History and Science at Château Grand Corbin Despagne

Historically it was the robust oxen that  worked the dense blue clay soils in the vineyards here in the north western corner of St Emilion and over the border into Pomerol. Horses were too fragile for the job, explained François Despagne, who has run the family estate of Château Grand Corbin Despagne, St Emilion Grand … Continue reading History and Science at Château Grand Corbin Despagne

Class in a glass – Leoville Barton St Julien

When most of the châteaux in Bordeaux are following the latest trend of using an army of amphoras in their new chai under construction, Leoville Barton stays with its historic recipe of wooden vats for making and ageing the wine. Tasting their vintage, they manage to achieve as always perfect balance. The château at Barton … Continue reading Class in a glass – Leoville Barton St Julien

Bordeaux 2019 -Yves Raymond, Château Saransot Dupré, Listrac, Haut Médoc

What was your biggest challenge in the vineyard?         The challenge is each year the same : we must harvest late enough to pick perfectly ripe fruits (the decision can be difficult in years with a lot of rain before the harvest. We fear that it will rot the fruit and so we might … Continue reading Bordeaux 2019 -Yves Raymond, Château Saransot Dupré, Listrac, Haut Médoc

2019 Bordeaux – will Cinderella get to go to the Ball?

So far 2019 did not get to go to the ball but has had to stay at home (like the rest of us) and wait her turn. The futures barrel sample tastings in Bordeaux that normally takes place this week  (first week of April) has been cancelled or hopefully postponed until another date. But which … Continue reading 2019 Bordeaux – will Cinderella get to go to the Ball?

2018 Bordeaux Predicting the Future

Some very nice wines (see my favorites below) made with even increased precision of winemaking but generally not the finesse of 2016s. It was a hot summer so alcohol levels can be high and some wines are tannic and lack freshness. But there are some real success stories as we understand better and better with … Continue reading 2018 Bordeaux Predicting the Future

2018 Bordeaux here we come

2018. Nature has made it good, perhaps very good. It is still in the barrel, aging, developing, sleeping, growing in density, becoming smoother more refined. Its elements of tannin, fruit, acidity beginning to mesh together in harmony due to the gradual micro-oxygenation that is taking place through the wood's grain. But it is still a … Continue reading 2018 Bordeaux here we come

2018 Bordeaux – it’s looking good

Good yields of concentrated ripe fruity wine with good structure. Those that did not suffer from too much loss from the Mildew which was prevalent in the wet spring, have nothing to complain about in 2018. Piles of purple crumbly skins are starting to appear outside the 'chai' of the region. There are smiles as … Continue reading 2018 Bordeaux – it’s looking good

Where best to buy wine when touring Bordeaux?

Bordeaux is not California or anywhere else in the wine world where cheapest prices are found at source. In Bordeaux the châteaux do not sell their wine around the world, they sell it on exclusively to a specialised wine merchants based in the city of Bordeaux (négociants) who do all of their commercial work for … Continue reading Where best to buy wine when touring Bordeaux?

2017 Recap of value and pricing

Thoreau said "the price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it". Well prices for 2017 seem to be about equal to 'good' vintages that have already matured in bottle and are closer to the exciting time when they are 'ready to drink' and you can pull the cork such as 2006 … Continue reading 2017 Recap of value and pricing

A Taste of Genuine Saint Emilion

"as it is" -  ‘sans poudre aux yeux’ From the village of Saint-Emilion, head towards Pomerol, pass Cheval Blanc and turn right.” Easy to drive past, a small sign in front of a wooded driveway tells us we have safely arrived at the home of Jean-Noël Boidron, Château Corbin Michotte, Grand Cru Saint-Emilion. It is … Continue reading A Taste of Genuine Saint Emilion