As you know, I regularly read the blog of François Mauss, where I find many interesting articles and I also read the forums from Degustateurs.com or La Passion du Vin or even the literary blog from Hervé Bizeul.
The last post I read, in the blog of the Grand Jury, before leaving for Hong Kong, talks about me, noticed by Bettane then Parker and especially about Reignac and Pétrus.
My point is that I don’t always agree with my friend François Mauss especially when he includes Madame Michu in his battles. What has Madame Michu done to be included in these stories? Everyone knows that she shops at the supermarket Leclerc (or other places).
Furthermore, with Valandraud, I have benefited from the attention of journalists, critics, blind tastings where Valandraud often ended up well placed against 1st growths, even by professionals and journalists who are known to be “anti-garage”, “Anti-Bettane” or “anti-Parker”. Unlike François or some of my colleagues, I never bashed any of these icons, being so happy to be included in their realm, for I just wanted to persuade, convince myself that Valandraud deserved a place amongst them.
I've just attacked bad wines which had serious technical defects: T.C.A. (a fixation for Murielle and I), and the thinness of acidic and vegetal wines.
I am not against wines a bit light or not modern, I got into it because of some of these icons which will always remain high in my book.
Petrus 1955 is from that period, La Conseillante, La Violette, old Latour (1958!), Mission Haut Brion 1955, etc ... (which were so modern for that time!)
Why the hell François Mauss is so fixated on Pétrus? This reminds me a colleague who spent a good part of his professional life to prove that his wines were better than Pétrus, while all the guests leaving his tastings, only had memories of those decried Petrus!
Reignac, Valandraud can exist without being opposed to these wines, being different is the interesting part of our wines. How lucky to have a chance to exist, right?
The interest of these tastings is to attract the attention of journalists, consumers and winemakers on competition, this is not bad, but necessary.
Is it worth all the controversy? This kind of blind tasting certainly displeases often icons. It reminds me of Jacques Luxey and his grand jury which had a lot of problems with the big Champagne houses who did not like these sorts of tastings.
For more than 20 years, Jacques Luxey’s grand jury triggered plenty of controversy, but there was no internet and blogs. It is true that these tastings were well organized and they helped, at that time, boost the reputation of Haut Marbuzet, Sociando Mallet, even Le Pin.
Pétrus does not need to be defended, I just think that that trying to prove too much, you end up proving nothing. Time is necessary to build a brand, time is one of the most important components. This is what I’ve been trying to do for my wines, it's good to want to do better, but I often say that just because Ferrari wins all the races, I must have or buy a Ferrari. I dream of having a Mercedes ML with the comfort of a S class.
All that to say that yes, you can honestly win a blind tasting.
So why try to prove that the one we beat is bad? I prefer to win by competing with good ones!