Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tasting primeurs

Meursault Charmes 2006 Buisson Charles (delicious)
Mondotte 2001 (wait for another 2 to 3 years – top)
Haut Brion 1998
Lafite Rothschild 1998 (normally very good)
Valandraud 1998 good
Le Pin 1998 very good, incredibly young with entrancing aromas.
Yquem 2002 good

Notes from the critics
Up to now, the Wine Spectator still likes 2009. Nice results for many wines, I will write about it later, but for those I am closely involved with: 93-95 for Chateau La Dominique, 92-95 for La Croix Figeac and my 2 "discoveries", this year, Tour des Terms in Saint Estephe and Chateau Marquis de Terme in Margaux both got 92-95.
Jean-Marc Quarin gave a very good note for Valandraud and wrote that “it can hold for more than 50 years”. I will wait, promise!

As for my tastings
It’s been a while since I took the time, during this crazy week of primeurs, to taste my neighbors’ wines.
I was able to join some of my friends and taste: Lafleur 2009 in Pomerol, a dream. I could have stayed an hour to talk about wine. This wine is great with incredible precision. Following, the best Vieux Château Certan I tasted in my life, considering the number I drank… This 2009 is simply unspitable, I would have certainly drank a carafe this evening!
Following, Le Pin, the wine which inspired Valandraud. There too, I didn’t spit
If this is not a "vintage of the millennium, what is it to doubters?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Primeurs, suite

Good number of visitors for this 1st day, not packed but at least mostly professionals which is important !

With our meals:
Villhardy 2006 correct
Villhardy 2007 good
3 de Valandraud 2006 good
Clos du Beau Père 2006 very good
Maury 2007 (delicious)
Meursault Goutte d’Or 2007 Buisson Charles very good
Grand Cru Corton 2006 de Bouchard (top)
Valandraud 1999 (very good)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Primeurs 2009 tasting just started !

They will, of course, be filled of meals and tastings. Lots of people attending and interest in Bordeaux 2009

We tasted almost all our 2009
Paired with our meal, 1st lunch
Blanc de Valandraud 2007 N° 1 and N° 2
Haut Condissas 2003 (top)
Pontet Canet 2003 (top)
Ausone 2003 (top)
Valandraud 2003( super top)
Fleur Cardinale 2003 (more than good)
Rieussec 1986 (old style)
Schrader 2006 (California)
Fine Bordeaux de Valandraud

2nd meal
Lindaflor Chardonnay Mendoza 2005 and Mordorée Lirac blanc 2005
Mazy Chambertin 1994 (top+)
Clos de Beze 1993 (top), both from Armand Rousseau
Echezaux 1999 Domaine Laurent (corked)
La Plume du Peintre 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape (top +)
Mirabelle from Jacqueline 51% and our fine Bordeaux

3rd meal
Haut Carles 2001 (top)

4th meal
Blanc N°1 de Valandraud 2007 and 2009 (top) and Meursault Les Cras 2006 Buisson Charles (top)
Valandraud 1995 and Pétrus 1995 , both very good
Haut Brion 1990 (top) and Valandraud 1992 (the best bottle since we we drank it at Champlain in Canada)
And for the first time in the world Baby Bad Boy 2009 (+top !!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Parking stories and 1st notes !

On Saturday, some of my employees, Murielle and I will start the 2009 primeur campaign for a group German, Austrian, Swiss, American and French journalists as well as some of our American, Swiss and Chinese clients.
It will be in occasion to return to our historical cellar in the heart of the town of Saint Emilion and have our lunches and dinners above the cellar where our barrels are stored. We won’t have anymore the easy access and comfortable parking space of Chateau La Dominique, where I hosted our event for the past few years.
This year, Mister Simon’s garage and large parking, our neighbor, which I just bought, will allow 20 cars from clients and journalists while they taste.

For your information, the town’s police department promised not to issue too many parking tickets, unless visitors park their cars in forbidden or awkward areas!
Our friends and exhibitors will hopefully, think of parking far enough to allow a maximum of parking places for visitors who come to taste our wines.
No need to remind you to taste and spit, as the police department has 0 tolerance for drivers who have more than 0.5 grams of alcohol in their blood. It is possible to rest at our place and wait for a taxi.

