Last week, AWC Wine Academy hosted another delightful, fine wine tasting.
Expertly led by the inimitable and prolific Burgundy author, Mr. Robert Joseph, the tasting attracted some very serious white Burgundy lovers.
Burgundy is the wine region which remains closest to Robert’s heart and his knowledge of the wines, growers, vintages and terrroirs that featured in the tasting were nothing short of encyclopaedic.
No doubt this passion was helped by the fact that Robert lived in Burgundy for several years and knows many of the winemakers and estate owners personally. Throughout the evening, he was able to communicate his understanding and expertise in a way that truly brought the region and its wines to life.
Above: Fine wine tastings at AWC Wine Academy always start with a glass or two of Vintage Champagne. Wine Academy Assistant Alex Scheybeler (l) and Account Manager Lucy McMillan (r) prepare for the arrival of the evening's guests.
This passion also helped fuel some lively debate and precipitated plenty of pertinent, intelligent and quite wine savvy questions. However, no matter how detailed the question, Robert was able to answer with both wit and wisdom. No wonder he’s won so many awards or that Decanter Magazine once described him as ‘one the wine world’s 50 most influential wine people.’
Above: Perfectly chilled bottles, ready to be poured.
We tasted the wines in pairs and the first wine of the evening was the 2009 Chassasgne-Montrachet, Morgeot 1er Cru from Domaine JN Gagnard. Since 1989, the wines at this tiny domaine in Chassagne have been made by the highly talented Caroline Lestimé. It was an impressive start to the evening. As ever, the Morgeot was classy and elegant, yet maintained its depth and concentration – a true to vintage 2009 which will continue to age and improve. 91 Points.
Next was Jean-Marc Boillot’s 2008 Puligny-Montrachet. Whilst terroir certainly plays a part, Boillot is a master at producing complex wines even in the most demanding vintages. 2008 was an altogether different vintage from 2009 and this was reflected in the glass. This wine was more citrusy and tight than the 2009, with plenty of minerality and tons of crisp, fresh acidity. This particular Puligny comes from no fewer than nine parcels, all on the Chassagne side of the commune. It also includes some of the best lieux-dits, such as Rue Rousseau and Les Enseigneres. Out of the pair, most people in the room preferred the more accessible 2009, but Boillot’s 2008 also showed undeniably well. 90 Points.
The next pair of wines, from the same vintages as the first pair, was a clear step-up in quality. First was the 2009 Puligny-Montrachet, Les Champs-Gain 1er Cru from Camille Giroud. You may recall that that Camille Giroud was purchased by the famous American vintner Ann Colgin, of Napa’s Colgin Cellars, back in 2002. Though it is better known for its reds, this was silky, rich, creamy and sensuous – almost New World in style - with lots of ripe white peach and Bosc pear flavours. A real vin de plaisir. 93 Points.
Following the Camille Giroud came a more cerebral 2008 Chevalier-Montrachet, Grand Cru from one of Burgundy’s greatest negociants - Bouchard Père et Fils. Here, the Grand Cru terroir clearly showed through - complex notes of apples, greengage fruit, yellow plum, melon and nuts. This was also quite creamy, with a lot of butter, yet a nice savoury edge that was followed by very long finish. ‘Orchestral’ was Robert’s verdict. 94 Points.
While the Bouchard had been my favourite wine thus far, it was outgunned and outclassed by the sublime wine which followed it. This was Domaine Drouhin’s extraordinary 2005 Marquis de Laguiche Le Montrachet. It was simply breathtaking - complexity, power, eloquence and precision all rolled into one magical wine. Robert described it as being the quintessential ‘iron fist in a velvet glove.’ Without question, this wine is still in its infancy and will age (and improve) for decades. This had everything anyone could ever possibly ask for in a great Montrachet.
Above: Burgundy expert Robert Joseph leads the tasting.
What a pleasure and a privilege to drink such a wine! My tasting notes do not even come close to doing this wine justice - dry, fresh, rich and ripe with astonishing depth, weight and extract. On the palate, I picked up a bewildering range of flavours, including hazelnuts, minerals, white flowers, quince, pear and a savouriness reminiscent of rolled oats. The balance, complexity and length were almost beyond compare. To many this was, without a doubt, the wine of the night. 99 Points.
You would be forgiven for thinking that this would be a nearly impossible act to follow. However, the 2001 Chevalier-Montrachet from Château de Puligny did quite an admirable job – it actually performed extremely well. In part, this was due to the smokier, leaner style of the 2001 vintage and the fact that this wine was developing some superlative secondary aromas and flavours which added to its complexity. 93 Points.
