Saturday, June 30, 2012

And also...

I will be soon leaving for Osaka, Japan on July 3 and 4, then Tokyo July 4/5/6 and Hong Kong on July 7/8 for futures tastings organized by one of my Japanese distributors and two retailers in Hong Kong.

At noon last Monday, I had lunch at La Puce for Pierrot's birthday, 76 years old. It was a family lunch and the opportunity to see La Puce again who is now 90 years old and still full of energy and likes to tell stories to die... of laughter!


I read on François Mauss's European Grand Jury’s website, this number quoted by Rodolphe: in 1988, the revenues for the wine industry was 5 billion francs (less than 800 million euros), and in 2010, 15 billion euros.

It is not small change, considering the jobs it finances and the contribution to the trade balance of our country and our businesses. Regarding Thunevin, the ratio is roughly equivalent, even more surprising for 1988 was the year of we started and I changed my business from restaurateur-wine retailer to wine negotiant, merchant and wholesaler. The revenues of my business jumped considerably after the creation of Valandraud in 1991 and especially in 1997 with the sale of the famous 1995 vintage

Le Figaro

Thank you Frederic Durand-Bazin for the article published on June 24 in the - opinion on wine, about five wine routes, where Chateau Valandraud is mentioned on the right bank of Bordeaux. It even specifies the properties I consult for: such as Fleur Cardinale; and also mentions L’Essentiel, one of our stores in Saint Emilion.

Thank you again for agro tourism is one of the points addressed by the rules of the new classification of St. Emilion Grand Cru, but the selection will be done in about 15 days...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

5 stars

Valandraud classified.... in furnished holiday rental!

Our guest house, Chateau Valandraud we rent as a furnished holiday rental just received five stars by the certification body ICH following our application. This certification is good for five years (same as hotels that can be classified from 0 to 5 stars)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


The Spring Festival organized by the Hospitaliers de Pomerol and the Winegrowers' Association of Pomerol, held June 9, 2012 was a real success. The highlights were the parade of the members of Hospitaliers where I co-represented the Jurade de Saint Emilion and the Mass held in Pomerol’s Church with its nice priest and the mezzo soprano Sophie Pondjielis, whose sublime voice filled the church and her talent transported us, truly sublime.

Then, the induction of new members took place in Château La Croix, done with simplicity and the dinner hosted by Eric Le Collen, was put together by Jean Guy Humblot with the help of Michel Guerard.

Here is the menu. The wines highlighted are those served at our table, plus a few bottles served on other tables.

It was the first time that Clos du Beau Pere was served in this kind of event. I enjoyed La Fleur Pétrus 1998 and La Conseillante 2005; not difficult share the best with my friends in this convivial atmosphere, almost Burgundian!

It is true that the 1st information we received on the classification of St. Emilion is favorable to my friends, in fact, this Sunday, we continued with Compassant 2004, Clos Badon Thunevin 2008 (the 2006 will be served at the next meal of the Jurade Saint Emilion), Fleur Morange 2009 and especially a really great bottle, the last one I have, alas, Petrus 1982, which was simply a masterpiece, served blind - which I don’t recommend with rare and expensive wines. The cork which was impossible to take out, except in 1000 pieces, gave me cold sweats and despite the fight with this cork glued to the neck, the wine was simply grandiose. I must say that the bottle was kept in a very good cellar, and had only traveled for a short trip less than 10 km to end up in my cellar several years ago. Such important bottles are rare and opening this one meant that we received good news, which made this experience even more enjoyable.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Valandraud blanc: Thank you Mister Fakorellis

These days, we often receive compliments and orders from restaurants for Virginie and Valandraud whites. This makes us happy and we are proud that our friend Athanasius Fakorellis has been helping us. In his youth, he worked as enologist in Burgundy with a few famous properties such as Lafont, Clerc, Sauzet, Moret, to name only famous whites.

Murielle and I are strongly influenced by great Burgundy whites and we think that we created, through our hard work, a synthesis between white Bordeaux and Burgundies. Some of the American or French critics love our white; others are totally allergic to it! It is certainly hard to please everyone, but for vines planted in 2000 I'm really proud of our achievement!


Murielle and I drank with our meal a bottle we received as a gift: Croix de Labrie 2007, simply delicious. What is Michel doing to make such sexy and charming wines, what’s his secret for making such a silky wine in this “average” vintage?