The first notes from the Wine Spectator are coming out with a maximum of 97-100! I am particularly happy of the 96-99 for Ducru-Beaucaillou, 95-98 for Pontet Canet, 93-96 for Domaine de Chevalier and 92-95 for Pichon Longueville Baron.


Every year, and this for the past few years, the owners of Château Rouget invite their distributors and brokers for dinner to taste the last vintage to be released. During dinner, the conversation is fairly open, which is rare in Bordeaux. Maybe the white wines of Burgundy they co-own, Domaine Jacques Prieur, are helping loosen tongues?
Rouget is the upcoming property in Pomerol, one of the best quality-price-ratio in the right bank and the last 3 vintages have been perfect.
2007 is soft, 2008 perfect and 2009 even better !
The prices will probably not stay at the same level, this property has been the sleeping beauty and again, a family finally woke it up. It’s our job to let the world know. In the meantime, we wait for the label to be at the level of this cru.
Bravo (as a famous critic would say)

Alan Duran

Alan Duran from the Periodic Review of Wine came Wednesday to taste 2009 Valandraud, Clos du Beau Père Blanc N°1 “Murielle” de Valandraud and Franc Maillet Cuvée Jean Baptiste.
This discreet American critic understands the importance of the Asian market. In fact, our wholesalers, wines and even critics should now take in account the new Chinese “order”.
Just before, I talked to Philippe Maurange (Revue du Vin de France) about the importance for RFV to be available in Asia. Parker and Decanter are already largely used by our customers and distributors.
So, why not have other source of information? Why not have more of a “French Touch”?
In the meantime, we expect to see a lot of critics in the coming week, and following the power of the English language, Chinese will soon be the main language used to promote our wines.
Mr. Lada understood that a long time ago.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bad Temper ?

I am becoming less powerful and less essential, since one of my friends (in this business we have many friends) doesn’t want to eat at my place anymore because I invited one of his former American friends with whom he had a fall-out. This American is received with kindness by many, many chateaux - from 1st growths to current stars, and yet my friend - you follow me? the one who does not want to eat at my house – continues to have good relations with these unavoidable chateaux and their owners ...
This same friend will not come taste the wines presented at my place next week because he is angry with another of my French friends ... Fortunately there is not such famous owner ...

In this business where work and friendship are often mixed, it is especially hard to be taken hostage by the friends you have, as in this situation, and be punished because I want to stay free.
It does not matter, as long as this friend will not say bad things about me or my wines because, undoubtedly, he will not mix work and quarrel for a long time without hurting himself as I carry many wines he is friends with the owners.
You still follow me, I hope!

In my history, many professional colleagues said the worst filth, wickedness on me, Valandraud, garage wines, my “Parkerisation”, and yet I continue to say hello to them, I do business with their wines even though I am not and will never have the privilege to buy them in first tranche as a Bordeaux negociant. In many cases I drink their wine, not to pour them in my sink or vinegar-maker, but because they are good and they are part of my life.

My only issue is when I don’t like neither wine nor the owner, then I avoid them and still ...
My true freedom is to give names, but I can not imagine that my "friend" will go on wanting me to change. I put this on account of his bad temper and wait for it to pass.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's the right time

In the February 2010 issue of Fine Wine Journal, Valandraud 95 is listed along Yacochuya 1999, Troplong Mondot 2000 and even Lafite Rothschild 2000, to name a few…
For me, it’s the right time to open 1995, 1998 and 1999 Valandraud

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring is here

Terre de Vins
Will the game posted online by Terre de Vins in order to find a name for our group help us find the magical formula such as UGC, Cercle Rive Droite or the Club des 5?
All those who participated on my blog can play, for there are 3 prizes to win. Anyway, nice work from Terre de Vin on its site, which includes regularly all sorts of information.

