Friday, February 29, 2008

Ducru Beaucaillou

Thursday, I had lunch with the technical staff of Ducru Beaucaillou and Mr Bruno Borie and tasted the wines from 2007: Lalande Borie, with bright fruit and indisputable ripeness, La Croix de Beaucaillou which tends to be one of the best second wines from Bordeaux, and of course, the success in this 2007 vintage will be obvious for everyone, it is, of course the great wine from this Chateau: Ducru Beaucaillou, which is now at the top of what is now called Super Seconds: powerful with finesse, a signature for Saint Julien, with pure aromas. These 3 wines show what a good vintage is, and prove that the team didn’t slack in August 2007!

Following, we ate a great meal with appetite (this table has a reputation) and especially drank well… We started with a delicious white, Clusel Roch Viognier 2005 in Condrieu (apricot, peach) followed by a series of Ducru Beaucaillou. I loved the 2003.
What a great job to be a wine merchant where our practical work consists in checking out with a glass if the product we are selling is good!

Today, on the web an article on self-taught people (in French) was published on the as well as an interview on Jancis Robinson’s site.


As I wrote last night, the Wine Spectator published the notes for the 2005 vintage. Here are a few:
Cheval Blanc 97
Clément Pichon 86
Clos Badon 90
La Commanderie de Mazeyres 89
Coucy 87
La Dominique 89
Ducru Beaucaillou 95
Fleur Cardinale 93
Haut Carles 91
Fonguillon L'Enclos 83
Valandraud 95

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wine Spectator

The notes for the 2005 Bordeaux are out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jean Marc Quarin in New York

Next week, Jean Marc Quarin will be in New York hosting a tasting wines from the Right Bank in a great vintage: 1998.

This blind tasting will take place in the WARWICK HOTEL, 65 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 on Wednesday, March 5 starting at 7 pm. The number of participants is limited to 18.

The list of wines presented is:
L’Eglise Clinet
Vieux Château Certan
La Fleur Petrus
Clos L’Eglise

Saint Emilion :
Cheval Blanc
La Mondotte
Le Tertre Roteboeuf

Not bad, no?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Parker, Tanzer, Wine Spectator, and all the journalists will be coming to Bordeaux at the end of March, beginning of April, to taste the 2007 vintage. It is a privilege when you think of how hard it is to get these well known journalists to go to the Roussillon (or even to convince them to taste these wines in their homes).

The Grand Jury Européen is willing to go to Tuscany, or Portugal, even Japan, but niet for the Roussillon, at least as long as the CIVR doesn’t invite them; except if I tell François Mauss that you can find beautiful truffles. Even if there are no 3 stars restaurants, eating a paella drinking a Clos del Rey 2004 in Cap Bear, just above Port-Vendres, is well worth the detour,

and this, not even taking into account that the wines and their owners have as much to say as here. It is a pity to have to wait so long to compare the wines of Bizeul, Gauby or Mas Amiel to Chateauneuf du Pape or Priorat.
Jérôme, if you read me, I have not given up on our idea to compare these wines.

I recommend to read on le blog de Jacques Berthomeau (in French) : « 3 questions to Michel Rolland", and in In Vino Veritas, a Belgium publication, a response to Decanter’s old guard and their idea on “modern” wines.

Monday, February 25, 2008

45 legendary Bordeaux in the Revue du Vin de France

The title is strong ! I am so happy to see Pomerol on the cover with the picture of 2 legendary bottles: Petrus 2000 and La Conseillante 2005. I am even happier when I noticed that our chateaux are part of these 45 legendary wines. Châteaux La Commanderie de Mazeyres, Prieurs de la Commanderie, le Clos du Beau Père and Domaine Fayat-Thunevin : 4 out of 45, including 3 to watch (they have to prove themselves) and La Commanderie de Mazeyres in the deserve category. In these 3 categories, which includes 47 wines selected out of 150, it is pretty good. I think a few chateaux have been omitted, I am thinking of Bellegrave, Pommeaux, Fleur de Plince, Lagrave, and few of Janoueix wines, Franc Maillet (at least the Cuvee Jean-Baptiste), Guillot, and others that I also forgot.
In any case, in the 5 outsiders to watch, our Clos du Beau Père 2006 is included.

