Saturday, March 31, 2012


We tasted a few bottles of 2011 brought to my office to get our opinion: I pity with all my heart the critics who have to taste everything!
Their lips, gums and teeth will suffer. Some of the wines will certainly be on the edge of being like a mouthwash, as some wines we just tasted are so acidic, as if they hadn’t yet gone through their malolactic fermentation. It's a shame because even in these wines, the fruit and ripening is present?
For others, it is a treat, the level of 2010, it will be hard to understand that we are in a special vintage, you should hear the first comments made where it is compared the 2008, 2001 , 2007, 2002, 2004, I would have added 2006 for the form...

In Haut Carles, we tasted three vintages from the 2 cuvees made by our friend’s property: Haut Carles and Chateau de Carles. The wines were good, of course, but the 2009 and 2010 have already been receiving high marks from a wide range of critics, journalists and fans.

But this 2011 Haut Carles is likely to be one of the few best cuvees Haut Carles has produced so far. Change in winemaking technique since 60% is now vinified in barrels. Winemaking technique called integral, which I am usually guarded regarding this method; I must say that the wine has improved in finesse, smoothness and harmony, without losing the “fresh” characteristic of the vintage. A revelation from this 2011 Fronsac.

Left Bank

Cru Bourgeois: Finally, Château Bellevue de Tayac, was accepted! We could have gotten it before, but each time, we forgot a paper or a procedure because Margaux is far from Saint Emilion and we are already swamped with different procedures, control agencies... Bordeaux, Pomerol, Lalande de Pomerol, Saint Emilion and Margaux, all different. All this makes life more challenging!
This reward is welcome, 2010 is simply the best we made in this property we purchased in 2004 and the work to revamp it was finally completed this year.

I attended the General Assembly of the Commanderie du Bontemps du Médoc, Graves and Sauternes Barsac in the Chateau Carbonnieux. The reunion already had a holiday-like feeling; the sunny weather these past days put a smile on everybody’s face. After the meeting, we quickly went to Haut Bailly for a great lunch catered by Humblot, the wines served at the table: a good Cantelys 2006 white, owned by the Cathiard family - Daniel Cathiard who is a neighbor, came on his bike, which made us feel a bit, but explains his good shape - Phelan Segur 2004, a really nice surprise, the wine is nice and pleasing, then an excellent Haut Bailly 2002, a forgotten vintage even though there are some very good wines. And before, with dessert, Rieussec 2007 (I'm not sure it is the right vintage but it was also very good).

Some days, the life of wine-trader owner is really enjoyable. Then, quickly, we went to the Clos du Beau Pere in Pomerol for appointment with friends bankers (if that even exists) to talk about work and then, still at the Clos du Beau Pere, I met with Marilyn Johnson for an interview / portrait (?), I'm not sure but I'll see

In the evening, watching a news program on Canal Plus, I had a fine moment of relaxation and joy, thanks to the calming effects of Chateau Angelus! The art of living and taking your time drinking good wine with friends is a great way to promote our wines!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bad Girl

The whole team participated in a blind tasting of our cuvee Bad Girl, 2009, Crémant de Bordeaux, still aging in our partner Lionel Lateyron’s cellar, to know how much dosage of liquor we think our customers and interested clientele would like.

During the first tasting, the majority preferred 1.4 grams of dosage, this time it is 1.2 grams. This is a Brut, thanks to the talent of the winemaker. This one remains soft on the palate, smooth, almost sweet, and is already very good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The Pieds-Noirs (Blackfoot or French settlers in North Africa’s colonies) and wine have a long history. Algeria was a large and important producer and some wines were quite famous and not just to “Hermitager” (color and strengthen) great wines of France until 1960 (?)

I would have liked to see an article written about this period seen from the Pieds-Noirs’ point of view, Bordeaux or Burgundy, since it is the “50th anniversary” of the Pieds-Noirs exodus and independence of Algeria. There are still a few famous families in Bordeaux of Pieds-Noir ancestry, well respected owners, even of 1855 classified growths. No doubt there must be more in the Languedoc-Roussillon and having an article written on our diaspora would have made me happy, I who was born in Mascara, famous for its fine wines. I can’t wait for the time when François Audouze will share a bottle of Mascara 1947 or even 1951!

