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Bordeaux 2008: Parker has spoken

When Europe was asleep last night, Robert Parker published his Bordeaux 2008 report and ratings. Parker is very excited about the quality of the new vintage. As the main reasons he sums up:

1. Very long hang-time for the grapes, thus a slow and long maturation resulting in well-developed and complex aroma's.
2. A summer that was overall cooler and sunnier than average. Interesting, because what I heard from producers is that despite the variable weather during the growing season, the average temperature was slightly higher. Something to check.
3. It was a dry summer.

Parker points out the good fruit, the purity and freshness and the quality and the ripeness of the tannins. He states that the quality of Bordeaux 2008 comes close to 2005 and 2000, and surpasses the other vintages from this decade. Pomerol is supposedly the star appellation in the year 2008.

This is Parker's top 11 for Bordeaux 2008:
- Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac) 98-100
- Pétrus (Pomerol) 98-100
- Trotanoy (Pomerol) 96-…

Bordeaux 2008 − last week no shock and awe

After the fireworks in the previous week I had expected a rapid wrap-up of the 2008 campaign, but actually the fire smothered somewhat. The last left bank 1er cru came out, Haut-Brion, and positioned itself above the other 1er crus. A compensation I guess for what happened to the 2005 vintage: then Haut-Brion came out first, and the others followed, with higher prices.

Anyway, the release of Haut-Brion 2008 (on 23 April) was followed later that day by the second tranche of Château Latour which, indeed, was priced slightly above Haut-Brion...

La Mission Haut-Brion went down 44% compared to 2007 but is still quite expensive.

Again only a few releases from the right bank, so that's something we still have ahead of us. Remember that this campaign started with Angélus, but ever since Saint-Emilion has been very quiet.

This is the list with last week's major releases. No earthquakes. I think the most interesting release (price-quality ratio) is Château Calon-Ségur. For all prices (and r…

Bordeaux 2008 primeurs campaign in full swing

This blog once was a welcome (inter)active tool besides Bordoverview, but during an overheated Bordeaux 2008 primeur campaign like the one of today, the perfect tool is Twitter: as soon as there is a new release, it is instantly twittered around, discussed, criticised, welcomed, etcetera. The blog, by nature, is lagging behind, and until now I also didn't have time to update it. So this is a short wrap up of the week we had.

See here what I wrote just before the start of the campaign, on 5 April: "I cannot think of any other industry where one party has the capability to get an entire market back on its feet again." By seriously cutting down prices. And that is what happened. We saw some spectacular releases, and people started buying again.

But it was not just the low prices that did the trick. What the châteaux also did was release only very small quantities. This obviously helped the sales (like if you snooze, you loose), but it might also give the châteaux the possibil…

David Léclapart & Arnaud Ente

It is the end of a long and sunny weekend, and everyone following the primeurs campaign is curious to know what will happen tomorrow (if anything will happen at all).

A week ago, immediately after the presentation of the Bordeaux 2008 vintage in Bordeaux, Château Angélus released its price, with lightning speed, 40% below the 2007 price. This was much twittered about last week.

It was a promising start, but apart from a few minor releases, nothing happened afterwards. The châteaux must be racking their brains over what to do. Release low in an effort to spark sales? Release high and sell... in the future perhaps, but protect the price level of the 2007s? Or not release at all? We will wait and see.

In the meantime I have tasted some good wines. Seemed like a good idea. A classic row: a sparkler, a white and a red.

CHAMPAGNE DAVID LECLAPART "L'APOTRE" 2002, MEURSAULT 2006 FROM ARNAUD ENTE AND CHAMBERTIN CLOS DE BEZE 1996 FROM LOUIS JADOT. FROM THE MEURSAULT I ACCIDENTALLY SHO…

Bordeaux 2008 short update and some other things

So much was written on Bordeaux 2008 last week, and speculated about the prices to come, that I just don't feel like diving into the topic again. But OK, in short: Bordeaux 2008 is an interesting vintage, and if the prices are interesting too (which is more or less expected), the primeurs campaign might get interesting after all. It even crossed my mind: I cannot think of any other industry where one party has the capability to get an entire market back on its feet again. I mean, in case the premier cru's do dramatically lower their prices, which they are capable of doing, they will make many people start buying again.


Mm, I feel that I should make this story bigger: isn't everybody looking at each other in this economic climate? Like, who starts buying first? I see a scenario unfolding, of which future historians say the following: in April 2009 the change commenced, in Bordeaux, France. After some major châteaux seriously dropped prices (something which could not be done …