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The term 'wineinvestment' has become a more frequent phrase in the last 24 years since I have been in the wine trade. Wine investments are now increasingly popular as other investments have become more diffcult/volatile/risky.
People work very hard to make wine, then ship wine all around the world to different markets. Inevitably there are many people involved in the process from the vineyard to the dining room table. Agents, importers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers all need to make a living and therefore a margin. These roles are quite clearly defined and even with modern efforts to make wine more competitively priced and the 'direct sales' model advocated by mail order or internet companies, sometimes it can be difficult to actually make a sensible return of profit. Retailers have large overheads and an uncertain economic climate, whilst wholesalers have slimmer margins and the risk of bad debt as restaurants feel the pinch. Fuel, transport, import taxes and foreign exchange fluctuations can seriously erode margins for distributors and wholesalers.
However amongst all the problems for trading wines there have been some significant financial gains to be made in the fine wine market as wine investment. But beware like all investments there are inherent risks and occasionally peaks and troughs to endure. One immediate advantage if you do lose money with your wine investment is that you still have an asset ( even if it is at a reduced value)........and you can drink it!!!
|Chateau Ausone has a very small vineyard and is a Premier Grand Cru Classe (A) in Saint Emilion. But is it a good investment?|
There is an increasing amount written about wine investment such as this recent article in The Daily Telegraph
. It will be interesting to see whether the fine wine market appreciates by 14% in 2013. The signs are certainly looking good at the moment.
Like any investment there are crucial aspects that need to be implemented in order to achieve the best results. One crucial aspect is genuine market advice. Which Chateau is the next big thing?
Which area is surging forward?
Which are the genuine 'good buys'?
What is the provenance of the wine?
What are sound good long term investments rather than short term spikes?
The potential gain can be significant, whilst everyone should enter any investment with their eyes wide open as there could be a potential loss. However one significant advantage to wine investment is that the investment is a tangible physical asset rather than a paper share certificate. There is always the consolation that the wine can be enjoyed as a drink.....whether the investment improves or not!!
I have a 'wine investment portfolio' that I have mainly kept for personal enjoyment.....in a few years time I hope to share some good bottles with friends and family. In recent times I have been checking the value of the portfolio as an investment and tracking each month the value. We are riding a wave at the moment with an increase in value of 3.72% between January and February and an increase of 7.92% between January and March. This is an area that I feel I am very well placed to offer genuine advice, as I have good contacts with the Chateaux in Bordeaux via Bella Wine Tours
, and I am the commercial agent for a well established negociant in Bordeaux. I should be able to get the right allocations of the right wines!
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|The immaculate vineuards of Chateau Fonplegade in Saint Emilion.|
There have been several articles about wine and health recently in the UK press. With the Chancellor of the Exchequer announcing his financial budget next week, there are bound to be increases in UK taxation. (A bottle of wine is currently taxed at £1.90 plus 20% vat in the UK).
There always seems to be a propaganda agenda for the anti binge drinking brigade just before any budget, as if to sanction the reasoning behind taxing alcohol.
But wine can be extremely good for you. There are anti oxidants and relaxants in alcohol that can act as anti depressants. The taste and flavour of wine can be delicious. Food can be enhanced by interesting wines.
And it is scientifically proven that wine contains resveratrol, an organic chemical believed to have an anti-ageing effect, by boosting activity of a protein called SIRT1.
This interesting recent article in The Daily Telegraph
explains a little more about the tests. But I am not sure whether it is a good thing to live to 150 years old!!!
There have been previous articles
about the health benefits for wine. But one article explained that for a positive benefit of resveratrol you would in fact need to drink 700 glasses per day, which might counter act any health benefits!!!
Why don't we just enjoy a wonderful natural unadulterated drink such as wine. There are so many flavours styles and tastes to explore. If a glass of wine relaxes you and is also good for you then that is a great side effect. I don't enjoy inept, immoral hypocritical politicians telling us what we should or should not do at the best of times, but taxing alcohol is an easy target for the negative aspects of alcohol related crime and the negative effects of hard/distilled alcohol.