I have to point out that my family was not in the wine industry in Algeria, even though my name may have us believe

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This weekend’s events

Saturday, March 24 we were invited by generous friends for dinner considering the bottles they opened, especially as we were five.
Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes 1er Cru from Domaine Prieur, delicious, ripe, opulent
Saint Emilion, Chateau Ausone 1986 (RP 74) smooth and almost Burgundian, I liked it! Given that 1986 is a great vintage on the left bank
Pomerol Chateau La Conseillante 1985 (RP 94), richer, fuller, really good, great vintage on the right bank
Margaux, Chateau Margaux 1989 (RP 90), great vintage but disappointing bottle
Chartreuse de Tarragona (vintage between 1973 and 1978), pale yellow, aromas of oriental spices, curry, long finish and soft.

Two photos taken this weekend: Jean Francois Galhaud busy polishing the brass plaque from Martine’s property, creating a bit of a stir in the street with this rather unusual behavior... polishing this plaque in broad daylight, at his age?

The second, I hope to be invited to the inauguration of this cellar under construction. I'll let you guess the name. Here everything is made to blend into the vineyard, another way to communicate...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Michel Rolland

On April 4, 2012, in the midst of the primeur tastings, Génat Publishing will release the book written by Isabelle Bunisset and Michel Rolland, entitled “Michel Rolland, the wine guru”.

The comments I already read tell me that the book will not be politically correct. Indeed, it includes comments on wine critics (after all, it’s their turn), on Jonathan Nossiter (Mondovino)... So, 19.99 euro is a small price to pay for the consultation of the guru!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gault & Millau n° 53

In the April-May issue, I read a review on Saint Emilion written by Pierre Guigui.
He comments and rates only 40 2009 classified growths, and even if he likesr organic wines, he likes winemakers, and that's great!

In terms of the 2009 classified growths in St. Emilion, he gave a nice note to Château Fleur Cardinale and was kind enough to speak well of me and Gerard Perse . Thank you including me, even when writing about classified growths!

2011 Bordeaux UGC tasting

I didn’t taste all the wines presented by this great organization, but at least 50 very good wines: Pape Clément, Smith Haut Lafitte, Fieuzal, Balestard La Tonnelle, Canon La Gaffelière, Dassault (very good), Clos Fourtet, La Tour Figeac, Soutard, Troplong Mondot (very good), Villemaurine, Clinet (very good), La Conseillante, Lascombes (very good), Marquis de Terme, Gloria, Léoville Poyferré (very good), Lynch Bages, etc...

Many people attended, good atmosphere, pragmatic, rather positive opinions about the wines presented with, of course, a few remarks on wines too extracted, with too much oak, a little dry, but nothing major. Few comments were made about the price, 10%, 15% or 50% less? No one dare to forecast anything, but the general feeling is that Bordeaux has experienced many challenges, so there is no reason that the next release goes wrong. Everyone should not make a mistake, except those whose wine is an exception, etc...

Following the morning tasting, reserved for the heads of big wine merchants and brokerages firms, the afternoon was devoted to “small” companies, brokers, with their sales force, export managers, etc...

My employees also participated and will be able to get an idea on this 2011 vintage; this will allow everyone to have a vision of what our customers can expect on April 3/4/5 and as early as March 29 for journalists already here in Bordeaux.

For the lunch, pity they were not more ambitious, but I don’t know the price paid by the UGC, but as my friend Alain would say “Don't look a gifthorse in the mouth”. So at lunch, where we ate with colleagues, property managers or owners, our colleagues put on the table two great and super sexy wines, too much, too good, blah, blah... The members of the UGC gave us 2009 vintage! A delicious Petit Village 2009, damn it was good, only given 91 by Robert Parker, for the pleasure it gave us, it was worth 95 points (FYI, I have no inventory in my cellar nor in my company ), and after, it was, of course, the turn of some of my colleagues on the left bank, including a wine which was only half left bank since it belongs to the same owner as Clos Fourtet, and rarely tasted so well: Poujeaux 2009. Really, what vintage... noted 92 points, I more than agree with that!

Following, I brought for dessert, a remarkable Château de Fargues 2009 (95-97).
Long live the Sauternes when one flirts with the stars!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Yesterday, Rémi Dalmasso, Jean Philippe Fort and I blended the various batches of 2011 to present to journalists and clients.

We have this year, unlike many colleagues, many fine and top quality wine in each property: probably the result of replanting our vineyards with a density of 8400 stocks per hectare, the detail work done on the soil and the yield per plant as well as our luck for making the right choices - harvesting later and taking more risk. We ended with a better vintage than in 2007 and even 2008. Of course, this is only my opinion, but I fully prepared to stand by my statement.

