Thursday, May 31, 2007

USA Suite: Las Vegas

The trip began with a Gala dinner (600 people) held at the Wynn – we were the only 2 bordelais (Pape Clément and us), and good representation of Spanish, Italians, Americans and Laurent Perrier.
A very professional tasting event took place at Alain Ducasse’s Mix restaurant on the 37th floor of the beautiful Mandalay Bay Hotel. Only top professionals, some fans of Valandraud and supporters of Garage wines (we are not far from Silicon Valley…)
Most were either French or Francophiles, and not surprisingly, Valandraud 99 and 98 were hits. Success also for Blanc de Valandraud No 1 2004, Les 3 Marie 2004, and paradoxally Les Dentelles 2004 which was appreciated because of its Carignan and its “Nature” side and a bit of wildness brought by this varietals. Tasted blind, I didn’t even recognize it.

Here is the complete list of wines tasted by the guests:
N°1 Blanc de Valandraud 2004 Bordeaux Blanc
Lalande Couturier 2005 Bordeaux
Calvet Thunevin Constance 2004 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Le Vin de Bob 2003 Bergerac
Château Haut Mazeris 2003 Fronsac
3 de Valandraud 2001 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Clos Badon Thunevin 2004 Saint Emilion Grand Cru

Haut Carles 2004 Saint Emilion
Château Haut Mazeris 2003 Canon Fronsac
Virginie de Valandraud 2001 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Château Valandraud 1999 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Château Valandraud 1998 Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Domaine Calvet Thunevin Dentelles 2004 Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Domaine Calvet Thunevin Hugo 2004 Côtes du Roussillon Villages
And Les 3 Marie 2004

For dinner, we had a great meal in this beautiful restaurant and were particularly spoiled.
Yesterday, May 29, on Arte (an intellectual French-German television station), a report on globalization of wine was broadcasted. It was difficult to stay awake as it had no main thread and was slow. Still, we were able to see a few interesting pictures. For instance subject like our colleague and friend from Bordeaux Ginestet’s production of his brand wine, American technique to reduce alcohol levels in wine, Mexicans who pick grapes in a rush (at night), the evolution of the major international group Constellation Brands (Mondavi-Corona-Hardy-Tsingtao, etc…) with its target group strategy, and especially the universal taste called here baby taste for sweetness and additives to get vanilla flavors in wine.

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