Ain’t No Party Like a Bordeaux Party

Despite the controversy over pricing the past couple of years, the en primeur campaign is nonetheless a major annual milestone for the Bordeaux wine industry. The world sits up and pays attention as the Bordelaise release the first glimpse of the latest vintage. For the producers it marks not only the first sales but also a shifting of attention to other vintages. For the wine merchants it marks allocations and of course sales. For consumers, in theory, it allows first access to the rarest wines and a chance to special order any large format bottles. Of course the entire system is predicated on critical ratings, reasonable pricing and good wine. But despite the inherent pitfalls and the “Bordeaux bashing,” the system continues onDSC00434 Continue reading

And then… there was Magic

As I mentioned in last night’s post Back to the Futures Again the Bordeaux en Primeur campaign featuring the 2014 vintage is underway. And today I was fortunate enough to enjoy not only the tastings hosted by the Union des Grands Crus but also to enjoy a couple of private visits at some of Bordeaux’ best estates.

IMG_1795My day actually began with a trip out to my office and a little bit of studying at work. Ah the joys of coordinating navigation when you don’t have a car. Oh. well. But the adventure really started with an amazing lunch at Chateau Léoville Poyferré. Continue reading

Back to the Futures Again

It’s that time of year again in Bordeaux. No not harvest. The official release of the 2014 Vintage and the start of the en Primeur campaign. A source of rather considerable controversy, en Primeur, or futures, is a busy time in Bordeaux. The wine world descends on the city as the chateaux throw open their doors and invite critics, negociants (wine merchants) and professionals to taste their latest vintage. It is also when the critics provide their first round of scores and when the estates then use those scores to help set the pricing. And so we come to the real heart of the controversy … money. But that’s a story for another day.

Tonight was the annual Graves tasting held at the Place de la Bourse in the heart of the Bordeaux city center. Continue reading