La Jurade
Ten new jurats in Saint Emilion, a new winds of modernity and youth, proving that we can reconcile modernity with tradition. Congratulations to all those who are working to promote our wines of St. Emilion.
Good weather puts us in a good mood at the beginning of the 2009 Primeur tasting, the sun makes us optimistic and happy and tourists are back in the village. We missed them this winter when the snow competed with the beauty of our town.

La Dominique
Misters Clement and Jean Claude Fayat received a group of traders and brokers from Bordeaux on Friday to taste 3 wines sold on Bordeaux open market:
Château Clément Pichon Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc, the new name of the vineyards in Pomerol: Château Fayat, and of course Château La Dominique, Grand Cru Classé. It was also the occasion to show the ambition of the Fayat family for the future status of Chateau La Dominique. The staff, the means, the land, its history and the wines, everything is there to make Château La Dominique one of the best wines of Bordeaux and the Right Bank.

No 1929 to celebrate the birthday of Murielle’s father, but instead wine from our properties: Virginie 2000, Valandraud 2004 and 1999 which drinks great right now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2009 Primeur tasting

Here is the list of wines we will present during the UGC week:

2009 PRIMEURS TASTING - from 29/03 to 2/04/2009

Non exhaustive list - Tasting will take place in Chais Thunevin
3-7 rue Vergnaud 33330 Saint Emilion

· Jean-Luc Thunevin/Murielle Andraud/Virginie Thunevin
2009 Château Valandraud - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Virginie de Valandraud - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 3 de Valandraud - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Clos Badon-Thunevin - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Bel Air Ouÿ - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Prieuré Lescours - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Blanc de Valandraud N°1 - Bordeaux blanc
2009 Blanc de Valandraud N°2 - Bordeaux blanc
2009 Château Bellevue de Tayac - Margaux
2009 Le Clos du Beau Père - Pomerol
2009 Domaine des Sabines - Lalande de Pomerol
2009 Domaine Virginie Thunevin - Bordeaux

Partnership with Jean Roger et Marie Calvet :
2009 Domaine Thunevin-Calvet « Les Trois Marie » - Côtes du Roussillon Villages
2009 Domaine Thunevin-Calvet « Hugo » - Côtes du Roussillon Villages
2009 Domaine Thunevin-Calvet « Les Dentelles » - Côtes du Roussillon Villages
2009 Thunevin-Calvet “Constance” - Côtes du Roussillon
2009 Domaine Thunevin-Calvet - Maury

· Vins selected and exclusively distribued by Ets. Thunevin
2009 Baby Bad Boy - Vin de France
2009 Bad Boy - Mauvais Garçon - Bordeaux rouge
2009 Presidial Thunevin - Bordeaux blanc & rouge
2009 Château Franc Maillet- Cuvée Jean Baptiste - Pomerol
2009 Château Lafont Fourcat & A nos Amours -Bordeaux rouge et blanc
2009 Château Subilaux - Bordeaux rouge
2009 Clos Romanile - Saint Emilion Grand Cru

· Jean-Luc Thunevin consultant or manager
2009 Château Fleur Cardinale - Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
2009 Marojallia et Clos Margalaine - Margaux
2009 Château de Carles et Haut Carles - Fronsac
2009 Château Haut Mazeris - Canon Fronsac et Fronsac
2009 Château La Dominique - Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
2009 Château Clément Pichon - Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois Supérieur
2009 Château Clément Fayat - Pomerol

