Looking at wines in France!

So here coming back with wines. Yes indeed love it and great drinker collector passionate and diplomé of it. I have written several posts on it and on many regions of France and the world. However, let me bring you the latest good news and stories on the wines of France.

The origins of the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) are not as old as that of the 1855 classification, but its tale is furiously reminiscent of a 19C adventure novel. It all started with a business trip to Japan in 1973 from a few big Bordeaux owners. Asia well and it seemed appropriate to them, after conquering America, to turn to Japan. But it was necessary to simplify the presentation of Bordeaux wines so that our interlocutors were not lost between the 1855 classification, that of bourgeois wines and Pomerol which did not have one. It was not a question of being profiteering, but of explaining Bordeaux outside the hierarchy. Quite naturally, in 1973, Jean-Bernard Delmas became the first president of the Union des grands crus de Bordeaux.

Wine tastings of members of the union were also started to be organized outside Bordeaux such as in Paris first, then in London thanks to the support of Irish-born merchant Anthony Barton, in Brussels etc. Opening up to new horizons, notably the United States, the highlighting of our wines by the Anglo-Saxon press and, in particular, by a young American journalist still unknown will change the situation. It will be the beginning of the Parker era, with great successes, but also some excesses. From 1997, the week of primeurs was introduced instead of two weeks of dedicated tastings, one for the international press and the other for trading. The idea of bringing everyone together over a week has gradually emerged to become what it is today with tastings seated for journalists and in properties for all buyers. On this it was decided to organize the first tasting in China. About fifty members of the union made the trip, Shanghai will be the first city visited in China, followed by smaller ones, but also trips to Brazil, India .all successes.

The history of its presidents to put effort and love into the Bordeaux association took Pierre Tari to bring a taste for travel. Peter Sichel had a profile perfectly suited to the Anglo-Saxon markets so important at the time. Alain Raynaud, son of a winegrower and doctor in Bordeaux, came up with modern ideas that upset the train before the arrival of Patrick Maroteaux, the right president at the right time. The UGCB knows how to find the one who will take it further. They are sometimes victims of the image of the Bordelais, a little locked in their castles, but at the head of all these properties, there are businessmen, passionate about their profession and the wines they produce and who are fully invested. It is normal that this is effective.

More information of this wonderful group of passionates about the Bordeaux wines , my fav is here in English. UGCB on wines of Bordeaux

One organism that I started my career in the world of wines while an office in Miami, now is New York, the food and wines of France or Sopexa (official France govt source). webpage in English here:  SOPEXA Food and Wine from France

The wine merchant Joseph Drouhin at the beginning of the last century when his son, Maurice, told him about his professional ambitions. What would the grandfather say these days? Founded in 1880 in Beaune, Joseph Drouhin is today a house unanimously respected around the world. A 73 hectare wine estate, two thirds of great and premier crus on the most beautiful lands of Burgundy, from Mâcon to Chablis. With 90 appellations, including Musigny, Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche, Clos Vougeot and the cult Clos des Mouches, a Burgundian icon. Catalog of legend to which were added, in 1987 and 2013, two properties in Oregon (United States). Vinified or produced, the wines signed Joseph Drouhin are exported to 90 countries.

In 1878. Joseph Drouhin and his wife, Pauline, left the Yonne to open a bookstore in Beaune, which was soon abandoned for trading in wine. Future profession boosted by the rise of the railroad. In 1914. Maurice Drouhin, the only son of Joseph, is one of the youngest captains in France. Perfect polyglot (German and English), he was recruited by the future general MacArthur. In 1918 at the end of the Great War or WWI and return to the wine market, cured of military chaos and phylloxera.

Their wines get all the attention and fame that it deserves. The director of Maxim’s, in Paris, requests exclusivity. People of yesterday and today love this dry and elegant white wine. Alfred Hitchcock, Louis de Funès, Sean Connery, Jean-François Moueix, the owner of the Pétrus estate. On June 7, 1944, the day after the Allied landing in Normandy, the friend of the Americans was informed of a raid by the Nazi police. Thanks to the maze of ancestral cellars under its vat room, it escapes, emerging through a back door, and reaching the Hôtel-Dieu. Protected by the sisters for several months, he donated 2.5 hectares of his best vintages after the war. Each year, during the charity sale for the benefit of the Hospices de Beaune, a cuvée from these vines now bears his name, several pieces (228 liter barrels) faithfully bought by his grandchildren to continue the charity work. Contact Maison Joseph Drouhin, 7, rue d’Enfer, 21200 Beaune.

