Friday, October 15, 2010


Following maximum stress and our teams of pickers making the efforts to step-up the pace picking grapes, from this voluntary late vintage, stress level was at its highest on Monday and Tuesday due to the humid and hot weather, contributing to diseases. Luckily, the weather changed yesterday, with dry and cold night and a bit of wind: it’s worth gold right now as it protects the grapes from being damaged by the botrytis (gray mold) and instead concentrates the aromas and flavors.

Risk taking is part of the game I chose, considering I've never picked one over-ripe grape, but rather under-ripe.

None of the wines made in 20 years at Valandraud has this character of over-softness dreaded so much in Bordeaux by many owners, critics, and even enologists, while the real danger still today is the opposite... unless one prefers harsh tannins, rough, dry with beautiful aromas of green leaf, box wood, too frequently regarded as the proper style for a classic Bordeaux, recalling the good old days of cold vintages.

I like drinking our 2007 today. It’s sure that waiting as much as possible makes it sexy, pleasant, until a better vintage: 2009, drank yesterday with Chinese guests, is the year to beat in 2010. A high mountain to climb which makes the challenge even more exciting.

Tasting with 24 Austrian guests who tasted semi-blind : 4 series of 3 wines, they had to guess the vintages, 1998, 2000, 2003; between 3 Virginie de Valandraud, which one is 1995, 1998 and 2000; between 3 Valandraud, they had to say which one they preferred between Pichon Lalande, Mission Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc, and, yes, Virginie 2007 is a good challenger against Carruades de Lafite 2007…. The price difference makes comparing a diffult task. In any case, I liked the 2007 Carruades, which, for your information, is sold in stores in Saint Emilion for 375 Euros and Virginie de Valandraud sold for 38 Euros !

The Terre de Lisse blog is working well. The proof : I thought that “when China wakes up, the world will tremble” was from Alain Peyrefitte, well no, it is believed to come from Napoleon Bonaparte.

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