Thursday, July 31, 2008


I don’t know the owners of Clot de l’Oum, nor the wines, tasted only 2 or 3 times. However, it is the second time I read a post for Carte Blanche on the site of La Passion du Vin and that I browse the website of Clos de L’Oum, where pics and test show the whole beauty of the Roussillon and the reasons why we, gavatch (foreigners!) like this region.

Soon our modern, functional, beautiful and ecological cellar in Maury will be ready, as well as our store which will help make this project profitable.

Maury is becoming, thanks to the join effort of the town council, from the cooperative to the private wineries, an dynamic place: restaurants, cafes, wine bars, arts & craft and the beautiful Cathare fortresses.

Our guest rooms are almost finished and will allow us to invite clients, journalists, friends.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Saint Emilion, suite

François Mauss reacted to my post from yesterday:

« Darn !I wasn’t aware that St Emilion was such a little paradise. I should spend more time walking around and walk at a slower pace.
You don’t write about the priest? Who supplies his cellar? And the mayor? His velvet robes and soft hats while he says hello to everyone he sees ?
And the lords from the village? Just enough arrogance without forgetting to check out cute and innocent female tourists ?
Of course, you wouldn’t find these kinds of comments in St Estèphe or St Julien.
Finally, there is, indeed a hierarchy in saints! »

François, I don’t spend much time with the priest (I already spent 10 years in a private catholic school), and don’t have as much to ask forgiveness as you have… (gourmandize, etc.). In addition, he is a bit of a conservative.
The new mayor is young and nice, which is a big change from the last one.
You know all the lords of the village and often dine with them. This is a proof to their sense of democracy as you mix, in your tastings, 1st growths and “others”… You are right to say that it is important to take the time to enjoy the fruits of chance and the privilege to live in St Emilion.
Our internet site is in full renovation: new look, movement, update…
This blog is now translated in English, Japanese, Chinese… The guest house in Chateau Valandraud will be available to be rented this Fall: it won’t be rented by room, but the whole place by the week.

PR is becoming important for us… I am bit more relaxed, thanks to journalists taking the time to write about my story.

Ads are scheduled to appear in the next issue of the Revue du Vin de France special issue on the “Foires aux Vins”. The opening of our sales outlet in our new cellar in Maury will complement our store L’Essentiel, now completely integrated in Ets Thunevin.

Travel plans to the US (Dallas, Boston, etc…) are scheduled from October 11 until 26 with Christian Dalbavie. I plan to participate to the Grand Tasting in the Carrousel of the Louvre in Paris November 21 and 22. It will follow a trip to Meursault on November 16 and 17.

From September 17 to 20, we will be hosting a group of sales reps from our main distributor in New York, then Jurade de Saint Emilion on September 20 and 21, Guide Hachette in Paris on September 3 and visit of a television crew from Korea on August 27 to shoot a film. Another group of Koreans are also planning to see us on August 7.
And before the end of the year, I plan to be in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and of course, South Korea.

With the Foires Aux Vins, which I intend to attend, PR events where I will be representing the Vignobles Fayat, trade union attendance, my wholesale business… Before you know it, we will be in 2009!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Saint Emilion

A lot of tourists visit Saint Emilion (around one million per year), compared to the small number of inhabitants, some born here, others having settled.

Like anywhere, you meet people you get along with, and others not. In this little town, it is impossible to walk for more than 100 m without saying hello, or have a little chat about the weather, or what the weather will be… Human contact in a small town, which looks more like a village, could be more friendly. For instance, our neighbors are either retired, a garage, a doctor, an insurance agent… Actually, the insurance agent from the village, gave us yesterday (with his wife and daughter) a young rooster to replace our Fifi (Bantam from Beijing) who was killed and eaten by a stone marten.
We have now a new mascot in the courtyard as well as 2 hens who survived the stone marten and will have to adapt to this new comer.

Yesterday, a friend wine grower told me about the hail falling in the area, another person sent me today a rich Canadian customer, Mr. Yves Blanc’s real estate agency from Rue Guadet made copies for their friends and allowed me to make a useful real estate transaction and Michel Gracia stopped by to ask for information, etc…
Here, it is hard to be incognito, it’s good that way.

