripeness can be named?

When you think that under-ripeness can always sneak up on us in every vintage.
When you think that so many professionals are still afraid by over-ripeness, it is normal that Michel Roland is seen as an alien! I finally decided to listen and, this year, Jean-Philippe Fort (one of Michel Roland’s collaborators) has the full control over the date of the harvest (with Rémi Dalmasso and Christophe Lardière). This is why we are harvesting so late. Results expected in the bottom of the glass in March…

In the Saturday, October 6 issue of the Sud Ouest, an article called: “an insatiable builder” was published in the local section. Here are a few excerpts:
“These past years, the name of Jean-Luc Thunevin comes up frequently in conversations about wine. Of course, especially in the Libourne region where his success is attributed to the creation of “garage wine”, but also elsewhere. In the whole of Bordeaux as well as the Roussillon where he and others have given great encouragement for motivated winemakers from this area.”…
… “Since his beginning, the garagist has become a reference for many and the subject of criticism for others. He is indeed a builder who understands that wine is a profession focused on performance, not kindness”.

It is nice to get a bit of recognition. The media has not been kind with me a few years ago… It is worth not losing faith.

Saturday we had a business lunch with one of our most faithful friends, and who had a major part in our success : Michel Rolland. We talked shop, vinification, evolution, while sipping a very good Ruinart Blanc de Blanc, the Cuvée du Papet 2005 du Mont Olivet from Chateauneuf du Pape (ripe fruit, sun, and always pleasure) and Valandraud 2005.

Every time we see Michel Rolland, we feel rejuvenated by his passion and the pleasure he gets from his job in the wine world. It is not surprising why he is one of the most sought after consultant in the world today.

For dinner, with the Mauss and the Droulers and their daughter, we drank: La Bernardine 1972 from Chapoutier in Chateauneuf du Pape, incredibly good, Blanc de Valandraud N° 1 2005 , Valandraud 1999, Hugo 2004 and Maury 2004. And unfortunately 2 corked bottles of : Palazzi 1999 and Oratoire 1971 in a magnum. Michel Bettane, in a provocative way, during a tasting where too many bottles were corked, asked that the death penalty (commercially speaking) be reinstated for cork manufacturer. Fortunately, some progress has been made in that area and we will have less problems… Well I hope.

In the meantime, the harvest goes on.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Everywhere, the harvest is going full speed ahead

Thursday for Lunch, Thanos Fakorellis, Murielle and I tasted a Clos del Rey 2003. This wine is produced under the supervision of an œnologue who didn’t take in consideration our obligation to create wines appealing to our consumers… Luckily, Jacques Montagné preferred listening to me and understands my expectations!

Talking about delicacies, we also drank a Chateauneuf du Pape Clos du Mont Olivet (Sabon), cuvée du Papet 2003. Such elegance, finesse, spices, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate! We greatly enjoyed this bottle served a bit cold. I can’t wait to taste 2004 which was a less eccentric vintage.
I thank the owners of their elegance and generosity, a rarity today. They were able to surprise me, which is not an easy thing to do.

Thursday, harvest of 2 hectares (4.94 acres) of Saint Emilion AOC which belongs to a classified property. Having no independent cellar, this wine will be vinified in the cellar of Prieuré Lescours for our “Bel Air Lescours”, a Saint Emilion at a very sweet price!
The afternoon was spent with a journalist and photographer from the Libourne section of the Sud Ouest for a report of our harvest.

A nice article was published in the Los Angeles Times featured our partnership in the Roussillon:

There's red -- and then there is Roussillon

Intense and unusual, old-vine wines from this Catalan region in the French Pyrénées are fresh, focused and amazingly affordable.

By Patrick Comiskey

…..”Other French winemakers have put down roots in Roussillon. Prominent players from Bordeaux have new ventures there; perhaps the best known is garagiste Jean-Luc Thunevin, whose St. Emilion wines at Château Valendraud have garnered worldwide attention. Thunevin has teamed up with Roussillon native Jean-Roger Calvet to form Calvet-Thunevin. The pair is producing some lovely old-vine based blends including such wines as "Hugo" and "Les Dentelles," as well as one of the region's best bang-for-buck blends, Cuvée Constance, a quietly understated cuvée with succulent red fruit that sees no oak, so the wine's dark mineral core really shows through.”….

From the Los Angeles Times

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Clos del Rey & Mas del Rey

On the forum of La Passion du Vin, Jérôme Perez published his tasting notes on the wines of Jacques Montagné :"This dozen hectare (around 30 acres) winery located the town district of Maury.
Sandy soil and clayey limestone rich in iron at an altitude of 250/300 meters (820/984 feet).
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah for the Côtes du Roussillon Village (Clos) and Carignan for his Vin de Pays (Mas).
The wines are of a very high quality.

Clos del Rey 2004
An inky robe.
The nose is closed, locked shut and only opens after being opened for a few days. It then shows a harmonious pleasure: earthy notes/garrigue and dark fruit, a touch of animal.
The mouth is brutal when opened and evolves perfectly over the period (three days). It melts admirably and gives a great deal of power, while staying fresh. The tannins are still firm and need to soften, but they are in no way astringent. I predict this impressive wine will evolve beautifully!