The campaign will end with the two stars of this vintage, Vieux Certan and Ausone with which Eglise Clinet and Pontet Canet, already sold out, prove that despite the gloomy atmosphere there is still great demands on certain wines which have been successfully produced, Domaine de l’A, Beauséjour Duffau, Calon Ségur, Domaine de Chevalier rouge, Clerc Milon, Croix Figeac, Léoville Barton, Pavie Macquin , Rouget and for us Virginie de Valandraud red and Valandraud Blanc. Despite this short campaign, I still can offer Peter Sisseck’s wines.

Peter Sisseck told me that Chateau Rocheyron 2011 will only be released in December, and that he plans to release Pingus, Flor de Pingus 2011 and 2011 PSI in the market that day, the 2011 futures will end for us this week. 

We will undoubtedly look forward to keep on selling futures in September when we will have a better idea of the 2012 vintage which will certainly have an impact on 2011 depending on the quality.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2011 Futures and Saint Emilion classification

In all the supplements of the top French newspapers, comments were quite good for my wines and those I consult for.

In the magazine Le Point but especially Le Monde, the team from the RVF wrote in the Chinese edition, which is starting to be important (100,000 copies), and particularly an article written by Bettane & Desseauve in the supplement of L’Espress which deals with the next classification of Saint Emilion, properties to promote, demote, etc…

A brave effort considering the results are due to be released soon and, with no doubt, the polemic it will generate.


Great meal organized by the Wine Syndicate of Pomerol with the Hospitaliers de Pomerol for the Spring Festival June 9th, 2012 at Chateau La Croix. In addition to a great crowd, there should be a show put together by Eric Le Collen, a fine dinner supervised by Michel Guerard and good wine with 2008, 2005, 2001 and 1998 Pomerol. The 2008 Clos du Beau Pere will be served.

Next week, it will be the Jurade de Saint Emilion’s turn with the privilege to serve Clos Badon Thunevin to all the guests.

In the last issue of Decanter on 2012 Bordeaux, wine, people and stories, James Lawther, MW, wrote an article on Saint Emilion and its terroir and a brief comment on our sector of Saint Etienne de Lisse and its wines: Faugères, Pressac, Fleur Cardinale, Valandraud.

In Gault et Millau’s special issue on Bordeaux 2011 futures, written by Pierre Guigui, he wrote the following comment on Valandraud 2011, rated 18.5, in other words the same note as the top 7 wines: “It touches the sublime. This vintage is a great achievement, even a masterly demonstration of their knowledge. It is dense and deep, fully balanced, with a crunchy and really fine structure”

Also well noted, Clos Badon Thunevin with 16 “Dense and delicious softness expressing luscious fruit with undertones of blueberries lifted by licorice and violet”, which allows him to play on par with many classified growths of St. Emilion

Friday, June 8, 2012

Le Pré Catelan

Thanks to the event organized by the RVF at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, we took this opportunity to have dinner in the ever so friendly bistro Pierre Gagnaire, the Gaya Rue du Bac on the left bank, Paris also has two banks!

We were invited for 2 meals: one at Galopin, a classic brasserie next to the Palais Brongniart, and especially the other which was one of the best meals Murielle and I have had in a long time at the Pré Catelan, from the group Lenôtre, in the Bois de Boulogne, and Frédéric Anton’s cuisine, which our friends wanted us to discover.
It was a gargantuan meal, all served in three: the portions were made for big appetites and the food is so good that you feel obliged to finish your plate... They’ve had their 3 Michelin stars for a long time.

I ordered: amuse-bouche plus crab prepared en toque, fine coral jelly and caviar from France flavored with fennel soup. Then, sweetbreads with truffles cooked in a casserole, soubise, celery puree with cinnamon, spaghetti with butter and to finish a killer apple soufflé, crispy on the outside, frozen on the inside, caramel, cider and sparkling sugar plus small pastries.

The wines were served by the sommelier, Mr Riviere, who has a serious sense of humor. We had a delicious white Chaillés de l’Enfer from Georges Vernay 2009, then, blind, an incredible Pontet Canet 2004 smooth, mature, with finesse, terribly sexy for a 2004 vintage, tasting more like a 2005, goes to show. Following, a very serious and still a bit closed, Angelus 2004, great wine and one of my friends’ favorite wines. I share his opinion because, in Saint Emilion, following the 2 first growths A, out of reach in a restaurant, Angelus, Pavie, and hopefully Valandraud, can be beautiful alternatives to 1st growths.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

While waiting...

‎…For my comments on my 2 last trips, find below a picture of Mr Fakorellis asking about these...

Combs offered by a Chinese friend, who we shared a bottle of Massandra 1951

Also, a picture of our stand at Vinexpo Hong Kong, with its minimalist decoration: