Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I like to read the blog from Château du Champs des Treilles. It is written by Corinne Comme who runs, with her husband Jean Michel, a bio-dynamic winery not far from here.

The notes from Parker will come out before the end of the week and the 2007 vintage will finally be released with full knowledge of the facts. The Spring frost seems to be no longer a threat, it is now left to the power of our clients to set the rules of the game (yes, I forgot to mention that our job is like being a sheep… Beh Beh).
In the meantime, the results of the first sales of Bad Boy 2005 show that we will most likely not have enough wine: the USA and Japan are definitely our biggest markets.

Less than 30 wines have been released en primeur since January 22 and still no interesting signs, either from sellers, or buyers.
Come on, the notes from the Wine Spectator came out, as well as Jancis, the RVF, Bettane and Desseauve, Quarin, Grand Jury Européen, Decanter, Tom Canavan, etc.
It is true that Vinexpo Hong Kong has not yet taken place! Regarding Valandraud, no one, or very few have noticed the evolution of the style since 2005 towards softness and ripeness to go back to the successful vintages which made Valandraud, 1995 or 1998, even 1992!

Tasters nowadays judge a wine, often on the strength of the brand and the idea he (or she) makes of it. I won’t complain, except when, I feel a note is unjustified or influenced by publicity needs.
Even if I am not happy with notes I received, it not only concerns me, but also the credibility of the person who gave them. For a long time I thought that producers and tasters where in the same boat, too many mistakes and the best take our places.
I survive this pressure without being too depressed. Is it the same for critics?

Rieussec was released this morning at a higher price and with more volume. I have no allocation in 1st tranche – Down with privileges! (O course, I am kidding!)

Monday, April 28, 2008


Michel Barnier, the French minister of Culture is going to propose a plan to modernize French viticulture. At the entry level, will the long awaited Vin de Pays de France finally be created?
Answer: end of May.

This year’s ratings given by critics and journalists seemed to me more erratic than ever before, besides the top 30 wines which, of course, are regularly well noted. This year has been noted as a good vintage by the RVF, Bettane Desseauve and Jancis and less by Quarin, the Wine Spectator and Neal Martin.
Jacques Perrin, also rated the 2007 and got criticized for the system of notation, absolute, relative, etc…

This week-end, we drank a lot of wine, including a series of 2005 Domaine Prieur Echezeaux/Chambertin.
A few Syrah including Qupe 1996 (Bien Nacido Hillside Estate – USA), correct Dead Arm 1996 Shiraz (Mac Laren Vale – Australie) disappointing.
And a good Pape Clément red 1990.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Are we supposed to answer to all the questions and constantly have to justify ourselves?

Well, apparently we do as I had to spend my lunch time answering questions…
Below an astonishing message I received Friday Morning. I want to point out that this message was sent at 8:56 am from a professional address to one of my colleague negociant and is about a personal subject:

“Allow me to contact you again.
Maybe you didn’t like the bottles of “LOPEZ CALVO” which I gave you some time ago?
Jean-Luc Thunevin didn’t like them at all.
In my opinion, he is prisoner of his stereotyped taste Parker likes so much, and I understand as it brings plenty of business.

I am convinced that we are going to go back to a great diversity of flavors and that our wines, which contain no chemical residue, have a great future (which is already the case). We can read more and more articles in the press on chemical residue in wine, including fine wines and I believe that this is only the beginning.

Please, accept my greatest salutations and I am sending a copy at the same time to Mister THUNEVIN for (because?) he is an honest man a bit atypical, even if he doesn’t like my wine.”

I don’t understand why write to my colleague – who didn’t ask anything – that I didn’t like the wine you sent me. When you ask a question, the answer can be either positive OR negative, or it would not make sense to ask a question.

My taste is not meant to be stereotyped in any particular way (this statement is out of place when one knows my history) and pleases Parker so much (what does he have to do with this?). Regarding the point about business, you are contacting again a colleague negociant as well as my company to sell us wine, but of course, this isn’t business!

