5 years ago, I proposed to organize futures tastings in Japan to colleagues wholesalers and it keeps improving every year.
I just got back from a week of travel to present the 2010 vintage with one of my clients in Tokyo, Osaka and Hong Kong. Probably more than 1,000 people were contacted, tastings, seminars, meals, and each time the wines were well received, even for those who tasted for the first time wine out of the barrel and in the middle of the aging process.
It was a pleasure for me to taste wine peacefully and the opportunity to talk with Delphine, quality manager for Chateau Lascombes who made a remarkable 2010. I also spent some time with Jean Guillaume Prats of Chateau Cos d'Estournel, who has been working so hard to promote this famous property and who produced a great 2010 even after the 2009.
The whites all showed well and Chateau Guiraud, who was the only Sauternes, had great success.
Among the many meals we attended, one was organized by the Commanderie de Bordeaux in Tokyo, another in the restaurant of our importer in Osaka, where we were once more very well received, then 3 meals in Hong Kong: The 1st organized around varietals, with great French cuisine, at the level of a two Michelin stars and a wine list able to impressed the most jaded and with prices close to "wholesale". We had a very nice meal at Hong Kong’s American Club with only Chinese guests and even another corked bottle of Valandraud 2000 out of 4 - thank you Amorim - and to finish a meal at the Grand Hyatt’s Pool House in Hong Kong, a magical place, where, again, only Chinese guests attended and where we tasted Valandraud 1998 that showed so well as well as an amazing champagne served as aperitif: Armand de Brignac Gold NV, which I enjoyed very much.
Each time the wines were served in beautiful glasses, at the right temperature with sommeliers who love their craft.
Results of trip: I met a lot of people, sold some wine and did some promotion, at least for the 2 wines that concern me (Sansonnet and Fleur Cardinale), which showed really well indeed, much better than in Bordeaux during the futures tastings: the trip did not alter these wines and is further proof of the qualities of Bordeaux.