Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vinexpo Hong Kong

I will soon be in Hong Kong for Vinexpo Asia-Pacific, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre stand J49, with some of my employees and to meet some of our clients, a few prospects and be productive.

In the meantime and while waiting for the end of the futures campaign and the last releases, we tasted this morning Compassant 2004, Constance 2008 Thunevin-Calvet, Dentelles 2007 Thunevin- Calvet and Griffe de Cap d’Or 2011.

I am glad that our Franco-American friend liked them!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Melting Pot

At noon, in the middle of the futures campaign, we hosted a lunch at Valandraud for 13 guests (8 Chinese, 1 Greek, 1 Israeli and 3 French): Ham, cantaloupe, veal sautéed, rice and strawberries with macaroons.

Bad Girl, Valandraud 2002 in magnum, followed by the kosher cuvees “normal” and mevushal. To honor our important Chinese friend, a rare bottle from my private cellar, a gift from one of my Ukrainian friends: Massandra Muscat 1951, simply sublime. And to finish Fine Bordeaux from Valandraud.

A day for football/soccer

Hurrah for football/soccer! Montpellier finished on top of the French Championship; it’s like David winning over Goliath – and Bordeaux is qualified for the European Cup. These are welcome miracles for our wine regions and their respective presidents.

The Futures campaign should be completed before next week’s Vinexpo, although nothing prevents any chateaux to be released during and after, hoping for an improvement with the economic environment, an optimistic view of the market and the Euro. But I fear that unemployment will only worsen in the coming days, having previously been shielded for “political” reasons.

I just did a quick trip to London invited by the Claret Club for a meal at the restaurant Club Gascon (1 Michelin star). Quality atmosphere, the members of the Claret Club love wine, and you can feel it immediately. In addition, the cuisine was excellent. Chef Pascal Aussignac was able to create 120 jobs and 8 restaurants within a few years!

Hurrah for London, with its 400,000 French expats, almost all of them young and enterprising and who are responsible for a good part to these successes!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Futures 2011

Still 80/100 wines to be released and it’s over. Already? Isn’t it too early? Well? Hard to make a donkey drink if it’s not thirsty, and still, I really believe that 2011 is a good vintage and the price we have to accept cannot be the same as the worst vintage available in the market. But only the market can control this.

There will always be wines that should not be offered as futures, wines which should wait until they’re bottled and wines which we do not have enough bottles, for example Pontet Canet...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Saint James, book signing and the Futures

I forgot to mention a very nice meal I had at the Saint James : atmosphere, price, service, sommelier and Chef Michel Portos make you want to go back more often. In addition, the view of Bordeaux is always amazing.

The Bordeaux wine tasting challenge awarded: Château Subilaux and Château Bellevue la Randée 2011 with gold medals.

Michel Rolland and Isabelle Bunisset signed the book written about him last Friday at the book store of L’Envers du Décor which is now regularly organizing important book signing events. The 2011 futures campaign should get more active as of today: on the site of the Wine Spectator, James Molesworth writes about Bordeaux on his blog and mentions Mauvais Garçon as an example, thanks

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Bordeaux 2011 are being featured in the June issue of Decanter with a special recommendation from James Lawther for Virginie de Valandraud and Château Sansonnet. Thanks .

Excerpts: Clos du Beau père 15.5, Domaine des Sabines 15, Haut Carles 16, Croix de Labrie 15.5, Clos Badon 15.5, Gracia 15, Virginie de Valandraud 16.5, Sansonnet 16.5, Fleur Cardinale 16.5 and Valandraud 17.5

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cordon Bleu

The Cordon Bleu school in Paris visited Valandraud at 2 pm with 22 students, professeur Frank Ramage and his collaborator as translator. We visited the property, vineyards, cellar, ran through some technical information, a bit of humor and tasted 2007 Bel Air Ouÿ, Virginie de Valandraud, Valandraud, Bad Boy, 2010 Virginie de Valandraud blanc and Valandraud blanc, and finished with Bad Girl 2008.

In the morning, I had a meeting with the architect in charge of expending Prieuré Lescours and at 11:30 am, Michel Rolland “in person” to blend Valandraud 2010. Such talent! The gourou, the sorcerer. He is able to sort out a batch of 2010 we thought was good and ended with around the same amount of wine: 14,000 bottles which will perhaps be better than 2009! For lunch, we tasted 2007- 2008 and 2009 with a simple meal prepared by Murielle, killer French fries, excellent meat, great Pata Negra, Comté cheese, strawberries and raspberries.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Read in the book on Denis Dubourdieu

“It is hard to create a new brand. Garage wines were for most created locally”

Indeed, the costs to develop these wines are easily accepted by customers as "simple" Bordeaux, though Girolate, Baltus, Bad Boy for example are successful garage-like Bordeaux but will never sell for the prices of Marojallia, Gracia and Croix de Labrie.

Among the citations made by Denis Dubourdieu, I like Emile Peynaud’s, which is still relevant today: "The popularity of a vintage depends on its taste and the expectations it creates."


Last week Wednesday, I had a nice lunch at La Cadène, with 5 people. We started with a white from Lebanon, and then had a bottle of Malescot Saint Exupéry 2005, decanted and very good. I decided to read the comments and notes received by this wine I rarely drink, and noticed that the notes vary widely

97 for the Wine Spectator as well as Parker, and expected to see similar notes given by their other colleagues…16.5 in the RVF, Vinum and even Bettane et Desseauve ? As for the 15.5 points! And Jean Marc Quarin’s 15.75, he compares it to a wine from the right Bank so I understand why Murielle and I liked it: our palates are calibrated to our wines – Doctor, is there an issue to like wines from the Right Bank and one from the Left Bank?

René Gabriel also released his notes:
Valandraud blanc 19/20, Valandraud rouge 18/20, Clos Badon 17/20, Bellevue de Tayac 16, Marojallia 17, and also
Franc Maillet Jean Baptiste : 17
L’Inclassable 17/20
Fourcas Hosten 15/20
Sansonnet 18/20
Croix de Labrie 18/20
Croix Figeac 17/20
Fleur Cardinale 16/20
Gracia 17/20
Domaine des Sabines 16/20
Lynsolence 16/20
Maro de Saint Amant 16/20
Villhardy 17/20
Clos du Beau Père 16/20