Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saint Emilion classification and controversy

Saint Emilion’s trade organization sent us the draft of the new rules set by the INAO for the next Saint Emilion classification.

The facts in short:
The last classification was supposed to go until 2016. Complaints from some demoted properties cancelled the 2006 classification, and since then, there is a classification with promoted and demoted and newly promoted until 2012.
The project proposed by the INAO today proposes that 50% of the note represents the quality of wine, 20% notoriety, 20% for the terroir and 10% for winemaking facilities and reception rooms.

I simply:
As of now, I know many people in favor of these new rules, but also some very strongly opposed with basically two arguments against the new rules: too much emphasis given to tasting and the outside jury + INAO.

They propose 3 alternatives, depending on the interest of one or the other:
1/ 1/3 for tasting, 1/3 for the price and notoriety, 1/3 for the terroir
2/ nothing changes for everyone with the current classification, classified, demoted, newly promoted until 2016.
3/ End the renewable classification and keep the last one like the style of 1855’s system, in other words, no more classification.
It is difficult; indeed, for everyone to agree about such a project. Each person will have the means (more or less) to intervene with the policy makers, ministers, the president, even the administration or the commission.

Everyone must defend his ideas, interests, but as always in a democracy, the collective happiness has to prevail over the interests of one person.
In addition to local squabbles, there are so many interests as well as different situations - a 1st growth doesn’t want to be demoted, a candidate wants to be eligible, a demoted property wants to be part of it, a non-classified finds it normal to be eligible, so in addition to local problems, I don’t think that our trader friends and Bordeaux brokerage firms don’t have as well an opinion, and I'm not talking about 1855 classification or even the unclassified properties in 1855!

There are two important issues in any case. Is there still a place for Crus classified A, similar to 1st growths classified in 1855? In this case are the 8 first growths open for new contenders for this status? Does the market want it anyway?
As for me who loves Saint Emilion and as always Likes to be a bit provocative, I think that there is no reason that Pauillac, with its 1200 hectares (1966 acres), has 3 Premiers Crus (Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild since 1973) and St. Emilion, with 5,500 hectares - 13,590.8 acres - (of which at least 3000 are top level) is not also entitled to 6 classified growths and, anyway, the 6 of them together don’t even get close to the number of bottles produced by Lafite Rothschild (and I do not factor in the second wine!)

So, here are my thoughts offered for this new year, as long as there is some time left .

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wine Journal

On Robert Parker’s web site, Neal Martin presents in his Wine Journal, his special selection for 2010 and in particular Jean Marie Bouldy’s Château Bellegrave 2005, my neighbor of Clos du Beau Père in the René sector in Pomerol.
There will probably be others included in his special selection and discoveries because he is writting a book about Pomerol.

He also mentioned La Petite Sibérie 2007 from Hervé Bizeul. It’s worth checking out all the wines he liked, it’s incredible.

And just for pleasure, his comment – already old, on Blanc de Valandraud 2006 N°1 :

"Tasted blind at Southwold ’06 Bordeaux tasting. An attractive nose here: honeydew melon, cooking apple, apricot with well-integrated new oak. Could this be one of the Saint Emilion whites? The palate is medium-bodied, well balanced with finely integrated new oak, pretty, tropical flavours: mango, star fruit, pineapple with just a faint tang of lemongrass right on the finish. Very fine. Tasted January 2010." N.M. 91 points

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Saint Emilion

Lots of people attend Christmas mass in our beautiful church of Saint Emilion. The sermon was about jealousy and pardon.
Following, with a small meal before midnight, a good Domaine des Enchanteurs 2009, Vin de Pays white from the Vaucluse in Provence, a blend of Viognier and Grenache, served with nice langoustines.

The next day with our parents, children and grand-children, Cremant de Bordeaux rose, Valandraud 2005, Virginie 2003 and a very good Yquem 2002.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It’s starting strong!

