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Showing posts from March, 2008

Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux 2005

Today is the official start of the Bordeaux 2007 primeurs campaign, which will run for about a week. Owing to unforeseen circumstances I am not there, so this year I will not be tasting the baby wines. Too bad. But the good news is that later this week I will be in the Loire Valley instead. Tasting young but mature wines. I shall report about that trip next week.


Last week a good deal of my Bordeaux 2005's were delivered. Exciting - the wines that I bought en primeur two years ago.

As I was carrying these wines into my cellar, I realised that some of these bottles will only be dug up again when my son has grown up. We will hopefully drink these wines with him when he gets 18. Or when he graduates. A thought that I tried to share with him:

- How old are you?
- Three!
- OK. And see, these bottles here, are also three, just like you.
- (...)
- And when you've grown up, you and me will drink these wines together!
- Ja! (smiling)

So he got the point, and he observed me storing his bottles, …

Live: Bordoverview 2.0

Last Wednesday my provider pulled a red handle and flushed my home-made first version of Bordoverview. This first version was rather plain, technically limited, but interesting enough to attract lots of visitors from all over the world. And also to have Bordoverview mentioned on many websites, and off-line for example in the UK newspaper The Independent.


But to move ahead, beyond the technical limitations, an even-bigger-nerd-than-me was required, someone who really knows how to program. It was my old school friend Ward van der Put who saw Bordoverview, and its potential. But to get the most out of the data, he would have to rebuild the website. And that's what he did. The resulting version 2.0 looks more or less the same, but underneath it a lot has changed:

1. When viewing and sorting wines, you do not have to choose one year, or one river bank. You can combine years, and/or river banks, or both.
2. You can filter on all kinds of criteria. E.g. filter on the wines of Margaux, on Cr…

Subprime bubbly anyone?

A long long time ago when I was studying macro economics in America, I learned great deal of interesting things about supply and demand, and too much money chasing too few goods, and how much someone coming out of three months in the jungle would pay for one hamburger, but the most useful piece of information was this: follow the dollar.

Now you can be a dollar fan or a euro fan these days but the point, that if you start with the money angle you will understand a lot more, a lot faster, is the same. Because, basically, if you haven't got the money to do what you want, whether it is AIDS or wine, the myriad of related information and possibilities about how you do it becomes respectively, a) less relevant and b) less possible.

So, having written all that I could this week, about the expansion of the champagne growing area, I sat down finally read the Financial Times, only to find I had missed a key point.

The head line of the editorial was 'Subprime bubbly' – yes, yes, I borr…

ProWein 2008 in some images

Today I went to ProWein in Düsseldorf, accompanied by Jan van Roekel. Bordoverview editor Christophe Sevenster was also there - he will stay for a couple of days and will publish later about this BIG! wine fair in rainy Düsseldorf. For now I post some images made earlier today.

I'm glad actually I can post these images: last 4 and 5 February Christophe and I combed the Salon des Vins de Loire in Angers for two days, and by mistake I flushed all the images after I got back to Amsterdam. The same happened to most of the pictures from my work experience at Château du Tertre in 2006. I was especially sad about the cool picture with me scooping out a fermentation vat. With boots trapped in the muddy remains of the grapes, and a sweat-covered torso glistening in flash light. An important picture for someone who lives a dressed live behind the computer, at least quite often.


Back to ProWein. Today I met Jean Philippe Cazaux from MC Consultant, one of the smaller Bordeaux négociant business…

Surprising St-Emilion 2005, and Cheval Blanc 1999

In the new Decanter I read an interesting article wherein Guy Woodward comes back on the surprising outcome of the Saint-Emilion 2005 blind tasting as presented in the second last Decanter edition. In short: the lesser known wines outperformed the big names. In the tasting report only a few words were said about the possible reasons for this outcome. And especially with the extreme price differences, it seemed worth looking for an explanation. Hence Woodward's second article.


Just to start with two surprises: the label "Best Value" was awarded to Château Tertre Daugay 2005. To fresh up your memory (if necessary): this was one of the chateaux that lost its Grand Cru Classé status in 2006. Implying that their 2005 will be the last vintage that is presented as a grand cru classé (well, at least for the time being). And at this very last moment, apparently the wine is finally shining... how theatrical.

Another surprise: Château Cheval Blanc 2005 is 'just' one of the 43…

Nightmares of balaclava clad Russians might soon be replaced by reality

Rumours are again rife about a chateau for sale in Bordeaux, that some Russians might want to buy, although, one of the three owners, Alain Laguillaumie, is categorical in his denials.

"The chateau is not for sale," he said. "If someone turns up one day with a very large suitcase full of money, you never know, but at the moment, nothing is in the works."

Laguillaumie is on the board of a company called Teleperformance and the vice president of the company, Jacques Berrebi is the second owner, along with Dominique Hebrard, who is based in Bordeaux.

Denial, while annoying for a journalist trying to write a story, is quite the right thing to do. Never mind the fact that reliable property sources say the first round of paper work has been signed. The all important second round of signing has not been finalised and no money, or perhaps not enough money, has changed hands yet.

Chateau sale transactions are notoriously tricky and discreet for that reason. A buyer might run sc…

Pierre Sourdais & Les Boulais: the synergy of Cabernet Franc and great terroir

At the recently held Conference on Climate Change & Wine in Barcelona different and even opposing views on the subject of climate change have been expressed. One of these views is that classic regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy will have serious problems in producing the high quality wines that they are known for. I would think nobody will miss today's habit of chaptalising when it becomes unnecessary. And don't the experts always tell us that drought is essential for the creation of truly great wine?

An opposing view comes from heavyweights Michel Rolland (wine consultant) and former owner of Cos d'Estournel Bruno Prats. They say that climate change will have a positive effect on mentioned classic regions. No more artificial tricks that will have to be carried out to get enough maturity or concentration.

Prats furthermore sees a new role for old Bordeaux grape varieties – and champions in respectively Chile and Argentina – Carmenère and Malbec. Hear, hear! He also sa…