The little bit of rain we just had will be good for the vineyards and will help the veraison (change of color of the grapes). My thoughts also go to growers who were not as lucky as us for hail destroyed in 5 minutes any hope for a good harvest, here or in Meursault…

Monday, July 28, 2008

Classification, suite

Friday afternoon, the Association of Crus Classés and 1ers Crus Classés was studying the issues regarding the 8 chateaux promoted in 2006 and forget about the last legal developments.
Solidarity and appeasement seem to be the magical formulas to deal with the damage done to the 8 promoted properties in 2006. They want to avoid what happened in the Medoc with the Crus Bourgeois.

We had a quiet weekend with our family. Sunday lunch in Pessac with Sylviane and Pierre. We ate home made nems (Vietnamese spring rolls) and talked about good old times, wine, travel, kids and real life…

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wine & Society

While searching Goggle for Valandraud, I found this book : Wine and Society : the social and cultural context of a drink, about cult wine, garage, modern wine, etc… I was pleased to read that Valandraud was listed amongst Pingus from Spain (with a large paragraph), Screaming Eagle from the USA, Torbreck from Australia.
This thick book was written by Stephen Charters in 2006.

Still on Google, I viewed a short film on Chateau Fleur Cardinale, neighbor of Valandraud, where we can see our friend Bob Avarguez working.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The end of the cork ?

Yesterday, at 11:30am, I received 4 Koreans at Valandraud, 2 of them speaking pretty good French. Receiving Koreans will be more frequent for us as this country is becoming a priority. Every year, I set targets for my sales team and Korea has already largely passed its objectives.

During the meal, my Korean guests were somewhat “French”: gourmand, smiling, happy. One of them wanted to drink Valandraud 1995 and told us that it was its 9th bottle. It was the best I drank so far. It is always the same story, each bottle has its own life and cork…
Before, we drank samples of Blanc de Valandraud N° 2 2007 and Virginie de Valandraud 2005, still much too young. We ended with a bottle of Les 3 Marie 2005 which will most likely become in a few years, one of the best wines produced in the South of France. This extraordinary varietal that is Grenache is, in this vintage, showing great aromas and special flavors of black cherries with a hint of chocolate: a delight, with a touch of wood, still a bit too present, but which will disappear with time.
This wine was not heavy even though it is rich; its acidity and freshness are clearly present despite coming from the South.

In the afternoon, I worked on the ads for the special edition of Revue du Vin de France on the “Foire aux Vins”. I had dinner with a Don Quichotte fighting corks. He wants (and seems to succeed) to develop an airtight glass cork for our bottles.
All he needs is 20 million Euros of investment.
Too bad I don’t have them!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Garage wine

Monday evening, we tasted a series of so-called "garage wines" with a couple from Quebec (the French speaking side of Canada).
We had 2 bottles of Rol Valentin 1995 slightly corked. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out the provenance of the cork. A good bottle of Lynsolence 1998, followed by Hermitage 2001 (Matras), also good, and Le Dome 1996 which was a bit restrained.
Was the difficulty to taste red wine due to tiredness or the seasonal heat? Aren’t Murielle and I a bit too demanding?

In the afternoon I hosted a group from Miami (a rare occasion) to introduce these amateurs neophyte to wine. I had a good time, their questions were pertinent, and their joie de vivre refreshing and contagious.
Following, we visited the “historical” cellar of Valandraud in Saint Emilion and tasted several wines at L’Essentiel to grasp their differences. As usual, amateurs believe that they are not able to make the difference between wines. In the end, the wines picked by professionals are the ones they liked most.
We tasted Présidial 2006 (which will soon be available in their area through a large chain of supermarkets), Bad Boy 2005 which will be sold in another retail outlet, Bel Air Ouÿ 2000, Valandraud 1999 and Cuvée Constance 2004 from Domaine Calvet-Thunevin which was, as always, very “voluptuous”.