Last weekend, John and I went to London to participate in the Decanter event which took place in the Landmark Hotel. A lot of people attended, despite the rugby game. We introduced: Valandraud 1999, La Dominique 2001, Haut Carles 2003 and Fleur Cardinale 2006.

John must have spoken and poured for more than 100 people from 11 am to 5 pm. As for me, I visited some of my colleagues and friends from Bordeaux and talk to a few journalists including Panos or Juan Carlos. In any case, more than 800 visitors tasted Bordeaux in a chic environment with a perfect organization (service for the glasses, water, clearing of empty bottles, small buffet for us, I thank Michael Denton for having convinced me to participate).

We took this opportunity to visit a few accounts as well as prospects. Except for one account we were not able to get an appointment before we left, and a somewhat cold meeting, the others were perfect, professional and at least friendly.

Jancis Robinson was able to taste some of the Calvet-Thunevin wines, thanks to a friend; I am looking forward to read her comments.

Staying with good news: Lynch Bage 89, gigantic, in the same class as 1st growth (tasted blind), Poesia 2005, Malbec in force and finesse, here too a favorite, and Segna de Cor 2005 from Roc des Anges, which confirms that the Roussillon is able to produce a good range of fine wines. We drank these wines during our meal in a restaurant (we ate there twice) called GALVIN on 66 Baker Street, next to our hotel the Sherlock Holmes – decent, I recommend it (young atmosphere and very comfortable rooms). London is very expensive and even average hotels are expensive! We had a decent meal at Arbutus and found taxis everywhere (not like Paris!)!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mountain bike trekking in Margaux

Trails for mountain bikes are being created in Margaux and will pass though Bellevue de Tayac as well as Paveil de Luze and Tayac, in the commune Soussans.

It’s a nice way to visit the vineyards. It will also be a good way to get a feel for the area, its smells, work being done in the various chateaux, the terroir, etc… and, of course, all the meal and drinks without felling guilty for the extra weight gained during tastings done in the various cellars.

Decanter published the results of a blind tasting of the 2005 vintage.
8 wines from Saint Emilion received 5 stars: Château Faugères, Château Fonplégade, Château La Croizille, Château La Fleur Morange, Château La Gomerie, Château Trottevieille, Château Valandraud, Clos des Jacobins.
Here are the comments for Valandraud 2005 : “ Dark and healthy looking. Savoury, well –integrated perfume. Real attack and confidence. Lots of tannins here but it’s ripe and well hidden and there’s enough freshness to keep the wine appetising. Pretty dry finish for the moment. Obviously a long-term wine. 8-21 years”(JR)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

2007 vintage

Thursday, I leave for London with John to attend an event organized by Decanter in the Landmark Hotel and visit a few customers and prospects. I will be back on Sunday.

Tuesday, I spent 1 hour tasting samples of the best 2007 vats in order to put together the 1st wines of 2007: Valandraud, Clos Badon Thunevin et Virginie de Valandraud.

There will most likely be less Valandraud, but the batches can evolve before being released. Our best batches just finished their malolactics and were just racked. It is the first time that the wood is almost imperceptibly. This confirms the improvement of the barrels delivered by our suppliers and us adapting to the aromatic profile our customers are looking for.

According to Jean-Roger, Vinisud was a great success.

Communication, star-system, etc...

Last Monday 18, I had lunch with a colleague wine merchant in Bordeaux and the members of chain of wine stores in the USA: we visited our cellars and “Château” Valandraud in Saint Etienne de Lisse, with its very private Bed & Breakfast which will be used as guest rooms during the week of the tastings for the Union des Grands Crus in April. Meal and tasting of 9 wines available for this state where this retailer is located.
Fonguillon L’Enclos 2005, Montagne Saint Emilion : nice and chic presentation, good wine with a classic style, serious. It was selected for its good quality-price ratio and vintage (2005), an advantage in the USA (and elsewhere).
Haut-Carles 2001, Fleur Mongiron 2004, Clos Badon 2004, Virginie de Valandraud 2004, Valandraud 1999 and 2005, Bellevue de Tayac 2004 which has been tasting good for the past few weeks as well as the Blanc de Valandraud n° 1 2005 which should find an exclusive distributor in this state.