Aperitifs to start the holidays: Angélus 1996, Tertre Roteboeuf 1995, a small production Pomerol, so limited that I forgot the name, average wine despite the obvious ambition.
A very good Corton Charlemagne 2003 from Bouchard, a delicious Charvin 2005, Chateauneuf du Pape, made with ripe grapes and still able to be “fresh”. You know what I think of this search for freshness with unripe grapes in order to say that this wine from the South is balanced and easy to drink, and be useful to researchers who can’t find it, except with media oddly convinced, but that's another story, probably more political.
To kill “brother” Parker is such a clear goal… Parker gave 83 points to this 2005 and 97 to the 2007!
Following this Charvin, Saint Prefert 2007 (noted 92 by Parker) more in the “modern” style expected from Chateauneuf du Pape, it should have been served before.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bad Girl – at last!

Following 2 years of aging in his cellars in Montagne Saint Emilion, Lionel Lateyron delivered his first bottles of Bad Girl, Cremant de Bordeaux, which he produced for us with the goal of being one of the best sparkling wines from France, therefore able to rival with the best sparkling in the world and offer a good alternative to basic champagne.

After Bad Boy, Bordeaux; Baby Bad Boy, Vin de France, we had to make Bad Girl.

With now some time to send these bottles to our clients and time to assimilate the disgorgement; the wine will be at its top for Valentine's Day, February 14, 2011.
3000 cases of 6 of 2008 are available for sale, pending the 2009 and 2010.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Calvet-Thunevin Maury 2004

I received a nice little note sent by a wine store in Paris who has a good palate

“I tasted the 2004 Maury VDN (Vin Doux Naturel) Calvet Thunevin. Top, almost as good as the 2003 Vintage Port Quinta do Infantado served before. Of the 21 bottles tasted these two take the first and second place, all VDN combined”

Imperial Valandraud 1992

One of my English friend – and client – organized a big dinner to celebrate the birthday of his son born in 1992. He served at the dinner what he considers the best wine of this vintage (1992), which doesn’t have a great reputation, except in Porto and the Napa Valley.
He told me that the Valandraud 1992 imperial being served was the best Bordeaux 1992 he ever drank.

18 years after producing it, Murielle, I and our friends at that time can be proud of this compliment made by one of the greatest wine professional in the World. It’s probably the beginner's luck that made us notice at the time this great wine, still good today, even bottled.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wine Spectator, continued: comments on comments

Comments made by Julien Viaud (on my French blog) following my article:
“22 wines between 92 and 94/100 (as every year, the first growths, super second and others alike are featured), and 62 wines between 90 and 91/100!!!!
Without questioning the comments made on these wines, what's the point of using a rating scale in which all the notes are tightened and where everything is flat and smooth...”

Julian yes indeed, looking at it that way, all critics give almost the same result and a machine (in French) could possibly write the comments. It is true that one can expects that notes based on 100 would have more differences in accuracy compared to notes based on 20! But you have to take in consideration that men taste (in our place), that the task is not easy, etc... In this particular case, there are a few new things, knowing that there are 80 wines listed with notes out of 450 tasted.
Le Thil 91 points, Fieuzal 90, Manoir de Gay 91, Ferrand 91, Clos des Menuts 90, Défi de Fontenil 91, to compare to Château Margaux 91 or La Mission Haut Brion’s 90, considering, that's not bad compared to the first names mentioned ?!

Let’s not forget that this is part of the game: we are not obliged to read, participate or even comment. But the Wine Spectator is still one of the most influential media, while waiting to see what James Suckling’s site will be like.


Here's a little note received from one of our friends:

“We currently have serious doubts about a pending order for a client based in China, forwarded by a Chinese shipping company who is supposed to pick the wines up in Bordeaux. Problem: we are unable to find any information on the internet on neither the customer nor the shipping company!

According to our terms for such a case, the payment for the wine + transport is supposed to be made by credit card, for the total amount of wine purchased + transport (approximately EUR 1000). According to their request, it is our responsibility to pay the Chinese shipping company, after the money from the Chinese client's card has been credited to our account.”

