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Laatste gedachten in 2012

We zijn er nog. Alle profetieën ten spijt, de wereld is er nog. En zo ook de klassiek-Franse terroirs, ze zijn voor ons behouden gebleven. De Bourgogne ligt er nog, en de Champagne. Fijn. En toch kunnen we ons zorgen maken.


nieuw in de selectie, de uiterst zeldzame Rosé Brut Nature van Georges Laval (biologisch sinds 1971)

Want als we de bewegingen van de continenten naar de toekomst doorvertalen, dan verdwijnt over zo'n 50 miljoen jaar de Middellandse Zee, als Afrika de oversteek naar Europa heeft voltooid. De zee zal plaatsmaken voor een enorm gebergte dat zich zal uitstrekken van het Iberisch schiereiland helemaal tot aan het Midden Oosten.

Of de mensheid dat allemaal nog meemaakt, ik denk het niet. En of de Bourgogne er dan nog is? En de Alpen, zullen die zijn verworden tot een nieuwe Jura (en is de Jura zelf weg-geërodeerd)? En is de Bordeaux misschien wel op ijzige hoogten komen te liggen?

Enfin, zo ver is het nog niet. Wel bereiken we in 2013 een andere mijlpaal: Bolomey Wij…

Slovakian wines!

Dwayne PERREAULT - Being Canadian, when I think of Slovakia I think of ice hockey players. The Šťastný brothers. Marián Hossa. Zdeno Chára. Miroslav Šatan. But the fact is, Slovakia also makes some pretty fine wines. The reason you haven’t tried any is because they are exported mainly to Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, while the majority are consumed in Slovakia itself. So what’s a wine lover to do? Travel to Slovakia of course!

I was in Budapest this July, and my friend has a summer house just across the Slovakian border near Strekov (Kürt in Hungarian), which happens to be a major wine region in south-west Slovakia. This area is mainly Hungarian speaking and was in fact a part of Hungary up until the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. You won’t find many tourists here, and if you do they’ll tend to be the Slavic speaking variety. It’s just the kind of place I like to visit: off the western map, where Gypsies push carts down the village streets.



We visited two wineries in Strekov;…

Proeverij met producenten - fotoverslag!

Wat te zeggen over een proeverij die heel veel bezoekers trok? Ja, dat het een succes was. Maar foto's zeggen meer. Dus een fotoverslag.

Op 4 en 5 november organiseerden Bolomey Wijnimport (Franse wijnen) en Verkerk Wijnimport (Italiaanse wijnen) een proeverij met producenten in de bovenzaal van het hoofdstedelijke Restaurant As.



Dit is zo'n ruimte waar je de hele dag kunt zijn zonder je opgesloten te voelen, en dat zonder dat er één raam is. In het midden hadden we een eiland van stemmig steigerhout opgesteld, en daar stonden de producenten uit Frankrijk en Italië.



Gedurende deze twee dagen zijn er zo'n 400 liefhebbers van spannende, pure wijnen, komen proeven. En veel daarvan hebben daarvoor flinke oud-Hollandsche regenbuien getrotseerd. Echte liefhebbers dus die zich niet snel laten afschrikken.



Twee van de schenkers: op de achtergrond Jan van Roekel (Bolomey Wijnimport) die de Bourgognes inschonk, op de voorgrond Richard Dietz (Vindict) die een waaier van Champagnes aa…

Bordoverview Blog becomes Bolomey Blog - en aankondiging proeverij en diner!

October 2007 marked the birth of a new wine blog: Bordoverview Blog, the sibling of Bordoverview.com, the site that only contains nerdy numbers. In five years we have written some 228 postings, stories about the Bordeaux primeurs, and stories about other fascinating wines.

Now, in October 2012, after a first long silence, we have decided that the blog will continue in a different way: it is being unhooked from the international Bordoverview website, and we cling it onto the Dutch Bolomey Wijnimport website.

We thank all our - non-Dutch - readers for following this blog the last 5 years! The upcoming postings will be... in Dutch, Sorry about that. From now on it will mostly be about the wines that are imported by Bolomey Wijnimport. But for sure also about the Bordeaux primeurs, so if you read Dutch, please stay with us!

The only exception in English will be the future postings by my Canadian but Amsterdam-based friend Dwayne Perreault. No problem, as everybody in the Netherlands perfe…

Bordeaux 2011 - all out (except for Yquem)

Bordeaux 2011 is clearly a low-interest vintage, that's no news. So why bother writing about it again? I don't know. Perhaps I think the vintage deserves more positive attention than it does, from a quality-perspective.

Regarding prices it is more difficult. I was told that producers have never thought so long about setting the 'right price'. And despite that most people will say they did it wrong. The market shows that these people are right, but time will tell if they still are in a few year's time. The 2011's might become bargains, or they might become Good Value after all.

Compared to the previous two years demand was and is low. Some wines just don't get any attention. But there are positive exceptions. When looking at attention and sales these are the most successful wines of the 2011 vintage, in order of release date. In italic: the main reason for the wine's popularity.

