Sunday, January 30, 2011


My company works with 4 different French banks and we had an appointment with two managers from one of these banks who; although it is rare, are nice. The business relationship is not considered as a relationship based on power but as a partnership, our meeting confirmed that they are one of the key players in the wine trade and that they are interested in getting involved in viticulture.

For lunch at home, we had: Deviled eggs, roasted leg of lamb, potato gratin and rice pudding with Tahitian vanilla. Very good Blanc N°2 de Valandraud 2006, La Dominique 2007, starting to taste very good (even better in the evening) and Valandraud 2005 which is usually a bit closed, mute, but instead was quite expressive with no decanting. Probably a good day, the right atmospheric pressure or maybe good vibes, good atmosphere… I had a good time with these bankers, which is not common.

In the morning, I had a tasting at Château Fleur Cardinale with the owners Florence and Dominique Decoster, Bob Avargues and Jean Philippe Fort.
The first vintage produced by Decoster was in 2001, already. Time flies faster that seasons, and despite the experience acquired after 10 vintages, we still have the same questions: How can we do better? Should we start with this barrel maker and stop with this one? Ah, too bad that the Cabernet Sauvignons will be perfect 5 to 6 months after the en primeurs tastings! What can we do to improve?
Will 2010 be better than 2009? It is Jean-Philippe’s opinion and maybe the best in his carrier of enologist, I mean the best Fleur Cardinale ever made. Confirmation first week of April 2011.

In the afternoon, I had a meeting with a young Russian woman who wants to work in the wine industry. This market has become very difficult for us, orders are down: is it due to the crisis? Us? Our partner?
Then visit from the Lebreton family, owners of Croix de Gay, Fleur de Gay to talk about technique, vats, wood, stainless steel, cement?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

UGC : tastings

When the UGC travels, crowds move; comments on the 2008 vintage were posted in a Parker style by amateurs. The notes are rather low for this vintage, which is true, is more “classic” than the extravagant 2009 and 2010.
Jeff Leve in Los Angeles, Philippe Camps in Brussels and Alan Rath in San Francisco also commented.
I think that La Dominique was underrated; it is true that I am not neutral, but I will check with Andreas Larsson when I return from the USA re-tasting La Dominique as well as many other 2008 being compared and judged.

La Dominique will be one of the candidates for the place of 1st Grand Cru Classe in the new status of the next Saint Emilion classification. I would like to add, without wanting to be too controversial, that the status of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. often helps getting more positive and more favorable comments and notes. The "social" status usually allows getting one, two or three points higher by any “normal” taster.

Few are those who judge without being influenced by the classification: just look at blind tastings so often challenged by those who do not accept being questioned.

In conclusion, hurrah for the classification system, hurrah for social status... if I am included!
Down with privileges.... if I don’t have any…
Long live blind tastings if I'm the challenger or down with tastings, blind, if they do not take into account the history and age of the captain when I am a 1st growth

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I read on the blog of dé, an encouraging comment from Patrick Essa for our property in the Roussillon with my partners Marie and Jean Roger Calvet :

Côtes du Roussillon Villages "Hugo" 2004 - Domaine Calvet Thunevin in Maury
The vineyards of Maury are very famous for their fortified wines, but lesser known for the great quality of their dry wines. In 2001 when Murielle and Jean-Luc Thunevin decided to show the qualities of this style of wine by purchasing old and well exposed vines from this appellation, they decided to start this venture with a young and talented winemaker from the area, Jean-Roger Calvet. He brought in his family vineyards and expanded the parcels initially acquired by Thunevin. Since then, the domain continued to expand, complementing the diversity of terroir with - in particular - great plots of granitic soil around the area of Lesquerde.

Therefore the wines produced by the Calvet-Thunevin brand - Today Thunevin-Calvet - benefit from various expositions on three soil types, classic marly shale of Maury, a few areas of clayey-limestone and the famous granite soils of Lesquerde. This complementary morpho-geological terroir easily shows in the various wines produced, while the grape varietals bring this complexity showed in the balanced blends a Saint Emilion “citizen” can find in one of his top flight wines.

