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Portes Ouvertes in the Bordeaux Wine Region in 2008

Here is the list of the ‘Open Door’ weekends in Bordeaux. For the wine enthusiast there is so much going on in the region – you just need to keep abreast of all the various activities organised by the different associations. There is no one place where you can go to find it all…. March … Continue reading

Here to stay!: Enthroned in the ancient Wine Guild of Cotes de Bourg

I was asked out of the blue if I would like to be ‘intronised’ by the Connetablie de Guyenne de Cotes de Bourg for my work in promoting the region’s wines. Being ‘enthroned’ by an ancient wine guild – sounded too interesting an opportunity to miss out on. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, … Continue reading

Medal Winning Wines: Does it mean anything?

Saturday April 12th and the day started at 8.30 in Bourg sur Gironde on the right bank of the Gironde at the Challenge International du Vin’s 32nd competition of judging international wines, France’s oldest international wine competiton. This year there were over 5000 entries from 35 countries and 900 tasters to judge the wines. I was one … Continue reading

2007 Bordeaux: Star Winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt’s Group ‘La Grappe’

During the en primeur week (1st March to 3rd April) of winetastings when the world’s wine press and trade comes to Bordeaux to taste the newly released vintage (2007), the new star on the block Stephane Derenoncourt presented all of the domaines for which he is wine consultant – 60 different properties under the name of  ‘La Grappe’ … Continue reading

2007 Bordeaux En Primeur: Vintage Update

Best red wines for me of the 2007 Vintage were Cabernet Sauvignon based wines in the Medoc. The sunny Autumn ripened the late maturing Cabernet Sauvignon well providing wines with smooth tannins and blackcurrant flavours. The wines were fresh with high levels of acidity and had fresh fruit flavours – light to medium bodied wines … Continue reading

2007 Chateau Margaux: less is more in 2007 says Pontallier

The Cabernet Sauvignon makes up the body and soul of this wine. The final wine is made from only 32% of the total production. The wine is blended from no fewer than 36 different lots – the most rigorous selection ever. There is a move towards reducing yields to concentrate the juice in the grapes that are harvested.  This year the … Continue reading

Prieure Lichine lures right bank star winemaker to Margaux

Spoke to Justin Onclin Director of fourth growth Chateau Prieure Lichine in Margaux about his decision to employ winemaker Stephane Derenencourt as consultant at the Margaux property. ‘We like his style of making wines and are looking for the purity of fruit and the smoothness of the tannins that are his hallmarks.’ The 2007 is … Continue reading

2007 Chateau d’Yquem; rich and exotic and made by a woman winemaker

Welcomed by Sandrine Garbay, the woman cellar master at First Growth Superieur Sauternes for the past 10 years. Tasted the 2007 en primeur (started selling en primeur with the arrival of Pierre Lurton also in charge at top growth St Emilion property Cheval Blanc). The most amazing thing about Yquem is the severe selection that … Continue reading

Bordeaux weather in the future will favour the Cabernet Sauvignon rather than Merlot

Philip Blanc, General Manager at Beychevelle  4th Growth St Julien Today the fruit produced in Bordeaux is different to say ten or so years ago. Winemaking has not changed that much recently but the fruit that is harvested is much riper today with both good levels of sugar and tannin ripeness (polyphenols). This is due … Continue reading

2007 Beychevelle, 4th Growth St Julien: fragrant and elegant, almost Burgundian in style

Philip Blanc, General Manager at Ch Beychevelle explained that 2007 was an expensive year to produce in terms of number of man hours in the vineyard that was required. The wet conditions during the summer encouraged the development of rot in the vineyard which necessitated additional spraying (2 to three times more than usual against Downy Mildew and Botrytis). … Continue reading