Showing posts from October, 2007

Cantenac Brown 2006 and its crazy price

Talking about interesting wine prices (see my previous post about Larcis Ducasse)... when Château Cantenac Brown 2006 was released on the 4th of June, everyone was in shock. The big question for 2006 was: how much will the price drop. Cantenac Brown decided to turn things around: instead of lowering the price, they doubled(!) the price. Result: the all-inclusive consumer price ended up being around 60 euros (nice graph: 2004 was 20 euros and 2005 30 euros).

What was happening here? Well, there is a new owner: the ambitious Syrian-born English billionaire Simon Halabi, who earlier also bought the Mentmore Towers in the UK. Anyone who knows Château Cantenac Brown will see the stylistic resemblance between these two impressive structures. After the improvements by previous owner AXA Millésimes (conducted by the Lynch Bages dream team of Jean-Michel Cazes, Daniel Llose and Christian Seely), Halabi sees an even bigger future ahead for this Margaux Cru Classé. Most interesting here is the le…

Château Larcis Ducasse 2004

The last affordable Larcis Ducasse? I'm glad it's not.

En primeur the Château Larcis Ducasse 2004 was 'just' 25 euro, I bought the wine two years later in a French hypermarket for only € 26,50 (i.e. before the start of the Foire-Aux-Vins). The 2005 belongs to a totally different league: this vintage showed the freaky price jump of 75 euros to € 100,- per bottle. An unprecedented leap, and the result of a perfectly marketed super-vintage, combined with the exceptional ratings for this Larcis Ducasse 2005. Most well-known tasters were enthusiastic, and the Americans were most passionate about this Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Emilion from the hands of the talented Stéphane Derenoncourt. It was Robert Parker who had already picked out the Larcis Ducasse 2004 as a very successful wine, and a year later the 2005 was given the top rating of 95-98, which he later even revised into 96-100. James Suckling (from Wine Spectator) had directly honoured the 2005 with the ultimate score:…

EGJ President: book Agostini will have terrible effect

François Mauss, President of the European Grand Jury is making a remarkably firm stand against the new book of Hanna Agostini, which contains serious accusations on her former employer Robert Parker. At this place I will not dive into the history preceeding this book (the so-called Geens affair), nor will I look at the actual accusations. But in general: it seems that a lot of vulgar drama is involved here.

With his explicit reaction François Mauss is now adding a new chapter to this ongoing soap opera: "(...) this is the end of an era about the relations of Mr Parker with the Bordeaux world".

Mauss himself is not looking forward to entering this New Era, but in his strong belief that it is simply inevitable that we are heading there, he surely does support the process:

- "My friends: we are entering a tsunami period. It will take time, but it will hurt, and hard."
- "Obviously it is very hard for you to catch the terrible effects this book will bring, first in Eu…

Mouton 1995 lacks in new book Crum & Jacobs

Three months ago I called wine writer Frank Jacobs to share with him a rather hilarious wine story. I did not have this blog yet, and I thought it could be suitable for his monthly wine column in Perswijn. And indeed, the story ended up in the August/September edition of this magazine.

Nevertheless, Frank regretted that he hadn't heard the story before: the deadline for the book he was writing with Gert Crum had already passed... Well, this week the book has arrived in the bookstores (for now in Dutch only). Without the story about our building contractor and his unfortunate bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild 1995.

What happened? Well, our contractor - at the time - is an exuberant man, crazy about good food and about good wine. And a skilled worker also, but his one big problem: planning. We didn't have any idea about when things would be finished. And the project lasted, and lasted... But we still felt that in the end everything would be fine, and to express our trust, for Ch…

Thomas Barton, Barton & Guestier and Anthony Barton

This week the winners were announced for the Dutch wine contest Klassiek Europa, Classic Europe, organised by the Dutch wine magazine Perswijn. The good news: everyone seems to see a trend 'back' to the original values of classic Europe. Many interested wine drinkers know by now that outside Europe people really know how to make wine - ripe and accessible, and often modestly priced... but the real adventure lies in the idiosyncratic wines from the old regions where the indigenous grape plant is performing its never-ending battle with nature. With varying results from year to year. Exciting.

But of course we've learnt from the newcomers also. About marketing for example. Branding wines: not just making accessible wines, but also accessible labels. See the label of Thomas Barton, one of the winning wines at Klassiek Europa (not to confuse things: it is the wine that has accounted for the prize, not the label!).

The Thomas Barton Médoc Réserve 2005 (submitted - and sold - by Kw…

La Tour de By 2000

Why not open this blog with a great normal wine: Château La Tour de By. If only as a tribute to Marc Pagès, the owner of the château who died in July this year. For me this is one of the best examples of a fine classic Bordeaux for a friendly price. La Tour de By comes across very sympathetic, and I follow - and drink - the subsequent vintages with pleasure.

We can only hope that Pagès' grandson, Frédéric Leclerq will continue to deliver wines in the spirit of his grandfather, with the same great price-quality ratio. Leclerq has already been involved in the wine making for a number of years, so there is a good chance that the character of La Tour de By will be preserved.

I tasted the 2006 vintage en primeur - Pagès' last vintage - and it outperformed most its competition.

Yesterday I opened a 2000. Supposedly a legendary year, but lots of wines that I taste from this year do not (yet) live up to the high expectations (don't get me wrong: I've tasted beautiful wines - one …

Opening: Bordoverview Blog

Today I'm starting this Bordoverview Blog. What to expect? Just all kinds of news issues, be it an update on the soap opera called Classification, an interesting change of ownership, or a tasting note that I want to share with you. As a matter of fact I'm not really sure what exactly I'm going to offer, I guess we will have to see also.

The stupid thing: I have the idea that almost nobody will read a first post. Probably Google will only have indexed this blog after a couple of days, and I still have to go around on the internet asking webmasters and moderators for a link to my new blog. Maybe I first have to write something before they will want to exchange links... chicken and egg.

Anyway, let's hope this blog will be a big success!