The Château de Puligny’s sparring partner, the 1998 Le Montrachet from Etienne Sauzet also proved to be up to the task. It was beautifully mature and, perhaps not surprisingly, showed a gentle oxidative character which added a honeyed richness. Almond, hazelnut, mandarin orange, minerals and toast - another stunning wine from an excellent producer. 95 Points.
Among serious collectors of white Burgundy, it is inevitable that, at some point, a question about premature oxidation would be asked. The issue of ‘pre-ox’ showed up sometime around 1995 and haunted a number of wines and estates for several years. The question is why?
Robert took the question head on and suggested that it probably comes down to a number of factors. These included some suspect corks, varying levels of sulphur, riper wine styles and greater use of batonnage (stirring of the lees/sediment in barrel) during the process of élevage. Another theory is that the use of gentler presses may have excluded some of the natural phenolics which help keep oxidation at bay and protect the wines. In truth, it is unlikely we will ever know the conclusive answer. Fortunately, the issue is much less prevalent than it once was.
Above: Carefully considering the wines.
Eventually, we reached the last pair of wines. Both wines proved, without a shadow of a doubt, just how magnificently great white Burgundies can age if they are stored properly and given the chance. The first of the two was none other than the 1991 Le Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche from Drouhin – our second vintage of this wine during the evening. Naturally, the wine was showing its age, but it was doing so impeccably. By now, the colour on this wine had transitioned to a deep golden hue, yet it still had that wonderful acidity and honeyed richness which was also present in the younger vintage. These sublime flavours were married to savoury notes of spice, nuts and toast to create something utterly phenomenal.
‘This is what great white Burgundy is all about’, exclaimed Robert. I had to agree, as I found myself captivated by the wine’s sheer complexity, power and elegance. The finish was equally extraordinary. It was also fascinating to taste the 2005 and the 1991 side-by-side because you could see almost exactly where the younger wine is ultimately heading. 96 Points.
Last but not least, we alighted on the oldest Grand Cru of the night - the 1989 Bâtard-Montrachet from Bouchard Père et Fils. It was a fitting finale to this glorious evening. The wine was fully mature, with a complex, elevated nose, followed by a melee of flavours ranging from caramel and honey to nuts and spice box. Clive Coates once described this wine as ‘virile, powerful and [with] bags of life.’ I know exactly what he means. Even at 22 years of age, it is still going strong. 94 Points.
This was an incredibly impressive tasting. It was also a perfect example of how to conduct a Fine Wine Masterclass – with modesty, wit and humour. For instance, Robert candidly admitted, from the start, that it is simply impossible to know everything there is to know about Burgundy. ‘It’s just too complicated, which, of course, is part of its appeal. It’s one of many reasons why people keep coming back for more!’
Another reason is definitely the wines. As that is the case, I’m sure you’ll be interested to know that Robert is back at AWC Wine Academy on November 22nd to showcase eight, fantastic red Burgundies from some of the Cote d’Or’s top domaines. The evening is entitled – The Holy Grail of Red Burgundy. It should be quite the night and we very much hope you can join us.
We look forward to welcoming you into the building in the coming months, whether for the upcoming Red Burgundy tasting, for your own private tasting or for one of the other exciting events we have planned. To join us for a tasting or to reserve the Wine Academy for yourself, please visit - http://www.awcwineacademy.com - or contact Deborah Ives on +44 (0) 20 3219 5560. To purchase any of the wines which were covered in this particular tasting, please contact one of our staff wine experts.
Tags: Montrachet, Domaine Drouhin, Robert Joseph, Chassagne-Montrachet, Domaine JN Gagnard, Morgeot, Jean-Marc Boillot, Rue Rousseau, Les Enseigneres, Puligny-Montrachet, Les Champs-Gain, Premier Cru, Grand Cru, 1er Cru, Chevalier-Montrachet, Marquis de Laguiche Le Montrachet, Marquis de Laguiche, Chateau de Puligny, Etienne Sauzet, Bouchard Pere et Fils, 2009, antique wine company, AWC Wine Academy, Burgundy, Burgundy 2009, fine wine, wine education
Education | Wine tasting
Once again, numerous of the world’s Masters of Wine have descended upon Bordeaux for a week of wine tastings, lunches and dinners, centred around a symposium to discuss the world wine industry and current changes in the international wine market.