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A belated Happy New Year to everyone. ....I am not sure when it is still respectable to wish 'Happy New Year'!
|The majestic Chateau Marguax on a sunny day last summer.|
The end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 have been extremely busy on the work front. Bella Wine Tours
has received many requests for wine tours in Bordeaux for this year. As we reply to each and every customer individually and try to listen to their requests it does take quite some time to organise tailor made wine tours. But we are determined to maintain top standards, so that we can build a strong business renowned for quality and service. We have enjoyed some very pleasant reviews from Trip Advisor
A few comments from guests in 2012:'Hamish is the perfect guide to help you explore Bordeaux' amazing Chateaux. Hamish opened doors to Chateaux that were off the tourist path and even arranged for us to spend the night at one.''What a tremendous experience we had with Hamish over a two-day period of Chateau tours and tastes. Hamish (your guide) will bestow an enormous amount of wine knowledge on your during your tours with him.
From the start he was quick to respond to our very last minute request for tours and quickly put together a stellar itinerary for my wife and me. We spent two full days with Hamish starting in the mornings, a unique lunch each day followed by more tours and tastings in the afternoon. Each Chateau clearly had a mutual respect for Hamish and we felt very welcome at each one we visited.
Hamish's knowledge of wine far exceeds any tour we have ever been on...and we have toured 7 different wine regions in addition to Bordeaux. You will walk away with an understanding of the region that is one of the most difficult to understand. As a plus for us...he speaks English and French with English being his primary language making the tour very easy to follow.
Hamish was also quick to help us book the hotel, dinners, etc! Overall a wonderful wine experience in Bordeaux that we would highly recommend to all!'
So what are the plans for 2013? We will be responding to enquiries on an individual basis. We will make the visit to Bordeaux a memorable experience. We are aware that many people want to have a genuine experience rather than a top 'white tablecloth' dining experience, therefore we will arrange more winemaker dinners and find more rustic, rural and charming restaurants.We will also be organising some group tours to some of the First Growth estates. These wine tours will be top quality and run over 4 days. These are planned for May, June, September and October. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|The delightful Violaine explaining biodynamics in the vineyards at Chateau Pontet Canet in Pauillac.|
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I have been travelling and tasting at many different Chateaux in Bordeaux over the last few weeks. The red grapes have all been harvested and are either fermenting or being transfered to oak barrels. The dry whites were picked quite early in order to maintain the freshness, whilst the sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac have had a difficult time.
I was at Chateau d'Yquem on Friday and met one of the technical team Sandrine Garbay. The rain that arrived in Bordeaux in October has effected the grapes in Sauternes badly. The normal 'tri' harvest when the pickers go through the vineyards several times has been stop/start. Much of the fruit currently on the vine (today) will be dropped on the floor.
I also saw the team from Chateau Guiraud on Friday. Xavier Planty the charismatic joint owner of Guiraud was keeping a positive frame of mind. But Guiraud had problems during the growing season with mildew (they are now fully organic, so treatments against mildew are difficult). Guiraud have picked the grapes for their excellent dry white wine 'G de Guiraud' and they have picked some botrytis grapes but not any good quantity of top quality grapes for their top wine.
Bordeaux is a difficult place to grow grapes with the Autumn rains normally at harvest time, but this 2012 vintage is looking even more precarious. It is too early to give definitive views; and ultimatley the best judgement is when we actually taste the wines in early April, but the situation in Sauternes is so bad that the top estates might not actually make any wine. Chateau d'Yquem do not produce a second wine (they make a different style of dry white called 'Y'). So the Chateau has no system of downgrading grapes to a lower tier. The decision at Yquem will be either to make wine or not. The Chateau did not release any wine in 1910,1915,1930,1951,1952,1964,1972, 1974 and 1992. Let's hope that the seemingly 20 year cycle of duff vintages has not continued into 2012!
I'll be tasting at Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Pontet Canet, Grand Puy Lacoste and more in Pauillac tomorrow so I'll get more feel for what is happening and update shortly.
Initial views are that the red crop is a significant drop in volume from 2011 and the quality in some vats is very very good. The dry whites are looking good too.
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|Ripe grapes ready to be picked at Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste|
|The 120 pickers gather at Chateau Margaux for their instructions.|
|Horses being used to transfer empty crates at Chateau Pontet Canet|
|First sorting table (whole bunches) at Pontet Canet|
|Second sorting table at Pontet Canet (individual berry selection)|
The 2012 grape harvest has started in Bordeaux. The growing season has been slightly topsy turvy! There was extreme cold during the winter of 2011/12, which is normally absolutely no problem when the vine is dormant. But in Pomerol it reached -16 degrees celsius for a few days and the vines suffered.
Spring was wet and gave the vines enough water to keep alive.
The crucial flowering time at the end of May/beginning of June was very protracted due to uneven weather. The merlot vines seemed to have suffered more from coulure
, which is a result of uneven flowering. The resulting bunches have become uneven and straggly.
The usual problem of mildew seemed to arrive with avengeance in 2012, due to the humidity of the Bordeaux area. Therefore Copper Sulphate was sprayed on non organic vines to prevent further outbreaks. Some yields will be significantly lower due to problems of mildew.
Then the summer weather was full of peaks and troughs! There were spikes of extreme heat (as much as 40 degrees) as well as some rain and humid weather.
The end of August and beginning of September have been hot and dry.
Now as the grapes are ready to be harvested we have had some rain, so sorting and selection will be crucial for the berries.
I have been visiting the vineyards throughout the year and especially over July, August and September, when the grapes are changing colour and ripening.
Everything is looking OK now. Many Chateaux started to pick last week and surprisingly the Medoc (left bank = more Cabernet) is being harvested in some cases before the right bank (mainly merlot).
I'll be back in the vines next week, when I shall report back further.
|Delicious aromatic grape juice during a pump over at Chateau Beychevelle. (I wish you could smell this!)|
I had lunch with Philippe Blanc (MD of Chateau Beychevelle). He had started picking young merlot vines early last week, and then he had stopped.....now he will restart this week.
The crucial time will be post fermentation when we can taste the wine!
|The magnificent Chateau Beychevelle. in Saint Julien.|
|The gardens are always colourful at Beychevelle.|
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I had heard a few things about an interesting wine shop opening in central London, so I popped in on Friday after a tasting of 191 Cru Bourgeois wines from the 2010 vintage. My teeth were coated in tannin so I tried not to smile at anyone!
(Un)fortunately the first person I met as I entered the shop was a friend of mine called Tobias Brauweiler, who is a top sommelier. Tobias had set up the wine list at Ellenborough Park Hotel at the end of Cheltenham racecourse. Tobias showed me around the incredible shop.
If any wine lover wants to see the best of the best I would thoroughly recommend Hedonism.
If you want to see Chateau d'Yquem going back to 1811 (priced at over £100,000 per bottle!) or an uninterrupted vertical of Chateau Mouton Rothschild from 1945-2004, or Jeroboams of Chateau Lafite Rothschild then this is the place to go.
In fact their collection of large format bottles is quite staggering. I mentioned that the racks of Jeroboams, Methusalahs, Imperials and Melchiors looked like torpedoes. They even have a 27 litre bottle.(called a Primat)
The shop is owned by a Russian chap called Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who had previously been a big operator in mobile phones. Mr Chichvarkin takes a very 'hands on' approach to the shop, being there every day supervising and overseeing the shop.
The wine buyer is Alistair Viner, who ran the Harrods wine depertment for many years.
Here is a slightly blurry picture (my fault), of Tobias in the Mouton vault. You can buy the whole collection for £130,000.
The selection and quality of wines is truly amazing, but the staff and ambience are extremely warm and welcoming. There is also an oenomatic tasting machine, so you can taste iconic wines such as Chateau d'Yquem 2001 or other wines. The unusual touch of having a children's play area with Ipads sets this place apart from your average traditional wine merchant. The whole place is an alladins cave for wine lovers, but it is also a wine shop that will undoubtedly attract some wealthy international clients. I have no idea how much money Mr Chichvarkin has invested in Hedonism, but this place is the best wine shop I have ever seen.