At noon, still at L’Essentiel, a group of friends came to drink a glass of Marjosse white 2006 from Pierre Lurton, always good, and for some, a glass of Bad Boy (a touch corked, which is very rare with our current cork supplier).

We had lunch and a tasting at Restaurant du Tertre invited by one of our favorite and most important cooper, Radoux.
We ordered 500 barrels this year, much less than previous years due to the low yields expected in our vineyards (last year I ordered 600 barrels): 230 Seguin Moreau, 120 Radoux, 50 Saury and 100 from 5 different coopers for testing.
Radoux is becoming an important cooper for us and sharing our technical information is greatly appreciated by my employees and myself.
If you ad purchasing for the Vignobles Fayat, Fleur Cardinale, Carles, Marojallia and Thunevin-Calvet… Every year, I remind myself that I should have invested in a cooperage firm… However, I seriously need a large storage space for I am currently using 2 outside storage companies to store close to 2 million bottles.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Nice weather ! ideal for the vineyards

Most likely there will low yields everywhere, at least in our properties. For instance, Domaine Virginie Thunevin: my daughter who, in her property of Lalande de Fronsac bought in August 2006, produces less than 30 hectoliters per hectare (around 1.7 tons per acre). Same in our property in Lalande de Pomerol. However, quality will be there in this 2008 vintage. This is somewhat a consolation, except for the financial situation of wines sold for little money.

Actually, the price of wine, already inexpensive, is going down. It is sad to think that 900 liters (237.75 US Gallons or 198 Imperial Gallons) of Bordeaux can be bought, before bottling, at less than 1000 Euros. It doesn’t leave much space for quality!
One little point to note for foreign readers, 900 liters of Bordeaux = US$ 1580 = 169030 yen = 10782 Chinese Yuan = 1621 Swiss Francs.

Compare with the minimum wage in France: 1321 Euros per month gross salary, or 1037.53 Euros net salary per month for a 35 hours per week work. Hourly wages are 8.71 Euros gross, or 6.84 Euros net per hour.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saint Emilion classification, suite...

In my (perhaps biased) opinion, it is getting worse and totally immoral.

Promoted wines from the last classification (for instance Troplong Mondot and Pavie Macquin) have now been demoted to Grands Crus Classé with previously demoted wines now upgraded!
How can justice and peace be found with such a mess and all these divergent opinions?
How can this classification be credible in front of customers, enthusiasts, medias, even though many professionals find it too lax?
‘Is there a doctor in the house’?

Take the example of Grand Corbin d’Espagne, previously demoted. They made an incredible effort working hard for 10 years to win back their status. How can you explain to them that they don’t have the right to be promoted? Worse, seeing properties demoted, including some notoriously insufficient, having the right for it!

Even worse, the fate of Fleur Cardinale, Monbousquet and Destieu who have been penalized by giving grounds to bad losers.
I have a more insidious question: What about wines which have not been able to be promoted like Barde-Haut, Quinault, or even Valandraud ?

In fact, I also feel hurt by this situation. Don’t I have the proper references across the board to be able to attain the 1st Cru B classification?
If the only way is to have 100/100, few wines can claim to this classification, at least not the ones responsible for this mess (and they were plenty).
What will the legal consequences be, the appeals, at what speed? Without taking in consideration the damage it will cause, especially with the relationship between chateaux…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Grand Jury Européen

40 wines from the 2005 vintage were selected for the grand tasting organized by the Grand Jury Européen and I am happy to see that the following wines were included:
Fleur Cardinale
Haut Carles
Virginie de Valandraud
They will then be able to pit against 1st growths and similar wines in November’s tasting at the Villa D’Este in Italy.

For the Grand Jury Européen, François Mauss organizes these tastings blind and the results are often greatly debated, especially when they don’t correspond to the opinion of “others”.
I can’t wait for the results.
In any case, this 2005 vintage is of great quality, even for wines with lower notes. Only high prices cool down the demand.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Short trip to Tuscany to visit Andrea Franchetti, owner of Tenuta di Trinoro. It was a long journey in the car for us and Marie and Jean-Roger Calvet, who we picked up in Maury.

The place is fantastic, with beautiful landscapes, the serenity of the area, the quality of the wines and Andrea’s hospitality, his friends and employees. Everything made this trip, once more, unforgettable.
Wilderness takes all its meaning here: especially when dears, wild boars and pheasants can be heard during the day (morning until evening) in front of the house.
Tasting the various wines of Andrea and ours, our exchanges, made us regret not to stay longer.

Today, I received the notes from the Wine Advocate for Andrea’s wines, Tenuta di Trinoro 95 and 95+, and 90 for Cuppole 2005 and 2006.

On our return, we had a reception for local officials in the cellar in Maury which is just about finished. The importance of our project is well received by most people we met, even if some jealousies create some problems, not unlike other places.

As a note, Italian freeways are not as safe as in France. You have to pay a great deal of attention to Italian drivers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bizarre...did you say bizarre?

Apparently, wine should have less chemical deposit than water…
But which kind of water?
From the tap, containing chlorine, nitrate, lead or other sweet things?
Or bottled mineral water with salt, etc…?

Is there a plan to use wines that have been analyzed in baby bottles?
Is there a plan to consume large quantities of wine to quench our thirst? To make coffee, cook pasta, soup? (though… I could include the Southwestern tradition of doing “Chabro” – adding wine in your soup when just about finished!?)

Even if a hypochondriac like me understands the importance of knowing what we eat or drink, it is not necessary to find all the answers.
What counts is to know if 2 glasses of wine contain residues and how much based on today’s knowledge.
Comparing wheat (bread, pasta), fruits, milk product (including cheese), other sorts of drinks, the air we breathe (outside and inside), clothing we wear (laundry detergent, additives), should be done for a purpose useful to consumers and producers like us and not just for organic fundamentalists.
Lets not forget that the main danger for consumers is alcohol and for producers product they use randomly, like laundry detergent we use at home, coloring used by hairdressers, paint used by painters, gas at the station, secretaries sitting in their confined cubical, etc…

Not more, nor less. Then, we are dealing other sorts of issue in our strange society where we still need to agree on the principles of precaution/ban: what’s good for public health, good for children (and not mildly retarded people) and for people who still don’t know that drinking wine, beer, whisky, is good at small dose, but dangerous for oneself and others if consumed in large quantities.
It is like saying that obesity is caused by bread! Or that heart failures are caused by escalators! let’s have good common sense… Speed limits on our highways do save lives. Hurrah for gendarmes who enforce these laws.
Cars don’t kill, but the driver who is responsible for the accident (and who could also have been driving slowly ?).

A person who is not capable in discernment, should not be considered an adult. Still, each of us could blame “others” for many things.
The other bizarre person.

Monday, July 14, 2008


When I tell the story of my life to journalists or on television, what surprises people the most is my atypical path.
In short: Son of a “pied-noir” (French colonial born in Algeria) with few diplomas, I worked as a bank employee, lumberjack, DJ, before starting a restaurant and wine store in Saint Emilion.

I rarely speak about my military service which I volunteered for in the paratroopers. Following a military training in Poitiers in 1969 and my military service, which only lasted 12 months, starting in April 1970; I was able to jump before and during my service in the 35th artillery regiment of paratroopers in Tarbes.
Besides trying to conquer my fear jumping from a plane with a parachute in my back, I was assigned as a military nurse (me, who is always afraid of diseases).
I jumped from a Transal plane and even a Noratlas less than 10 times. I was glad to reach the ground in one piece and still alive. The limit from being masochistic. The hardest for me being the marches and sport. Still, I kept a very good memory of Tarbes and had a good time, taking full advantage of the lust for life we had at that time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Senate

I would have not dared! It had to be done!Les déclassés reclassés (downgrated properties reclassified-link in French)... without showing any concerns for the new properties promoted…

And still from the Senate : Advertising of alcohol beverages on the internet is banned : All our sites will have to be relocated ! In Belgium, land of freedom?!

ViaMichelin published a review on Robert Vifian, Saint Emilion, us…

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Beginning of the holidays

Lots of work and orders. In France, the Summer holidays are starting for everyone (from July 14 until August 15). Half of the staff will be on holiday, except in the vineyards where the holidays are between August 15 and September 15.

