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Showing posts from June, 2008

Live: Bolomey Wijnimport

Just launched: my own webshop, with only wines that I really like! No big collection, but a personal selection of fine classic wines that I love to offer. This is the address of Bolomey Wijnimport: www.bolomey.nl. The site is in Dutch, but I guess that non-Dutch wine lovers won't have a problem finding the wines they like... Also some (interesting) 2007 primeurs, but that section isn't finalised yet. The Bordeaux 2006 section however is complete.


Next month I will visit Burgundy again, and the Champaign area, and after that I will present some other interesting wines. Of course you are very welcome to check back regularly at Bolomey Wijnimport!

Le Clarence de Haut-Brion

Maybe you have seen the name during the last campaign: Le Clarence de Haut-Brion. It is the new name of the second wine of Château Haut-Brion. Red wine. The second wine of Haut-Brion's white is still named Les Plantiers de Haut-Brion.

In general, the second wines of the First Growths have gained importance over the last years: with the prices of the grand vins exploding, people started to look for the second wines. Those got sought-after, and soon started to be released in tranches just like their big brothers. With a first tranche that is usually sold out quickly, and a second tranche that is − naturally − higher priced. Do take into account that the size of a first tranche is small. Anyway, price orchestration is something these châteaux handle quite well.


It is this climate in which it was time to rename Château Bahans Haut-Brion. For my Dutch ears it has always appeared as a strange, somewhat funny name. Not at all serious, more a clumsy name. In general people had no idea how …

The only thing rising in Bordeaux is the rain meter

The rain in Spain may stay mainly on the plain, but in Bordeaux it just stays. And it is getting colder.

"C'est le bordel," is how Jean-Luc Thunevin put it this morning, Monday 16th June. A bordel is literally 'a brothel', but the translation is more along the lines of an effing mess.

Included in the bordel is: the endless rain, the warm temperatures, then the cold ones, the mildew risk, the mud that is making it difficult for the tractors to get into the vines and spray, the wet flowering – although Thunevin says that this has, for some unknown reason actually been OK – and the fact that everyone is working flat out spraying when they can, deleafing and dealing with the fact that replanting in the rain is a pain.

Not included in Thunevin's bordel comment this morning are the primeurs. But they can't be helping.

All the first growths bar Yquem are out now, at the amazing, but not amazing enough apparently, reduction of 26% - meaning 200 euro ex-château, 240 t…

Bordeaux 2007: Latour and Haut-Brion released

We must be in the last week of the primeurs campaign, and there isn't really something like a climax. At the end things should speed up a bit, the whole game ought to wrap itself up with some cool fireworks, but no, the machinery isn't as smooth as in 2006 (the 05 campaign), and the final releases come like the last drips of a rain shower. A few on Monday, very few on Tuesday, and then finally Latour and Haut-Brion today. With the utterly surprising prices of... about € 325,- (consumer price)... i.e. the same as Château Margaux almost a week ago. Down about 25%.

La Mission Haut-Brion, very successful in 2006 and as a result priced as a First Growth, went down with 40%.

The most exciting releases were the few that - like Vieux Château Certan earlier - had the guts to really lower their price (and sell):

- Troplong-Mondot Monday morning: −40%
- Nénin on Tuesday: −26% (and to a lesser extent Pichon-Lalande with −20%)
- Ducru-Beaucaillou: −36%

A few more days to go - luckily we also hav…

Bordeaux 2007 recommendations II

Thursday and Friday were crazy, many châteaux releasing their prices. Most went down, some kept their price at 2006-level, and some even went up. With the release of Château Margaux on Thursday the conclusion of the campaign is in sight, but we're not there yet. The coming week will be the last week of the campaign with the release of the other first growths and the remaining châteaux that are either slow or too cautious, or maybe consider themselves as first growths (Léoville-Las-Cases, Ducru-Beaucaillou).

Château Margaux came out about 25% lower than last year, and is of course still rather unaffordable with a resulting average consumer price (for the first tranche) of about 325 euro (including VAT). Being confronted with this price, a pharmacist from Geneva, Illinois, wrote on the Wine Spectator forum: "Best laugh I've had in some time...". Taking into account (also) the weak dollar, I think he meant that the wine is expensive. Château Palmer was released yesterday…

Bordeaux 2007 recommendations

After a short off moment during the second half of last week, the past three days the Bordeaux 2007 primeurs campaign seems to be coming to a conclusion. The good news is that we see some serious price decreases. Also, we see some very interesting wines being released - thus the right moment for some first recommendations.

In my last posting I was complaining about the release price of Château l'Evangile (average consumer release price including VAT € 112). This Monday we saw the most comparable Pomerol château present its price: Vieux Château Certan was released at € 82, an impressive 40% down. A statement. Other major wines were also released at lower prices, but here no statements. Mere necessary corrections. And we shouldn't forget: from châteaux with a fairly stable price tag over the years - such as Léoville Barton - we cannot expect great price drops.

Congenial prices also from Saint-Emilion Premier Cru Classés Clos Fourtet and Pavie-Macquin: both these Derenoncourt-consu…