The cuvee Constance is aged for 14 months in cement vats and produced in a large quantity (around 150,000 bottles) the other wines are meant to focus more directly on their origins through demanding organic agriculture, specific vinification and aging process. The Dentelles cuvee is a blend of equal parts Grenache and Carignan, the limited "Trois Marie" is a made with 100% Grenache, while "Hugo" is made with 50/50 old Grenache and Carignan supplemented by around 10 percent Syrah aged in Burgundy barrels.
The choice of aging in small wooden containers and demi-muids (half-vats) clearly shows in these elite wines which find an internal energy and a unique freshness from this area, particularly as the alcoholic heat and sun from this region are in this case particularly well controlled. No heady impressions, residual sweetness or heaviness caused by syrupy and candied flavors, these wines have a true natural expression and purity without compromise which makes the reputation of the “Thunevin” trademark. The oak seems also properly blended in tight frames found in all the wines.
I admit I have a strong preference for the balanced Dentelles in the young range of 2009 which I tasted in April; I was very impressed with the maturation of the 2004 "Hugo". Tasted for the first time two years ago the wine was very tight, still tannic and somewhat aromatically discreet but it had nevertheless some length. Today it seems to have reached a stage where it can be drank for his juiciness, rich matter and fine aromas of staves, white pepper, thyme and dark chocolate present in the nose. The mouth remains closed with its tannic structure highlighted by fine grain and I enjoyed its long finish which a hint of salinity and spicy notes, liquorice and vanilla with a rare elegance. A very nice wine. Very good +

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Drank and read


Echezeaux 2007 Grand Cru from Bruno de Saunay-Bissey, which I enjoyed with Muriel and Lionel, our guest from Lyon, left me wanting more, we had no problems to empty the bottle! I have trouble with elegance as I prefer more concentrated wines, for sure.
Before, we drank a Meursault 2008 from Pierre Boisson, I’m not the only one with a predestined name! Very lemony wine, citrus, bright, good.


On the blog of the Grand Jury Europeen, François Mauss wrote about the rules accepted by Saint Emilion and INAO prior to being signed by the Minister and concerned (though not guilty) officials. There are quite a few comments and I may add one more, perhaps paradoxical.
The opponents of these new rules are very different, some are stars, indisputable icons and others so little known that I have not even sold a single one of their bottles in 20 years... These new rules are probably not so bad

Anyway, I already wrote about this classification that an interne would have been sufficient. Use the rules of the 1855 classification - why does the right bank wants to be so different? - Add Bertrand Le Guern’s statistics and we have a ranking system that some imagine is already fair! While a classification system is the opposite: we rank the best, but that's another story.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New York, Boston, Tasted

I leave for New York on Sunday 30th with Air France in the large and beautiful A380 Paris-New York. I will meet up with Christian Dalbavie who put together a full schedule of work.

This trip was organized around an invitation from our friend Alan Frishman who organized a dinner with the New York chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux with La Mondotte and Valandraud as guest stars.
Stephan Von Neipperg will be there to present La Mondotte and for Valandraud, I will be alone this time, with Christian as interpreter: I am not always able to express myself in English !
We will taste various vintages of Valandraud and La Mondotte. Following these “gala” dinners, we will do some promotion with one of our distributors in New York who carries a range of our wines, then another in Boston.

During that time, Murielle continues to prune her vines. After Fongaban and the parcels in front of Chateau Bel Air, she will prune the whites and that's a job. The work done and the passion was rewarded in a beautiful article written by Andreas Larsson in the beautiful magazine Tasted:
"A great, new generation, white Bordeaux from a mixed vintage that despite all the criticism produced some outstanding white wines. The Blanc de Valandraud offers a great deal of purity on the nose with hints of lime, passion fruit, and ripe citrus. You feel the Sauvignon but the palate is a bit broader and creamier, and offers nice zesty fruit with a youthful bite and long finish. A serious white Bordeaux that offers great drinking today and is very suitable with elegant and pure flavours. It also works really fine with these earthy and creamy flavours and it has the edge to work with the often difficult texture of the egg."