You are right regarding the evolution of taste and flavors and I will be sure to contact you when I need advice. You actually wanted to do an internship in my vineyards to learn. I must not have understood correctly, you probably wanted to teach me.

Chemical residue are in fact a real problem concerning all wines and probably even the ones you like and that I like, sell or produce.

I appreciate that you consider me to be an honest man (how do you know?) and atypical (I don’t understand this statement as you write above that my taste is stereotyped, and pleases Parker so much).

If I publish this comment on my blog is to say that some times, even without ever asking, I am simply polite and answer nicely someone who hailed me in an airport because he recognized me.

Conclusion: When a journalist or a customer doesn’t like my wines or one of my friend’s wines, I rarely accuse him of having the Duqueroix taste, and rarely talk about his (or her) honesty and I spend time making sure that this opinion, if different from mine is justified (or not). And if this happens to me regularly, I would feel obliged to draw some conclusion, but maybe I simply respect to much one’s taste?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Comments in my blog

Franck talks about energy and I am sure that he is right. Even if today we don’t have all the answers, we will have a scientific explanation later on the magic of blending (likewise for cuisine; in any case, research are being conducted in Canada – which I read in Méchant Raisin, on the work done by François Chartier on the components making a dish and a wine work together).

A voluntary slip of the pen by Vince2 compares 1997 to 2007…

Bob and Jean Marc Quarin should explain their opinion vis-à-vis Cheval Blanc 2007. If Jean Marc Quarin found it good, Bob doesn’t need to use birds names to express his disagreement, otherwise, he would also have to react to Neal Martin’s note (93-95) and Jancis Robinson (18).

Having not yet tasted Cheval Blanc, I can only say that the property seems to have done a big amount of work, noticeable since 2004 and that the volumes of the 1st wine in 2007 have been reduced so much that I wouldn’t be surprise if it became one of the finest wines of this vintage.

Moreover, considering myself as a friend of this property, I will always have a biased judgment, for, in my opinion, a wine is not a note… Fortunately for me, who, with Valandraud, never got more than 95 points from Robert Parker.

The campaign is dragging and dragging. A few wines are daring to come out. Some increased their prices like Sauternes, strangely a few reds as well, probably to protect deals already finalized? At least, I hope so, otherwise, how can they justify a price increase, even if the wine is good or if all the 2006 vintage was sold at a low price, or if demand is so great that the price increase can resolve this problem… Ha Ha!!
More worrying, even deals previously confirmed by some early negotiations don’t always come out.
Of course, everyone waits for Parker. But is it reasonable to wait with a Dollar at 1.60 and could still even go lower ?
Even if the notes are good, I would be surprise that he will recommend to buy our wines in the same way as for 2005!
We will see.

I would like to thank Bertrand Leguern for his work compiling notes from different journalists. It is always useful and gives the trend of the vintage:

1st Yquem
2nd Haut Brion blanc
3rd Ausone-Cheval Blanc-Mouton Rothschild-Petrus

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Revue du Vin de France

For the first time, the Revue du Vin de France rated a few fine 2007 as a preview in their May issue which I received today.

A few examples: Pomerol a winner, Chateau La Dominique a revelation with 17/18 and Yquem the wine of the vintage.

The vintage has been noted based for what it is, instead of the differential Euro/Dollar.

There is a lot more to say… I will give more details when I will have the time to read everything!

One more thing, Fleur Cardinale, Valandraud and Cheval Blanc got the same note… We do what we can!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In one of my recent comments, Bob posted an angry comment towards Jean Marc Quarin and Grands Crus explained the success of Lafite in China.
On this subject, I am interested in creating a wine in China. It is my partner’s task to find a nice area capable of producing nice grapes and we will take it from there!

The notes of Neal Martin from the Wine Journal are also available on the site of Robert Parker (for paying subscribers). I won’t give them but in short, the 1st growths got good notes and the garagistes less.
Just goes to show that critics can have different opinions, except maybe for 1st growths, but that’s another story.

