Saturday, March 10, 2007

USA suite

March 3
We leave Miami for New York.

Wake-up call at 4:30am, plane, taxi and Hotel Helmsley on Central Park South in New York. Lunch with the head of Sherry Lehmann in the French restaurant La Goulue, then tasting between 2 and 4pm in one of the most famous wine store in the world: Sherry Lehmann.

Virginie and Valandraud 2003, lots of people, friends, clients, a few contacts and sales, of course. Prices are reasonable and a large choice of wines.

I need Riedel glasses (Maximilian Riedel visited me at the beginning of Valandraud with his father to prove how the superiority of their glasses would show off our wines).

I followed with a dinner with Christian and the distributor for some of our wines (Présidial, Calandray, Clos Badon, Prieure Lescours, Franc Maillet Jean Baptiste, Bellevue de Tayac as well as Valandraud and Virginie like everybody else). The restaurant Auréole, full of customers who appreciate wine, with La Tâche, Haut Brion, and more on their tables… Classy restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere. As one often sees in the US, it is informal, waiters are happy to serve customers who themselves are happy to spend money. We had a quality meal, served generously and drank a superb and classic Trotanoy 2001 (not too expensive: $120). Trotanoy being one of our favorite wines in Bordeaux, for its quality, of course, and for the memories of the great Trotanoy 1970 and 1971, drank in the restaurant “Chez Germaine”, at the time when this was one of the best tables in Saint Emilion. Following (we were 4), a Château La Dominique 1982 ($350) which held-up to its reputation. Wine kept in perfect condition, still young, fine, aromatic and alive in our glass. A complete palette of flavors and aromas of this wine beginning its maturity.

We then went to a crazy place: the restaurant Cru where a group of billionaires collectors of Burgundies and professionals finished the evening opening an amazing amount of great wines (the cellar of this restaurants being one of the finest in the world) that I could not note every bottle! Chambertin, Musigny including the very rare and extremely good Musigny 1985 Comte de Vogüe in a bottle of 6 liters.

The contacts were worth a “Who’s who”… With the good news that this well known American Importer, David Shiverick, told us that he bought a few acres of vineyards in Maury. And Eric, collector and educated fan of Valandraud (50 cases) and Axelle de Valandraud (20 cases!). Another who has more than 20 000 bottles, crazy about wine, Chinese billionaire and educated connoisseur, who loves above all to share his passion. The vice-president of Sotherby’s, with who we will certainly do an event (thanks Gil for inviting us).

Well, I didn’t remember everything, between the Chambertin and the Cristal Rosé… I went to bed at 2 am still jetlagged… Tough to wake up in the morning…

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