Still, the vintage is generally more heterogeneous and the market more challenging; even if by some miracle, the price became acceptable by our customers, “lesser” vintages are always difficult to sell as futures the 1st year. However, let’s not forget that 2008 was a good deal for our customers for it gained tremendous value later. Bordeaux is able to make the worst or the best, so I am reasonably optimistic about the way our wines will perform.

Later, I will have a better overall impression of the 2011 vintage in Bordeaux thanks to the first tasting organized by the UGC for Bordeaux trade and brokerage firms.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Friday 16, Andreas Larsson and his friend came to our house for dinner, a little ahead of his birthday. In short, Andreas is best sommelier in the world and ambassador... of Murielle’s cooking.

We were eight around the table; with 100% Mumu’s cooking: omelet with black truffles, leg of lamb and potato gratin, and a big baba au rhum from Mr. Lopez in Libourne.
Before sitting down for our meal, we tasted a few 2011 to open our palate: Clos Badon Thunevin, Virginie de Valandraud, Valandraud, Fleur Cardinale, Secret de Cardinal, Croix Cardinal, Sansonnet and Valandraud Blanc.
Following, with the first dish, Sansonnet 2010 and Fleur Cardinale 2009, yes, I never get bored drinking these wines. After, blind, Clos Badon Thunevin and Smith Haut Lafitte 2009, Tertre Roteboeuf and Valandraud 2008.
And to honor Brazil and the Brazilians who stopped by unannounced to taste our 2011 along with Andreas as aperitif: Cachaça Vale Verde.

The wines tasted blind were all worth it, each with their own style, price and reputation, what more do you want? Bordeaux is able to make wines of these qualities with these differences in flavors and still amaze me, even for me.
Clos Badon had been open just before the meal for Jacques Berthomeau who called me about it as well as the article in Terre de Vins where it ranked just behind Tertre Roteboeuf in 2008 (Thanks Bettane and Desseauve)
On the No. 52 issue of Livets Goda, a nice Swedish magazine, a big feature on Bordeaux, with two pages portrait of Stéphane Derenoncourt, Michel Rolland and I with Fifi. And in the top 10 of the right bank (4 pages), a portrait of Valandraud and tasting notes of the vintages, from 1991 to 2009, plus our whites were featured. Also included in the 10 future stars of Saint Emilion, Fleur Cardinale Clos Badon and Haut Carles Fronsac.

Sweden is, for my company, one of the best markets considering that with 9 million inhabitants, it represents 2% of sales. Thanks to our agent who is doing a remarkable job and of course our clients, friends and Andreas!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The 2011 futures have started!

After tasting Thursday for lunch at the Domaine de l'A a series of vintages spanning from 2000 to 2011 around a great meal, we started again at home for dinner. Murielle prepared a meal for our friends and journalists who came to discover our 2011 Saint Emilion. We started the evening between us in “small committee” and gaged our wines, we tasted the 2011 Château Fleur Cardinale, Château Croix Cardinale and Secret de Cardinale, Château Sansonnet 2011, Clos du Beau Père 2011, Domaine des Sabines 2011 and the wine from Domaine Virginie Thunevin 2011.

Although I am the anxious type, I believe that many customers will like all these wines and that they will be among the 30% successful cuvees of this heterogeneous vintage. With the journalists, we tasted the 2011 Château Valandraud, Virginie de Valandraud and Clos Badon: ratings and comments will be published in the April issue!

Following, with our meal, we had the first white asparagus of the season paired with our 2011 Valandraud Blanc, with a majority of Sauvignon this year. At the same time, we served Blanc de Valandraud No. 1 and No. 2 2009.

Paired with beef sirloin with shallots confit and flat beans, we served Château Fleur Cardinale 2009, an explosion of fruits and blind Château Valandraud 2005 which, for once, was opened, expressive, almost too good (but we are a bit coo-coo). Indeed, the 2005 vintage is kind of reserved right now (like the 2005 Domaine de l'A), in Pomerol, the château Trotanoy 2005 is actually totally closed when just opened, this aristocrat took time to open up in our glasses. I recommend opening it in at least 5 years to enjoy all the facets of one of our favorite wines with Petrus. We’re lucky to drink on a regular basis. We rarely drank so little, have we become reasonable?