Finally a few sales in 2007: Maucaillou , les vins Despagne (Mont Perat, Girolate)

The Chinese version of my blog, which was created 7 months ago, gets now 46000 hits and 1000 pages read per day. The number of visits seems to increase and this is a good sign as we want to create a Thunevin image in China.
Our trip to Hong Kong will certainly be useful, with synergies between Vignobles Jean Guyon , Aubert , and « Fayat, Droulers, Decoster and Thunevin-Calvet ». However, it will be the last time we will take a booth together.
In fact, our portfolio has increased so much that we plan be totally independent in the future. We will already be starting with the Revue du Vin de France show in the Palais Brogniard in Paris, May 17 and 18.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Jean Marc Quarin published notes for his first series of Saint Emilion (on the membership section of his site).
Château La Dominique 16, Fleur Cardinale 16.5, Clos Badon 14.75 ( ?), Cheval Blanc with 17.5 seems to have the best note, but lets see the next series.

Yesterday, I had lunch at l’Huitrier Pie, the restaurant was full and nice. The good meal and fun table are great reasons to bring together wine and friends to spend a good time.
In the afternoon I attended the general assembly of the trade union for the wines of Saint Emilion, Lussac et Puisseguin. The meeting dragged on listening to speakers reading minutes that were already included in the report we received when we arrived (formality?!)

This morning, release of Maucaillou, Moulis Cru Bourgeois Superieur – as per the old classification (like Clément Pichon). The release price is slightly lower, but is the same than 10 years ago, in other words they never received benefits from inflation. Even though the brand is well known and the wine good.


Bordeaux 2007 : Comments are coming out.
A big article by Izak Litwar was posted on Mark Squire’s Bulletin Board (and was already read by more than 1182 people). It included a nice picture of Bad Boy.
On the same BB, our friend Jay Hack wrote about Valandraud kosher. This is an appropriate time: Passover being a traditional holiday where families gather to share a good meal and drink good wine.

More than 20 crus have already been “released” as future. I only bought Reynon, Beaulieu, Marjosse, for if I hadn’t bought them as futures, there won’t be any left for me once bottled. This is a good enough reason for me to buy them, in addition to there quality. in this case, the balance between offer and demand doesn’t have to do anything with speculation but the interest in the brand, mainly due to the good price-quality ratio.

Friday 18, I had a very busy day with a meeting in Bordeaux with mister Clément Fayat and Jacques Bonvallé to talk about a nice business opportunity currently taking place in China. Even if this takes time, the strength created by the Groupe Fayat helps sell their wines through Bordeaux wine merchants. In this particular case, the merchants will have the chance to have a whole business structure brought in by the Groupe to support the sale. This wholesaler was selected for already selling to this Chinese customer.

It is difficult to go to Bordeaux and back to Saint Emilion without hitting traffic on the Pont d’Aquitaine , in other words, for ½ hour of productive work I spent 3 ½ hour in the car.
Fortunately, a cell phone with a hands free system helped deal with a few problems, such as the bottling of a wine planned for today and which had to be pushed back. This was due to a meeting which had to be rescheduled. We also had to wait for results confirming that the wine bought was up to the level of quality we are looking for, in other words with no TCA. The Rolland lab detected the problem during a tasting. The broker guaranteed that there was no reason to worry about this property. I prefer to lose a business opportunity than sell product with a “quality” risk, even if only 3% of customers would have noticed.

I then had enough time to call Jennifer to thank her and call the office to resolve a few problems. In the evening, I didn’t have the courage to go to the inauguration of Pascal Fauvel’s new bistrot/wine bar. Catherine Papon-Nouvel will certainly have a hard time in this little village to finally put together a place intended to support the notoriety of her properties.

Saturday was a calm day. A friend visited us with a group of friends then we attended a show organized by Karl and Axelle’s school, Virginie’s children.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Thursday, I had lunch in the Restaurant du Tertre in Saint Emilion with a nice group of people : a Brazilian journalist and Mr Nicolas Joly to name a few.
Nice lunch, pretty relaxed atmosphere, we drank delicious wines, had quick conversations, once more, I am lucky to do this job!