This magazine has a beautiful layout, with nice graphics and beautiful photos. A new line of communication more glamorous for some wines and champagne, where the art of luxury is not far and the pictures of some of Rolland’s wines might suit our Bad Boys and Bad Girls. The photographer has talent (Lili René) and the Artistic Director, Marie Rolland will make some envious for casting lovely models in this new approach to wine
Nice ratings and tasting notes as well for Valandraud and Fleur Cardinale, Faurie de Souchard, Le Prieuré, Rol Valentin, etc…

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bottles we drank

Pommard Clos Blanc 1er cru from Albert Grivault 2006: nice nose, ok wine, too light for me, Burgundy’s curse?

Lezongars 2000, corked

Clos des Moiselles 2008 Côtes de Bourg, blend of merlot, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. Nice bottle, good wine. Same with its second wine Bord Eaux 2009, 100% merlot, plenty of fruit.

Saint Saturnin 2008 Medoc: this is an amazing wine, made by an old friend of mine, Pied Noir like me, who has been making good wine, (quite different from the others) for a very long time. But this man wouldn’t like to do like others: Jancis Robinson wrote a big article on the owner published on November 13, 2010. Is it a future cult wine?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I read in a beautiful magazine called The World of Fine Wine, tasting notes of 2006, by Michael Schuster, Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve and wonderful comments on Valandraud and Virginie de Valandraud 2006:

Château Valandraud 2006 - 17.5
MB : Great color ; intense and noble violet-like nose ; perfect ripeness, great length ; perhaps more Pomerol in character than St-Emilion ! Refined winemaking, seductive and complex –lovely. 17.5

TD : The same soft and mellow body as Virginie, but much longer and intense. Great hedonistic style, with a perfect balance and a long depth. 18
MS : Sweet, restrained nose; generous middleweight wine, fresh and tannic, a fine, long –term constitution; rich, ample, powerful, tannic; masses of flavor within the firm tannin texture; long in ripe fruit, powerful in flavor, complex and complete, with excellent length. An aromatic and a powerful expression of St-Emilion, needing at least 8-10 years. 2018-35. 17.5

Virginie de Valandraud – 15.5
MB :
Great color, rich and intense body, tannin on the dry and heavy side but not overwhelming; excellent intensity but lacking the refinement of texture of the best. 16
TD : soft and mellow; charming but not enough intensity. 15
MS : Soft, sweet, vital, mature fruit on the nose; very nicely balanced, firmly dry, medium-full wine; fine, ripe, scented, minerally fruit of moderate complexity, a little wood dry. Needs time. 2014-20. 15.5

Grains Nobles, suite

Miss Vicky Wine, Anne - Victoire, has plenty of “energy” and a cute little pink duck resting on her shoulder as a mascot. She writes with humor and passion and posted an article (in French) on her blog hosted by the website from the magazine L'Express - it reminded me that they had published a 4 page article about our history on August 14, 1997.

The journalist Georges Dupuy doesn’t know much he helped us at that time: the same week, our notoriety shot up and 3 TV crews showed up, including TF1 who shot a 3 minutes piece for JP Pernaut’s 1 pm newscast! They all had the magazine L'Express in their car...
I thank again this journalist who is still a senior economic correspondent.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


With a little delay: Since November 23, 2010, Paolo Basso became the Best Sommelier in Europe. Bravo Paolo, you deserve it!

In the 3rd issue of the Revue Vigneron (Winemnaker’s Review), a chic magazine with minimal advertising, nice photos, good text, how do they do it?