We drank one of Joseph Roty Gevrey Chambertin paired with strawberries and raspberries with sugar. It did suffer from being served after 2 Bordeaux 2005. And tonight we’re at it again...


Thursday, I had a meeting at 9:30 am near Bordeaux in a property I was hired to consult for by attorneys to understand the management of a winery and wine sales.

At noon, I met up with Peter Sisseck who happened to be in Saint Emilion, for a meeting at Domaine de l'A with Christine and Stéphane Derenoncourt and visited the vineyards, the cellars, taste the 2011, 2010 and 2009 vintages in their tasting room and other vintages during lunch. Fellow merchants and a broker were present.

We had a nice meal in their beautiful and peaceful house. Everything was really good, and perhaps it was a subliminal message, I loved the 2004, 2008 and 2002, and therefore, I can imagine that 2011 will be another success from this vintage. I must add that all the wines were remarkably young, no sign of old age, proof that they have a great terroir and talent, but that was already a known fact.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The painful memory for all Pieds-Noirs is particularly felt this year as it is the 50th anniversary of the independence of Algeria.

Arte just broadcasted 2 documentaries on the Algerian war: Monday “The Battle of Algiers” by Gillo Pontecorvo, made in 1965, a film banned in France and distributed in just a few theatres, except in 1971 and 2004, Tuesday “Algeria, our history” (Benjamin Stora and Jean Michel Meurice), showing the war and its horrors seen from the Algerian side, the French side, the Pieds-Noirs, the army... tough shows even for me, as they reminded me of my childhood...

Tuesday at Chateau Talbot, 4 people sitting at our table had a connection with Algeria, Chateau Talbot gave us a moment of nostalgia as well as a Bordeaux moment thanks to a beautiful Talbot 1966 offered by our hosts. I believe I have in my cellar some 1962, in the absence of 1962 Mascara; we will drink a wine that Bernard Magrez made in Algeria

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The 1st presentation of the wines of Chateau Talbot 2011 to Bordeaux merchants and brokers took place on Tuesday, March 13. Another good wine from Talbot considering the challenges of this vintage, in other words between average and good. Note that I find 2007 good while 2004 average. Lots of investments have been done to give this property the necessary tools, without over-doing it.

The picture of the cellar, which I found quite beautiful, doesn’t substitute the physical sensation and smells of new barrels, a prefect aging cellar.

Following, we tasted the 2011 from Château Fleur Cardinale, another good vintage, Secrets de Cardinale, Fleur Cardinale and a new cuvee called Croix de Cardinale. The 3 will be, I hope, the successes of the vintage. Tasting opened for everyone on April 2nd: an opportunity to check my statements!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Friday evening, we were invited for dinner with friends at Chateau Troplong Mondot.

The dinner was based on truffles and wines from Château Troplong Mondot:
Chicken consommé with foie gras and truffles

Carpaccio of St. Jacques with truffles

Beef tenderloin in brioche with mushrooms and truffles

Brie with truffles

Millefeuille with vanilla from Tahiti

Coffee and sweets

As for wines: Champagne Ruinart, Chateau de Tracy 2004 Pouilly Fumé, Château Troplong Mondot 2000 and 1998 Château Sigalas Rabaud 2001
The whole evening, the atmosphere, setting, meal, was luxurious and quality, but low key. A moment to “pause”.

Tourist office of Saint Emilion’s Juridiction

Thursday the Tourist Office of Saint Emilion held its general assembly and celebrated its 80 anniversary. Lots of people attended: the Sous-Prefet, MP, wine trade officials, mayors and members, present to be part of this important general assembly, but - and this is my personal opinion - also because of an issue brought up to our attention: the filing of the trademark(s) “Saint Emilion” by the Tourist Office!?

I believe that the organization most concerned by this issue, as much in personnel than in financial is, of course, our wine trade union as well as its partners such as the INAO, the town hall and the tourist office.

The Tourist Office, which has revenues of less than 1.5 million euros and 15,000 euros in profit, would not be able to support the financial costs of such a task. Otherwise known as Visitor Center, it works well and fulfills its task brilliantly considering the millions of tourists visiting Saint Emilion, but, I need to point out that the brand Saint Emilion, the AOC, represent millions of bottles, thousands of jobs, millions in revenues, so we must protect our brand. I am not sure that this mission is the responsibility of the Tourist Office, even if it has a role to play.