It is in fact a scam, the same one we experienced before, where the client was supposedly Japanese. It's actually a scam instigated from Africa.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hurrah for the train

Being able to take the TGV train in Libourne and arrive in the center of Paris 3 hours later is great, even if it is for work
The advantage, compared to Bordeaux airport, is that it's much closer to Saint Emilion and you only have to arrive 5 minutes before boarding.
It is also true that my maternal grandparents worked for the railways where they were in charge of a level-crossing living in a small house in exchange for closing or opening the road for the few trains passing. This sort of job disappeared. This seemed very exotic at the time when we lived in Algeria and came to visit our grandparents in France, in the department of Meurthe and Moselle.
The smell of polish in the house, the chime of grand-mother’s clock, the breakfasts, and homemade liquors made with currant and plum, fishing in the Meuse with a net and fishing line, hazelnuts and bicycle rides. It was before the sixties, there were dining cars where we ate well and jukeboxes in waiting rooms, and the General de Gaulle was everywhere...

And for the weekend, a bit more reading of Hervé Bizeul’s blog (in French).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wine Spectator

Yesterday, I stayed all day cozy at home: tired, cold, with a bit of flu, etc. Now I am back reading Hervé Bizeul’s blog (in French) who will make new friends with the rich and famous in the world of wine. The latest report from Jean Marc Quarin sounds like an echo to the words of Hervé Bizeul!
On the site of the Wine Spectator, expected (though), James Molesworth’s 1st comments and tasting notes on the top wines of 2008 in Bordeaux, with already a few surprises, discoveries and course confirmations.
His notes are rather low, like Tanzer.

FYI : d’Aiguilhe, Fleur de Bouard, Fieuzal, Faugères, La Violette, Marojallia, La Couspaude, Clos des Menuts, La Mission Haut Brion : 90 points.
Margaux, Palmer, Pichon Baron, Lynch Bages, Chevalier, Smith Haut Lafitte, La Conseillante, Manoir de Gay, Bon Pasteur, Valandraud, Fleur Cardinale, Montrose, Lagrange, Léoville Barton, Défi de Fontenil : 91 points.
Latour, Ausone :94 points
Cheval Blanc, Le Pin, La Mondotte : 93 points

The notes for cheaper and lesser known wines will come out soon and will help sales in the US or elsewhere.

Chateau Valandraud 2008 91 points
"This is sleek, with delicious raspberry and boysenberry fruit, lots of alluring spice and blanc tea notes, and a long, polished finish. Delicious. Drink now through 2019. " J.M.

Chateau Fleur Cardinale 2008 91 points
"Ripe, juicy and flattering, with delicious linzer torte, boysenberry and blackberry compote aromas and flavors, supported by solid grip and nice lingering anise and espresso on the dense, lengthy finsih. Drink now through 2019" J.M.

Grand Cru

What if JFG was right?
Read on the internet: wines from Languedoc, new AOC classification starting 2011 with 2 new categories: Languedoc Grand Vin and Languedoc Grand Cru.
Will the “grand cru” mention help even more?

We drank with an excellent meal prepared by Murielle for 7 guests:
Blanc de Valandraud 2007 still one of the top fine white wines in France
Mauvais Garçon 2007 good and even great considering the vintage
Fleur Cardinale 2001, the 1st vintage produced by the Decoster family and the very first one of a great series of successes
Pingus 2006, a star in the world of wine, a true icon. If you drink it you understand why. All is said.
Valandraud 1998, this bottle was quite good, an incredible proof for those who don’t believe. The reward for the work is in the glass.
Maury 2007 Thunevin-Calvet, what better than this wine to pair with the chocolate cake from Lopez?

Before the meal, we tasted samples of 2009 Valandraud and Fleur Cardinale, as well as a 2008 Valandraud which, once bottled in a few weeks, will be one of best we produced.

It is cold…

If you have any reliable information please share them with the media..... Meanwhile, many rumors are going around: Wine wholesalers being sold, famous properties here in Saint Emilion being sold, and in the Médoc: some classified growths are eager to expand their power and wholesalers to secure their supplies. The appetite of Chinese customers probably contribute to this purchase frenzy, perhaps is it just smoke and of course, money is only being lent to the rich... owners or wholesalers or, more typically it is a normal evolution.