Just before, I had a tasting at Rolland’s lab to prepare the bottling of several crus. This was the last blending to try to produce the best wine possible without taking in account, as much as possible, volumes. Every time, I am impressed to see how 2% from a batch can affect the final product. This is the magic of blending where some batches can transcend and taste better in a blend than alone, or vice versa.
Talent and experience, in this case Michel Rolland and his team, don’t have to prove themselves.
If the wine holds its promises, Valandraud 2006 will be a sexy bomb (Alleluia!)

2007 according to Robert Parker

A few comments from Robert Parker on Bordeaux 2007 (Source Le Figaro.fr)


Just a little reminder before he comes back (or maybe not ?) from Japan. 2 blogs describing the trip of the Grand Jury Européen in the land of the rising sun : The one from the GJE and from Jacques Perrin.

I told François that he will be surprised and that it was difficult, even for me, thanks to Valandraud, to be considered an “icon” in Japan, to tell him how he can expect to be received and how you can eat and drink well in this astonishing country; as long as you are ready to receive, be astonished, be opened to this far away and different country. I am always amazed and thank god and my guardian angel who helped me become a “Cinderella Wine” – another way to define garagiste in the Japanese language!
I will be there after Hong Kong (from May 30 June 3 in Tokyo) with 2 wine merchants from Bordeaux to introduce for the 2nd time a few Bordeaux 2007 futures with the Swedish star “Andreas Larsson, best sommelier in the world.

I don’t know if I should repeat this, but I heard comments from Bordeaux brokers and negociants about Château Rouget where I was fortunate to be invited as one of their distributor.
In short, 2007 wines will have to be carefully priced, even though the quality of many cru is undeniable, this year won’t prevent the cruelty of the market which is affected by several factors such as ratings, notoriety, inventory, ambiance and the Euro/Dollar exchange rate.
It seems to me that a price adjustment is in order and should be between 2004 and 2006, a drop, more of less important depending on the strength of the brand.
In new fine brands which I will “support” and will buy this year, Rouget will be again a good deal, and probably also Fieuzal, and hopefully many others. Bordeaux can also be pragmatic, for fine brands which keep on getting top rating still carry a favorable and easy selling ratio.

If you haven’t the opportunity to taste, I recommend to consult, in addition to journalists ratings, comments from amateur websites such as dégustateurs.com, La passion du vin (both in French), Mark Squire’s BB, Stéphane Toutoundji, while waiting for the notes of Revue du Vin de France and Parker which should be published at the end of the April.

JM Quarin started publishing his notes :
Ducru Beaucaillou received 16.75 , one of the best notes in Saint Julien, also well rated were, of course, Haut Brion and Mission Haut Brion.
The 14.25 given to Clément Pichon (we deserved 15+) shows the progress still needed as well as the difficulty to get good notes from journalists, critics, etc…
Yquem, with 18.25 has for the moment the best note of the vintage, according to Quarin.

Just a little note to mention that this blog gets 14 000 hits/month with 50 000 pages read

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I don’t tell you everything

Every time I meet someone who reads my blog, they mention the number of meals and wines I drink.
It is the advantage and inconveniences of this job: What I mean is that the pleasure to eat well and drink good wine shouldn’t be for me an obligation, otherwise it would become a serious problem!
At least, as soon as we are alone, we drink water and eat simple to keep in shape.
In the meantime, we had a lunch at the Lard et Bouchon, a steak, ½ a glass of wine from Bergerac and a coffee. Lunches for Thursday and Friday are already planned.

I had lunch at Chateau Rouget with colleagues wine merchants before the release of the 2007 vintage. So, we tasted the wines from Chateau Rouget: Rouget 2007 received a great note from Jancis Robinson (17) and is one of the successes in Pomerol, which everyone agrees, is one of the successful appellations this year, after Sauternes. But, that’s another story.
The owners of Rouget are also co-owners of Domaines Jacques Prieur and the rare Montrachet 1999 which we greatly enjoyed. We also liked the more accessible Puligny Montrachet, Combettes 1er cru 2004.
Vive Burgundy (when it is of that level!).

Chateaux are starting to release there futures: As of now 0 cases sold by us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

About everything, as always… and more notes!

I read on Jacques Berthomeau’s blog: Treating your fellow man of schmuck is not an insult, it is a diagnostic (quotation from Frédéric Dard).
Whenever I use this word, it is often admiringly, surprised by the enormity of what I see, so I say “What fools!” or “What a fool!”.

As soon as I got back from Paris, where there are plenty of places to sell wine or spend your money, I attended a reception as well as lunch at La Dominique to introduce the wines from the Vignobles Fayat as well as mine.
The group of 23 sommeliers from Alsace reminded me that I have not been very good at selling my wines in one of the best and useful network in France: restaurants, high-end or right below. This kind of network can greatly help promote your wine. Whoever complains about how hard it is to sell their wine should rethink their fundamentals: wine stores and restaurants.

The notes from Jancis Robinson were just published on her website (paying membership). Our range came out pretty good with some very good notes. Thank you Jancis for basing your rating on the vintage and not on the weakness of the Pound and the Dollar.
Neal Martin also started releasing his notes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

New faces

The regional supplement of L’Express published an article called: “Bordeaux, the new faces in wine”, written by students of INSEEC (a top French business school) in Bordeaux.
Quick and efficient, they applied the imperative of today’s written press: 10 pages of editorial and photos and 5 pages of advertising!
In fact, there are a few new or young faces in wine in Bordeaux, and a few more, not as young! Time and novelty can be relative notions…
In any case, there was a very good article on Florence and Dominique Decoster and despite the strange title: “the adventurers, for the love of risk”. Gérard Perse, Vincent Mulliez, Jean Guyon, Catherine Péré-Vergé, la famille Peugeot, Florence Lafragette, Jean Christophe Mau, Denis Dubourdieu, Pierre Castel, Daniel and Florence Cathiard were featured in a well written article.

Friday, April 11, 2008


At this time, there are a lot of talks about traceability, quality of products and traces of chemicals in our food, of ecology. It is obvious, to me, that improvements still need to be done to keep our customers, but some basic issues still need to be dealt with:
Ripe grapes, clean cellars with no traces of TCA and other junk, good corks.

Even if traces of chemicals are still too high in the whole food chain, we shouldn’t lose track that the greatest danger in wine is alcohol and that even with an organic approach, nothing prevents a wine produced with organic grapes can be delivered with defects. Each sector has its excesses, the objective being to believe that improvement is constantly taking place in all levels of the food network. Proof is that in our countries we constantly expect to live longer and better today than yesterday and still our nostalgia always seems to make us believe that things were better before.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


From now on, instead of giving the name of a wine I wanted to drink and which was corked, I will give the name of the cork maker and keep the corks for analysis.

If every customer does the same, the cork producers will be forced to make major improvements in the quality if their product.

One of my colleagues told me that he opens plenty of his bottles and that he encountered less than 1% of corked bottles. I am open to believe him: He probably found the rare supplier, who is serious and only provides him with the best (or he is lucky).

As for me, When I open 100 bottles, I reject 7 or 8 due to a defective cork and other deviancies. Either I am too difficult, or I am jinxed.

And as I don’t have an evil eye (the proof is that I have the best life anyone can dream of), I am therefore too difficult… Murielle is even worst than me, you can imagine how our friends breakout in cold sweat when we open a bottle.

We are now at our 4th cork producer in 15 years, and I hope that I current supplier, Bourrassé, will keep on serving us well.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


If you haven’t already seen it on Mark Squire’s BB, below is a grid comparing the average notes from the GJE to Robert Parkers :

“By averaging WA points scores for each year 1998-2004 the following is how they would compare with the GJE rank numbers from the second list.