Grains Nobles :
We still practice green harvest today. In any case, Monday evening in the tasting organized by Grains Nobles, this method was questioned by some amateurs who repeat the words of some colleagues winemakers with simplistic arguments, confusing a vineyard in perfect balance and properly tended, with vines too young or too well maintained producing too many grapes. A whole, in-depth, article would be necessary to explain, in these cases, how to reach perfection with their best vineyards, producing fluid wines, I do not like, with many bunches kept on their stock. Knowing how to make wine is not human, God controls it!

Grains Nobles, more:
New barrels: same comments there too, if one doesn’t like wines with oak, why drink them? Especially when you know that the person presenting the wine (me) has long maintained its commitment to good new barrel...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grains Nobles in Paris

The tasting club created by Michel Bettane and Bernard Burtschy, located 8 rue Boutebrie 75005 Paris, organizes regular tastings for less than 30 people.

Murielle and I attended one of the events to present and comment some of our wines:
Blanc de Valandraud N° 1 & N°2 2007
Bad Boy 2007
Virginie de Valandraud 2007
Château Valandraud 2007
Clos Badon Thunevin 2007
Clos du Beau Père 2007
Domaine des Sabines 2007
Château Bellevue de Tayac 2007
As well as
Château Valandraud 1999
Clos Badon Thunevin 1999

Very good atmosphere, perfect place for this kind of event, a few friends present and time flew, way too fast. The wines tasted good, it was a good day and another opportunity to make new friends including Anne-Victoire, who is full of energy.

Lunch at Pierre Gagnaire’s bistrot, Gaya (44 rue du Bac, 75007), top quality in our opinion. We drank a bottle of Roc des Anges 2008 Segna de Cor. Hurrah for the Roussillon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Troplong Mondot

It is, of course, one of the top crus from Saint Emilion, but also it has been renting for a while luxury accommodations for anyone looking for an apartment, a chambre d’hôtes, an address where the word privilege has some meaning.
Saint Emilion or Tuscany, offer places to stay with a family feel for work or holidays.
We also have a house for rent while waiting to be able to rent it by rooms.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fan of Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster will be the president of the 2011 Cesars.
Christian Dalbavie, if you read me… the ball is in your court: see if you can reintroduce Clos Badon to this star!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Château Lascombes

The last tasting of the Grand Jury Européen organized on January 11, 2011 at the restaurant Laurent highlighted the high quality of the wines from Chateau Lascombes and Léoville Poyferré in 2005, even better than some of the more expensive wines from the 1855 classification. Looking more carefully at the results of this tasting, I recommend to take a closer look at Chateau Rauzan Gassies which seems to be progressing fast and at a price that is still correct if one takes into account its place as a 2nd growth in 1855!
Like any tasting of the Grand Jury, some people will agree, some not, but, meanwhile, Lascombes has been making great wines since 2001 and this, I already knew, while Léoville Poyferré is already widely recognized in our trade.

In Terre de Vins N°9, an article featuring « Bettane & Desseauve selection » :
BAD BOY 2007 Bordeaux red 16/20
“Jean Luc Thunevin has developed a negociant business as well as consultant for many properties. Specialist in luxury wines, he still continues to innovate, and his greatest achievement is undoubtedly this Bordeaux produced like a grand cru, a gamble he has succeeded brilliantly. Full, mature, ambitious, balanced and fruity, this high-class Bordeaux that can cellared for a bit is a bad boy and a damn gentleman”.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The path of history

Wine was already drank for more than 6000 years in Armenia
We should inform our leaders in France, cautious politicians, signatories of the Evin law already 20 years old, and adapt this law in line with UNESCO’s integration under the World Heritage of French gastronomy, culinary lifestyle with our wines.
Wine was already drank in China or in France more than 2000 years, but here for once, we even beat the Egyptian Pharaohs for more than 1000 years, which means something!

Meanwhile, in 2011 in Saint Emilion, our trade union leaders are trying to restart the classification of wines of Saint Emilion, developing with INAO regulations understandable and acceptable to the largest number by seeking the original purpose of any ranking system: establish a hierarchy. The latest version seems to me to be close to consensus, just a few adjustments and it should be fine to classify the best wines of St. Emilion. Anyway, more to come in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Futures 2010 tasting in Bordeaux

Like every year, the U.G.C. organizes the futures tasting for importers, journalists, trade on April 4 (for journalists), and 5-6-7 for everyone, trade and journalists.

As every year, the other trade organizations, unions will do the same.
We will also organize an offsite tasting at our place, in the heart of Saint Emilion, 3 to 7 rue Vergnaud, in the “historical” cellar of Chateau Valandraud, in our house along with the real garage from Mister Simon, where our guests can park their cars. All our wines will be presented, from our properties in Bordeaux and the Roussillon, wines I am consultant or partner, some of the wines I distribute as well as some of the “icons” who contribute to the success of my event! The list will be finalized in the next few weeks.

Try to register soon: the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux is one of the biggest and nicest surprises in my 20 years making wine, so…

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Plenty of articles on wine an some regarding us.

A nice comment on Bad Boy 2007 in the N°9, January/February 2011, issue of Terre de Vins magazine (in French). Murielle bought this beautiful magazine which seems to have found its style and articles.

In Jeff Leve’s Wine Cellar Insider , I read a beautiful presentation of our latest baby: Bad Girl 2008. We actually forgot to add the vintage. It will be a collector’s item, because we will not forget to add the 2009 and 2010 vintages still aging in the beautiful underground cellars of our partner. There will be no bottles sold in the U.S. in this vintage because of a likelihood of trademark issue, like Bad Boy that we had to rename Mauvais Garcon for this market. Bad Girl will also be sold there under a French name: Mauvaise Fille or one of the suggestions made by one of my friends on Twitter.

Other (French) articles on Bad Girl: Buzz’in drinks, I love Saint Emilion, and in Brazil too.

Wine Spectator listed on its web site château Fleur Cardinale with 91 points and gave many nice notes to Bordeaux for the 2008 vintage such as Fronsac : Haut Carles and La Vieille Cure 90 points, Moulin Haut Laroque 91, Défi de Fontenil… I rarely saw so many good notes for Fronsac.
Comparing values, Lafite Rothschild received 92 points and Margaux 91.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New avenues

I enjoyed reading Jeff Jarvis book “What Would Google Do?”

I also read and reflected on:
Mass markets are dead, replaced by masses of niches (agreed and disagree)
Replace marketing by dialogue
Keys to success: openness, transparency (questionable)
The customer is right and has the power (not so sure)

Funny meeting, sequel

Comments posted on my French blog yesterday:
From Laurent Dupéré-Barrera:
“reading your post as well as Hervé Bizeu’sl, I realized, including for myself, that the problem does not come from these "collectors" of famous labels but of our need to be recognized for our work, our passion etc... and this, only each of us (myself included) can do something about it, then perhaps 2011 is the year to make ourselves a little freer.”

From François Mauss:
“Surprising the time you spend talking about this label drinker, when his fate could had been settled in one sentence. It is true that a strong image is built up over several generations. Why wanting so much to speed things up? Vanity? Need to be even richer? Need for more respect? By focusing so, we risk missing out on quite a few other things. Anyway, this is most likely not your case considering your equal passion for the tuber melanosporum :-)”

Yes Laurent, indeed this terrible need, even for me, to be recognized, despite what Francois Mauss says, I'm still looking for hugs and love, rather than punches and hate.
When I was a bank employee at Credit Agricole, soliciting (in other words sales rep) we had training programs in order to be better salespersons, I already wrote about it in this blog, I adopted the concept of Maslow's hierarchy of need with its 5 core principles, which I summarize:
1/ Physiological
2/ Safety
3/ Need to belong
4/ Esteem (then the one concerning me)
5/ Self-accomplishment (which I haven’t reached – not old enough? not wise enough? not smart enough? who knows!)
I see that he added to these five "needs", a 6th: the need for eternity, and this, I’ve been living this kind of life for a long time. I’ve already had it since the 2nd stage from 17-18 years! Well my friends are well aware of my anxieties !

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Funny meeting

Herve, if you read me

During my last meal in Paris, I was able to mingle with wine lovers and collectors and drink or not drink very good, good, average, bad and very bad wines. The power of the labels, the notoriety of the wines, the prices of bottles had, of course, a great impact on opinions, some finding extenuating circumstances, even with wine showing serious technical problems (volatile TCA, corks), and even finding some qualities even, of course, if they only showed major defects making them undrinkable.

If a wine is corked, it could have previously been good, and event rated 100 by Bettane or Parker, it is corked, period!

In the case of older wines, too old, passed their prime, it is another story, and some like them and then only their pleasure alone matters. I, finding a wine too old, over the hill, does not diminish the pleasure felt by enthusiasts who like old wine. I can think of many of my friends, even young people who enjoy them; it's also the reason why I'm still friends with Francois Audouze even if I do not agree with him on many wines he likes.

Where it hurts more, and that's where I refer to my friend Hervé Bizeul and for all "young" wine growers, wine makers in places as amazing as the Roussillon or even Saint Emilion, and where I almost fell to the floor, is to hear one of those fine Belgian collectors who claims to be friends with all the famous chateaux, Parker, Hardy Rodenstock, etc..., and has one of the finest cellars in the world with Margaux and all the first growths including Petrus, Lafleur, Eglise Clinet etc... tell me about my wine - without realizing the harshness of his words, at least as I understood them - "I did not buy your wine because I do not have enough distance to buy your wine " (in other words, I do not trust you).

This rich man who’s known by everyone as a major wine connoisseur, owner of one of the finest cellars, only buys wine existing since 1855 or 1900, well rated by Parker at least because "he (Parker) makes few mistakes" (sic) and makes good purchases financially speaking, I mean!
He complains about not having access to 60 bottles of Pétrus with his Belgian supplier who gave him his allocation every year, also able to find expensive Eglise Clinet 2009 at 300 euros, that he was accustomed to pay less, only accepting the change of price for the first growths, and still!
It is unfortunate that with all his money, he does not want to buy my wine, or even taste it, fortunately other major Belgian owners and enthusiasts buy my wine, fortunately I'm not in the Roussillon or owner of a "simple" Bordeaux.

How can one be considered a great connoisseur and have no desire to be a discoverer?
That made me sad and what was even more surprising is that another collector in the room, amateur, was quite the opposite. Of course, he too had his DRC's, Hermitage, Cheval Blanc 47 or Mouton 45, but he also had lots of unknown wines or only known by him before anyone else. And here, I pay my respect, admiration, hats off!

Herve, if you read me, the road is long to convince the first one: 100 years, 200 years? but forget this one and think about another one who discovered that, although older, still has a smile to speak about a winemaker who occasionally misses his wines; curious about everything with his wife and who still shares his discoveries. No doubt some of your clients, me too, are this kind of wine lover.
They should be thanked here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

More on the classification

Simple idea, too simple perhaps, to be included in the next classification of Saint Emilion... It would cost almost nothing, an intern and a bailiff

Ask Bertrand Le Guern the ability to use his statistics which is based on compiling the notes of a large panel of tasters, journalists and professionals. The averages are meaningful, clear and cannot be manipulated or subject to assessment. If some are missing, use the Grand Jury Européen, which already does this for the Cercle Rive Droite.
Take a formula consisting of exit price of wines from Bordeaux brokers; add info from direct sales and current prices from the so-called “place” (open market).
Take the average price listed on winesearcher
Take the average prices listed on Liv-Ex
Taking statistics from search engines like Google for the notoriety of a wine.

This should be sufficient to create a classification to inform the client, but it would be quite insufficient to classify terroir

For your information, the text of the rules governing the future classification is available in French on the website of the INAO, text dated November 16, 2010. There are even rules! (Check-out the summaries of decisions - decisions 16.11.2010 - Decision N° 2010.334)

End of the year meal

I never saw so many bottles opened in such a short time (2 days), for in addition to a New Year’s Eve dinner at a friend, we followed with an extraordinary lunch the next day at 2pm at Alain Dutournier’s Pinxo, rue d’Alger in Paris then dinner at the Chinese restaurant Passy Mandarin at 10pm!

Every time, many young and older wines have problems with corks, including the magnum of Interdit de Valandraud 2000 I brought. It was majorly corked! Good timing as I am meeting the cork manufacturer this week.

All the guests were wine lovers, some major collectors and it was surprising to see so many different opinions, despite such professionalism.
As for me, I loved Prelude Champagne from Taittinger, Hermitage La Chapelle 2003 from Jaboulet, a surprising Chambeyron 1969 Côte Rôtie, Cos d’Estournel 1998, Ausone 1952 and a whole series of Champagne drank at the restaurant Pinxo.

Happy New Year for all!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Media and brand

I brought 2 American journalists (Wine Review online) I had never met to Valandraud in Saint Etienne de Lisse then quick lunch with their French guides.
Blanc N°2 de Valandraud 2007, Valandraud rouge 2007 and 1996, Maury Thunevin-Calvet 2007 and Fine Bordeaux from Valandraud served with Truffle omelet, made with 1/3 of the huge truffle a friend gave us (who I can’t mention or he will be inundated with requests by everyone who knows him!). Our guests really enjoyed this enormous truffle, just a bit under ripe with aromas of white truffles from Alba. Truffle makes every wine taste better and it is the least of its qualities.
Charcuteries, smoked salmon, cheese and desert from Lopez – the Basque cake.

I am not sure if these journalists liked our wines but it is certain that they want to come back to go to the market in Libourne and talk about gastronomy.

We also drank during the weekend 3 de Valandraud 2002, an excellent Marojallia 1999, a good Clos D’Agon 2006 and Cazal de Roques 2001.
I had time to read the entire report by Intuition on Saint Emilion’s brand as a whole and the comment I wrote on Thursday, December 9 seems to me rather nice . Without any doubt, today, after reading the complete "audit" I have more things to say yet.... And probably even useful things.
In order not to bury a report that cost us a lot of money, it would have been beneficial to ask students (there is no shortage of business schools, INSEEC or other) to work on the same topic so they could have delved into areas that were not covered due to a limited budget? Lack of time? Some areas of research not detailed enough? Or any other reason?

Meanwhile, it is amazing that with the brand of Saint Emilion, our satellite appellations were not even included, while they carry, along with us, the privilege of having the name "Saint Emilion" attached to their towns (I didn’t see Saint Georges Saint Emilion, nor Montagne Saint Emilion, Puisseguin Saint Emilion, Lussac Saint Emilion!). They deal with the same issues as us regarding the difference in quality between the various chateaux, and with some able of earn, if possible, to be listed as classified as Saint Emilion or Grand Cru and others yet just as table wine, as in Saint Emilion.
The Grand Cru brand is not solely responsible for the lack of image for Saint Emilion. There is another, more complex problem, where the small difference in yield is one of the real factors differentiating Saint Emilion and Saint Emilion Grand Cru.
There may be issues to ask everyone who sells Saint Emilion, whether in Tokyo or Miami, and also ask Bordeaux wholesalers, French distributors, mail order websites, French wine stores in Limoges , Paris or Lyon, or even easier – the hundred wine shops in Saint Emilion!
It will be difficult to transform 5,500 hectares plus 3000 in the satellite appellations, in a coherent appellation... Such a request should be the base for a theses for a PHD written about branding. Pierre - Mary Chauvin, a new challenge?
In this glass half empty or half full, there are plenty of avenues, of omissions... At school, I was told "can do better.” A challenge for the New Year!