One other thing that I was extremely happy to see amongst all these great wines was my very own Chateau de la Riviere perched on the shelf next to Chateau Angelus, Lafite Rothschild and Latour.
I do not know where they bought the 2004 Chateau de la Riviere from (the vagaries of Bordeaux wine distribution), but it was great to see drinking wine on the shelves as well as icons.
Hedonism has been open for 5 weeks and various inquisitive people have explored the shop. It will be very interesting to see how this extreme luxury, high end wine shop performs.
Victoria Moore of the Daily Telegraph visited the shop recently and she wrote about her experience here
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If you read this blog regularly or know me in the wine trade, then you will know my strong links with Chateau de la Riviere, a beautiful Chateau in the Fronsac region. This region on the Right Bank of Bordeaux has about 800 hectares under vine. The soils are limestone (on the hillside), clay and sand, which is very similar to the nearby Appelations of Pomerol and Saint Emilion. Therefore the predominant grape variety planted is Merlot, followed by Cabernet Franc, some Cabernet Sauvignon and occassionally some Malbec.
The Appelation Fronsac covers red wines, but there are also some lovely rose and white wines being produced.
Regions like Fronsac can be overlooked in the Bordeaux area. Often it is easy to talk about the very top wines of the well known areas, but some of these lesser known Appelations can offer great value for money.
Victoria Moore has written a good article about Fronsac this week in the Daily Telegraph.
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Biodynamic viticulture has gradually spread in popularity. The vineyards of the south of France with their dry warm climate and refreshing strong winds have adapted very well to organic and biodynamic culture.
However biodynamics can be difficult in the Bordeaux region. It is not the warmest area and there is a large amount of humididty from the Atlantic Ocean as well as the large rivers. So various vineyard problems have to be treated such as mildew and millederange.
I was in the vineyards on Monday and Tuesday and I visited and tasted at two biodynamic producers .....Chateau Pontet Canet in Pauillac and Chateau Climens in Barsac. Chateau Pontet Canet started their conversion to biodynamics way back in 2004 under the guidance of the vineyard manager Jean Michel Comme. Now Jean Michel's wife has bended the ear of Berenice Lurton in Barsac, as they have started the 4 year process of converting to biodynamics. (the should be fully certified biodynamic by 2014).
It is interesting that these two properties have transformed into biodynamic viticulture as they are both making stunning wines in Bordeaux. The proof is in the bottle.
Pontet Canet and Climens are not the only biodynamic vineyards in Bordeaux. The excellent quality and value wines of Chateau Falfas in the Bourg region have also been practising this method for many years.
It was great to see a couple of key points at both wineries on Monday:
Here the vineyards of Pontet Canet are being sprayed with talcum powder using one of their 5 horses:
And here are a few of the dried plants at Chateau Climens that they make 'tissanes' (similar to tea infusions) in order to spray the vines....they use sage, nettles, camomile, laurel as well as a few others.:
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After the re newed classification of the Saint Emilion classification there has been a few quiet adjustments to wine collections and portfolios.
The 2012 classification is actually in line with the pricing rather than being a major change, which influences the market.
This is in contrast to when Robert Parker regraded the 2009 vintage in March this year there was dramatic price movement and some Chateaux added €500 per case overnight on the secondary trading market. Robert Parker graded 19 Chateaux a maximum 100 points.
In effect the market has already factored in the quality of the upgraded Saint Emilion wines and the promotions and movements are simply rubber stamped.
This chart below is from the Liv-Ex blog:
*Average price for a 12x75cl case in GBP across the 2005-2009 vintages.
So the question is.....where is the value?
I like the style and quality (and price) of Chateau Figeac. I also think that Chateau Canon are undervalued, having had enormous investment from the Wertheimer family (owners of Chanel).
Ausone is a great wine, however I think the price here reflects the scarcity more than anything else., so not much real value. LVMH, the owners of Cheval Blanc have just spent €15 million on their new wine cellars, and they have expanded their vineyard areas and maintained their high price.