As Francois D. pointed out, I also can understand that the Office of Tourism Trade sells souvenirs, postcards, aprons, salt, etc. I'm not going to list all the items, in other words that the tourist office makes a profit. It makes tourists who buy happy as well as manufacturers who sell. But again, it is important to avoid competing with local businesses offering the same products! Local commerce can’t compete with such organization receiving subsidies, privileges and again, supposed to protect our interest.
The Tourist Office should continue to help local industries otherwise it is going against its members, missions, and who knows what more? Should it setup a wine bar, a brasserie, a restaurant, a hotel as well? Not sure that Josette, the Treasurer, would approve! It is difficult to be dynamic, innovative and useful without being careful when it has the status of a tourist office which attracts Sous-Prefet, MPs and representatives of various communities to its general assembly.

Otherwise, they’ve been doing a great job promoting Châteaux, heritage sites, local businesses, restaurants, hotels and the Jurisdiction of Saint Emilion which again should have set boundaries. But that’s another matter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Château Sansonnet

Wednesday evening, a dinner was organized at Château Sansonnet for a good reason: Denis Hervier came with a friend to taste the 2010 on the right bank and get an idea for 2011.

The meal was prepared with flair by the little noticed team of 91 Cours Le Rouzic: Kinette and Michel Gautier.

Before the meal, we tasted our 2010; I will say again that Sansonnet 2010 will be hard to beat. This wine has been improving during the aging process and it would be foolish not to buy or taste it for it is such a good deal for a demanding amateur. It’s one of those wines which is even better in 2010 than in 2009, like Fleur Cardinale,!

For aperitif, Blanc de Valandraud 2010 then with the meal Sansonnet 2009, Virginie de Valandraud 2009 followed by Fleur Cardinale 2009 and Clos Badon2009. Hard to believe the idiots who say that all wines taste the same, each wine expressed their terroir, the strength of the clay, the “minerality” of the limestone, the softness of siliceous soil, what fine wines.

Then as guest star paired with truffled brie, Valandraud 2009 that I almost rediscovered. It is true that Kinette had taken care to decant the bottle.

After, blind, two wines that we rarely drink, even here: Ausone 2007; we understand why it is often compared to Romanee Conti and fine Burgundies, followed by 2006 Lafleur, a mythical Pomerol, which showed its reputation tonight. What fine wines! What a beautiful job!

Troplong Mondot

Browsing through the website of Château Troplong Mondot , you can see the work done every day to make this chateau one of the top wines of St. Emilion, even Bordeaux, and to design the “chateau” as a global entity: the wine, the vineyards, the chateau, the website and the guests’ facilities (accommodation, meals) and the staff who make it happen. Nice work.

Last night following a meeting of the General Assembly of the Jurade of Saint Emilion, we had dinner at La Couspaude. Many people attended and there was a fun atmosphere. Everyone was able to bring their wine which gave us the opportunity to taste lots of wines including a delicious Couspaude 2001 which was served at our table along with Soutard 2000 and especially a very good Chateau Lyonnat 2009, cuvée Emotion, modern and tasty wine, showing a great terroir and great work. Will Lussac Saint Emilion ever have its own Grand Crus Classé?

In these troubled times, in this time of elections where the environmental message is not very glamorous, Pomerol is currently promoting sexual confusion in the vineyard which we also use in the area of Clos du Beau Pere, along with our neighbor Chateau Bellegrave to help limit the spread of cochylis moth larvae and prevent the use of insecticides.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


We had a lunch to celebrate the departure of one of my banker friends. Yes, yes, it can happen!
We tasted blind, paired with caviar, Smith Haut Lafitte 2006 white, golden yellow, fat, creamy, luxurious oak, a classic Grave, noted 93 by RP and Valandraud Blanc No. 2, a lighter colored, drier, brighter, no oak, followed by some Russian vodka. Too bad we wanted to stay in control, because this vodka was easy to drink, actually too easy.

With a remarkable beef sirloin and fries we tasted two wines blind: 2005 Clos des Fees, which Murielle liked the best, powerful, with hints of truffles, young and still evolving and Hugo 2005 from Calvet-Thunevin guessed by Daniel, smooth, which is surprising considering the real power of these wines, these terroirs and these vines.
Paired with strawberries, we drank water , and coffee: Yes, we have to work tonight and have to attend a dinner with the jurade of Saint Emilion and its AG.