1 GJE Ausone 1 RP

16 GJE Lafite Rothschild 2 RP

1 GJE Pavie 3 RP

19 GJE Latour 4 RP

102 GJE Petrus 5 RP

18 GJE Margaux 6 RP

3 GJE La Mondotte 7 RP

10 GJE Pavie Decesse 8 RP


55 GJE Haut Brion 10 RP

13 GJE Mouton Rothschild 11 RP

5 GJE Pape Clement 12 RP

25 GJE Mission Haut Brion 13 RP

7 GJE Angélus 14 RP

15 GJE Cheval Blanc 15 RP

8 GJE Monbousquet 16 RP

6 GJE Valandraud 17 RP

35 GJE Quinault L'Enclos 18 RP

14 GJE Canon-La-Gaffeliere 19 RP

11 GJE Tertre Roteboeuf 20 RP

12 GJE Bon Pasteur 21 RP

9 GJE Beau-Sejour-Becot 22 RP

17 GJE Reignac 23 RP

3 GJE Haut Condissas 24 RP”

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stress ?

Last night we had dinner with one of our good customer/distributor in Spain (a total of 10 guests) following a tasting of available wines for his territory. We drank:
Magnum of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc, good
Pontet Canet 2003, superb
Valandraud 2001, totally closed
Vina El Pison 2005 Rioja, delicious
Maury 2004, top
Rhum from Martinique J.M. 1992, top

In the morning, we had a meeting with the creators of e-provenance (e-origins) who invented a system of temperature control, as well as traceability, for storage while shipping to our customers at the other end of the world. In my opinion, this system is still in the development stage, but could be useful in the short term to ensure that our wines are stored – shipped – properly as a stroke of heat, in the same token as a bad cork, would destroy all the work done.

Even if the stress for this futures campaign is growing, I was please to read that Chateau La Dominique 2007 received a special selection in Sunday’s issue of Sud-Ouest.

François Mauss is currently in Japan and I recommend you read the post on his blog : I warned him that he would fall in love with this beautiful country, a paradise for a food lover, the moment he would get there.

Monday, April 7, 2008


What will happen for the En Primeur releases for 2007 Bordeaux? We are waiting for the first chateaux to be “come out” (or “sortie” in French which has several meanings). This word being used, in this case, to describe hunters ready to shoot game about to come out of the woods and not for coming out of Sunday service dressed up and going to eat in a nice restaurant.
At what price? Same as 2006? less ? How much less ? -10%, -20% compared to 2006?
Will the price please both sellers as well as buyers, will we need to release our wine in April-May or June-July, or even not release it as futures and instead be paid when delivered?
In any case, there are a lot of questions many colleagues and owners will have to consider, and that my wine merchant colleagues are also asking, including me with my different hats.

Well, wine is not the only thing in life… Our 2nd rooster, the old Fifi, a Bantam from Beijing, was more than 12 years old. He was killed and eaten along with 2 hens (the white and the black), during the night of Friday-Saturday. The door of the henhouse was opened and the predator just had to take serve itself. We only have 2 hens left and Murielle doesn’t want this to happen again. These domesticated animals having become part of our lives, like our cats and dog.

Which animal is responsible for this? A wild cat or a weasel? Most likely a stone marten. In order for us to know, we would need to setup a trap. In any case, what ever the predator, it took advantage of a rare opportunity as the door of the henhouse stayed opened all night. We certainly feel guilty.

Life goes on: Steve Tanzer came back at L’Essentiel on Saturday to taste a series of wines from 2005-2006-2007. The results from this very respected American critic will soon be published on his website.

On Mark Squire’s BB on Parker’s site, the classification made by the Grand Jury Europeen on several vintages has created an animated debate. For as opposed to what is commonly believed in the USA as in France, England or other places, there are traditionalists who can’t admit that the order established in 1855 is contested. It is surprising when you know that, even inside this classification, and this for a long time, the place of Palmer, Lynch Bages (to name just a couple of crus) is way above the 1855 classification for the owners, but also for customers, professionals… If this classification was revised today using the same criteria as for the 1855, there would be quite some changes… And what about including the Right Bank? What an upheaval it would create!

Unfortunately, there are still some who are afraid of changes and others – a bit more curious. What I find interesting with this unending story, is that even on Parker’s site, you can still read about the battle between the old guard and the modernists.

