Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ups and downs

Yesterday, Steve Tanzer was here betwewen 9 and 11 am to taste my wines. Most wines were good. His tasting focused on the 2004-2005-2006 vintages of the same chateau, except for Valandraud 2006 which I find a bit too sharp, acid, lean. Well, I feel down, the usual stress with a terrible sore throat, that I call jokingly “the Parkerite”… For every year, it is the same story during the time of the futures campaign, and the same for the harvest. In addition, I am totally depressed.

I stopped by Saint Magne to deliver part of a cellar bought from a friend of mine who decided not to drink expensive wines (more that 200 Euros and up to 500 Euros), a member of the “champagne socialists” as we call them, he now feels guilty. This has added to my depression: if even wealthy people refuse to drink these great wines they bought at what seems now sweet prices, where is our job going? Didn’t these wines become expensive because speculators who never drink them? Etc… My morale is way down.

IN the afterenoon, I drove to Ducru Beaucaillou to taste the wines. This is a successful year for them (the 4 wines are at the same level as 2003 and 2005, that tells you !). I brought a bottle of 2006 for my friend Bruno Borie to taste and told him about my state of mind. He asked me: at what temperature did you taste this wine? He picked up a thermometer, placed it in the bottle… it was 20° C (68° F), following the trip in the car. He told me not to worry, that this morning’s temperature was too fresh and probably affected my bad tasting, that I should have the means to have a heated tasting room, making a bit fun of me. In fact, the wine tasted with him became in all points remarkable. I didn’t need to see a therapist, but just a friend, very professional, as we should all be. I left under the sun, my self-esteem boosted. I like Ducru Beaucaillou, I became an unconditional fan. Hurrah for this job, there is not only jealousy in Dallas-sur-Gironde, you also find friendship.

Afterwards, I went to Phélan Ségur at 7:30 pm for a tasting with all the Bordeaux wholesalers and brokers involved in the distribution of this beautiful property. The jovial and friendly owners made everyone comfortable, including me, one of the rare wholesalers from the “Right Bank” present and with a short history (I created my wholesale business in 1988, so not even 20 years of age, if you see what I mean…). I spent a very pleasant evening, I love this job, I had the pleasure to discover my colleague wholesalers with who I often maintain very good relationships, even with brokers who we often make fun of here in Bordeaux. Too bad that the road between Saint Estèphe and Saint Emilion is so long and that I couldn’t drink all the great wines served during dinner, wines that were, in a rare occasion, chosen in Champagne, Burgundy, Condrieu, Alsace and Porto.

I went to bed at 12:30 am still with a bad sore throat, but with my spirit high.

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