Monday, May 19, 2008

Paris : Busy schedule

Theatre :
We went to the Comédie de Paris and saw « Armelle » and in the Palais Royal « Toc Toc »

In Tan Dinh we tasted blind Valandraud 1997 with another very good wine, in addition to top white Burgundies. This restaurant - and friend – has probably one of the best selection of Pomerol and Burgundy in Paris.
In the brasserie of the Lutetia, we drank a very good bottle of Petite Syrah from Mexico: La Cetto. In the nice brasserie located on the left of the lavinia, we had an excellent wine from the Loire, which I forgot the name.

At our friends:
Richebourg 2003 Anne Gros, Romanée Saint Vivant DRC 2003 and a pirate wine 2003, extremely good.
Corton Charlemagne Bonneau du Martray 1999 and William Fèvre Bougros 1999, Corton Charlemagne 1997 from Prieur, nice label corked, and… and… I forgot to take notes.

Thursday, I attended an important event taking place at Lavinia. it was organized by the PR firm of Jean-Pierre Tuil for the magazine Challenges. A panel of crus was presented by a nice panel of top property owners. Murielle, Mr. Clément Fayat (also present), and I represented the wines from the Vignobles Fayat. I didn’t even have the time to talk to all my friends from the business who were attending! I had an interview with a top journalist covering “general-interest” subjects, then I attended the tasting for VIP clients of Lavinia and “hop”, I just had enough time to eat with Pierre Lurton (Yquem, Cheval Blanc) in the brasserie next door, then time for bed.

I’ll write about Friday’s meetings maybe later.
Saturday and Sunday, I participated in the big tasting organized by La Revue du Vin de France in the Palais Brongniart. Beautifully put together in this place which use to be the home of France’s financial market. Plenty of visitors, customers, readers of this blog, acquaintances, friends, wine lovers… Murielle didn’t have any time to catch her breath. I did a bit. We had more visitors this year than last and this gave the opportunity for Murielle to meet again and pour some Valandraud to Mr. Arditi.
Pierre Arditi is one of France’s most famous, respected and still popular actors. For us, he is one of the best ambassadors of the wine world. A real wine lover. We would love for him to visit us in Saint Emilion, but I am sure he gets his share of invitations!

Back with the TGV and full throttle in the futures campaign.

I would like to post again the comment from Bruno to enlighten, if needed, some of my colleagues winemakers with this comment on Bordeaux written by a Swiss wine professional:
Dear Jean-Luc
I read with great interest the various articles and comments posted on your blog. What comes out is that the system of distribution and positioning of “Wine” in the marketplace should be called into question. My first assessment is that one can easily question oneself when the wine from an average vintage is being released. This was not the case for 2003 and 2005 where the only objective was to take the maximum amount of “dough”. This is well but this dough should have also been used to finance a study, or a coherent and perennial sales policy, guaranteeing a long term success.
Bordelais like to flirt with a policy of luxury goods and claim all the privileges without ever giving themselves the proper means of a luxury policy. Luxury is in fashion but the benefactors are companies who have worked for a long time on the implementation of a rigorous and costly commercial strategy. Switzerland is a bit familiar with this environment… The other trend, more anglo-saxon, take advantage of commercial system a bit chaotic to sell through wines mainly for financial purposes with all the abuses it involves (speculative funds, profits…, indexes,… etc...). And we forget the essential part: THE CUSTOMER AND CONVIVIALITY. (Thank you François Mauss for your comment). The long-term customer and wine lover has not increased his “wine” budget. He only adapted his budget and stopped following the increase of the top Bordeaux. This allows him to still and always devote his true passion: share another good bottles with friends! One thing is certain is that there are more people who get together in the world than people who have a lot of money.

The real purpose of wine is to be a beverage, even as beautiful as it can be, like a house remains a living environment. All abuse can be costly. It is time that each wine determines a price range that fits and keeps it. Stronger that any note, be it from R. Parker, or any other branding, the set and constant price will establish customer loyalty. Changing the price (with such magnitude) is changing client and god knows that acquiring new customers in any business in the world can be a deadly exercise.

One last thing concerning this “new Asian clientele”. I suggest you spend 3 weeks in Asia, incognito, and observe people’s habits concerning wine consumption. Of course, outside of “vinophiles” and promotional events for top crus where the red carpet is being rolled out. You won’t enjoy not being greeted and highly regarded (this, of course, doesn’t put in question Asian hospitality). On the other hand, it will be very instructive!
Best regards. Bruno

I forgot to ad that there should be a lot of press on these 3 days in Paris. The magazine Le Point published a complete review of the Revue du Vin de France and the good work done which will help French wine lovers make their choices when purchasing fine wine amid this rather complicated year.

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