I am writing this note having retired to my room at Chateau Marojallia in the sleepy hamlet of Margaux and there is a noticeable calm and tranquillity that’s fallen over this city, whilst my sales office in London (in common with most other wine merchants and negociants) is frantic with activity in selling the 2009 Bordeaux vintage.
This vintage is one that has been received with massive critical acclaim as to its quality, as this week we have seen eager anticipation turn to aghast and shock at the levels of the prices, which incidentally are completely in line with my original forecast set out earlier in this blog.
It seems that we wonder where the logic is in paying between eight and twelve thousand pounds for a case of first growth wine that is still going to be maturing in the barrel for the next two years when we can buy mature vintages, ready to drink today, at a fraction of the price. However, I thought the same during the en-primeur campaign of 2005, again in 2000, the same in 1995 and 1996 – and the same, in fact, in every great vintage when the wines seem to take a step-change to the next level. Despite that, in every example, five years later when the wines are in my cellar and it’s increased in value so much, I’ve not regretted my purchase but wish that I had bought a lot more! I am sure the same will be true of the 2009 vintage.
One of the main advantages of buying en primeur is the fact that this is the only time when you can secure a significant amount of the wines that one really wants. It is also an important time to secure the wine before the distribution fragments its availability around the world. For example, I know that every case of wine that I have bought en primeur, 20 years later when I come to enjoy it, hasn’t been shipped to the United States, Taiwan, back again to Europe and around the world another three or four times but has been under my control since its birth. The faultless provenance offered by en primeur is one of its most important and alluring features and guarantees the quality of what one enjoys in the future.
We have to remember, at the end of the day, it is not the producers that set the price, neither is it the merchants: it’s the market that sets the price. The producers are in a difficult position because the market price will prevail and, if the producer offers his wine to the market too low, then the merchants add on their margin and sell at the maximum the market will accept - therefore, the merchants make all the money. If it is the other way round and the Chateaux price the wines too high then the market will not buy it anyway and the negociants are stuck with the wine because they can’t lower the price. In this case it is just a matter of time before the wine eventually begins to sell but, sooner or later, all great vintages sell.
For me the real secret in all this is finding the value. As I am writing this blog, I have just heard that Chateau Leoville Las Cases has come out at a little more than Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou and considerably less than its neighbour, Chateau Latour, and this is an example of where the real value lies. This is a great wine and I take my hat off to them. I congratulate those at Chateau Leoville las Cases for getting it exactly right. The problem is we just can’t get enough of their wine because everyone wants it!
I am pleased to say that we will have an offering of mature vintages of Chateau Marojallia and Clos Margalaine, the best value Margaux, in a few days time.
Picture: Chateau Marojallia Proprietor Philippe Porcheron in his Margaux vineyard
Tags: Bordeaux, 2009, Chateau Latour, margaux
Tags: primeur, futures, chateau, yquem, 1989, 2009, pierre, lurton, ygrec, cabernet, merlot, franc, sauvignon
Tags: pavie, primeur, futures, 2009, chateau, decesse, monbousquet, perse, emilion
Day 2 - Pontet Canet, Montrose and Leoville-las-Cases
Perhaps, not surprisingly, Pontet Canet can’t reach the heights of the Lafite we tasted just before lunch yesterday. Nonetheless, there’s no question that this is a rising star in Bordeaux. Moreover, Alfred Tesseron and his team have produced another good wine in 2009 but which perhaps lacked a bit of depth and was just a touch austere on the finish. 15 points.
Of course, Pontet-Canet is the only classed growth to have been certified as biodynamic and whilst there isn’t time to go into that here, I will delve into it for sure on a podcast at some future point.
And like Latour, they are using horsepower to work the soil rather than tractors, said their chef de cave Jeanne-Michel Comme who I talked to at length about the benefits of this natural approach to vine growing.
‘We have three horses. But I think we will have more. They are only a brick in the wall we want to build. Because to improve the wines, we have to take care of the soil. When we started to farm biodynamically, we noticed that the soils were in bad shape because of damaging pesticides and heavy tractors which compacted it and prevented oxygen from getting to the natural microbes in the soil. So we have to get the soil in the right condition for the microbes to return. Then the soil will be in better health which we hope and expect that will improve condition of the and ultimately the fruit and the wine. But this will take years. It is a long process.’
Our next stop was Montrose in St Estephe. It too has ambitions under its relatively new owner Martin Bougyes and Technical Director Nicholas Glumineau – not least because of the number of building projects on the go at this second growth, including plans to generate all their own electricity using solar panels.
