Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brazil - San Paulo

Following a flight Hong Kong-Paris with a 5 hour layover in Roissy and then another flight Paris-San Paulo, in other words more than a day of flying time, and 10 hours of time difference, I arrived at the Mercure Hotel in San Paulo then went with our distributor to visit a biodynamic wine fair held in a wonderful setting.
Unfortunate that INAO style glasses don’t show well in hot and humid climate, considering that some of properties belonging to this “club” produce great wines.

The next day, we had lunch at “Churrascaria Vento Haragano”, an incredible barbecue restaurant where carnivorous human beings can eat as much as they want all different kinds of meat: beef, lamb, chicken, pork and even wild boar. It is even possible to eat grilled fish, salmon or tambaqui!
In the evening, I participated in a grand tasting for sommeliers and top clients of our distributor where 18 vintages of Valandraud were presented, from 1992 to 2009, which is still aging in barrels and can prove that it is better than 2010! 8 journalists, the ABS association of Brazilian sommeliers and a dozen clients, plus a few winemakers from Spain (Rioja), Australia, Austria and the members of Casa do Porto, our distributor.

The organization was perfect as well as the comments from Andreas Larsson, best sommelier in the world in 2007

Blanc de Valandraud 2007 : Murielle must have heard the positive comments all the way to Saint Emilion, then in order, from the oldest to the youngest :

Valandraud 1992 simply amazingly harmonious and complex. The best Bordeaux in this difficult vintage. At his top (according to me !)

Valandraud 1993, not so ripe, a classic Bordeaux, unbelievable for a garagist. Still youthful, wait 5 to 10 years to be at its best?

Valandraud 1994 another difficult vintage, perfect wine, rich, full, fat, not as austere as I expected, is becoming very good, probably one of the 2 best wines of the vintage in Bordeaux. Near its peak.

Valandraud 1995 everyone in the microcosm world of wine knows the success of this 1995 vintage, able to be complete, sexy, complex, Right Bank style, with still plenty of years to go. In any case, already so good to drink for the past 10 years. It reached the 1st place for Bordeaux at the Judgment of Paris organized by the Grand Jury Europeen.

Valandraud 1996 almost medoc style, a classic Bordeaux and still nice to drink. One of the best 1996 from the Right Bank, but far from the best Left Bank.

Valandraud 1997 paradoxically more successful than 1996, still a difficult vintage, yet we didn’t have this hype for the vintages of the century. Good wine, very small production because of the strict selection and we were right to do so.

Valandraud 1998 is, without a doubt, still one of the best Bordeaux in this very successful vintage in the Right Bank (less in the Left Bank). 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Merlot, which makes an interesting Valandraud, but God, this wine is so complex, rich, aromatic and so delicious.

Valandraud 1999 still with aromas of truffles, complete, fat, ready to drink now with a meal. This wine is past its ungrateful stages from this rainy vintage, probably one of the most concentrated wines in this vintage.

Valandraud 2000 perfect wine, exuberant nose, elegance, one of the least concentrated Valandraud, I found it very good, is improving with aging, a very good sign.

Valandraud 2001 much too young, lest taste it again in 10 years, even later.

Valandraud 2002 one of our most concentrated wines, forgotten vintage, superb now in the young wine category, black and silky and with great length.

Valandraud 2003 not a hint of being too old nor stress due to the drought in this fake great vintage where fabulous wines were made (Latour, Cos d’Estournel, Mondotte, etc…). To be revisited in at least 10 years.

Valandraud 2004 Every time I think this vintage begins to open, the wine must be decanted one day in advance and served at a higher temperature. Extreme concentration, to be drunk by anyone with anti-oxidants deficiency!

Valandraud 2005 Finally a pleasurable vintage, one of those great vintage, which can be considered "of the century". Very good, much too young at this stage, concentration, sweetness, complexity, ripe fruits, sweet grapes, a very promising future. Not to be included in a series of classic wine…

Valandraud 2006 The beginning of a change in style. Even more purity, more feminine in this blockbuster, charm and power in this very young wine.

Valandraud 2007 The surprise. So good, even today, with all this work on the wood, ripeness and the fruit are obvious in this vintage which actually provides so much pleasure, despite its reputation.

Valandraud 2008 very classic, made to age (30, even 40 years), it will be a reference wine, however for patient drinkers. A great vintage, A great vintage in the best sense of the word. Rich, concentrated, and yet with fine tannins.

Valandraud 2009 sample taken from a barrel, without a doubt the best Valandraud since we created it in 1991 and that we would have never dreamt of achieving such a beautiful story and such a great 2009, until 2010 confirms that one can never say never!

This wonderful tasting, highly professional was able to convince our Brazilian friends Valandraud’s qualities, even when compared to 1st growths from 1855. May she bring us luck in this long history of the 1st grand cru classé G. .... for garage, of course

Finally, for the first time we presented at a professional tasting, our Fine Bordeaux recently bottled and which, served by Andreas Larsson in appropriate pretty glasses, and after a Viking song before drinking transported the audience in a frenzy worthy of a star.
Thanks Ariel, Pericles, Andreas.

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