In the evening, we had dinner with Stéphane Droulers, owner of Château de Carles to review the last sales developments for his wine. He forgot his scarf at our place. Was only missing, a food lover like François Mauss to taste 2 great Burgundies: Clos de Tart 1995 (grand cru) and Domaine Michel Lafargue Clos des Chênes 1990 in Volnay 1er cru, a gift from Manu owner of « Lard et Bouchon » rue Guadet in Saint Emilion. A fun place with a bistro menu and wine by the glass, is out of the beaten path, with music and all of that with a smile. Manu’s passion (ex sommelier of Bernard Loiseau) and his charming wife Linda make this bar-restaurant located in the caves of an old quarry a must in this town. I often go there with friends and customers.

In Saint Emilion, I also enjoy going to Le Tertre, le Bistro du Clocher, La Cadène, La Puce (aux Bigaroux) and the Clos du Roy.

When will Madonna or Spielberg finally accept to be on a photo drinking Valandraud? An American or Chinese star, like Gong Li or Zhang Ziyi must hurry up, for the damaged caused by the Evin law, regarding the promotion of our product in France, will make it very difficult for wine which have not yet been discovered.

When will it be illegal to drink wine in a restaurant ? And will publications writing about wine like “La Revue du Vin de France” and all these pages published in the “Living section” of weeklies be forbidden?

The A.V.P., the trade representative for the wine press comments on their blog (in French) the Heineken decree, a formal complaint against Le Parisien regarding an article published on Moët et Chandon for it’s rosé with the incriminated title: “La Vie en Rose”.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Various news

My attorney Joëlle told me that she is just about to reach an amicable settlement for a commercial deal where our 2 companies were the beneficiaries. Therefore, isn’t it better to have a lawyer who favors settling for a bad or average settlement instead of going to court where you’re left to the whims of a judge who could take a surprising decision (it happened to me, even though I was certain to win).

I had lunch in Bordeaux with one of my oldest wine merchant customer who used to buy wines from me and vice versa, way before he even bought he first vintages of Valandraud.
The first time he bought Valandraud give me as much pleasure as a good rating from Parker, goes to tell how important it is to sell Valandraud at that price. I had the same pleasure when a friend négociant placed Valandraud on the wine list at La Tour d’Argent in Paris. The credibility brought by David Ridgeway’s help was more than useful.

Chateau Lafont-Fourcat, red Bordeaux, produced with love by Paul-Marie Morillon is so successful that we are currently short of 10 000 bottles! And this with no ratings and comments from journalists (what are journalists doing?). This success is simply due to the obvious quality of this wine confirmed by our customers when they taste it.
Chateau de Carles is seeing the same success, but for this one, journalists had already noticed the quality of this Chateau for quite a long time.
All this is only a part of the work done throughout the world by many of my colleagues in Bordeaux, and represents millions of bottles sold.

In Saint Etienne de Lisse, Silvio Denz – Swiss entrepreneur and current owner of Château Faugère as well as other properties, including Chambrun (Lalande de Pomerol) and Clos d’Agon in Spain (with Peter Sisseck as consultant) – just bought the well known company Lalique, famous worldwide for crystal glassworks and symbol of French luxury.

Silvio is currently building an ambitious new cellar for vinification and aging with Mario Botta as architect (and Michel Gracia for the stone work), on the Saint Emilion appellation. This property already has a cellar in the Castillon appellation (which was designed by Jean de Castines).
This commune of Saint Etienne de Lisse has become very dynamic and got a special selection in Saturday’s issue of Le Figaro for Château de Pressac.

With Château Fleur Cardinale and Château Valandraud as well as part of Château Rol Valentin and a few other interesting wines, Saint Etienne de Lisse is the rising area of the Saint Emilion appellation.

Think about going to Vinisud!

Friday, February 15, 2008


On February 13, a tasting of the 2006 and 2007 vintages was organized by the Biturica club for all the brokerage firms dealing with Bordeaux wine merchants.
The Château Clément Pichon is located very, very close to Bordeaux, in Parempuyre, and has beautiful rooms which could accommodate such events.