However, they’re not just expanding their capacity in the cellar,they have recently bought 22ha of vineyards from Phelan-Segur. According to Glumineau what is so exciting about this is that is a very good terroir. ‘It is the same kind of soil at the top of the hill abutting the estate and used to be owned by Montrose a long time ago. So we are very happy to get it. The vines are not too old or too young vines and I think it was the best part of Phelan Segur.’
Glumineau showed us four wines including the first and second wines of Tronquoy Lalande. Both had a lot more Merlot because of the terroir – it has more clay and less gravel. But I preferred the Montrose wines – particularly the Grand Vin.
72% of production has gone into the wine with Cabernet at 65% and 29% being Merlot. To me this is very pure, polished and fairly monumental but it’s also surprisingly approachable now. I am sure it will be a vin de garde because of its sheer concentration and fresh acidity. The tannins are also powerful but ripe and the fruit is terrific. So the balance is good and there’s no hint of heaviness. 18 points.
Last but by no means least is Las-Cases in St Julien, which remains one of the leading performers of all the classified growths. More often than not, it’s First Growth quality and the rumours that are ricocheting around Bordeaux are that M Delon has produced something special in 2009.
Apparently, 300 visitors showed up on Monday and Tuesday was just as busy, according to chef de Cave Bruno Rolland whose family have been at Las-Cases for the last three generations.
The Nenin was good from Pomerol but I preferred the Potensac from the left bank, which I thought was really impressive this year and will be a great value wine for drinkers. Also impressive was the debut vintage of Le Petit Lion, Las-Cases’ brand new second wine. It had excellent jammy fruit with a hint of tobacco. Also on top form was Clos du Marquis which was very well made and I gave it 18. To me it was a velvet glove in an iron fist.
But the Las-cases simply blows you away. It is the complete package – sweet, cedary, very ripe, creamy tannins. And there’s an awesome black fruit sweetness with a savoury character. The colour is opaque and there’s a fat texture full of glycerine without being over extracted. And it has wonderful length and balance. To me this is vinous perfection again and I have no hesitation in giving it a perfect 20.
On a final note, what I also like about the Las-Cases is the alcohol level at just 13.4%. My view so far is that the very best wines of 2009 are at or around this level and the common thread which links them is Cabernet Sauvignon. Similarly, the least successful wines that I have tasted with higher alcohol of over 14% are from the Right bank with higher percentages of Merlot.
So the conclusion I am reaching is that this is shaping up to be more of a left bank vintage – and here’s why. Essentially, the left bank chateaux could pick the ripe cabernet at the right time when it was ripe and not too alcoholic. But on the Right bank, many chateaux have had to wait for their Merlot grapes to achieve full phenolic ripeness. And, of course, that has meant a big build up of sugar and has resulted in some wines being overextracted or just too alcoholic for their own good.
However, today I’ll get a much clearer picture of the Right bank as my itinerary today includes the likes of Cheval Blanc and Petrus. So tune in later for the latest news on this exciting vintage.
Tags: pontet, canet, montrose, leoville, las, cases, chateau, primeur, futures, 2009, parker
Day 2 part 2
The Rothschild connection.
Mouton Our first lunchtime appointment was at Mouton, where the cellars are being modernised. Because of this and the rain we were bizarrely transported by electric golf buggies from the car park to the tasting room. It must have been all of 200 yards and at one point I wondered whether we were on our way to EuroDisney?
However, this is no Mickey Mouse operation. Waiting for us were Mouton’s MD Herve Berland and winemaker Philippe Dhalluin, both of whom were looking confident and relaxed. And so they might. Le Petit Mouton was fresh and aromatic, with good acidity, classic dark fruit and medium body. Armailhac was in the same mould, but had more lifted aromas, sweet creamy fruit and superb length with a touch of spice. Clerc Milon was also elegant, fresh, firm and with lovely fruit as well as more minerality. The finish was long and complex.
And what about the star of the show? For me, Mouton was terrific. Blackcurrant fruit, layered texture, cashmere tannins and superb delineation, poise and polish. Very classical too in terms of structure with just 13.1% alcohol. I gave it 18+. For me it wasn’t quite as good as Margaux but still very, very good.
As I was leaving, I took the opportunity of asking Herve Berland what he thought about the market for the forthcoming campaign. His comments were fascinating and insightful. His first point was that the Asian markets would be very important in this campaign and in particular he was confident that mainland China would definitely be in the market, a first for the mainland Chinese. The second point he made was that the chateaux do need to take note of the fragile economic climate. In fact he was almost at pains to emphasise that this will be factored into the price. To me, this was interesting because he was one of the few Bordelais who was willing to talk about the all important issue of price. Let’s hope he is right on the money.
