I attended in Paris last night the 75th anniversary party for the Dillon family's ownership of the famous first-growth Château Haut-Brion, and besides the beauty and grandeur of the event, which was held at the Academie Diplomatique Internationale in the center of the great city, I was impressed with the interest and passion that nearly all the people seemed to have attending the event. Here are my notes on the vertical tasting of Haut-Brion presented.
All I have heard for the past year is how the Far East via Hong Kong and, in particular, China, is gobbling up all the great wines of the world. Or let's say it's buying the blue-chip, trophy wines from France and a little bit of the New World that many in Europe and the United States have forsaken due to price fatigue. Not many can afford these mega-expensive bottles.
Moreover, I hear that China and the rest of the Far East are really gearing up for buying big time in the Bordeaux futures market, considering the excellent quality of the 2009 vintage for the upper echelon of the region.
But seeing is believing. And the next couple of days will be telltale.
I read with interest Eric Asimov's well-reported story in today's edition of the New York Times, "Bordeaux Loses Prestige Among Young Wine Lovers," and I felt sad that so many wine lovers in my country don't appreciate the good value that exists in Bordeaux. Moreover, most of these well-priced reds and whites are almost all made by people with dirt on their boots and wine stains on their hands. They are not suits. They are ragged jeans and t-shirts.
I believe in icon wines, even if they may not be the very best from their respective regions. Some wines are the real deal, both for their pedigree and their ability to represent where they come from, regardless of the quality in the bottle.
I was thinking of this a few weeks back when I was sitting in a room with about two dozen other wine lovers tasting a range of wines from Bordeaux's great Château Haut-Brion and Tuscany's legendary Sassicaia. These two famous red wine producers have in their own ways changed the way their areas make wine, and they are symbolic of the quality of the wines from there. The wines were served side by side in pairs, Sassicaia with Haut-Brion. Here are my tasting notes.
I don’t know if there is really a grassroots movement in America for fine winemaking, but with the advances in viticulture and winemaking, it seems that good wine can be made just about anywhere in the States. I have been impressed with wines from Arizona, Michigan, Virginia, New Mexico and Idaho. Are we becoming the United Vineyards of America?
I spent the weekend driving into the depths of Virginia and West Virginia with some friends after the Grand Tour in Washington, D.C., and we stopped off at two Virginia wineries, Boxwood and Chrysalis. I have to say that I didn't have great expectations for these places. But I was obviously wrong. Here are my notes on some of the wineries' best wines.
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