· And our friend’s wines
2009 Château Rol Valentin - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Faugères - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Peby Faugères - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Cap de Faugères - Côtes de Castillon
2009 Château La Mouleyre - Côtes de Castillon
2009 Château de Chambrun - Lalande de Pomerol
2009 Château de Pressac - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Croix de Labrie - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Gracia et Angelots de Gracia - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Villhardy et Maro de Saint Amant - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château La Croix Figeac - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Lynsolence et Chateau Les Gravières - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château La Cour d’Argent - Bordeaux
2009 Château Grand Destieu - Saint Emilion Grand Cru
2009 Château Branda - Puisseguin Saint Emilion
2009 Chateau D’Aiguilhe Querre - Côtes de Castillon
2009 Château Fougas Maldoror - Côtes de Bourg
2009 Château Beau Soleil - Pomerol
2009 Château Le Gay - Pomerol
2009 Château La Dauphine - Fronsac
2009 Château Malromé - Bordeaux
2009 Chateau Tour des Termes - St Estèphe Cru Bourgeois
2009 Château L’Inclassable - Médoc
2009 Château Fontaine de l’Aubier - Médoc
2009 Château Rollan de By - Médoc
2009 Château Haut Condissas - Médoc
2009 Château Tour Seran - Médoc
2009 Château La Clare - Médoc
2009 Château Marquis de Terme -Margaux
2009 Château Thénac - Bergerac
2009 Clos des Fées - Côtes du Roussillon Villages
La Petite Sibérie
Un faune avec son fifre sous un olivier sauvage

2009 Domaine Chiroulet - VDP de Gascogne
Terres Blanches
Côte d'Heux
Grande Réserve
Terra Nostra
Vent d'Hiver

2009 Domaine Buisson Charles - Bourgogne
Meursault Vieilles Vignes
Meursault Les Tessons
Meursault 1er cru Les Cras
Meursault 1er cru Goutte d’Or
Meursault 1er cru Bouches Chères
Meursault 1er cru Charmes
Volnay Santenots 1er cru

2009 Domaine de Cébène - Faugères
Cuvée Felgaria

2009 Domaine Marcel Deiss - Alsace
1er Cru Rotenberg
1er cru Burg
Grand Cru Mambourg
Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim
Grand Cru Schoenenbourg

Vignobles Bernard Magrez 2009
Passion d’une vie
Mon Seul Rêve
Château Pape Clément rouge et blanc
Château Les Grands Chênes
Château La Tour Carnet
Magrez Fombrauge
Château Fombrauge rouge et blanc


2009 Pingus - Espagne
2009 Flor de Pingus - Espagne
2009 PSI - Espagne
2009 Quinta Sardonia - Espagne
2009 Clos D’Agon - Espagne
2009 Tenuta di Trinoro & Passopisciaro - Italie
2009 Henye Tokay - Hongrie

Friday, March 19, 2010

Terre de Vins

With the title : "ils veulent s’unir, trouvez leur un nom", (they want to unite, help them find a name), the French internet site Terre de Vins proposes a game to help us find a name for our groupe consisting of Châteaux Fleur Cardinale, Faugères, Pressac, Rol Valentin and Valandraud.
If we just have to hope, in the meantime, there has already been a reaction on the blog (in French) of 1000 bravos

1st tasting : U.G.C.

A big article just came out (in French) in the newspaper Sud Ouest with the title : du vin de garage au microscope (garage wine under a microscope). It included paragraphs on the 2 certifications of traceability, quality and a better environmental report for negociants, vinification and wineries.
It drew lots of reactions, comments, etc. Here, almost everyone reads this newspaper.

Another article came out on regarding the Primeurs and Cercle Rive Droite.

2009 UGC tasting
I heard some people say that they preferred the homogeneity of 2005, some the balance of 2005, but no one mentioned the price of 2005
Others told me about wines made from “blette” grapes, I didn’t say Brett! Too ripe? Too extracted? Surpisingly, but no one talked to me about wines which were too diluted or vegetal?

Denis Dubourdieu, spoke to me about taste, simply taste. We certainly have more work to do, thanks to the influence of organic viticulture, like in Burgundy (when the wines are well made).
In any case - speaking of myself… but it’s my blog – I liked this 2009 UGC tasting.