Assuming he is, how will the campaign develop? This year the problem may be more to do with getting hold of the top wines rather than how much they will cost. Not least, because the chateaux will drip feed a miniscule amount of wine on the first tranche – in order to test the market and also to be seen to be fair and reasonable.
If I was in their shoes I would be tempted to sell the minimum and wait to see what develops. So I expect a long drawn out campaign with multiple tranches. I also think that the most prosperous chateaux may well release less wine this year simply because it will be in their interests to hold it back and sell it subsequently at a higher price. Either way, it will be an interesting few months as the wines emerge from April onwards.
Then it was off to Lafite, or rather Duhart Milon in Pauillac where Lafite’s winemaker Charles Chevallier was showcasing his perennially impressive wines. One minor problem was that nobody seemed to know precisely where Duhart was situated in the village. Fortunately, we found it quite quickly – but I imagine that there are some who are still looking for it.
Nonetheless, the tasting room was full with about 40 or so tasters as you would expect. But what I did notice was that there wasn’t a single Chinese buyer present, something which took me by surprise given the level of demand coming out of Asia for anything with brand Lafite on it. So the question remains: will the Chinese buy en primeur for the first time? We’ll have to wait and see. However, even if the Chinese don’t buy, there will be a host of speculative investors who will happily fill the link into the Chinese market. You can bet your house on that.
And let’s not forget the wines! Carruades was again almost indecently delicious and almost invited you to drink it rather than spit it out. The purity of cassis fruit was utterly beguiling and the tannins were barely noticeable. It easily merited 18 out of 20. It will sell like hot cakes, particularly if they price it keenly which seems to be the rule rather than the exception for Carruades.
If Carruades was reassuringly good, Duhart was a revelation. This property is on the up and Charles Chevallier and his team have done a terrific job this year. ‘One of the reasons why we are holding the tasting at Duhart was to raise its profile,’ he told me. So they are clearly repositioning it for the future but the wine is starting to speak for itself. This 2009 was outstandingly good and I think will really turn some heads this year. It is definitely one to watch. On the nose and palate, it is simply sublime and I rated it 19 out of 20.
So where does that leave Lafite, the headline act? The answer is firmly in the spotlight. Once again, Chevallier has produced a quintessential and classical Lafite that could be another legend in the making. The fruit is ‘à point’, the tannins are so svelte that you can hardly perceive them – except perhaps on the finish, where they make their presence finally felt. And the balance of acidity, fruit and structure is all that you would want – and more.
This wine doesn’t attack your palate, it seduces it with a slow building crescendo that envelops your senses. It’s a bit like Ravel’s Bolero - and almost as long. How do you score such a wine? Easily, you give it a perfect 20 points.
Sadly, the next chateau we are going to has an almost impossible act to follow. And tomorrow morning, I’ll tell you how it (Pontet-Canet) fares as well as Montrose and Leoville-Las-Cases. One of them gets another perfect score so tune in tomorrow to find out which chateau it is. See you then….
Tags: mouton, rothschild, lafite, duhart, milon, carruades, caruades, 2009, primeur, tasting, futures, charles, chevalier, estournel, pontet, canet, leoville
Tags: estournel, margaux, pavillon, pagodes, primeur, 2009, futures, tasting, vintage
Palmer, Latour and Haut-Brion
Horsing around at Latour…. See below for the inside track on Latour’s new secret weapon.
After a quick, but nonetheless good lunch at Rauzan-Segla, it was a short journey across the road to our next appointment at Palmer, one of Margaux’s undoubted superstar chateaux. It may have been a short trip but, for me, it was a big leap in quality. At the top end, this is turning out to be a fascinating and intriguing vintage.
There’s no question in my tasting notes that Palmer is one of the firm front runners of all the wines I’ve tasted today. For a kick-off Alter Ego, (its second wine) was hugely impressive and already temptingly drinkable . However, centre stage was completely occupied by the Grand Vin.
Frankly, the Palmer 2009 is a stunning wine, which rates a handsome 19/20. The blend is 41% Cabernet and a substantial 52% Merlot and a significant 7% Petit Verdot, which is most unusual. On the palate, it is rich, sweet, dense and seamlessly elegant (as Margaux should be) with intense black and red fruits and remarkably supple tannins. The oak is 50% new, but the fruit is so vibrant that the oak barely registers. The finish is awesomely long.