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In 1955 the governing body of Saint Emilion set out their own classification of the vineyards and the Chateaux. They were only 100 years after the 1855 classification that had been set out by the mayor of Bordeaux for Napoleon 3rd at the World Exhibition in Paris! This original 1855 classification covered mainly the 62 top vineyards in the Medoc area (left bank mainly Cabernet Sauvignon based wines), with the inclusion of Chateau Haut Brion in the Graves area. The only dramatic change to the 1855 classification was the remarkable upgrade of Chateau Mouton Rothschild from 2nd Growth to 1st Growth in 1973.
The advantage of the Saint Emilion classification of 1955 is that they decided to review the classification every 10 years in order to create movement and dynamism, and also to reward wines that have significantly improved. Whilst the 1855 classification is set in stone and as time goes on gradually becomes obsolete. It is crazy to think that Chateau Pontet Canet, Lynch Bages and Grand Puy Lacoste are still 5th Growths in the 1855 classification, when they are really on a level of 2nd Growths.
The reviews of the Saint Emilion classification have been roughly every 10 years since 1955, and have caused controversy for some Chateaux, whilst also being an effective 'check and balance' system for the Chateau owners,
The example of the 1986 classification when Chateau Beausejour Becot (previously a Premier Grand Cru Classe) was downgraded to Grand Cru Classe should be highlighted. The reason for this downgrade was that the estate had expanded their vineyard area and had tried to maintain their original high standing. The ruling body did not agree and downgraded. However the Chateau spent the next 10 years keeping the quality of their wines very high, maintaining a good quality reputation internationally for their wines and keeping the prices at a reflective level for the quality. So in 1996 the Chateau was restored to premier Grand Cru Classe status.
The latest controversy was from the re classification in 2006, when the system was reduced to farce. The ruling body upgraded the excellent Chateau Troplong Mondot from Grand Cru Classe to premier Grand Cru Classe, whilst downgrading several Chateaux from Grand Cru Classe to Grand Cru. In modern times these decisions can make significant financial positives or negatives to your balance sheet! So the group of Chateaux that were downgraded decided to take the ruling body (the Institut National d'Appelation d'Origine (INAO)) to court. They attacked the decision making process and the clarity of the decision making. There was then a few years of very negative time for Saint Emilion as the law courts swung their decisions one way and another. The resulting legal fudge was to please everyone, by leaving Chateaux that had been promoted as promoted, and any Chateaux that had been demoted retained their former status! So everyone won.
The INAO have been extremely wary of this negative situation for Saint Emilion, so they have tried to re classify the vineyards and Chateaux and avoid the law courts.
On Thursday evening the new classification was released from the Ministry of Agriculture in Paris.
Here is the new classification in full: - Premier Grand Cru Classé A
Château ANGELUS (promoted)
Château CHEVAL-BLANCChâteau PAVIE (promoted)
- Premier Grand Cru Classé B
Château BEAUSÉJOUR (DUFFAU-LAGARROSSE)
Château BEAU-SÉJOUR BÉCOT
Château CANON Château CANON-LA-GAFFELIÈRE
Château LA GAFFELIÈREChâteau LARCIS-DUCASSE
)Château LA MONDOTTE
Château TROTTEVIELLEChâteau VALANDRAUD (promoted
Chateau MAGDELAINE is no longer classified as the Chateau has merged with BELAIR-MONANGE.
Chateaux CURE-BON and MATRAS are no longer classified as they have been bought by Chateau CANON.
- Grand cru classé
Château BALESTARD-LA-TONNELLE Château BARDE-HAUT
Château CAPDEMOURLIN Château LE CHÂTELET (promoted)
Château CHAUVIN Château CLOS DE SARPE (promoted)
Château LA CLOTTE Château LA COMMANDERIE (promoted)
Château CORBIN Château CÔTE DE BALEAU
Château LA COUSPAUDE
Château COUVENT DES JACOBINS
Château LA DOMINIQUE Château FAUGÈRES
Château FAURIE DE SOUCHARD Château DE FERRAND
Château FLEUR-CARDINALE Château LA FLEUR MORANGE (promoted)Château FOMBRAUGE
Château GRAND CORBIN
Château GRAND CORBIN-DESPAGNE
Château LES GRANDES MURAILLES
Clos des JACOBINSChâteau JEAN FAURE
Château LAROZEClos la MADELEINE
Château LA MARZELLE
Château MOULIN DU CADET
Clos de L'ORATOIRE
Château PAVIE-DECESSEChâteau PEBY-FAUGÈRES
Château PETIT-FAURIE-DE-SOUTARDChâteau de PRESSAC
Château LE PRIEURÉChâteau QUINAULT L'ENCLOS
Château RIPEAUChâteau ROCHEBELLE
Clos SAINT-MARTINChâteau SANSONNET (promoted)
Château La SERRE
Château TERTRE-DAUGAY now renamed Chateau QUINTUS
Château LA TOUR-FIGEAC
Chateau HAUT CORBIN is now part of Chateau GRAND CORBIN.
Chateau CADET-PIOLA is now part of Chateau SOUTARD.
Chateau BERGAT is now part of Chateau TROTTEVIEILLE.
Chateau LA CLUSIERE is now part of Chateau PAVIE.
The big headline from this new classification are the two additional Premier Grand Cru Classe (Class A) wines....Chateau ANGELUS and Chateau PAVIE. These are undoubtedly great quality wines and they have certainly repaid the significant investment from the owners in the vineyards and the winemaking facilities. The prices for these wines has also been very high, as well as the scores by Robert Parker.
In fact when I look at the new classification I do think that there is quite a lot of Pakerism stamped across it. Robert Parker has the power to move markets....as seen with his 100 points grading for 19 of the 2009 wines......perhaps Parker can now influence classifications too?
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In The Sunday Times, August Travel Edition Laura Ivill 'samples the best grape escapes from around the world.'
Under the title 6 of the best Holidays with Wine, we are delighted that Bella Wine Tours features as the only recommended guided tour operator for Bordeaux in the Claret and Class feature.
Bella Wine Tours (07778 006691) www.bellawinetours.com) organises guided tours (three nights/two days) with access to the greatest wineries-Latour, Lafite Rothschild, Margaux- from £804pp, without flights.
Here is an example of the 3 day/Two night wine tour to Bordeaux.
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Last week I met up with Dr Chris Kissack in Bordeaux. Chris was juggling a family holiday whilst also trying to do some work. I know the feeling well!
Chris is the man behind the excellent website www.thewinedoctor.com which covers many wine areas, but mainly focuses on the Loire and Bordeaux.
I have clicked on The Wine Doctor at various times, and certainly used information when researching background details for Chateaux in Bordeaux. There is a great depth of knowledge and facts on the site. I have no idea how Chris manages to keep the site up to date as well as holding down a far more important job as a real doctor in a Neonatal unit.
We met at Chateau de la Riviere in Fronsac, where I wanted to show Chris the latest wines as well as to have a good look around the amazing limestone cellars. I also invited Xavier Buffo, the winemaker along for a chat and to add his angle to the tasting. We tasted Chateau de la Riviere 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. We also tasted Aria 2009 and 2010. We ran out of time for the white, rose and clairet from the 2011.....but hopefully Chris enjoyed them later.
It was great fun to taste and chat.....and Xavier was extremely impressed by Chris' tasting ability, when it was noted that there was a change in style and quality since the 2008 vintage. This was due to a different philosophy and attitude at the estate. The yields have been reduced, the grape selection is finer and more precise, the use of oak is less and the quality is higher.
I look forward to seeing Chris' notes on the wines from Chateau de la Riviere.
Chris kindly gave Xavier and I a copy of his recently published book:
Pocket Guide to the Wines of Bordeaux. (£6.99)
Evidently this is designed for people with very large pockets, as it seems more of a normal book than a pocket guide.
The book is an excellent light read and really good introduction to the Bordeaux wine world. It is really up to date, with reviews on the 2011 vintage (as well as detailed reviews going back to 2003). I really like the easy relaxed style of the book. It is not heavy on tasting notes and historic background, but this is the perfect guide and prop for someone who is just getting in to Bordeaux or someone who wants to be current with what is happening, or even someone who is going on a wine tour to Bordeaux!!!!
