Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blind tasting

A famous critic (and his collaborators) tasted a whole range of 2009 produced by us or exclusively selected by my company, as well as properties I am involved in as a consultant.

He was peacefully able to taste blind: Bellevue de Tayac, 3 de Valandraud, Clos Badon Thunevin, Virginie de Valandraud, Valandraud, Clos du Beau Père, Domaine des Sabines, Domaine Virginie Thunevin, Blanc de Valandraud N°1 et N°2, Clos Romanile and Galaxies 2 Romanile, Fleur Carrère, Claud la Chapelle, Haut mazeris, Haut Castenet, La Guilbonnerie, Bad Girl, Bad Boy/Mauvais Garcon, Baby Bad Boy, Carles, Haut Carles, Fleur Cardinale and Secret de Cardinale, Sansonnet, Franc Maillet Jean Baptiste and Clos des Moiselles.

The tasting took place between 6 and 7:30 pm and we were also able to taste before a dinner served for 12 guests (chateau owners as well as a well-known American wholesaler) and the following menu:
Truffle omelet (superb truffles)
Roast beef with truffle shavings and mashed potatoes
Cheese (Comté)
Saint Honore with rum

For aperitif: magnum of Champagne Bollinger Brut, Sansonnet 2010 and Fleur Cardinale 2005. Following, blind, served in 2 carafes and our Riedel glasses:
Ornellaia 2008, Valandraud 2008, 2 beautiful wines.
Nobody expected to start with a Super Toscan, except James Suckling who recognized it almost directly blind! My friends from Saint Emilion recognized and liked Valandraud 2008, then Valandraud 2003 and Lafite Rothschild 2003, it’s easy for me to put my wine blind against Lafite : if Lafite is better, that’s normal considering its notoriety and price in the Chinese market; you how it is to be a 1st growth; it has not only advantages… for if my wine tastes better, well? It should be tasted again as the bottle of Lafite was probably not opened at the right time

Jokes aside, I also have the right to be in blind tastings where Valandraud serves as a foil. Well-known and expensive wines rarely perform well in blind tastings, and as these wines are getting more expensive and known, it is increasingly difficult. And whatever the results, they are re-evaluated once the label is revealed. It is the strength of the brand and the reason why some chateaux can fetch such high prices in the world of luxury goods (Valandraud was preferred by 11 people over 12), and speaking of luxury, we were still thirsty and I served again this terrible blind tasting test with a magnum served in two different carafes, and again, the top of the magnum served on the right was preferred from the bottom of the magnum served on the left. Only one guest guessed it was a magnum while the other looked for different vintages, right bank, left bank, style etc. It was a magnum of 2001 Petrus, the majority thought it was the 2000 vintage, nice palates!
The dinner ended at 10:30 pm.

In the morning we had an audit for our ISO 9001 and 14001 certification: we are good, knowing that when one chooses to be “certified”, it is never over!

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