The 2007 are, of course, very good, with accessible prices. Robert Parker said good things about this club, so?

Bordeaux 2007 sold as futures, in other words speculative… The battle will not be won up front!
Will 2007 find buyers en primeurs? I am not able to tell the future, but if the prices and payment terms are appropriate, then why not. Of course, I need to be optimistic, but it is a fact that here in Bordeaux, inventories of good wines are low, as much in the chateaux as in the cellars of négociants.
Answer in 3 to 4 months!

Berthomeau / Marie Calvet and Vinisud !

M. Berthomeau
We also remember well your visit in Maury. You were greeted with a yearning for help. These men and women were concerned with their dire situation, even discouraged, tired. Worst, they didn’t believe anymore in what had been their life for some, for others their future: Their job, their vineyards.

It is under these conditions that you discovered Maury. A bit later after your visit, a new management team took over the helm of the cooperative. This change was not easy, despite the fact that a great number of members of the cooperative trusted Paul Armingaud and his team. But slowly, thanks to good decisions and an inflexible direction, the situation improved. Technical specifications were drawn up, various payment terms were implemented based on the quality of each contribution, better choice of business partners, were the basis for the strategy which turned the situation around in a few years. Of course, some people got fired, sacrifices had to be made, as much for the staff as for the members of the cooperative. But today, the financial situation of the winery has improved and the payment to the members increased. Even though we left the cooperative in 2004 to pursue our journey with Jean-Luc, we kept good personal and business relations.

The same thing has happened to many private wineries. This agreement between producers has even become a major asset. In 2007 the town created La Maison du Terroir and its association which includes over 20 private wineries as well as the cooperative to promote the wines of Maury in a wine bar and quality restaurant.
Unfortunately, today, a few individuals (which I won’t name…?) are trying to derail this project (thinking that his will exempt them for their past mistakes) as they are not part of it.

However, if you came back to Maury, Mister Berthomeau, (and I hope you will) you would be greeted by the same people as a few years ago; the difference is what you will see in their eyes: Pride! Pride to do the job they love and earn a living from it.

Is Maury the new Saint Emilion in the Roussillon? The Chateauneuf of the South? We believe it is! We have regained our ambition! Because people like Jean-Luc Thunevin have begun to believe in it and convinced us to do so.

Please, come back to visit us, Mister Berthomeau, Maury rediscovered its soul.

Vinisud : February 18-19-20, 2008

This wine trade show held every 2 years in Montpellier is unavoidable, so all the wines from our Calvet-Thunevin line will be there with 1760 other exhibitor!
To find us: Hall 1 Alley E Stand 3, we will be sharing a booth with Domaine Pouderoux from Maury and Domaine Séguela from Rasigueres.
Marie and Jean-Roger Calvet as well as Catherine Manuaud and Laurent Barbier will be there to introduce our Calvet-Thunevin and look for new customers in countries where our wines are not yet distributed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine’s Day in Japan

In Japan, chocolate and Maury 2004 is the most beautiful gift and the best food pairing possible.
More good news regarding Japan: Présidial Thunevin 2005 was selected in the best 100 small price Bordeaux. It will be part of a large PR campaign organized by the CIVB (this contest takes place in many countries).
Villa Mongiron 2005 was also selected for China!

I found this astonishing blog: lebisrepetita, reserved to adults. In any case, a bottle of Valandraud 1995 was drank (it does happen!).

For your info, we purchased 636 new barrels for our 2007 vintage which costs more than 40 000 Euros.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A million birds...

… or just about, who sing their head off every morning to express their joy living in Saint Emilion where Spring is starting – the temperatures are so mild (a scary situation when you have vineyards).
With the reddish sun and the view on the hills of Château Troplong Mondot, there is no need to go to the Namibia desert to have the same feeling of beauty as in our little corner!

Yesterday, I tasted more than 20 samples of Château Fleur Cardinale 2007 – 2006 1st wine and 2nd (Bois Cardinal) and even the rare Secret de Cardinal (quiet!). Classified or not, when work is properly and seriously done, the wines show it. Looking forward to see the comments in April.