Last night, we had dinner at Bel Air/Valandraud with our Japanese friend and great client.
Lamb Tajine with olives and Moroccan desert for 13 people – which for me is a good number. Vertical tasting of Villa Mongiron 2003/2004 and Fleur Mongiron 2000/2001/2002/2004. The wines produced by Guillaume Quéron are remarquable, but many professionals already know that. Their only problem is that they are in Bordeaux appellation. If they were in Margaux or Pomerol, Guillaume would have been wealthy.
The high cost of production, as Paul-Marie Morillon from Ch. Lafont Fourcat would say, will be the main cause why small properties will go out of business.
After this nice series, we drank a cult wine with desert: Clos Erasmus 1999 (93 RP), 65% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Franc and 15% Syrah, produced in Priorat by Daphné Glorian. We loved it, so as our Japanese friends and Gilles Moreaux, a friend from my youth in the 70s when Disco was keeping us up and going through the night.


The research and statistical department of the CIVB (Bordeaux promotion office) provides us with geographical statistical studies on wine sales in large to medium size supermarkets in France.
The average price for a AOC red Bordeaux is 2.82 Euros, Haut-Medoc 7.86, Margaux 17.09, Saint Emilion Grand Cru 11.88, Pomerol 14.34.

We are not talking about quality, even though I seriously think that 30% of wines selling for that price can be good, 30% OK and the rest probably bad.
Who’s to blame? The goose or the gander? it is always the same question. The supplier? The seller? the customer ?
My opinion is that without customers, no suppliers.

I read on the CIVB’s newsletter:
The 6th edition of “Bordeaux fête le Vin” (Bordeaux wine festival), was very successful: 450 000 visitors, 48 200 tickets sold for tastings (+2% compared to 2006), 450 passes sold to visit vineyards, more that 500 000 tastings, 45 450 bottles drank. 260 journalists, including more than 72 from the foreign press from 17 different nationalities reported the event. 2000 amateurs participated to the tasting workshops from l’Ecole du Vin.
Who said that Bordeaux was over?

The citadel of Blaye, created by Vauban, was just listed as a Unesco 2008 World Heritage Site, like Saint Emilion in 1999 and Bordeaux in 2007. This is good for our beautiful department and will attract tourism of quality.
When is Sauterne also going to be listed?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Full speed

Axelle de Valandraud 2000 is being served at the G8 summit taking place on the island of Hokkaido. At least, this is the information given to me by a friend from Bordeaux a few weeks ago. Hopefully, this garage wine will help find solutions to fight against the increase in the price of oil and raw material.

Friday evening, we had a great dinner. We were invited by a couple, brokers in Bordeaux, in a beautiful country house near Bordeaux. it was full of animals, 100 years old trees and plenty of big and hungry mosquitoes. A couple, a bit like us, owners as well as wholesalers, were also invited to share this meal and a few wines (Volnay, Languedoc, Champagne and a very nice Beauséjour Bécot 1990).

Saturday was a busy work day : tasting with Caroline and some of her clients (a group of 12 English professionals) at Chateau La Dominique followed by a visit and tasting at Valandraud/Bel Air Ouÿ in Saint Etienne de Lisse. Valandraud 2007 tasted very good. I hope that it will become one of Bordeaux best as well as 2006…

At 1 pm, I had lunch with colleague wholesaler in Bordeaux and his Japanese customers in the restaurant La Cadène. A house rosé, a beautiful piece of tuna and, again, the warm reception from the owners Marion and Abdou Maarfi-Moulierac, who were the first in Saint Emilion to help us when were opened in 1984, across the street, the restaurant Le Tertre. We will never forget the oysters and the white wine Jean l’Arc from Bob Avarguez for the last meal before the restaurant opened.

Next, I went to Pomerol for a visit at Château Commanderie de Mazeyres to taste all the vintages available with an excellent 2000 and especially 2001. I also went to Stéphane and Carol Bedenc at Château Maro de Saint Amant in Saint Emilion where my “protégés” are now settled. I am proud to sell their wines which are made with love.

You can often find love and friendship in our job, for wine encourages personal interaction. The same evening, I told Christophe, a big Bordeaux wholesaler, that I could no longer sell wine from people I didn’t like, except if I had a special request from one of my customers. I favor more and more wines from people who consider me more than a good PR or wine merchant.

In the evening (after a stop by L’Essentiel), I went to a big party, close to Libourne, attended by 200 people including many colleagues owners or wholesalers. It was a nice event with wine, food and good atmosphere… We went to bed after 2 am!
By the way, the wines served were: Meursault Rougeard 2004, Sociando Mallet 2004, Larcis Ducasse 2003 (very good), Pontet Canet 1999.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Nothing new

Thursday evening, we had a simple dinner at home with Jenifer, Edouard, Christophe, Xin and us.

Cantaloupe with Maury 2003 from Terre Rousse, good way to feature these good wine.
Blanc N°2 de Valandraud 2007, then an excellent Exile 2006 from the Barossa Valley (Australia), Valandraud 1999 with truffled mash potatoes and roast beef. With raspberries, we drank a Sassicaia 1994 which had the style of an old Bordeaux, a bit austere, and a Bordeaux brandy to finish this late dinner. We had a good time, even had an animated conversation about Tibet, the Chinese and secular side are rarely considered in France.

On the site of Berthomeau, I read an article on Claire Naudin which says everything I know since I started making wine. I also read such agricultural book written for the general public. The one mentioned is “La Maison Rustique”, the first edition was published in 1582, and includes everything there is to know.
Columelle used to write the same things in the year 42.
Everything was written about the way to get healthy grapes in order to make good wine in the ancient time.

I would like to particularly thank Louis Havaux for the one page article in the Belgium magazine Vino Magazine.

Nice encounter

On Tuesday, July 1 I had a work lunch at Chateau Fleur Cardinale with the whole technical staff: Richard, Jean Philippe, Bob, Dominique, Florence and I.
Before, we tasted several batches of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon aged in barrels made by 3 different coopers. It is always surprising for me to see how important the difference is between barrels from the same cooper and, of course, between different coopers. In any case, the 2007 taste better now that it did during the futures campaign. Following, with lunch, we drank the 2006 vintage which was just bottled and really noticed its high quality; and also drank 2004 and 2003.

For dinner, we also drank a bottle of 2005 which was really impressive despite the tropical heat we had during the meal with Mark Golodetz, an American journalist. During the meal, he asked if any one living more than 5 km from Saint Emilion was concerned about the classification? In the USA, at least in his opinion, it is not important (nor according to Frédéric Gautier’s comment on my blog).

In any case, I like the classification as it is one of the access doors to recognition and I can’t forget that I am the consultant for Châteaux Fleur Cardinale and La Dominique and that I applied for Valandraud and Clos Badon.
Wednesday 2 in the morning, tasting with Alain Raynaud, Jean Philippe Fort and the technical staff of Chateau de Carles to prepare the bottling of 2006.

Following, I went to Libourne to attend a friendly and special lunch.
The physical perception at that moment is so intense with tears and anguish not to be up to the task, of not being “worthy”… Murielle was intimated so was I even though our host tried his best not to be too much. He made the effort to be simple, that even someone like me lacking confidence about culture can forget the road I still have to go.

Time always goes fast during these meetings. The place was peaceful and wine was from the symbolic vintage of 1988 (the 8 of prosperity) and drinking it, this sexual image, feminine made me hum, since yesterday, this beautiful song written by Georges Moustaki and sung by Serge Reggiani:

The woman in my bed
Has not been 20 for quite some time
The dark rings under her eyes
From years
From love
Day by day
Her mouth used
by kisses
So often, but
So badly given
Looking pale
Despite make-up
More pale than
A spot of the moon

The woman in my bed
Has not been 20 for quite some time
Her breast are so heavy
from too much love
Are no longer
Called teaser
Her body is tired
From caresses
Too many. but
Badly loved
Her bent back
Seems carrying
She tried to flee

Don’t laugh
Don’t touchKeep your tears
and your sarcasms
When night
Brings us together
Her body, her hands
Give themselves to me
And it’s her heart
Covered in tears
And wounds
Reassuring me

Astonishing reaction cause by this wine… I can only explain it by the 20 years of age of this wonderful 1988.