Wines we drank with friends

Valandraud 2009 with 96/100 from Parker (does he mean that I can do better ?), as usual, we expected more, maybe the lack of perspective when it comes to one own’s wine!

Corton Charlemagne 2006 from Bouchard drank too young, closed, we have high expectation from this superb appellation; Duhart Milon Rothschild 1982, good and balanced, nice surprise, Mauvais Garcon/Bad Boy 2009 with a nice comment from Parker and a disappointing 88, thank you James Suckling for 93

For lunch with Murielle, Clos Romanile 2008, the level of a classified growth, was better in the evening, soft, long, 2008 should not be left out of this nice series of fine vintages in Bordeaux.

Friday, March 2, 2012

They’re coming...

The Wine Advocate’s notes on 2009 Bordeaux should be released tonight and I am sure that many of us will not sleep well or wake up in a sweat!

In the past few days, I drank two bottles given to me by a friend retailer in Saint Emilion: Valmy Dubourdieu-Lange, 2009, known for quite some years, a good wine from Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux and another, unknown to me but really very good and flavorful: Lou Anne 2009 from Fabrice Delsuc in Saint Genes de Castillon, we loved it! (the producer is already sold-out)

Coming up: PROWEIN in Düsseldorf, where the Domaine Thunevin-Calvet will present their wines from the Roussillon from March 4 to 6 at booth 110 D 5 H, Jean-Roger Calvet and Catherine Manuaud will welcome you.

Bordeaux futures, movies and statistics

Movies are part of our thoughts during this time prior to present our wine futures. Our organization strangely looks like a film festivals: Cannes, Hollywood, Bordeaux, same world?

Cannes chose a beautiful picture of Marilyn Monroe for its official poster, we should also show the actress drinking a glass of Bordeaux!

We also have our Oscars, our Palms d’Or: these are the ratings which, I must admit, are not are thrilling, except perhaps at Parker where, if we look closer, of the 49 wines rated 100 points, only 20 are 1st growths and on the 24 rated 99 points, only 11 are 1st growths, and for 98 points, it is roughly the same amount...

Thursday, March 1, 2012


This is the calm before Parker’s notes on 2009 Bordeaux. They are supposed to be published before the end of the week. I received this morning three books written by Paula Moulton "Seasons Among the Vines".
Thank you Paula - I will put our copy in Valandraud’s living room for our clients and friends. The book is about California and the Paula’s beginning in the wine world.

I also received a copy of the March 2012 issue of the Wine Spectator, the notes of 2009 Bordeaux are featured on the cover and the article on me is called The Iconoclast, Bordeaux's Black Sheep (words that have been already been given to my story in France). This 6 page article should help us put the US market on top of our export sales.
Also, a nice piece on the 8 most famous or successful second wines with Virginie de Valandraud 2009.

Short resume of past activities

Saturday 18, a lovely young couple came to celebrate their first anniversary in our “chateau”, very romantic!

Monday, February 20, a representative from the classification commission came to see us to check our application for Valandraud. This young female enologist definitely read thoroughly our dossier as well as those from the other applicants. She visited our vineyards, terroir, cellars and workplaces, as well as the chateau and asked about our daily work. She was very professional. I hope it went well; I now have to wait for the results in June?

Tuesday, Jürgen came from Paris to talk about areas we could explore to improve our use of the Internet, which is a more complex issue, especially for me.

Friday 24, company meeting with my lawyers, accountants, auditors, as always, I am less interested in the past than the future, as our fiscal year ends on 31 August. We have already gone through the next six months, which will most likely be one of the most successful, but again, I am more interested in 2013. Our job is to be in the future, even though the past can help us understand, thanks to our past experience.

This weekend, I had a short trip with a colleague to Gstaad, Switzerland. What a beautiful winter resort! We did a tasting in a wine store and had a meal at the Gstaad Palace, where I ran into one of my colleagues also there for work. The cold weather and sports has encouraged guests invited to buy our wines.

Last week, a general meeting of Libourne’s wine merchants took place. More of us should join to help maintain such a close and useful organization.

Americans are starting to warm up to the French: 5 Oscars for The Artist and 8 pages in the Wine Spectator about the Black Sheep, written by Mitch Frank; as well as Robert Parker’s tweet on Mauvais Garcon (Bad Boy) 2009: "A Good Introduction to 2009 Bordeaux... Bordeaux's Jean Luc Thunevin 2009 BAD BOY-just plump and delicious".