Great brands produced very good wine this year, it’s normal. I think about Troplong Mondot, Pape Clément, Domaine de Chevalier, Lascombes, Carbonnieux, Carmes Haut Brion, Malartic Lagravière (flavor), Olivier (finally), Smith Haut Lafite, Beauséjour Bécot, Canon (I told John), Dassault, Clos Fourtet, La Couspaude (a must), La Dominique (of course), La Tour Figeac, Larcis Ducasse (it’s normal), Larmande (the best Larmande ever produced), Vieux Certan, Clinet, Gazin, La Conseillante, Croix du Gay very good, La Pointe, Petit Village very high level, Fourcas Hosteins (yes), La Tour Carnet, Le Tertre, Malescot Saint Exupéry, Marquis de Terme (special!), Rauzan Segla, Gruaud Larose, Lagrange (just fruit), Léoville Barton, Léoville Poyferré (very good), Saint Pierre, Talbot, I already said it would be one of the best wines in 2009, Lynch Bages, Pichon Longueville (one of my favorite), Phelan Ségur. I only mention the ones I tasted and liked.

I found only 3 or 4 wines not so good, it’s a small amount, perhaps I was optimistic.
To finish, the dry whites are good and in Sauternes, I was not able to spit Guiraud and Nairac.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Consultant... or "being caught between 2 stools"

By reading Pierre-Marie Cauvin, the image of being caught between 2 stools came up… concerning making choices, speeches, wine, customers, commerce, justifications.
Example: I am a well known consultant, I don’t intervene, the terroir is the only master and… I only want to make the best wine of the appellation, otherwise I am not happy… (does this implies that I love the best terroir?)
Or, I (I mean me) couldn’t care less that the terroir is average, that it doesn’t have any history. Work, Mister, only work counts and… in the end, when the terroir speaks, that’s a fine wine! It’s another story when it comes by itself!

In other words, between what we say or what we’re being said, where the room to maneuver is the same, and as Michel Rolland might have said: if I could really do miracles ... (meaning getting each time 100 points Parker), I would not know what to do with my talent and would have too many clients

Blind, it’s hard for experienced professionals to know if the wine comes from California or Bordeaux, Right Bank or Left Bank or had the Rolland signature or someone else, whether he followed the terroir of forced his talent (when it’s done well, is it not?)
The blind tastings from the Grand Jury Européen, are a real source for questioning preconceived notions, and still, we’re talking about well known professionals. So, what about amateurs…

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1st official tasting for 2009 in Bordeaux

The Cercle Rive Droite organized the 2009 tasting of its members at Café Maritime.
I tasted some of the wines from the large group, many property owners, many brokers, a few wholesalers, the room was full.

Good atmosphere, many good, very good wines.
A few misses with wines too hard, too extracted, some even vegetal.

I particularly liked Barde Haut, Clos L’Eglise, Fleur Cardinale, Clos des Jacobins, La Rose Perrière, Moulin Haut Laroque, and found the wines of Fronsac quite well made. Hurrah for great vintages who showcase well wines from this appellation : Faugères pure softness, La Fleur de Bouard again at the top, Le Moulin, Lamarzelle, La Clotte, formidable, Fleur de Gay also, Rol Valentin and his “special” cuvée from Laussac, Fougas Malodoror, Côte Montpezat original, Carlmagnus, Dauphine, Fontenil, La Vieille Cure of course, Fayat in Pomerol (formerly known as Commanderie de Mazeyres), Bellefont Belcier, Boutisse, Fleur d’Arthus, Pressac, Quinault L’Enclos, Faizeau délicieux, Guibot la Fourvieille and Lussac. I only tasted part of the wines presented, and will have the opportunity to taste them again soon at the end of March.

Wednesday will be the turn for UGC wines and there, some heavy hitters !

Y from Yquem 2007 released this morning

I never tasted such a good Y, everything is there to please even the most jaded palate: finesse – power – balance – ripeness - originality. I will certainly ask them how they pulled such a tour de force.
It a relatively rare and expensive wine, but I already know that my company will quickly sell out. It will be available from April 6 at the property and sold in wooden cases of 6.

New fax number

Please note our new fax number which will bring documents directly into our mailboxes and allow us to edit them when necessary: +33 5 67 67 03 07

La Mariotte 2007

Abdou Maarfi and Marion were the first to help us setting up the restaurant Le Tertre in Saint Emilion in 1985. Their restaurant, Le Logis de la Cadène - an institution in Saint Emilion - located just below, in front of our house was busy and customers not able to be seated were kindly sent to the new comers across the street – and we greatly needed their help.
Since then, we sold our restaurant and our adventure in the wine trade has taken a major part of our lives, Valandraud created in 1991 has made us what we are today.

