Distinct Style: Bordeaux vs Napa

It’s no secret that I greatly enjoy wine tasting. To that end I have been incredibly lucky with opportunities to taste in Bordeaux, in Napa and beyond. It’s in that spirit that I recently climbed in my car on a very rainy day, drove up to Napa and went tasting with my friend B., a friend I had the chance to meet in Bordeaux. We had some amazing wine that day, and to be perfectly honest: some overpriced crap. But what really struck both B. and I that day were the very distinct differences between Bordeaux and Napa. So, I’m going to share some of my (generalized) observations.

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A Study in Contrasts

Recently my parents came to France for a weeklong visit. After a rather chaotic departure (on both sides of the Atlantic) we spent a rather interesting weekend in Paris before heading south to Bordeaux. And of course no visit to Bordeaux would be complete without a little wine tasting.

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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