Friday, April 4, 2008


The 2007 Union des Grands Crus tasting in Bordeaux is over.
Our move to Château La Dominique seems to have been a good idea. Plenty of parking space, space to present wine, a private room for journalists wanting privacy, comfortable dinning room and, of course, all the infrastructure of Château La Dominique (fax, telephone, internet, etc..).
The staff present for the event was also appreciated, especially for Murielle and I who were used to deal with the bulk of the chores, wash glasses… This year cooking was handled brilliantly by our colleague and friend Michel Puzio, owner of Château Croix de Labrie.
Who will volunteer next year? Note that there is a double goal: Keep the cost down (some of the exhibitor sell their wine for less than 2.5 Euros) and make good home cooking.

In any case, I think that we had the same amount of visitors as last year, rue Vergnaud, maybe even more, and this despite Vega Sicilia not attending and Alain Brumont’s unexpected visit.
Lots of journalists and a good number of importers: Swiss, German, Americans, English, Japanese and Russian. Of course, many other countries were also represented by one or two importers.

Almost all French distributors attended except Carrefour/Champion, and, of course, many companies we developed good relationships over the years, some even became friends.

Last night we enjoyed our last meal with a few Russians. We drank Harlan 1998, Valandraud 2003, Clos del Rey 2004, « 3 Marie » from Calvet-Thunevin 2004, The rest of Essensia 1999 Pajzos and a cuvée Madame 1997 from Tirecul La Gravière, and to end cognac Rémy Martin « extra ».

Today, we followed up on several projects. In the meantime, you can read articles published during the week in the Sud-Ouest newspaper on Paul Marie Morillon and Marojallia (in French). Jean Marc Quarin also wrote an article on Paul Marie’s wines, as well as my comment on Gault et Millau regarding expensive wines published in the Revue du Vin de France.

You can also read the notes published in the Wine Spectator, which seemed to be more influenced by the exchange rate with the Dollar than the wines tasted. However, this is James Suckling’s point of view…

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wines drank yesterday evening:

Corton Charlemagne 1994 de Leroy – Top
Interdit de Valandraud 2000 – Too young
Grange Ermitage 1975 – I would definitely drink some more tonight
Essensia 1999 de Pajzos : I love sugar and honey… so, I was spoiled
Pontet Canet 2003 most likely superb but unfortunately corked

Other than that, the day at La Dominique started slowly, got busier during lunch and well attended in the afternoon : close to 20 journalists including some I met for the first time.
I thank our neighbor Cheval Blanc who hosted them just before.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

En Primeurs campaign 2007 at La Dominique

We had a very busy 1st day with close to 500 visitors !
The morning of the second day was a bit quieter, but visitor came in the afternoon, especially “colleagues” (around 250).
In the meantime and before giving more details, we drank the following wines during our meals
Friday for lunch, the 2 of us drank a bottle of Chantegrive red 2003
For dinner: Haut Carles 2007, Bonne Nouvelle 2002, Testamata 2000, Maury 2004.

Saturday for lunch : Valandraud, Clos Badon and Virginie 2007, Blanc de Valandraud N°1 2005, Peby Faugères 2003, Colgin 2003, Rayne Vigneau 1937.
For dinner : 2007 tasting with Pingus 2007, Flor de Pingus 2007, Flor de Pingus 2003, Valandraud 2005, 3 Marie 2004, Ausone 1998, Screaming Eagle 1997, Blanc de Valandraud N°1 2007, Maury 2004.

Sunday: wines from Roussillon, Fleur Cardinale, Maro de Saint Amant

Monday, 5 for dinner, including Peter Sisseck: Laville Haut Brion 1989 (the best white Bordeaux I drank for the last 10 years!), Chambolle Musigny 2001 Les Beaux Bruns 1er cru de Mortet (good), Musigny des Comtes de Vogüe 1995 (good), Mazy Chambertin Armand Rousseau 1994 (strange for me, good for Peter).

Tuesday for dinner: Gevrey Cahmbertin 2005 Humbert (top), Pommard 1er cru les Charmots 2005 Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau 2005, Faiveley Gevrey Chambertin 2003 corked, Romanée Saint Vivant DRC 1988, Vougeot Leroy 1992.