Mas del Rey 2004
Along the same line as the previous wine, but with an easier initial approach.
I found the same frankness, the wild side, the power and balance. The aging is a bit more noticeable , but certainly not overwhelming, quite to the contrary.
The Body is marked, the structure is tight and the fruit attractive. The finish is long with strong tannins and a prefect maturity. Here the balance is also perfect.
This wine will give a different view to anyone who thinks that the wine from the South are tiring. Certainly powerful and robust but well balanced.
Jérôme Pérez"

The owners of these wines can be proud of the comments. It would be ideal if Jérome Perez visits Jacques Montagné to better understand what makes the character of his wines: Jacques charisma (and culture), the kindness of his wife and children, the incredible beauty of his terroirs (especially the ones in the Coume du Roy)… All of that explains the personality of his wines, its quality and defects, in other words far from formatted wines.
The 2002 are too much, 2003 average, 2004 and 2005 futures top level.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Meeting last Tuesday at 9am at the boutique-wine bar L’Essentiel to review the sales activities for the last 4 months. They were disappointing (this the least we can say). Is the concept too hip, too new? Should we accept to be economically underperforming and just be satisfied by the positive image this shop brings to the product sold and the human quality of the service? Answer in 3 months.

Yesterday, harvest lunch with 20 people at Croix de Labrie. The conversation was focused on harvest techniques, evolution of the wine world and especially the developments of “brand” types of product in Bordeaux.

At 2:30 pm I had a conversation with Joan, one of my employees in the vineyards and the representative of the staff. Seeing the difficulties of being the representative of the staff in a small company, it was a good idea for him to reach out to me. Our ambitious plan to get the ISO certification forces us to be rigorous, including in human relations.

Following, Dominique and Florence Decoster and I visited several properties in the middle of the harvest to check out the techniques used - in our property in Pomerol, in La Dominique, in Laroze where they use an original system of selection (grape selection?), in Angelus where they use Mistral. Everywhere the objective is to only harvest the ripest and purest fruit, without any stems, nor any sorts of debris. In any case, this vintage looks promising here.

The harvest is beginning in our properties, with the Merlots from Prieuré Lescours in Saint Sulpice de Faleyrens. End of the Merlots in La Dominique, end at Clos du Beau Père and Domaine des Sabines. Beginning in Pomerol for Domaine Fayat-Thunevin (ex Vieux Chateau Bourgneuf), Clément Pichon goes on, Commanderie de Mazeyres finished, Haut Mazeris starts Friday, etc…

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Meal, rugby and classification

Friday evening, interview for a new internet site selling wine created by a group of young and passionate people. We promptly invited them for dinner in our house as well as a friend of ours, who owns a property in Pomerol, Joëlle. We made her change her plans and instead of going to her place, as originally planned, we asked her to join us for dinner. All in all, we were 11 for dinner which Murielle prepared in 2 hours!

Well, people who know us already know that Murielle cooks very well, and especially with ease and quickly, and always with pleasure. So, we had a fun meal, joyous, good served with a few wines, for work: Bel Air Ouÿ 2000, Virginie de Valandraud 2001, Valandraud 1999, a Egly-Ouriet Champagne, a Malbec produced by J.N Boidron (Bonbec), a very good Montviel 2000 (the Pomerol from our friend), and to please this group of young people, 2 wines older than them: Château Rouget 1962, OK for its age and a good Balestard La Tonelle 1959; a Amontillado from Spain, served with the chocolate desert to surprise everyone (and it worked).

Saturday evening, we were invited by one of our banks (Société Générale) to a meal at the Chamber of Commerce of Bordeaux. 300 people attended this quality meal. Afterwards, we all went by bus escorted by the motorcycles from the police to the Chaban-Delmas stadium to attend, with 33500 other spectators, the match Australia-Canada, for the Rugby World Cup, which Australia won easily. It was the first time I attended a game and I was astonished to see so many people so in tune with the players on the field, and all of this in a friendly atmosphere, without any aggressiveness. Bravo for rugby!

Murielle and I ran into a good number of colleagues including important ones. This is proof that this sport has a real local values.
Sunday, we had lunch with my parents in-law and drank a delicious Calandray 2004. In the evening, we had dinner at Haut-Carles with a few friends and pulled the big guns: Puligny-Montrachet Prieurs 2001, Pavie 1999 (delicious, refined), Haut-Carles 1999, Lynch Bages 1998 (delicious), Rauzan Segla 1998, Lafleur 1989 (very very good), Léoville Las Cases 1989 and an old Port, 1981 from Croft (I believe).

The Sud-Ouest published a whole page by a local critic on the last Saint Emilion classification and its cancellation. I didn’t think much of it. In my opinion, Sud-Ouest should have asked these questions to a personality outside the Bordeaux microcosm. I am part of the group that thinks that this classification was not so bad ( even though I wasn’t selected) and I am surprised that the ones who are contesting the results and the rules didn’t contest them before registering. Bizarre, as they didn’t even have to pay to participate… It is a bit silly to contest when the decision is not going our way, especially when you get a bad note, but I know many people who only approve the publi-reports, and in wine like in other places, there won’t be a lack of supporters for the oppressed… Still I believe that it would be hard to prove why the bad note was not deserved and I think that nothing stops you from presenting again in 10 years: We’re not talking about the 1855 classification! (check out the comments made by François Mauss on the site of the Grand Jury European)