Monday, January 21, 2008

The grass in greener in the neighbor's field

The Revue du Vin de France published a beautiful article with several pages on Hervé Bizeul and his Clos des Fées in the Roussillon. When I tell you that this region is full of promises, where a similar path than the Priorat in Spain is taking place… The popularity of these wines in the world, while waiting for France to react, looks more like the movement René Barbier created with Clos Mogador. Here, Hervé Bizeul and Gauby, with a few others, are the drivers for this great wine region.

The RVF published a great article on blogs, some developed by some of my friends. Hopefully, the RVF will create their own like the Wine Advocate or the Wine Spectator.

I read a surprising interview of Jean Dominique Perrin who criticizes Bordeaux 1st growths and especially Ausone. It is quite amazing that this person cannot understand the difference between the limited production of the 7 hectares of Château Ausone, which cannot go above 2000 cases, and the industrial-hand crafted production of watches or jewelry. The freedom of expression for this sort of cant is fine, but it should not be driven by bitterness, jealousy, and a populist view. Here in Saint Emilion, people who made such “out-of-place” statements have now sold their family properties. If one thinks that it is still possible to go back to 1st growths under 100 Euros is, at least for me, inconceivable, nor desirable. It is in our interest, we producers, to produce wines which offer credible alternatives to these icons which have no problems to find their way into the cellars of some rich wine-lovers who, no matter what people say, open plenty of bottles and contribute to increase the rarity of available high-end wines.

We each have our own limitations regarding expenses. While my childhood friends drink occasionally 10 Euros bottles, but most of the time water, and can even afford to take a chartered holiday in Senegal, others can only travel by helicopter and private jets. Each have their own values and means.

Asking questions doesn’t force anyone to give answers. I have 2 additional comments about this article (which actually shows its interest).
In Bordeaux, 1st growths are drivers. What would Pomerol be without Petrus, Margaux without Château Margaux? In Cahors, the special cuvees seemed to me as important for the whole appellation…
In France and in Bordeaux, the 2007 vintage will most likely not be the vintage of the century, so what? To go as far and saying that all 1st growths are mediocre, is like saying that all the managers are incompetent imbeciles, which is not the case. Actually, even in my properties, I have already bought very good batches for my Bordeaux négoce business where the quality as nothing to envy to 2006, I didn’t even need to buy them.

We will have the response from the media quite soon (March), and maybe with a bit of irony, we might have to bring out statements, worthy of Marianne or Nossiter, but this is surprising coming from this colleague who could have taken the time to checked with critics who spend time in vineyards, like Jean Marc Quarin, James Lawther or Michel Bettane, before making such peremptory remarks based on unfounded facts!

Bordeaux 2007 deserves better that these allegations!

No comments: