Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh dear, oh dear... Caramba !

I read on the forum of La Passion du Vin : “…Bad Boy de Thunevin is for me the archetype of a vulgar Bordeaux…”. Who is this bad boy claiming to be the master of elegance? What will, or is, he doing, with his life?

On the same forum, a young amateur (“duckling”) speaks well of Bad Boy 2006 (he has a good palate) and gets a slap on the wrist for his comment, and also for speaking well of Gloria 1999 which he put in the same category as “fine wines”.
Of course, words like “fine wine” are only reserved to an elite and this new wine amateur cannot write such comments before acquiring more experience.
Culture is only reserved to cultured people, like passing a judgment is only reserved to judges and the ability to taste the terroir only those worthy to use this term.

Gloria, owned by a friend, doesn’t need me to defend the property, but Bad Boy 2006 does.
This Bordeaux is produced by one of my employees, Guillaume Queron, from properties I have as tenant farming, blended from 3 different terroirs including 2 great ones located on the Right Bank. But it is true that I don’t know anything: one in Génissac, the other in Fronsac (old vines planted on clayey limestone soil), and a bit from Pomerol.
Perhaps this wine is not meant to please everyone, however, it is not a reason to bash this young client-amateur who will certainly become more demanding and critical with experience by buying quality wine from good winemakers who respect their vineyards and are able to give an identity to their product!

I am quite afraid of these harsh judgments concerning wine, wine-lovers and producers. Fortunately, these comments were soften by “at least, in my opinion”, otherwise, how could I carry on? me, who is such a bad producer? Winemaker? Wine merchant? Alchemist ? Phony ?... who pollutes the palate of young uneducated amateurs and provoked such angry response (and who writes plenty of comments and not just stupid ones)!

It is true that I sign this Bad Boy 2006, with my name, and have no intend to make an unquestionable wine. Still, I try to do the best I can for a consumer price around 15 Euros (including VAT), with a certain amount of volume (2005 : 40 000 bottles, 2006 : 60 000 bottles, 2007 and 2008 still aging : 100 000 bottles).
It is true that many people like it for it is selling well, in wine-stores, mail order catalogues and even in supermarkets.
It is true that it also sells well in France, in the US, Japan, etc…
It is true that this wine gets good comments and ratings from well-known critics like Thierry Desseauve, the Wine Spectator (91/100) or the Wine Advocate (88/100).
It is true that this wine is 100% Merlot, ripe, black, concentrated, aged in new French barrels, with yields to low to be elegant for cultivated palates able to appreciate only one style of wine. As if drinking Cheval Blanc doesn’t allow you to drink Valandraud or liking Angélus doesn’t allow you to like La Conseillante.

The flaw of internet is to simplify, shorten opinions, but it shouldn’t prevent accepting opposite opinions. Bordeaux, which was always considered to be difficult to integrate, was able to accept many immigrants: from Spain, England, even from Corrèze, Ariège or even Pieds-noir from North Africa, like me.

So, why reduce wine to one taste, or only one elite?
Viva la libertad!



What are the drinking windows for the 2005 and 2006 Bad Boy bottlings ?

Jean-Luc Thunevin said...

2005 is certainly more powerful than 2006, but both can be cellared for at least 10 to 15 years. 2006 being made from a blend of 3 terroirs, is more fruit foward and will open earlier. Still, you could drink both now but I recommend to decant them for at least 1 hour, especially 2005.