There are short chapters on Biodynamic/Organics, Investment, the 1855 classification,major areas, serving wines, wine and food matches, the En Primeur system and much more.
In fact many of the Chateaux that Chris mentions in his Pocket Guide we visit on a regular basis at www.bellawinetours.com
, so it is great to get different opinions and perspectives. The main Chateaux that we visit regularly are: Lafite Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Margaux, Latour, La Mission Haut Brion, Pontet Canet, Grand Puy Lacoste, Lynch Bages, Leoville Barton, Yquem, Pichon Baron, Cos d'Estournel, Smith Haut Lafitte, Domaine de Chevalier, Haut Bailly and Figeac.
I can recommend this book, and I will be buying several copies for clients on Bella Wine Tours
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|Flourishing roses and vines at Chateau Pontet Canet today (June 17th)|
|Excellent lunch at Chateau Pichon Longueville.|
|Tasting at Chateau Latour|
|Clear blue skies at Chateau d'Yquem|
|Violaine in the vineyard explaining biodynamics at Chateau Ponet Canet |
Busy time for wine tours at the moment.www.bellawinetours.com
We have received Americans, Canadians, Chinese, British, Australian, Swiss and Dutch clients recently.
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Robert Parker is probably the most influential wine journalist in the World. He writes an excellent magazine called the Wine Advocate, where he reviews wines from all the top wine areas. Parker has a team of tasters and he will eventually retire at some stage. But this one man has probably done more for the global reach of fine Bordeaux wines than any other journalist.
Therefore his scores are eagerly anticipated by the Chateaux in Bordeaux. A good score from Mr Parker can add significant financial security, whilst a low score can knock a reputation.
Here are a few scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, that were released on Friday for the 2011 Bordeaux vintage:
Alter Ego 88-90
Beausejour (Duffau-Lagarrosse) 92-94
Beausejour Becot 90-92
Bellevue Mondotte 92-94+
Bon Pasteur 91-93
Boyd Cantenac 89-91
Branaire Ducru 91-93
Brane Cantenac 90-93
Calon Segur 92-94
Canon La Gaffeliere 90-92
Cantenac Brown 86-88+
Capbern Gasqueton 85-87
Chapelle d'Ausone 92-94
Chasse Spleen 85-87
Cheval Blanc 94-96
Cos d'Estournel 90-92
Domaine de Chevalier 87-89
Ducru Beaucaillou 93-95
Grand Puy Ducasse 84-87
Grand Puy Lacoste 89-91
Gruaud Larose 89-91
Haut Bailly 91-93
Haut Batailley 87-90
Haut Brion 92-95
Joanin Becot 89-91
La Conseillante 88-91
La Gaffeliere 90-93
La Lagune 90-93
La Mission Haut Brion 93-95
La Riviere 86-88
La Riviere Aria 89-91
La Tour Carnet 89-92
Lafite Rothschild 90-93
Lafon Rochet 85-87
Langoa Barton 86-88+
Larcis Ducasse 89-93
Le Pin 94-96
L'Eglise Clinet 92-95
Leoville Barton 90-92+
Leoville Lascases 93-95+
Leoville Poyferre 91-94
Lynch Bages 90-93
Magrez Fombrauge 92-95
Malescot St Exupery 91-93
Mouton Rothschild 93-96
Pape Clement 92-94
Pavie Decesse 92-94
Pavie Macquin 92-94
Petit Village 87-89
Phelan Segur 89-91
Pichon Longueville Baron 90-92+
Pichon Longueville Comtesse 92-94
Pontet Canet 93-95
Rauzan Segla 91-94
Smith Haut Lafitte 91-93
Sociando Mallet 90-93
Tronquoy Lalande 88-90
Troplong Mondot 91-93
Vieux Chateau Certan 94-96
It is very interesting to see Robert Parkers notes. As with everything in life this is only one man's views and not neccessarily the right or wrong view.(I disagree with a few of his views, but that might make the wines better value!!!) But Parker's likes and or dislikes carry a lot of weight. It will be very interesting to see which Chateau release their wines later this week.
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