Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The English… Are English wholesalers a counter-balance ?

English wholesalers and a few English journalists organize every year a complete tasting of a specific vintage of Bordeaux. Earlier this year, they tasted, blind, Bordeaux 2004. In fact, it was done half-blind as each appellation was tasted together and each wine was compared to other wines from the same appellation, except for 1st growths and similar wines who were tasted separately.

I already spoke about this system called Luxey. I have one question though. which 1st growth, or similar wines, are included in the tasting? Petrus, obviously, but were Le Pin or other growths included?

Semi-blind tasting is a good formula, except when the notoriety of a specific village suffered from bad comments on the success of the appellation. For instance, Pomerol 2003 was a particularly difficult vintage (except for the top clayey terroir).

The Results: All this to say that 1st growths came out with the best notes, as it is the case each year – and it’s normal as they are noted together, then well known brands and the most renowned crus. It just goes to show that there are no more Chateaux which can only rely on their old notoriety.

However, 2 new crus appeared in the top 20, and it came as a surprise to me as Valandraud 2004 is not an easy wine as it is still so powerful that only time will be able to tame it. Blind, it seduced this very professional jury along with Le Dôme 2004 .

Even though it has no influence on the market, the results of this tasting are very important for me, as I remembered that the results of their first tasting where many wines I knew had defects (TCA, Brett, …) were turned down by this competent panel. Fortunately, these tastings were confidential at that time. Unfortunately, today as well.

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