In the evening, at La Dominique, we had the visit of a group of 6 guests from the company BEC. It is so easy to be convincing when you are the neighbor of Cheval Blanc, L’Evangile, La Conseillante and when you se the considerable investment made by Clément Fayat to bring this cru to the highest level.
After feeling low from the last En primeur campaign, the moral is now back. Thanks to this fabulous job.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It’s havoc...

As I announced yesterday, the story goes on!
Bordeaux administrative court cancelled again the 2006 Saint Emilion classification. The reasons given are not meaningless (The equal treatment between candidates was not respected), but I am not sure that our appellation will come out unscathed. And I particularly find comical that one of the declassified property has today 3 crus declassified. Contesting the classification and requesting it is not always advantageous.

In the meantime, the conclusions don’t imply that the declassified be reclassified and it gives no additional recommendation. Therefore, I will attend the next trial.
How will the 2006 vintage be sold? All these outlaw crus, and some already delivered to customers with the obligatory mention Grand Cru Classé, etc…?
The judgment doesn’t take in consideration these secondary effect!

In the meantime, there are lots of beating up comments on Berthomeau and Bizeul’s blogs and this is even more important.

The work in the vineyards is especially hard due to the heat wave. Nevertheless, check out this post published on the blog BisRepetita. It looks more like a provocation expressing real discontent. I decided to post the entire text below:

1286 EUROS
This is my salary for the month of May. I don’t work in Mac Donald, I am not employed in a youth program, I am not cashier in Auchan supermarket, I am not working as a street advertiser (in fact, there are no streets where I live, only roads). None of that! I am actually a certified teacher, working fulltime with a Bac + 5 years university. I wake up at 6:30 am and spend 8 hours per day in school. It costs me 300 Euros per month in gas to drive to school. I take care of 29 kids even their parents cannot support more than a weekend at home.

I am doing this job for the past 5 years, in a relaxed manner, but with seriousness. Everyone thinks I am lazy and complain all the time (this is how most people view teachers), I am responsible for all the ills of the society: Of course, it is MY fault that this little twerp of Kevin who spends 8 hours per day in front of the TV or his Playstation eating chips still doesn’t know how to read at 10 years old. In fact, my asshole of inspector from the Department of Education (with capital letters I should write) will most likely point out (my little asshole of Kevin), bringing up my clear incompetence when he, who has not even been in a class in his life (and earns 3 times as much as I do), could have certainly done better.

On the whole: If you are looking for a young (and very good looking) future ex school teacher for a job that has to do with wine.
If you only pay 1286 Euros per month, it is not a problem as at least I will do something I enjoy.
If you only pay for the work I do, I will also take it (at least it will be a change).
If you like chocolate Yule logs, I make them very well.
Thanks in advance.
Note: I even accept to work for a domaine de Gaillac.. (but no Fronton, I am not so desparate).

I never liked teachers much, being against formatting, but still, as many people, some have succeeded in making me like some subjects (yes), but I stopped my studies early (BEPC, high-school exam passed at 16 years old).
Today, amongst my friends, there are a few teachers who must certainly have faith to carry on: low pay, no more status, nor in their jobs or anywhere else… What’s going to happen if nothing is done to restore a bit of dignity for these teachers?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Romantic Japanese

During my last trip to Japan, one of the regional managers for one of the large wine importers told me that when he proposed his future wife, he gave her a bottle of L’Interdit de Badon.
Hard for me to understand why L’Interdit de Badon instead of Virginie de Valandraud?
Maybe because it was more exclusive, rare, or even its contrarian statement? In any case, I found this story rather romantic, and it is a change from the usual flower or ring.

Enthronements: I just realized how it makes many of my friends happy to be invited to such events when, for me, I don’t enjoy such big gatherings. I will make an effort and you will see me more often attending events like Bontemps, Jurade, etc…