Is Lafite planning to expend? Is Cheval Blanc only building a large cellar as a noble gest?
In any case, it proves the economic vitality of the wine industry, despite what some bankers think, and various cellars here and there…

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The sun rises in...Maury

Last night I had a late dinner at friends in Blaye and, as it was really cold, I only brought southern wines, all made to warm our hearts and the atmosphere.
Clos del Rey 2002, Mas del Rey 2002, Dentelles 2004 from Calvet-Thunevin, Constance 2004 and 2005 and even a magnum of 1996 Vieille Cure Fronsac, quite good (for a Bordeaux )

In my opinion, the right time to drink wines from the Roussillon is now when it is cold: it feels like the sun gets into our veins. I speak, of course, of the southern wines. They taste like the area they come from, not like those who want to stay cold, those have to be drunk during the Summer

Also yesterday at 11 am, we tasted many batches at our place: Bellevue de Tayac finally with a great 2010 (we just had to wait), outstanding batches of 2010 in Saint Emilion, even before malo! Batches of 2009 for the 3rd and 2nd wines are being transferred back in tanks, as the barrel aging is now complete.
Valandraud still has a few months to spend in good new oak barrels, as our friend Hervé Bizeul would say, causing debates on site La Passion du Vin: if new barrels didn’t taste so good, why are they more expensive than old barrels? I'm not sure that’s what he said, but this is what I say to visitors who are being brainwashed with the anti-barrels rhetoric, as if it were that simple.
In any case, our barrel manufacturers are certainly working much better and it is now rare to find issues with aging in new oak.
This is a very personal opinion and non-negotiable.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Carrousel du Louvre, the grand tasting

On the site of la Passion du Vin, I read a comment from François Audouze dated December 13, on Alain Dutournier’s restaurant, le Carré des Feuillants in Paris. This year’s white truffles are particularly fragrant. I hope that the Maury 2007 from Thunevin-Calvet was served with chocolate.

As for us, it was the first time we ate at the restaurant Emporio Armani, 149 boulevard Saint Germain, situated in a great location next to Brasserie Lipp, across the street from Café de Flore, not far from the wine store La Maison des Millésimes. Quality service, stylish, Italian, and for me an all'albese carne, served with a nice cloud of Alba white truffle, which was top quality (with a Carmenère red wine from around Venice). Good brasserie, as well, La Rotunde, 105 Boulevard du Montparnasse.

The wine bar Juvenile's, 47 rue de Richelieu, had a warm atmosphere, its astonishing boss (Tim) is able to be successful without a single drop of Bordeaux, young and charming waiters, quality food and a very pleasant Alion from Ribera del Duero, and a clientele crazy about wine. An address that I highly recommend.
All of this because, or thanks to the Carrousel du Louvre where Bettane & Desseauve organized The Grand Tasting which, this year, was taking place in a large space, the price of success, the number of participants - exhibitors and visitors – had, in my opinion beat any expectation.

It was the opportunity to see, and see again our clients, buddies, friends, enthusiasts and newcomers. We were with Fleur Cardinale and Carles, and 7 on the stand : the Decoster family (Matthieu, Florence and Dominique) for Fleur Cardinale, Didier, Ramuntxo, Murielle and I to present Thunevin Calvet Maury and Dentelles, Bad Boy, Valandraud, Haut Carles. Our neighbors from Terre de Lisse were next to us with Pressac, Rol Valentin and Faugères, our neighbor on the right was the Clos des Fées, and for all of us lots of visitors (12 bottles of samples per wine in 2 days, and using slow-pourers)
It was also an opportunity to speak to the people in charge of PR for various media, and meet Michel Bettane, Bernard Burtschy, Armand Borlant, José Penin, Denis Hervier, Eric Riewer, Angélique de Lencquessaing, our colleagues from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, from the South, and many others I was able to greet, except François Mauss (who I didn’t see) who, in Paris or Hong Kong doesn’t have the time anymore to say hello.
I need to renew my stock of truffles from Perigord if I finally want to drink this Rayas 2002.

Back at the office, I was surprise to see that our landlines were down… and Orange cannot send us a technician until tomorrow morning (professional customer service! ): until then long live cell phones and emails!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Action in Saint Emilion: 2 meetings the same day !

I am not a good audience, not to demanding, or I don’t like audits, bla bla bla…
On December 8, 2010 in the afternoon a meeting took place in the Dominican hall, organized by Le Conseil des vins de Saint Emilion (The Saint Emilion Wine Council), to present the results from an audit made of the Saint Emilion brand.

I don’t know how much this audit cost, who requested it, but I couldn’t stay more than an hour to listen and read all the comments made (actually, today, they started projecting the document read to the audience on a large screen and it is useful…)
There will most likely be a report posted on the internet for all members; I would like it to remain in the memories, especially for all of us who paid for it.
This is the first time I see an audit question a panel so unrepresentative of their client: where was Mrs Michu? But where were Mr. Li, Smith or Jones? (Not the journalist who was in the panel of the audited members, and already very involved, and probably our colleagues. Otherwise why was this audit done?)
It's rare to find as much to say on a subject as difficult as the (collective) brand of Saint Emilion. I left when I realized we had to make fruity wines, not Parkerized, no oak (new) and not too expensive. I did not wait for the rest in case it would become worse...

When I returned home, the meeting had started an hour late, I was able to talk to friends who had attended the entire meeting, which ended at 6 pm, they said that this presentation was interesting, especially at the end. Too bad I did not have the strength to stay; pity this habit of saying important things just 5 minutes before the end of a meeting. The busy man that I am has a hard time with these meetings where there’s a lot of twaddle... blablabla and blablabla as goes the song from the unlikely singer Philippe Katerine.
Oops, when I read the blog I love St. Emilion (in French), I saw that our neighbor and friend Jean Francois Quenin (Chateau Pressac) and president of Saint Emilion ODG commissioned the audit. Thank you Marilyn Widocq Charles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No man is a prophet in his country

This is not always true, especially considering the success of our wines in Bordeaux. Indeed, if none of my reps spent time visiting restaurants and shops in our region, there would most likely be no sales!
For some time, the crisis forced us, or perhaps some of my employees are good, to do our job as wholesaler better: we go and visit prospects generating orders and placing our wines on fine wine lists and trendy shops.
The first bottles of Fine Bordeaux de Valandraud have been sold in Bordeaux, before Asia, before Brazil, which surprised me, thanks…

The TGV takes you everywhere, at least to Paris to the event organized by Bettane & Desseauve at the Carrousel du Louvre this Friday and Saturday. We will pour Château Valandraud 2007, Bad Boy 2007, Domaine Thunevin-Calvet Les Dentelles 2007, Haut Carles 2008 and my friends from Terre de Lisse : Château Fleur Cardinale, Château de Pressac, Château Faugères, Château Rol Valentin …

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fine Bordeaux de Valandraud

The Fine Bordeaux de Valandraud is finally available: 1000 bottles 70 cl bottleds in individual wooden cases, chic and good!

Thanks Bianca !

I don’t speak English, but was able to read the article on the Cuvée Constance 2005 published on November 29, 2010.

I didn’t even ask Cécile or Christian to translate as it was enough with Google Translate… Complicated comment but if it can help deplete stock in the USA.....


The December issue of Revue du Vin de France is full of articles to read, including a report on the architects of wine in Bordeaux, and a re-tasting of the 2001 vintage of classified growths and well known wines, including this comment: 2001, more than a rehabilitation.
I believe that several years ago, the Grand Jury Européen issued a statement and a similar classification and some of my friends bought many bottles of Angelus, Clos L’Eglise, Pape Clement, Rouget, Troplong Mondot, Bon Pasteur, Pontet Canet, etc... And I was able to check extensively their fine quality in their homes during meals.

The purpose in reading the results of the Grand Jury Européen, as well as journalists in general is, for example, to discover the qualities of a remarkable wine like Rouget, yet so understated, brought to our attention by one or more famous critic, this wine being cheaper than the icons which still end-up in good positions in these confrontations?
Meanwhile this weekend, we will taste some of my wines at the Carrousel du Louvre... including Fleur Cardinale, Pressac, Rol Valentin, Faugères and Carles.

A few articles I recently read on the web :
The Chinese market seen by The Wine Cellar Insider
Our projects in India , article published by the Indian Wine Academy
The next Valandraud tasting in Germany (in German).
Christian-Louis Col’s article (in French) on The House of Roosevelt in Shanghai

Also included in this week’s program: the new Saint Emilion classification.
A information meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8 in the Dominican Hall starting at 9:30 am. There will most likely be a lot of people…
Warning, this hall is not named after the Jesuits Hall. There will be some atmosphere and it goes without saying that this new 2012 classification will raise questions, even anxieties.

Well, to prove my point:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rain and cold weather

Now that rain and cold weather are here, it’s time for the fireplace, newspapers gathering with the family and wine.

With our meal we drank a great Meursault Charmes 2005 Buisson Charles, at the level of a grand cru level and more in the style of a great Puligny with this softness and flavors of hazelnut, paired with a bass caught wild and a tangy reduction, it was top.
2 wines, a bit too old for Murielle’s taste, it was a difficult vintage in Bordeaux: 1997, a bit too vegetal, in any case in Valandraud. In these two wines, no vegetal flavors, maybe they were a bit too over the hill, but good to drink - Monbousquet 1997 being more powerful than Quinault L'Enclos, finer.
With the cold weather, older wines find their place at the table, while Bel Air Ouy 2008 is light and, of course, with plenty of fruit and a hint of vanilla. It will certainly please anyone who like young wines.

Below, here is a more romantic comment written by Anthony regarding one of our wine: Fayat-Thunevin 2007 Pomerol
"When the right conditions are met.

An important event but with no pressure, our 2 years anniversary, spent at home on a Saturday evening. We started with a nice Sancerre, the famous Megalith cuvee 2007 from Domaine de la Perriere, and sat at the table, or rather on the floor because my darling decided so, a birthday meal our buns on the floor. Floored, I was, twice! For paired with the duck magret, and especially the cheese plate from our friend Jean d'Alos, I decided to open a bottle of red. I propose a Bolgheri, then a Chateauneuf, and finally a Pauillac. For each wine my partner's response was identical, NO. After two years I have a good idea of what she likes, but who dares nothing gains nothing! Not wanting to take a chance for this special evening, I decided, half-heartedly, to take the first Pomerol I saw, Domaine Fayat-Thunevin 2007. And there, I remained floored for a good three hours!
As we drank a good deal during that day, I decided to decant only half the bottle, thinking it would help us not to end-up completely drunk. This good intention was thrown out the window against this 2007, a vintage many criticized, yet which can be beautiful when men (woman?) cared for quality. Don’t count on me to describe it with the technical words of enologists, but instead I'll tell you how this nectar fit in with my evening

It started with some coarse words, like "Damn, this is good! As soon as the duck breast was finished, my taste buds were assaulted by a strange sensation, a perfect pairing, a Comte, matured for two years paired with Merlot, perfectly integrated and balanced. With ripe fruit (blackberry?). And your eyes closed made you think that jam is on the cheese. Then came the Brie de Meaux, a cheese that I particularly love but didn’t work well with this wine. This gave him time to open. From there a little game took place, you know the one guessing if the wine or the dish makes you want to keep on eating, even though you're already satiated for quite some time. Tonight the main players in this game were a Fourme d'Ambert and a wine a long finish which grew more and more incredible. We could not stop nibbling until the bottle was finished, and fortunately it happened before the cheese.

Will this wine give me as much pleasure and such emotions the next time, at a tasting or a meal surrounded by people and personalities I don’t like? Sitting in a muffled atmosphere, in company of men and women of high social status who would not understand my love for cheese and my tendency to call the waiter every 10 minutes. This could certainly happen! It doesn’t matter because I will link this Fayat-Thunevin 2007 with this "anniversary" evening, even if I don’t appreciate the next bottle, because there will be another bottle, I assure you dear Jean Luc. "

I recommend reading on PassionVin (in French), the commentary on the comic strip on Parker (and myself)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hard to believe

For lunch, we drank Bellevue de Tayac 2005 : Dylan told me it tastes very good right now, and he is right. Especially with ceps from Bordeaux, freshly picked Monday or Tuesday.
Beautiful and firm ceps… Hard to believe and still true: Our friend is able to find ceps, even in December!

And for those who want to learn more about the Chinese market, I recommend to read Shen Sijia’s article.


This was one of the themes discussed at a party with friends in Blaye including death, a topic which was very much part of our conversation. It was at least a very appropriate theme, following the amazing lunch I had the day before with my bankers, where the bank’s big boss asked me, after coffee and before leaving, if I had anticipated how my death will affect the survival of my business, and of course about his obligations! That, plus comments like "there is no reason why we, as bankers, wouldn’t be on your side”

Quickly, I asked a friend for a current assessment of my business, properties bought over the past 20 years and which have not yet been reevaluated, and, soon, need to be reported to my banker. I also paid a visit to my doctor for a thorough checkup and ask him when I'll be over the hill. That's to know how long I will benefit from reimbursements.

Drank in Blaye, a producer’s Champagne, Fayat-Thunevin 2007 Pomerol, Clos du Beau Père 2006 Pomerol, Clos Badon Thunevin 2006, Valandraud 2006 and 2005 as well as Bad Boy 2007, this, for the benefit of anti-oxidants.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Monday, for lunch with Marc and Muriel, at the restaurant Chai Pascal, located rue Guadet, we paired with the daily special, a great Moulin Haut Laroque 2004. Such finesse, such fruit, what a beautiful and nice Fronsac!

Tuesday, lunch at home with our bankers: Valandraud Blanc 2005, very good wine, proof that similar changes affect red wines, with phases of opening and closing, and Valandraud 2005 red which tasted very good that day, favorable day for wines. As for the bankers it’s another story...

I am in my period of expectation, as I despair to convey our sales from the futures campaign. In terms of numbers: 2009 is for example much higher than the cumulative figures of 2008 and 2007 and similar to the figure for 2000! As for 2010, I have no idea!
Ideally, I should not need my bankers and sell my business every 3 years to reassess its value, for it is not listed: my INC is only worth what a company would be willing to pay to acquire it.
Funny world we live in where states can go bankrupt, banks too, but where a small French company must have capital and profits guaranteed by tons of certainty, security and guarantees.
I will be forced to do a LBO, LBI or OBO (check Wikipedia), create a holding, open my capital to be able to expend my business?

Friendly meal

Friendly meal for 10 people here in Bordeaux and the list of wines we drank

Champagne still in the barrels 2007
Champagne Krug grande cuvée NM

Puligny-montrachet 1er cru Clavoillon Domaine Leflaive 2005
Meursault-Caillerets Coche Dury 2005
Meursault Arnaud Ente 2005

Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Domaine Eugénie 2007
Latricières Chambertin Domaine Trapet 2004
Pommard Epeneaux Comte Armand 2004

Morey Saint Denis premier cru Domaine Bizot 2000
Auxey Duresses premier cru Comte Armand 2000
Pommard Les Vignots Domaine Leroy 1997

Monbazillac Chateau Vari 2003
Réserve du Chateau

All these wines were good, even very good, a special note about the champagne still in barrels, made from organic grapes, and brut O, able of competing with some of these great Burgundies. Not just a fun wine, to celebrate, with bubbles (besides, he had very few bubbles), a fine wine, I cannot wait to drink it again after its release.

The 2007 Clos Vougeot, way too young, made me appreciate Clos Vougeot again and especially the 1997 Pommard Les Vignots from Domaine Leroy which was, in my opinion for a very longtime, at the level of the best Burgundies.
I thought that in Bordeaux, you only drink Medoc or Grave. However, this meal proves that some people know Burgundy. When will there be such curiosity for Right Bank wines?
After all, we are the “Burgundy” of Bordeaux, aren’t we?