Showing posts from February, 2011

The future of top Bordeaux wines – continued

On 22 February fellow blogger Oliver Styles published a thought-provoking posting titled The future of top Bordeaux wines, focusing on the likely price development of the top wines from Bordeaux.

The different players in the field were passed in review, with the conclusion being that we shouldn’t expect the high prices of today to drop. It is not in the interest of the three money-making players, the producer, the négociant and the importer, and more strikingly, not in the interest of the rich consumer either. The reasoning is that people buy to impress, and with cheap wines you can’t really do that – at least not in China.

The fourth player that Oliver Styles mentions is the wine critic, which he merely sees as oil for the wine marketing machine: the many enthusiastic reviews are happily reprinted with the aim to convince people to buy.

Everybody in the Bordeaux business thinks about prices. So does Oliver Styles, and so do I. Here I would like to reflect on player #3, the consumer.

If i…

Brane and Brown in Sauerland

I’m sitting in a hotel room in Germany, experiencing the restless feeling of neglecting my blog. We’re not drinking Spätburgunder, which should be the case, but two Margaux’s that cannot be compared. A second wine and a grand vin. A 2008 and a 2004. And two different estates. So there is no point writing about these two in one posting, as least not from an academic point of view – the only ceteris paribus being… the appellation.

But what the heck, this is a personal blog and not a book. And I’m enjoying two different representatives of the grand terroir of Margaux. The first is the Baron de Brane 2008 (second wine of Brane-Cantenac), and the other one is Château Cantenac Brown 2004.

It is too bad I can’t make and upload any pictures from here: I’m looking at two beautiful labels, one silver and one gold. Silver for the second wine, and gold for the Grand Cru Classé.

It is the silver one that I’m enjoying the most. The Baron de Brane is so… drinkable. And it’s nice from the very start. It…

Visit to Emmanuel Brochet

As a kid, Emmanuel Brochet already knew that when he would grow up and the rent of his family's vineyard would come to an end, he would be the Brochet to once again gain control over the vines, the 2,5 ha patch of Villers-Aux-Nœuds premier cru. Finally in 1997, after Emmanuel finished his studies, the family land became available to him.

Emmanuel Brochet next to his ramshackle van that brought us up his Mont Benoit vineyard

Villers-Aux-Nœuds is a tiny, sleepy village at the very north rim of the Montagne-de-Reims. Its small, dispersed patches of vines aren't part of the unbroken carpet of vineyards that you find on the northern slope of the Montagne. No, the first time you come here you will really have to look for the vines.

Brochet's part-time colleague is pruning the vines

At the time the classification was drawn up, this northern part of Champagne was more famous than today and Villers-Aux-Nœuds became a 'premier cru' village — this was also because of its proximit…