1. April 19 - Capbern-Gasqueton (price –2%)
great value for money, from the C…

Bordeaux 2011, an update

In Dutch "De Malle" means "The Fool". Perhaps that explains why they, the people at Château de Malle, thought it was a good idea to raise the price of their wine this year—so far De Malle is the 'winner' with a markup of 14% on their 2010 price.

Of course I should take into account that De Malle is a Sauternes, and in fact it are the sweet wines of Sauternes who were most successful in 2011. Most Sauternes have more or less maintained the same price as they had last last year. Perhaps that 14% markup is not even that shocking after all.

No, the real fool is Quintus (perhaps I should write QVINTVS). This used to be Tertre-Daugay, until the château was acquired by Domaine Clarence Dillon (from Haut-Brion and Mission Haut-Brion) who obviously put some serious money into the domain.

But the same vine that produced a wine that was sold for approximately €25 en primeur last year (the Tertre-Daugay 2010), brought forth a wine of a shocking €133 one year later (Qui…

Domaine Anne Gros / Jean-Paul Tollot: two Burgundians in the Languedoc

Dwayne Perreault — What better an endorsement can the Languedoc get than to have one of the top winemakers in Burgundy, a producer of such grand crus as Richebourg, Echezeaux and Clos Vougeot, come to the region, recognize a great terroir when they see it, and take the risk of making a major investment in an area which, let’s be honest, pales in comparison to the reputation of le Bourgogne?


Les Carretals

But that is what Anne Gros and her husband Jean Paul Tollot have done. Having established reputations in Burgundy, they were looking for a new adventure and were considering purchasing a vineyard in the south of France. They came to the tiny hamlet of Cazelles in the Minervois, bordering on St. Chinian, and it was love at first sight. A brand new winery was built in 2008, now sitting on 16 hectares of vines ranging from 5 years to more than 100 years old. Modern, high-tech equipment is used, including three different sized tractors, since the oldest vines are so narrowly planted that n…

Bordeaux 2011 recommendations

When discussing fine Bordeaux it is common to talk about vintages. Which vintage to buy, and which one to avoid. I don't like that approach.

The difference between vintages is one of the exciting aspects of wine. Isn't the most fascinating thing about wine - as opposed to most other products - that virtually every bottle is different? If you're not into that, why bother dealing with French wines? In hot climates you may find 'great' vintages that are lined up one after another. There the sun always shines, and the irrigation drips...

Boring.

In 2010 I already wrote something about an 'off-vintage', and what to do with it. See here if you're interested: Château Giscours 2007.

Instead of just focusing on vintages I rather focus on producers, as is more common in Burgundy. When I look at the list of Bordeaux 2011 wines that I recommend, it is apparent that there is overlap with my 2010 recommendations from last year. And that's no coincidence. I clearl…

Bordeaux 2011 - vintage character

In april 2011, when we were cruising the Bordeaux Rocade with temperatures hitting 30 degrees Celsius, we joked about the birth of yet another vintage of the century.

One year later it is clear: Bordeaux 2011 is not another stellar vintage. Thank God. Or better: thanks weather gods.

The result of the summery spring was that Bordeaux 2011 was an exceptionally early vintage: budding was exceptionally early, flowering was, and eventually harvest was early. So far so good.

The extreme drought. That was the main problem for Bordeaux 2011.


The 2011 samples of Cheval Blanc and Petit Cheval in the impressive new barrel room of Château Cheval Blanc

The winter had already been quite dry, so at the beginning of the growing season the water reserves were low. And after the warm and dry spring, a hot and dry June followed. By that time many vines got stressed, that is suffered from water stress: development and phenolic ripening of the grapes got blocked.

The main activity of the vine, of any plant…

Bordeaux 2011 - about to discover

Tomorrow we drive off to Bordeaux to taste the 2011 vintage. Many people have already written and speculated about this new vintage, so I won't. Instead I will give you the link to Chris Kissack's write-up, which is interesting and covers most things that can or should be said. And, across the board, I agree with what he is saying.

You can also check out what early-bird James Suckling writes on his blog, clear and to the point. Suckling publishes earlier than any other wine critic, for what it's worth. Some critics don't need to be fast, which is a more preferable position I suppose.

Sad Bordeaux 2011, the vintage that will always be in the shade of its two monumental predecessors. But it seems everybody is glad that there's not this ecstatic atmosphere again. That couldn't have been there anyway.

So if the quality is fairly good, and if the prices will be quite reasonable, things might become interesting in the end... but let's not start speculating now.

F…

Twenty-something Chenins

The more people start drinking the wines that I import, the less time I have to maintain my blog. It's great to see the business grow, but it hurts to see my almost five year old baby (i.e. the blog) suffer from a lack of attention.

It's not that there's nothing to write about, it's finding the time to actually write it down. It's about time to hire someone for the business.

Normally I would have written about the surprisingly pleasant wines from Graubünden and Sankt Gallen that we tasted when we were in Switzerland earlier this month. Wines that are too expensive for the export markets (plus the amounts are small) so you will hardly ever find them abroad. For example the Sinfonie Helig Chrüz from Rathauskeller Mels (AOC St. Gallen). A lovely blend from Pinot Noir, Gamaret and Regent. The Gamaret grape was new for me.

Yesterday we had a blind tasting of 21 Chenin Blancs (plus 1 pirate) from both the Loire region and South Africa. The easiest way to distinguish betw…

Burgundy vs Bordeaux vs Languedoc?

Dwayne Perreault — Comparing Burgundy to Bordeaux to Languedoc wines is like comparing apples to oranges to bananas I suppose, yet it seemed like a novel idea for a tasting, so David Bolomey, Jan van Roekel and myself met recently to open some beautiful bottles. The idea was mine. Being the rather estranged Rhône/Languedoc lover in our little group, I wanted to see how some top Languedoc wines would stack up against similarly priced Burgundy and Bordeaux. We chose €35-50 per bottle as our budget to try to keep it competitive, and the results in my opinion were predictable: you cannot compare apples and oranges and bananas. There was perhaps only one exception. But first, the wines. We decided to start with Burgundy, then move to the Languedoc and then Bordeaux.



Jan fittingly brought a Chambolle-Musigny, "La Combe d'Orveau" 2009 from Anne Gros. I say fittingly, because Jan has worked several seasons picking grapes for Anne Gros and knows her and her wines well. But not on…

Loire trip through a handful of tweets

I like Twitter. Twitter forces me to summarize whatever special or noteworthy I experience, in 140 characters. I don't tweet about dull daily stuff, only about things I like. And those likeable things then need to be summarized to its essence. It makes Twitter a sort of diary also. I can look back for example at the few remarks I made when visiting Angers and Champagne last week.

Tweet #1 on 6 Feb 2012 « Tasting with @chris_kissack & @burgoholic at Carême #salonvinsloire True discovery y'day in Chez Rémi - details later http://pic.twitter.com/ijxD7iL1 »



Jan and I tasted some exciting young wines again at the Salon des Vins de Loire. But this is the last time we will be going. The organization decided to thwart the organizers of small 'bio' fairs like Dive Bouteille and Greniers St-Jean and choose a different weekend for their Salon. Great to see my contacts, but it's not the place for the most exciting new discoveries. So next year we will make a short tour alon…

"Ça sent bon!!"

A while ago I stumbled upon a Canadian website that clearly deserves attention. It would have made sense if not me, but Dwayne, the Canadian, would have come up with it, but he hasn't.

This is what I have seen on the web:Bu sur le web. Aurélia Filion tells about wine, in a contagious manner, mostly about natural wines from France. She does that in very intelligible, articulated French (because it is Québécois I guess), and in a few cases also in English.

As an example I show you the French and English version of Mme Filion sharing with us the biodynamic Anjou blanc 2009 from René and Agnès Mosse. As the Dutch importer I am inclined to say that it is good wine (which is an understatement), but I rather have Aurélia say it. Because she says it very clear, and besides that she's nice to look at.

My favourite part is in the French clip, when Aurélia smells the Anjou and shouts out: "ET ÇA SENT BON!!" (while doing a sort of disco thing with her arm). It totally makes you …

Winemaking Apprenticeship, Mas des Dames 2011, part 2

Dwayne Perreault – To continue from my last posting, which had more to do with the viticulturalist aspect of winemaking, I will now turn to the actual making of wine, which begins with the process of adding yeast to the grape juice, the basis for the wine. Mas des Dames, being an organic estate, wishes to avoid using yeasts which impart flavours, so "levures naturelles," or natural yeasts are used. These actually come from Syrah vines from Guigal in the Rhône.



The question might be asked: why not just use natural yeasts which exist in the vineyard, but oenologist Xavier Billet explains that this at all costs is to be avoided. Some of these yeasts may be from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae family, but others (Brettanomyces, etc.) not. These are unpredictable yeasts which can rapidly turn wine into vinegar, or not. But one chooses for certainty.

The adding of yeast is a delicate process. One kg of dried yeast (for 50 hl, or 20 gm/hl) is added to a 10 litre bucket of water at 35°…

Two tastings in weekend 27-29 January

Friday afternoon 27 January there will be a wine and oyster tasting in downtown Amsterdam, in the red light district. Famous OestermanMarcus van den Noord will present his oysters, while you can taste the wines from laVieleVin and Bolomey Wijnimport. French wines only!

This tasting will start around 17h so you could consider having dinner afterwards in one of the many restaurants in this part of town (for example Lastage, Blauw aan de Wal or good old Nam Kee).

Location: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 59 Amsterdam
Date and time: Friday 27 January from 17h00 - 20h00
Admission: presumably around € 20 per person


Grotere kaart weergeven

This last weekend of January not only has a good start, it also has a good finish! Because: Sunday 29/1 the second Amsterdamse Wijnmarkt will take place. Seven specialized and Amsterdam-based importers will then present their wines. Specialized means that these importers do not cover a wide range of wines, instead they all focus on one specific country:

France: Vleck