Thursday, April 19, 2007


I was barely gone Sunday that I am already back in Saint Emilion this Thursday morning.

This tasting of 39 samples of 2006 Bordeaux was presented by one of the biggest Japanese importers, Tokuoka It was very well organized, very professional, as it is customary in Japan. The respect they show for product and people are lessons for us. I really enjoy working in this country. It is the first time such an important event was organized and most Japanese attending had never tasted such young wines, except, well known journalists like the ones from Vinothèque, Wine Art or Yomiuri Shimbun. The rooms were full of sommeliers, restaurateurs, wine store owners listening attentively to our comments; a group of négociants: CVBG, Ginestet and myself with my triple hat of producer, négociant and consultant.

In 2 days, we spoke to more than 300 people who tasted the wines in very good conditions.

I had the pleasure to see a few of my “fans” like James Devereux and his Japanese colleague from the Conrad Hotel, who serves with pleasure Château La Dominique 1995, the manager of Xex in Tokyo where Présidial 2005 is served by the glass. I had again a quality meal served with Blancs de Valandraud N°1 and N° 2 2003, Virginie 2002 and a meal in Wasabi in Osaka where Mrs Tarako introduced us to her talent of chef in this little restaurant 3 m wide and 8 m long! Such a small place with such a grand cuisine, and such wines like Pavie 1999!

A press conference was organized with 18 journalists and members of the media who asked pertinent questions regarding the Saint Emilion classification whose credibility took a major punch. And these few humoristic questions about the way my colleagues and I have mastered the art of defining the quality of the last vintages… Luckily, the wines presented were of good quality.
During that time, in Bordeaux, the prices for Châteaux Beaumont and Sociando Mallet 2006 were released. I have nothing to do with Beaumont as the entire production is bought by 8 negociants (500 000 bottles?!) and as for Sociando Mallet the allocations are so small and already pre-sold. This is the way it goes in Bordeaux: None of the wholesalers have enough good brands to buy, which are always, regardless of the vintage, wines which have no difficulties to sell.

Today, my agenda is full of meetings with brokers and my colleagues regarding the distribution of Clément Pichon, Haut Carles and La Commanderie de Mazeyres.

And a few notes published for Valandraud 2006

Château Valandraud 2006
A different style to Valandraud this year. Minerally, upright, long and linear. Less density and concentration but still a good volume of pure, ripe fruit. Tannins firm and long. One for the cellar. 2016-25.

Ch Valandraud 2006 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 17 Drink 20
Bright crimson. Thick and fresh and a bit angular and not really married – hollow and awkward. Needs a bit of weight and fruit expression in the middle. No kosher cuvée was made this year ‘because I still have four years’ stock to sell’, said Jean-Luc Thunevin. Kosher-keepers, haste ye.

VALANDRAUD St-Emilion Grand Cru 16,75

75% merlot, 15 % cabernet franc plus 10 % malbec and cabernet sauvignon. Selection: 10000 bottles instead of 15000
A beautiful deep red color, with dark reflection, a bit sharp on the edge. Fine nose, intense, fruity. With notes of cream and cocoa. The initial contact in the mouth is beautiful, refined, fleshy and grows deliciously, very fruity and with a caressing and melting feeling in the mouth. Velvety and dynamic, it fills the middle mouth. With refined and soft tannins. Beautiful work filled with nuances. A success.

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