I've heard that, tomorrow, Sopexa USA and Cercle Rive Droite are holding a 2006 Bordeaux barrel tasting in New York, and I have to wonder if this is a sign of desperation for some wine producers in Bordeaux. This is the first time ever that a new vintage from Bordeaux is publicly offered to taste at such an early period, and poured in the Big Apple no less! I guess those pouring tomorrow—all producers from the Right Bank—are hoping to drum up some interest in the new vintage, which could be stillborn in the American market. I'm sure there are going to be some excellent wines in 2006, but I don’t know who is going to be interested in buying them as futures after all the money spent on the glorious 2005s. And, as we know, many of the top 2005s were the most expensive young wines ever produced.
In any case, I am looking forward to doing extensive barrel tastings of 2006 in a few weeks in Bordeaux. I will visit many châteaus, as well as conduct blind tastings of the best names in Bordeaux in various locations. You can read about it beginning March 26 in this blog.
I have heard from a number of wine producers in the region that they are very happy with the quality of 2006. Some say it equals their 2005, but I don’t see how that is possible considering the irregular growing season and difficult weather during the harvest. Seems like more Bordeaux hype to me.
Regardless, I will taste the wines, business as usual. And I am hoping for some very good ones in 2006.
However, many consumers, particularly those in North America, do not seem very pleased with the prospects of another good vintage in Bordeaux. In fact, many are very angry with the wine region over the high prices of the 2005s. There is a long thread in the Forums section of this site, which I started a couple of days ago, regarding 2006. And most of the comments were very negative. Moreover, Jean-Guillaume Prats of Cos-d'Estournel, a guest blogger on our site, has been getting some complaints as well from perturbed consumers.