For me, Palmer’s drinking window could open sooner rather than later. But will it age? Yes, I think it almost certainly will – because of the acidity and tannin that underpin the wine. This could be another 1990 in the making. Except that this is even better.
The other question to answer is whether 2009 is shaping up as a great vintage? The word in the tasting rooms of the Medoc is that it is looking that way. It’s certainly shaping up as something unusual and exceptional. It’s ripe but not like 2003 because it has more freshness. Nor is it like 2005 because of the fleshy ripeness of the tannins. When it comes to vintages, comparisons with previous years only take you so far. In other words it’s something else again.
However, it wasn’t easy either. According to Sabrina Pernet, Palmer’s Technical Director, the most challenging aspect was when to pick. ‘We had to wait a bit for phenolic ripeness for the tannins to soften, which was a little scary because the potential alcohol was getting worryingly high. But it all came right because we waited and it worked perfectly. The tannins are beautifully ripe this year.’
Off to Latour
It was tempting to stay longer at Palmer to talk more about the vintage. But we had a 3.00 appointment at Latour. Naturally, one doesn’t want to be late for Latour so we made a quick getaway, which was just as well as there was a bit of a bottle neck in St Julien. Thankfully, we arrived at Latour right on schedule.
As ever, the vineyards and chai looked immaculate as we were shown into the tasting room. The 09 Pauillac – Engerer’s third wine was good, but no match for its second wine Les Forts de Latour. Already, rumours are circulating that Parker has rated this the best ever Les Forts. I wouldn’t be surprised.
What did surprise me was that Sonia Gerlou of Latour told me that this was one of the most difficult and complicated harvests that Latour has ever completed. It had to be done very quickly using an army of 200 pickers. Time was of the essence. In contrast 2005 was a breeze, she told us.
However, the result for both the deuxieme and the Grand Vin in 2009 are without question seriously prodigious efforts and are right up there in the pantheon of great Latours.
The latter in particular is a Latour de force, which has been treated to 100% new oak. There were concerns about the levels of alcohol, but what saved the day was the high acidity. Certainly, there is a remarkable freshness and ripeness to the wine, which almost seem at odds with each other. But tasting is believing.
Just 38% of Latour has gone into the Grand Vin, so selection has been rigorous again. Indeed, only 8,000 cases have been made, which is very, very low – even for Latour. As for the cepages – it is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot – no Cab Franc or Petit Verdot made the cut.
On the palate? Well the nose seems to have been lifted from Margaux, such are the aromatics. But look out for the cedar and lead pencils, plus the creamy cherry and cassis fruit and sexy sumptuous tannins. The balance is poised and pinpoint, perhaps because Engerer has kept the alcohol firmly in check at a manageable 13.7%. And there’s a sheen and polish to this wine. Frankly, it’s pretty faultless and registers another 19 points out of a maximum 20.
So we left on another high. But as you’ll see from the picture, what also caught my attention at Latour was a magnificent nag called Olympe who was dutifully ploughing the rows between Latour’s hallowed vines just in front of owner Francois Pinault’s pad and the historic tower at Latour.
Why a horse in this age of the latest gizmo technology? According to her boss Bertrand, she is one of three horses now fully employed at Latour. And the reason is simple. They do less damage than tractors to the environment and to the soil. ‘Tractors compact the soil and create more erosion. Olympe does no damage at all,’ Bertrand told me. A case of back to the future at Latour, where clearly not everything is ultra high-tec. Personally, I think it’s fabulous to see such traditional, tried and tested approaches to viticulture and vinificaton making a comeback.
Meanwhile, tomorrow morning, look out for my latest blog on Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion. They’re worth the wait….
Tags: latour, 2009, primeur, futures, chateau, palmer, haut-brion, brion, haut, vintage
Stephen Williams, Founder and CEO
Stephen Williams began trading as a wine merchant in 1982 and wishes he had stocked his cellar with Château Pétrus on day one. Since founding The Antique Wine Company, Stephen has built The Antique Wine Group into an organisation with clients in 63 countries and a global network of offices, representatives and business groups. Regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in fine and rare wines, he has created some of the greatest wine cellars and collections in existence – in châteaux, palaces, wineries, hotels and private residences across Europe, Asia and North America. As a popular commentator on the wine industry, fine wine investment and the global wine market, Stephen is frequently quoted by both the UK and international press corps. Along with his regular lectures at AWC Wine Academy, this blog offers a behind-the-scenes view into the world of fine wine.
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