Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2009

ProWein 2009 in 15 favourite Bordeaux's

Yesterday we visited ProWein in Düsseldorf. Up front I had made the wise decision to only explore the wines of Bordeaux. With that the whole thing was at least 'surveyable'. ProWein is drearily huge. Hall after hall stretches out, country after country, with countless sorts of wines. And everyone is trying to get attention. Anyway, ProWein is one big busy wine frenzy. But enough about that, let's focus on something good: the wines from Bordeaux that I encountered.

A lovey row: Château Notton (Margaux), Château Moulinet (Pomerol), Château Pont Saint-Martin (Pessac-Léognan), Château Le Jurat (Saint-Émilion Grand Cru), Baron de Brane (Margaux)

I tasted a large number of wines, and in this posting I shed light on a few, the 15 that I liked the most. The descriptions are brief, as I didn't have the time to make extensive notes.

1. Clos des Demoiselles 2005, Listrac-Médoc. Soft fruit, pleasant, freshness, classic, good texture. Harmonious wine, much more open now than last year…

Bordeaux 2008, the campaign is near... let's put on our pink glasses with Bordeaux 2008 rosé

In Bordeaux people are holding their breath these days. For next week they have organised grand tastings and related festivities: the yearly primeurs circus where the new Bordeaux vintage is presented. But who will be going to Bordeaux this year? Definitely not everyone. A/o this week Farr Vintners said they wouldn't go, and that's quite a statement from this big primeurs buyer. They say that there is no real reason to buy primeurs now, unless of course the price will seriously go down. I wrote about this likely reluctance to buy in a previous posting − should you be interested.


By the way, I'm not going either. But no worries, I soon get to taste plenty of Bordeaux 2008's, and then I do not mean the 2008 rosé's in this posting. But more about that later.

Quite often I encounter the good solution to postpone the primeurs campaign. The tastings next week will take place, that's for sure. But why not wait with releasing the prices, repeat the whole thing in half a …

A French President who doesn't drink

He's an odd figure, that Nicolas Sarkozy. Is there a historical precedent for this kind of président, one who doesn't drink, not even a glass of wine? He provides a stark contrast to Jacques Chirac, who during his time as Mayor of Paris had turned the cellars of the city hall into a kind of Fort Knox of fine wines. In October 2006, 4000 of these bottles valued at £400,000 were put up for auction to put back money into public funds.

Teetotaler Sarkozy, however, chose to attack alcohol, first in his portfolio as interior minister by bringing in tougher laws against drunk driving. But as president his tacit support for the ANPAA − the national association for the prevention of alcoholism and addiction − is not making anything easier for the wine industry, which employs 340,000 people in France. The French parliament are now debating "a proposed law that carries an article banning promotional sales of alcoholic beverages as a way of curtailing binge-drinking among youths.&quo…

Bordeaux 2008 and its likely effect on 2007

It happened in the middle of the night, at the end of September last year. I was laying awake, worrying about the 2007 primeurs I had reserved for my young wine business. It was already clear that the 2007's (just as − to a lesser extent − the 2006's) were not going to be the hot cakes like the 2005's were. But the market still behaved like it had for years: if you wouldn't buy certain wines, you'd miss out on these − in other words: if you'd snooze, you'd loose.

The financial crisis was still far away. But that night I just didn't feel good about "taking a position" in Bordeaux 2007, about making an investment in this average vintage − while unsure about when to eventually sell these cases.

The feeling was strong, and I had experienced more than once that strong feelings shouldn't be put aside. So the next morning I carefully informed about the possibility to give back most of my reservations. It was no problem. What might have helped: the …

Robert Parker & Bordeaux 2006: the final verdict

About a week ago Robert Parker has published his final scores for the Bordeaux 2006 vintage. For example a wine with an initial rating of 90-92 has now been updated to 91. Or more, or less. Most wines get a final score that is close or quite close to the initial score, but there are always interesting exceptions. Big winners, an big losers. Up front my apologies: we're talking about wines, not about a football match. But well: it wasn't me who rated these wines... I'm simply the messenger. Here are the most spectacular adjustments:

The winners:
- Château Haut-Brion 2006, Pessac-Léognan: from 92-94+ to 96
- Château Lafite-Rothschild 2006, Pauillac: from 91-94+ to 97

And the châteaux that were less lucky:
- Château L'Arrosée 2006, Saint-Emilion: from 92-94 to 89
- Château Bellevue 2006, Saint-Emilion: from 92-94 to 86
- Clos Saint-Martin 2006, Saint-Emilion: from 92-94 to 87
- Château La Croix Saint-Georges 2006, Pomerol: from 94-96 to 91
- Château La Fleur-Pétrus 2006, Pomerol: …

How does rosé age?

I live on the third floor in a new apartment building in the Jordaan in Amsterdam, so I don't have a basement, and unfortunately that means I don't have a wine cellar. But cellars are not an uncommon feature among Amsterdam's older houses; whether or not they are suited for wine storage is another question. Among other things, a good cellar requires ventilation.


But there are some truly amazing cellars or caves in Amsterdam. My personal favourite is the cave of the Corvershof, built in 1723 and is now the location of Tastevin Dehue and wine educator Sander Salburg's Wines Unlimited, on the Nieuwe Herengracht. A tasting here by candlelight is a truly unique experience. Such a beautiful old cellar does however come with a price: several years ago, the brick walls and roof started leaking, requiring them to pump a special foam into the masonry, an expensive undertaking.

Yes, there definitely are beautiful cellars in Amsterdam, I just don't happen to have one. So I did t…