Adrien brought me 500 grams of pepper from Cameroun. Once more, a luxury product we receive from friends of ours who live part of the year their passion in this beautiful part of Africa, sad of having lost the football game against the Egyptians. The “untamed lions” finished second in the African Nations Cup.

I selected with pleasure the text written by Stéphane Toutoundji, who is now partner with Gilles Pauquet and was my 1st oenologist at the beginning of Valandraud:

“Clos Badon 2004, produced by Jean-Luc Thunevin. A Saint Emilion wine the way we like it! Freshness, well integrated wood, fullness. A success in this challenging vintage. Tasting this quality wine brought me back to the first vintage of Château Valandraud, in other words, the end of the aging process of the 1992 vintage, at the beginning of 1994. Once more, I liked how successful this wine was as well as the man who produced it.

The success of this compatriot brings back a thought I would like to share with you. Don’t think, like I do, that some winemakers have an inferiority complex? I am always surprise, even sadly surprised that some winemakers from the area of Entre-deux-Mers and Bordeaux appellation in general have an inferiority complex in front of great appellations. When I speak about investment, they stop the conversation short claiming their lack of funds. I try to make them understand that financial and human investments are necessary to compete in this marketplace. Most of the time, these winemakers prefer to get help from their agriculture federation which cost less than changing their oenologist or their work practice. Results: a standardized production!...”

50th birthday of Monsieur Edmond B.

Friday 8, we tasted a good Grave 2007 brought by its owner, an astonishing character. Maybe I didn’t understand what this winemaker wanted from me? A new comer in this job of viticulture, full of energy, baccalaureat diploma + 5 years university; still, it seemed to me that despite all these qualities he didn’t have what I like in a winemaker. Maybe I was too demanding that day, but it is true that every time someone asks for my opinion, it puts me in an uncomfortable position, for I really wonder what people expect from me, and this young man had already so many opinions on this job, his colleagues (who give their wines for €2.5), costs don’t have much credibility (accounting wise), Alain Dominique is barely at a 1/3 of the cost for this wine? etc…

Too bad, maybe if this winemaker becomes famous and his wine sought after, I will tell myself “Darn, you made a mistake one more time!”

Fortunately, at 11:00 am, I had a meeting with a group from France Boisson, accompanied by one of my colleagues from Bordeaux (a big wine merchant). They were all enthusiastic visiting Château la Dominique and tasting our 2006, 2005 and 2001 which are showing well and fit this group who mainly sell the wines from the Vignobles Fayat to cafes-hotel-restaurants.

In the afternoon, I had a meeting with a potential sales person who is looking for a job in the wine industry. Can his experience and goals be useful to my company? We still have so much to accomplish.

Saturday evening, almost 80 people, friends, friends of friends, from any generation (from a few days old to more than 80 years old), were invited in Montignac’s village hall, a small village near Vauclair and Montpon Ménéstrol (Dordogne 24), to celebrate in joy and happiness the 50th birthday of Edmond, who works as an independent computer programmer and has a passion for wine.

A good opportunity to reconnect with friends from my youth, some that I didn’t see for more than 35 years, some already retired, others still working.
Like the brother of a friend who is working in the police force, while is brother is closer to disorder (like me)… A few women who helped harvest the early vintages of Valandraud, with who we will have to organize a meal, memories, memories…

Alain was also attending: he helped us move to Saint Emilion. Also present, the dentist I use to go to in Libourne when I was 14 years old and father of one of my young friends, owner of a successful cru from Saint Emilion.
Thanks to the generosity of our host, Jean Paul, Martine, Pierre, Sylviane where also invited to share this moment and taste the wines Edmond decided to open. He has one of the best private cellars in the region.
He’s not a collector but likes to share, drink without any snobbism, from top wines to the lowest, Kiki will send us the list of wine served at this reception.
You will then see that you don’t need to be rich to be generous and that in Montpon, you can drink more bottles in one evening than in the best restaurants in Paris or Bordeaux.

Thank you Edmond for this surreal evening.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Tasting 2007 Futures campaign

Every year, I used to host in my home, in the garage of Valandraud (rue Vergnaud, in the center of Saint Emilion), several properties from different places to present their latest vintage and take advantage of the incredible public relation event created by the Union des Grands Crus.

This year, from Monday, March 31 until April 3, the tasting will take place at Château La Dominique in Saint Emilion, the property of the Vignobles Fayat (who is famous in our region for his successful companies).

This will give us the opportunity to introduce Château La Dominique to many people, the neighbor of Château Cheval Blanc, Château La Conseillante and Château L’Evangile.

In addition to the Vignobles Fayat (sold in the Bordeaux open market), our wines will be present as well as the ones I am involved with either as a technical consultant, or in sales, or as an exclusive distributor in specific countries or sectors, etc… This explains why certain wines present the previous years won’t be included in this year’s selection.

There will still be a country buffet served for guests visiting around lunch time.

The final list will be posted later, but you can already setup appointments with my employees or myself for the Vignobles Fayat and your relationships with the Bordeaux wholesalers.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gauloiseries (Bawdiness) - as per Marie Calvet

Don’t be mistaken, their are no bawdiness in this note, only the work started on the new cellar in Maury which reminds me of the comic strip “Astérix and Cleopatra”, which I read dozens of time. The size of the stones (2.10 m x 0.9 m x 0.6 m or 82.68 in x 35.43 in x 23.62 in), weighing 2.5 tons each (4630 lbs). The precision used to position them and impression of power and elegance they give inevitably make you think about the building of the pyramids. Don’t think I compare myself to Cleopatra, we have nothing in common (except the excessive length of our nose, I must admit…). In addition, the construction workers from Gonzales are not slaves being whipped and mal nourished. The opposite, they are enjoying working with different material than the usual sidings, cement blocks and single walls. It is a first time they put up stone blocks from the Gard. They are showing their expertise and incredible professionalism. It is comforting to know that you are surrounded by a serious and motivated group.
The first stone was placed on January 31. Today, 3 rows have been almost completed. Best
Marie Calvet.

Other than that, when I typed “notes Wine Spectator” on Google, what did I see? An ad to subscribe to Parker’s site!

In Holland, Ronald de Groot wrote a nice article and included tasting notes on a good number of wines from our potfolio.

Yesterday, telephone interview of Denis Herviet for Radio France Berry regarding an article published in the Revue du Vin de France where Mr Perrin wrote about expensive wine and 2007 Bordeaux.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday, February 5

I had lunch at 1 pm with Julien and a young négociant who would like to distribute Virginie de Valandraud in countries where we have no importers, as Virginie de Valandraud is no longer sold on the open market starting with the 2006 vintage.

At 5 pm, trade union meeting in Pomerol, as a representative of the Vignobles Fayat and our last purchase (Le Clos du Beau Père), to approved the new statutes imposed by the reforms from the INAO (O.D.G.) for 140 property owners in this little appellation (800 hectares - 1,977 acres).

For dinner (8 pm), we joined a good number of members of the union representing the wines of Saint Emilion, to celebrated the retirement of Mr. Dubois, who represented the INAO. Everyone regrets his departure.
Nice atmosphere in this beautiful room with a surprise between cheese and desert. A casino (for fun) was setup in the underground cellars and the 1st important event to celebrate the closer relations between the union of Saint Emilion and our friends of Puisseguin and Lussac Saint Emilion (I regret that 2 districts are still missing).

Last, a few notes from the Wine Spectator on Bordeaux 2005 published on their site. This explains the price inquiries for Cos d’Estournel (98), Léoville Las Cases (100), Haut Brion blanc (100), Domaine de Chevalier blanc (97) and especially the nice 97 given to our friends of Guiraud (with an exceptional ratio note/price for Bordeaux).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Current projects

On Monday 4, I had a meeting with our attorney Joëlle Bordy to go over the whole legal affairs of our association with French Touch and other business: Thunevin WP, Thunevin-Calvet, labor contracts, etc…
Following, I had a meeting at Clément Pichon with Christine Dupart regarding communication, with Sophie Hervé and Corinne Beaujean for the Vignobles Clément Fayat, and the relationship with private customers and especially with the different companies of the group… Vast project.

Catherine Manuaud left with the Association des Grands Crus Classés to represent La Dominique in Berlin (today in the restaurant HH Müller), Geneva (Hôtel Beau Rivage, on the 6) and Zürich (Hôtel Baur au Lac on the 7).