Marion, sister of Nelly Mouliérac, also had a story with wine: Château La Clotte, a family property, is now one of the rising wines, and Nelly can be proud of this development.
So, the dream of having their own property and their wine was confirmed with the purchase of vines around Larmande and I had the pleasure of getting a bottle from Abdou to taste: 2007 Chateau Mariotte, the 1st vintage of this Saint Emilion Grand Cru. I had already tasted the rose made from bleeding.
Well .... I do not know how they did it, who helped them, if it’s beginner's luck, but it is darn good!

Asian delicacies, spices, cinnamon and a Bourbon Vanilla syrup, a wine with ultra silky tannins, elegant oak, coopers must have eaten at La Cadène, even the cork was of quality, I am sure that the bottle was supplies by somebody they know and the designer for the label must have eaten at their place or stayed in their chamber d’hôte. Maybe they packed the vine shoots for the grill, like me with Daniel Vivien in Cure Bon. I tell you, it’s a family affair, friendship. No need for a PR agency to invent a story. The story already exists, and it is real.

Their wine is, of course, already sold in St. Emilion at Le Logis de la Cadena, rue du Tertre de la Tente, and in Morocco, Israel, and I saw a bottle in a shop in St. Emilion, I believe it was Vignobles et Châteaux. That's a nice story for the beginning of another life.
Restaurants, like banks, lead to the world as long as you can leave them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Decanter, April 2010

The last issue of Decanter (April) features a big tasting of Saint Emilion Grand Crus Classé, 1st A and B and Pomerol which, thank god, has no classification.

Why thank god? I don’t know the names of the of the people who were in charge of this dream appellation and refused a Pomerol classification system, even though there were historically plenty, with prices (there too), notoriety.
Why thank god? because thanks to this, Clos du Beau Père 2007 was able to receive 3 stars and was rated 16.2 out of 20 with the following comment:
"Dense, sweet, oaky nose with lush fruit. Lacks a little complexity, but it is structured and spicy. Good length. From 2012" (SB)
3 stars is a bit in the absolute, but it was listed just below, Chateau La Violette 12th, Le Gay 15th and Clos du Beau Père 16th and above many established stars!
I recommend you buy Decanter, it’s a nice publication.
Also well placed, Clément Fayat’s Prieurs de la Commanderie 2007.

Regarding Saint Emilion, and I don’t thank anybody, it was not possible to present Valandraud, Virginie de Valandraud or Clos Badon which, as everyone knows, are not (yet) classified!
There too, very good scores with an excellent first place for Troplong Mondot 2007, which, with 4 stars, is in front of Angelus and Cheval Blanc, and the astonishing Dassault and La Clotte which, at this level of classification offer incredible quality-price ratio.
La Dominique and Fleur Cardinale received 3 stars: these 2 wines are undeniably good, and sure values today in Saint Emilion.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Visit of our partners F.T.I. in Shanghai who were in Bordeaux for a quick trip to talk about the good evolution of F.T.I. They will take full advantage of the Shanghai World Fair with a mix of PR, marketing and sales of wine.

We had a good meal at the Restaurant du Tertre in Saint Emilion, an important restaurant in our life where the current owners are both very professional as well as charming friends.
We tasted a great bottle of Chateau Fontenil 2000, Fronsac which, blind, could beat many famous classified growths costing much more money.
Dany and Michel Rolland must be thanked by wine lovers who are happy to drink such a good wine.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Open doors in Saint Emilion, May 1st and 2nd

Participating châteaux will open their doors to the public and will present their wines and show their cellars.

We will do the same for our club of Saint Etienne de Lisse. A competition will take place to find a name for the organization and prices will be posted in the magazine Terre de Vins.

So, note the opportunity to visit at the same time Chateaux Fleur Cardinale, Pressac, Faugères, Valandraud, and the vineyards of Château Rol Valentin, pending completion of their cellar.

