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.

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