Words on 2005 Bordeaux

Apr 20, 2006

Spoke to Christian Moueix on the telephone this afternoon. His family is the powerhouse in Right Bank Bordeaux wines, controlling such great names as Pétrus, Lafleur Petrus, Trotanoy and Magdelaine--among others. He sounded pretty exhausted after a few weeks of welcoming and tasting wines with wine merchants from all over the world who were dying to evaluate (and buy) the 2005s.

But he was one happy camper! “I wish all springs were so exhausting,” he joked, indicating that he had never seen such excitement over a vintage. “People keep on saying that they want more….”

It’s going to be like that with 2005. Mark my words. The demand is going to be unprecedented. And – as you know – the quality is fantastic.

Moueix said that he was tasting today with a veteran English wine merchant who kept on shaking his head in disbelief. “He said to me that it was better than you told us,” Moueix said.

“You don’t realize how great it is,” said the merchant, according to Moueix.

Regardless of the incredible demand, Moueix said that he has already released many of his wines on the market, although not the mega ones like Pétrus. He said that he released most of them at 2000 and 2003 prices, when they were sold as futures. Lafleur Petrus was about 10 percent more.

That seems pretty reasonable to me. And I am sure everyone who had the chance to buy his wines was asking for more. Moueix wines are sold under contract to exclusive agents around the world.

Obviously, they have not read – or they did and thought it was a joke – a story in the London Times from April 10 with a headline “It should have been one of the great vintages – but they just couldn’t leave well enough alone.”

It was really bad reporting. It said that many of the top châteaus had missed the 2005 vintage through bad winemaking – which is absurd.

Shame on the Times.

But as one Bordeaux négociant told me after I mentioned the story: “Nobody cares about that story anyway. The wines speak for themselves.”

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