I am still looking for one or more ideas to make the event attractive and useful to the 5 members of our association.

“5 Crus, 5 visits, What can we do? "

U.G.C. 3 days

Like every year, Union des Grands Crus organises the en primeur presentation of the futures for wine distributors from March 30th to April 1st 2010 from 9:30 am to 8 pm.

In Saint Emilion, the tastings will take place at Château Beauséjour Bécot and in Pomerol at Château Gazin.

For journalists, the welcome dinner will take place on March 29 at Château La Dominique.
As for us, the tastings will take place in Saint Emilion, rue Vergnaud in the historical garage of Valandraud from March 29th until April 2nd from 9 am till 6 pm (invitations on request)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vincent Pousson

Below, a message – a cry for help – from Vincent Pousson. I don't know if he exagerate (he's in the South of France...), but I don't go enough to the south.

“Corny? Messy? A pain in the neck? As expected, Vinisud and it's various off-sites proves what we feared; The traditional Lnagudoc is getting tired. “Marketing is dead, Vive wine!” I wrote for the previous edition... You bet! Still more cheap adverts, politics (is the cancer that's eating up this region...), mediocre rastignaqueries! Still less desire, culture and especially wine! Lets return to the essence, the meaning and blood, which made the success of wine from the south of France twenty years ago, with the peasant energy, this freedom with calloused hands, this freshness which the politcs attempt to dilute, stuck-ups, in-breds and situationists rallies ... A little respect for what's in the bottle and those who made it!
Forward! Forward, to avoid that 2010 becomes the last Vinisud!”

Vincent Pousson

Syrah or not syrah ?

Syrah is a red varietal from France, according to Wikipedia.

Marc brought a Syrah he produced in Israel: Binyamina 2006. Delicious, and easy to drink, ripe, fresh, hard to believe considering the yields are 80 hectos/hectare with 2500 vine stocks per hectare.

But what is the police doing?! It's good and not expensive (I didn't say kosher).

We tasted at the same time Syrah from Lesquerdes/Maury, a varietal also not from that area. It's certainly in France but not the birth place of this Rhone varietal.

Ours is very powerful, too black? We'll see with aging. On the other side, the Grenache, base for 3 Marie, was superb.

In the evening, we tasted a batch of 2009 Syrah, still fermenting, but once shaken well, was beautiful, soft and powerful with aromas of blackberries and pungent old roses.

Goes to show that you need to taste and retaste when just opened and much later.

Alice, miss weather ?

Tuesday morning I woke up at 6 am and watched the news channel ITélé (Canal + group) just to be informed of what's happening in France, especially concerning the strikes, because we have customers from all over the world arriving.

Yesterday, a Franco-Brazilian family: Carlos is one of my private clients I met for the first time - Brazilian businessman, often traveling to Japan and a fan of Valandraud which he discovered in Tokyo in the most exclusive club.

The boss of a very large French company who rescheduled his lunch because his flight to Bordeaux was canceled. Wednesday, it was the Koreans and Thursday the team of one of our U.S. distributors in New York with Christian Dalbavie, and this should carry on until June!
How will they do without fuel for their cars? we have no subway in St. Emilion, and if you ad the strikes with the airlines?

We certainly have issues to resolve, it's a pity that there is no other effective means of negotiating than strikes, and this is not the fault of one or the other, that's the way conflicts are conceived and resolved in France

Back to ITélé at 6 am, the attractive weather presenter is the daughter of my friend, the boss of MitSiu group (storage), Alice Darfeuille, who invited me for a recent interview.

From internship to weather presenter ... Watch-out, presenting the weather report on Canal + brings you far …

Meanwhile, Mary and Jean Roger Calvet attended Vinisud in Montpellier. We need to find customers all over the world as our French supermarkets and wine shops are not enough to sell every year the production from our 60 hectares property.

Back to Porsche

Las week, I wrote about the visit at Valandraud by the mid-Atlantic Porsche club. This is what the garage looked like: