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Showing posts from June, 2011

Short trip to Burgundy, a summary

It's the Monday after the Vinexpo week, it is gorgeous weather, but the Bordeaux trade is locked in behind the computer because, as expected, the finale of the lengthy Bordeaux 2010 campaign is still being played. This morning Cos d'Estournel kicked off with 'friendly' price of - more or less - € 275 average consumer price. Friendly, because the price dropped a bit, by 5,7% to be precise.

Cos was followed by Margaux. The first rumours said the ex-négociant (the ex everything) price was € 500 (-7,4% on 2009) but after some discussion on Twitter it was 'agreed' that the first tranche was released at € 600 (+11,1% on 2009). Perhaps some very lucky guys were able to buy at € 500, but the general offer clearly was at € 600. A tiny offer, and there will soon be a second tranche.

The second wine, Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, was released at around € 150 consumer price, which is 80% on the 2009. Dramatically on the one hand, but in light of the recent price rises o…

Vinexpo? No, Burgundy!

Time to take a break. Last week was extremely busy with Bordeaux 2010 primeurs being released. They all came at the same time, very convenient (just to be sure that there's no misunderstanding: I'm not serious: to process all these wines was quite a job). But things are rolling now and that's good.

I've been micro-blogging all the time so readers who follow me on Twitter have seen the releases flooding in, but I will repeat the major ones here (reds and Sauternes only, prices are compared to the 2009 vintage).

Tuesday 14 June
- Léoville-Barton @ ± € 100 (+15,2). Still relatively good value.
- Smith-Haut-Lafitte @ ± € 107 (+24,2%). Good but expensive.
- Gloria @ ± € 40 (+15%). Recommended!
- Climens @ ± € 100 (0%). Not tasted, but will be great.
- Lagrange @ ± € 56 (+6,5%). Quite modest price rise.
- Grand-Puy-Lacoste @ ± € 81 (+20%). Superb!
- Canon-la-Gaffelière @ ± € 83 (0%). Good wine, good price.
- Clos Fourtet @ ± € 100 (+20%). Liked this one also.

Wednesday 15 June
- Beau-Sé…

Bordeaux 2010 campaign finally accelerated

Finally some fireworks last week. After a quiet Monday we saw a number of interesting releases on Tuesday 7 June, a/o De Fieuzal, Haut-Bages Libéral, Quinault l'Enclos, La Tour du Pin, Gruaud Larose, Haut-Batailley and Latour-Martillac.

But things really started going on Wednesday 8 June when the hottest wine of all came out: Château Pontet-Canet. This "flying fifth" flew in with a 38,9% higher price than last year's, and this first tranche sold out in one day: hot cakes at about € 140 per bottle. Extreme, but it must be said, the wine is of extraordinary quality.

The annoying thing is that it seems perfectly normal that prices are up again. As if the châteaux forgot that the 2009 prices were extreme already. The defence will be that the market has changed with the new demand from China. But for some wines it almost seems as a natural reflex, not every wine is a Pontet-Canet.

The average price rise so far isn't too bad actually. I was surprised to see that we'r…

Château de la Negly and Robert Parker

Dwayne Perreault - Possibly the best known of the 10 Grand Crus of the Languedoc, La Clape nonetheless remained a recent discovery for me--but what a discovery! At a recent tasting held by Winefield’s Auctioneers where such luminaries as Château Giscours 1975 and Château Palmer 1970 stood on the table, I found myself coming back repeatedly to taste the La Clape “La Falaise” 1998 from Château de la Negly.


Considered by many to be the red-headed stepchild of France, the Languedoc does not get its fair share of respect. But a simple google search will show you that Château de la Negly is an exception. I happened to be in the region, and decided to pay them a visit. I was greeted by the young Dylan Tabaret, who for the past eight months has been working for the Château as an apprentice.

I tasted a total of 11 wines by Negly, but it is important to note that only four of them are called La Clape, and this does not necessarily mean that they are the best wines. La Clape is a mountain just so…