SIP Highlights Bordeaux 2016

Dear Wine Friends, I so enjoy sharing my passion of Bordeaux and its authentic people and wines.

Bordeaux may be one of the oldest wine regions in the world but it is definitely waking up and there is a new dynamism taking hold in the famous classified properties and the SIPs (smaller independent producers).

Here are my SIP highlights for 2016;

Well the 2016 is in the barrel now and despite the summer heat it is looking like it is going to be a great year. I have never seen so many women working in the cellars and there are more and more technical directors, oenologists and cellar masters of the ‘fairer sex’ in Bordeaux than ever before.

This year I have seen the most dynamism in terms of experimentation in the vineyards. We at last are thinking more of the vines and the soil they live in. A visit with Alain Moueix at biodynamic Château Fonroque was one of my highlights this year. And here is my list of Bordeaux Biodynamic properties and those going that way.

With the use of laser sorting machines in every top classified property, the gap between the little and the big guys widens (7000 to only 200 and there are fewer and fewer family owners). Are we looking for technical perfection or authenticity? Wines made by real people rather than machinery.

The SIP (small independent producer) are continuing to struggle here in Bordeaux, see my profile on ‘keeping it in the family and organic forever’ to understand one family’s challenges in St Emilion.

My most read article to date is Finding Good Value Bordeaux including those that just lie on the wrong side of the boundary! These are wonderful wines that are not as famous or classified in some list somewhere. Wines made by passionate people with soil on their shoes!

The SIP Wine Club is going well in Europe (to sign up) and I am working on launching it in the US. I will be sending out a small market research questionnaire for your feedback.

I am developing my tours in Piemonte so hope to see you here in Bordeaux sipping a glass of claret or a delicious chilled Arneis out there!

© gail barnett (10/2016)

Santé and Happy New Year to you!

Nicolle Croft


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