Jacques Berthomeau

I found an article on the site of « Berthomeau Vin&Cie l’espace de liberté » (in French) dated January 31 2008, without any personal comments from Mr. Jacques Berthomeau, (he is known in France for an article he wrote in 2001 on the French wine industry, which I haven’t had the chance to read yet).

In any case, this made me want to buy the book, if it is translated in French, because I like Andrew Jefford. It will give me the opportunity to check if my name is spelled Thuvenin or Thunevin, and if Valandraud is Valendraud.

Other than that, the comment from Laetitia suggests:
That she likes the whites of Marcel Deiss; me too, but not to the point of drinking a “hand-full” (how many is that?) of bottles with 2 people in the same evening…
That she doesn’t seem to like conventional speeches (me too)
That she cannot drink a bottle of Valendraud with two people… I might be easier with Valandraud, but is it reasonable to force yourself considering the price?

Acrimonious?: I looked it up in the dictionary. I don’t understand why.

Las Vegas: This American TV series broadcasted on Sunday afternoon on TF1 is able to show people drinking, talk about wine and about an auction where a lot ofh 24 bottles sold for 1 million of Dollars.

Why write about it? Because, here in France, the Evin law prevents us to do the same thing! Yes we can broadcast pre-recorded programs (like in this case), but cannot shoot this kind of documentary! Where bottles of Montrachet from Romanée Conti 1978 can clearly be shown. real but also fake ones. Now I understand why we are in Las Vegas!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Info or propaganda?

While surfing Yahoo, I read the following!:
“I just found out from a famous winemaker-blogger, that Thunevin’s blog (which I didn’t read, a person I don’t even know, I just saw him in Mondovino) is written by a different person.”

This rumor spread by a famous winemaker-blogger (does that exist?), dixit Eric Cabrol… How funny… And I thought that I write like I speak! Did I find the rare gem: a slave who, like me, has little “culture”, the same spirit and even the same friends… that's too much!

This morning at 10am, I attended the general assembly of the union for the Libourne wine merchants. Following, for lunch, we received in La Dominique more than 70 brokers and wine merchants from Bordeaux who distribute wines from the Vignobles Fayat.

And now, let’s have a little virtual tour of Shanghai, where the first store of our partner opened:

Saturday, February 2, 2008

About everything and nothing

The mimosa is blooming in our Fayat-Thunevin property in Lalande de Pomerol.

Our partner in China just opened his 1st boutiques, 3 more should follow later this year.

On the site of La Passion du Vin, I learned that a Chinese bought a Bordeaux winery: Château Latour Laguens. I feel that La Passion du Vin to ask the same questions to other critics as it did with Michel Bettane in “cartes blanche”…

During the past week, I received 2 offers to increase my property in Margaux, Château Bellevue de Tayac, but at close to 1 million Euros per hectare, I passed. Instead, I am looking for vineyards near Tayac in Haut-Medoc.

How can Christian keep his cool while translating this blog in English when I write about drinking good bottles and Murielle’s cooking?

I am thinking about the Dupéré-Barrera who just started construction on their new cellar. I hope they have a better experience than us in Maury, where Marie and Jean-Roger Calvet have learned how this project has created jalousies in this small town.

Valandraud 2004 came out pretty good in a semi-blind tasting with British wholesalers.

How can I resist buying the 2007 vintage of Château Laroze knowing that it will be sold at a decent price. The quality and notoriety of this cru keeps on growing to a point that I would really like for the new critic of the Revue du Vin de France, Alain Dominique, to review it this year.

The Bétises de Cambrai are delicious mint candy. At the opposite commercial stupidity doesn’t have the same taste… I am totally upset by the small harvest of a 2007 Saint Emilion I shouldn’t have done.. Too bad, it’s too late.

Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve are preparing to publish a new English version.

From an unconfirmed info:
A classified growth from Saint Emilion was just sold to Russian buyers.

Other than that, we were 9 for lunch and tasted:
Corton Charlemagne 1994
Maury 2004
Valandraud 1999
Blanc de Valandraud N°1 2004
Bel Air Ouÿ 2000
Paired with vegetable soup, potatoes with truffles, salmon with curried rice, chocolate cake.