This was a surreal week in the wine world, if you think about it. We have the famous, or infamous, Two-Buck Chuck winning best Chardonnay from California at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition in Sacramento, and the 2006 Bordeaux first-growths coming out around $500 a bottle to US consumers.
There seem to be a lot of unhappy people out there today on the Internet, especially now that the Bordeaux first-growths have come out with their 2006 futures prices, with the exception of Mouton. Prices at U.
I heard some whispers from the Bordeaux wine trade around the world that some of the first-growths were actually contemplating not coming out with 2006 futures. It is probably nothing more than rumor, since 2006 Latour and Margaux came out with their en primeur offers today in Bordeaux.
Last Thursday, I was hanging out with Warrick Brown of CSI: Las Vegas (actor Gary Dourdan) during the Fête de la Fleur at Smith-Haut-Lafite in Bordeaux. We, like the 1,500 or so other people there, were sweltering in the underground cellar as hundreds of bottles of wine were being served to the participants of the multicourse black-tie dinner.
It was the ultimate wine game on Tuesday night at Château Latour, the famous first growth. The château’s president, Frederic Engerer, invited a few close friends, wine merchants and critics to the estate for an amazing tasting that I will talk about until I leave this earth … maybe later, I hope! He also spoke about his wines, his goals as a winemaker and his prices, but I already wrote about that last time.
I went to an amazing dinner on Tuesday night at Château Latour. It will be one I remember for the rest of my life. I tasted three 100-point bottles of Latour – one 1929 and two 1959. Plus, there was a bottle of 1899 that was pretty close to 100 points as well! I felt very lucky and full of emotion drinking those wonderful nectar-like bottles.
I went to the international press dinner last night during Vinexpo, which the Conseil des Grand Crus Classes en 1855 organized. This is the annual dinner during Vinexpo that all the châteaus of the prestigious Bordeaux classification host.
It’s not very often that a wine merchant exchanges his corkscrew for kitchen tongs, but that’s exactly what Johan Björklund did a few months ago. He opened his refined Bistro de l’Hotel in Beaune in May and fulfilled his dream of getting back in front of the burners after two decades of selling fine wine around the world through his company Caves Crus Classe in London as well as Grapes in Rye, N.
Last night was a tsunami of bad corks. I was having dinner with Bruna and Bruno Giacosa in region of Barolo in the restaurant of Belvedere in La Morra, and it seemed at first that just about every bottle we ordered had a cork problem.
A couple of nights ago I arrived at the Rome airport from England with my son Jack and we drove back to my house in Tuscany. We decided that a pizza was in order, so we picked one up just before arriving home and sprinted to get it on the kitchen table to eat warm.
I tasted three bottles of 2000 super Tuscans last week during dinner with Wine Spectator associate editor Mitch Frank , who was visiting from the magazine’s New York office. My colleagues Jo Cooke and Rosanne Quagliata were also there.
I drank a wonderful bottle of 1998 Bahans Haut-Brion last night with Luca Sanjust of Fattoria Petrolo and Luca d’Attoma, a consulting enologist who also owns a small winery near the village of Riparbella.
Last week, I had some friends over for dinner and I poured two 1997 Chianti Classicos– Riecine Riserva and Castello di Ama La Casuccia. The wines were showing very well considering they were CC’s. Many reds from the region lack the concentration and structure for aging.
I found a bottle of 2003 Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux in my cellar yesterday and I decided to open it with Piero and Albiera Antinori , who came over for dinner. I have to say that the white of Château Margaux has never been very exciting until recently.
La Turque really is exceptional. It is one of the benchmarks for Syrah. And to think that it didn’t exist until the 1985 vintage. I remember in the late 1980s hanging out with Marcel Guigal , who still runs the wine firm of E.
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