Saturday, February 7, 2009


Wednesday morning I had a meeting on the restoration site of the house we’re turning into a cellar, rue Vergnaud – next to the historical garage of Valandraud.
The actual garage must be from the 14th or 15th Century and the house’s façade from 1850. The other side of the street is also from the 14th or 15th Century with its crumbling mullioned windows. The garage and its dependencies will be beautiful once the painters finish.

I had several visits at the same time in the afternoon, I missed Franck and his Japanese guests from Fukuoka, but I was able to be there with Laurent for our American visitors who distribute 3 de Valandraud and Chateau Lafont Fourcat in New York. Nice, Francophile and passionate, they were accompanied by 2 customers including a sommelier and another person I don’t remember where from. He would like to distribute Valandraud in New York. Why not? To be continued. In any case, the decision will be taken in April-May.
The other group accompanying Miguel Lecuona included a beautiful Korean woman, an American and Marie Vayron, who’s parent own Chateau Bourgneuf Vayron in Pomerol, next to the property bought by Clément Fayat and myself. Every one was interested in wine and, of course, marketing… Time goes by too fast. Every time I talk about parts of my story, I jump from one thing to the other. It must be hard to make sense of what I say. As if it was urgent and the end of the world was close!
Photos :Miguel Lecuona

Other than that, Miguel gave me the opinion of the manager of a famous cru, friend of ours and that we respect, which I found somewhat strange and even stupid – it was probably a slip, a lack of experience, or maybe a preconceived notion…
If I understood correctly: “malolactics in barrels erase the notion of terroir” (so we are aginst it).
Michel Bettane help! Michel Rolland help! Robert Parker help ! The Burgundians have it all wrong !
Jokes aside, professionals like Denis Dubourdieu simply say that 12 months after the malolactics, there is no difference between malolatics in barrel or tanks.
As far as we’re concerned, we favor this complicated method, a bit dangerous for risks of bretts, and there are those against. Still, both methods can produce good wines; no critics nor professionals can tell when tasted blind if the malos have been taking place in barrels or not. Already, it is difficult to say Right Bank/Left Bank, even worst: California/Bordeaux. So which method is best “malolactics erase the terroir”?
As I get older, I am not as sure of myself and more tolerant, me the bad boy… It is true that I have a lot to be forgiven for.

The notes from the Wine Spectator are slowly coming out. Valandraud 2006 was not badly rated : 92. I will write about it later. We drank Champaign in L’Essentiel.

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