Again, this large building located at the exit of the village of Ampuis from the capital of Gaul. In a curve of the road RD86 (ex-route 86), the famous N7 sung by Charles Trenet, impossible to miss this high plastered house of brown ocher crossed out with the name of its company name: Établissements Guigal. Three generations of a family name synonymous with the biggest appellations in the Rhône valley: Côte Rotie, Condrieu, Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-pape, saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, etc. Among which, mythical plots: La Mouline, La Turque, and La Landonne. So many treasures cultivated on the steep hillsides of the Côte-Rôtie ,the cradle of Syrah for 2,400 years, the steepest and oldest vineyard in France.

The young Guigal is doing so well that in twenty-two years, the Vidal-Fleury house has become a first-class property and trading house. The Vidal-Fleury-Guigal duo is renowned. Joseph travels the world, palaces and wine-growing authorities. Etienne manages everything else; from the management of the vineyard to real estate investments. His father wanted to put his surname on the labels and founded his own house in 1946. The break with his employer was dramatic. Joseph Vidal-Fleury contracted jaundice and when he met my father in the village, he was feeling unwell. On January 11, 1961 when on his return from high school, he found his mother in tears, his father decked out in dark glasses from a detachment of the retina, operated three times. Etienne is blind. Marcel does not have a driver’s license, not his bachelor’s degree, not even a major. He has no choice but to imitate his father’s signature to prevent the establishment from collapsing. But the reward is there. In 1961, the house of Guigal, that’s 13,000 bottles per year and an employee; by 2020, around fifty people work to produce more than 8 million bottles, not counting the production of satellites passed under the Guigal fold. From north to south, some 150 hectares of vineyards: Vidal-Fleury establishments, Château d’Ampuis, Domaine de Vallouit, Domaine de Bonserine, Château de Nalys, etc, and always the three hats owner, winemaker-breeder and merchant- breeder; sported with equal pride by Philippe, like before him his father and grandfather. Contact at Etablissements Guigal, 5, route de la Taquière, 69420 Ampuis.

A nice pairing for the  Summer.  From mid-May to mid-July, the orchards that have become immaculate see the branches of the cherry trees bend. From the soft, dark red burlat to the rather sour and almost black morello cherry, passing by the pale yellow Napoleon and the vermilion Montmorency. To wash down with cherries which we love you can have a Maury from the Domaine Pouderoux ;aromas of cocoa and black cherry with a hint of mint; on the palate, a lot of sugar richness, but a very integrated and well-balanced alcohol structure, and above all a very pleasant suppleness. Delicious.

a couple of late taste with a meal and very good value/quality wise I believe very well spread in the world  ,the reds of Bordeaux:

Château Rollan de By, Cru bourgeois 2015, Médoc, Red. The tannins are tender, nice length, full, suave, elegant, powerful, fresh on the finish. I had their rosé as well very nice balance fruity wine excellence for a Bordeaux rosé! Château La Tour Carnet 2009 Grand cru classé, Haut-Médoc, Red .Full, intense, concentrated, fleshy, this Grand Cru Classé of unbeatable value for money offers a nice freshness, very fine tannins.

And one from lointime my period of Burgundy and the first property tasted and visited at Beaune. Louis Jadot, Monopole Clos de la Barre 2014, Volnay Premier cru, Red Soft attack, elegant mouth. The power is gradually installed. Silky tannins. Always a great property.

Entitled Boire avec les dieux  or Drinking with the Gods, the temporary exhibition at the Cité du Vin did not open on April 10 and is postponed for a year. In 2021, from April 9 to August 29, announces the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilizations.

The 2019 Primeurs campaign in Bordeaux has just experienced its first boost this morning with the marketing of Château Pontet-Canet, 5th Grand Cru Classé 1855 (Pauillac) announced at the buyer price of 68€ excl. tax (source) or more exactly 58€ excl tax ex-trader, which represents a significant drop compared to the 2018 vintage, released at 98€ excluding taxes a year ago.  Will this 31% reduction in price for an 1855 Grand Cru Classé give the market trend for the 2019 vintage in Bordeaux? If that is the case, it is undeniable that this 2019 is going to be rich in good deals for amateurs. The next outings will be closely monitored in the coming days. At the start of the week, some pretty nuggets opened the campaign: Château d’Arsac, Cru Bourgeois Exceptional (14€ excl tax), Château Lanessan  Haut-Médoc (10.40 € HT), Clos Manou en Médoc ( € 17.30 HT) or Château Haut-Bergey in Pessac-Léognan (14€ excl tax). All prices are at least 20% lower than the 2018 vintage!. Gear up for bargains folks; I am ready willing and able.

There you go for the wine news from yours truly. Enjoy it en vino veritas!!!

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!

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