Wines news of France II !!

Ok so here I am in a nice sunny day in my Morbihan Breton and need to tell you the latest about wines of France. Enough of the story of me and wines, you can read in my wine posts in my blog over the years since 2010! However, Bordeaux is in the news and I love it!

The 2019 will have been a very good vintage for the exports of the Bordeaux Grands Crus and therefore the members of the UGCB (Union of the Bordeaux Grands Crus). Despite a difficult international situation such as Brexit in the United Kingdom, implementation of Trump taxes in the United States, demonstrations in Hong Kong. Nevertheless exports jumped 12%, to 1.154 billion euros, over twelve months at the end of June 2020. An increase of 27% over two years ,the figures that represent bottles sold at more than 22.50 euros, representative of the members of the Union. “Greater China”, bringing together mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, retains its rank as the leading market, ahead of the United Kingdom, which is putting the United States on the back burner closing the podium.

This Greater China is the first market, with 360 million euros of exports in 2019 for 3.75 million bottles. Good point for 2020: affected first by the coronavirus pandemic, China should restart well before Europe and the United States, recognizes the president of the UGCB. Between the figures established in June 2019 for the previous twelve months and those given for the whole year, the United Kingdom took second place in the ranking of the main markets of the Union of Grands Crus of Bordeaux, thus dethroning the United States with 179 million euros in turnover for 1.6 million bottles exported, which makes the average bottle price very high, above 100 euros. Despite the 25% surcharge tax place mid-October 2019 by the Trump Administration on imports of French wines (grading more than 14 degrees of alcohol) which undoubtedly altered sales, the great wines of Bordeaux still achieved 177 million euros turnover for 2.5 million bottles. With an average price of the bottle around 70 euros, far from the prices noticed in the United Kingdom or in China Historically, the big cities of the East and West coasts are the first buyers of great wines of Bordeaux, in particular New York, which remains the stronghold, but Chicago and Texas also represent important spots.

During all weekends in June,2020 , the castles Lafon-Rochet (Saint-Estèphe), Siran (Margaux), Haut-Bages Libéral (Pauillac), Carbonnieux (Pessac-Léognan) and Ferrand (Saint-Emilion) open their doors to discover their domain, their cellars and vats as well as a preview, the tasting of their 2019 vintage. These free visits are made by appointment from 10h to 17h, with five slots per day, for groups composed of six to eight people maximum.

An 18C charterhouse built by the Lautrec family, cellar, 360-degree terrace, Château Siran, managed by a family owner since 1859, has both a flowered garden and a fallout shelter. Contact for visits email:

The Château Lafon-Rochet is a flamboyant yellow family estate surrounded by 41 hectares of vines, including those of great wine which are at least 35 years old and some vines date from 1938. Contacts for visits email: visits @ lafon-rochet. com

At Château Haut-Bages Libéral, founded in the 18C, the appellation includes 18 classified growths, including three of the first five classified great growths of 1855, and the property’s wine is certified organic from the 2019 vintage. Contacts for visits email

 A change of scenery with a history dating from the 13C, hundred-year-old trees, white and red winery, for Château Carbonnieux, which also has in its space, a collection of vintage cars. Contacts for visits email:

Finally, the Château de Ferrand, a 32 hectare Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion property in the center of a ten hectare park, overlooks the Dordogne valley. Contacts for visits email: wine

Something to spend wonderful times at Bordeaux with its wines and the culinary wonders of the Médoc and Bordeaux, France.  From Saint-Emilion to the Médoc, via the Bordeaux center, from June 2,2020 ; the visitor will once again have a wide choice of tables for elaborate food and wine pairings. Some of my favorites are below:

La Grande Maison by Bernard Magrez, 10, rue Labottière, 33000 Bordeaux. Phone 33 05 35 38 16 16. Menus: 60€, 85€ (lunch), 145€, and195€. Valet parking. Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

La Tupina, 6, rue Porte-de-la-Monnaie, 33000 Bordeaux. Phone.33 05 56 91 56 37. Menus: 18€ (lunch),64€, 74€. Carte around 80€. Valet parking.

Le Pavillon des Boulevards, 20, rue de la Croix-de-Seguey, 33000 Bordeaux. Phone. 33 05 56 81 51 02. Menus: 35€, 40€ (lunch), 95€, and 140€. Carte around 115 €.

Hostellerie de Plaisance, 5, place du Clocher, 33330 Saint-Émilion. Phone. 33 05 57 55 07 55. Menus: 74€ (Discovery, in 3 courses and 2 glasses of wine ,the Sommelier selection, at lunch on Tuesday),140€ Regional menu, 205€ My souvenirs menu . Carte: 150 to 200 € (without drink offered from Tuesday to Saturday, lunch only). Rooms: 395 to 750 €.

L’Envers du décor, 11, rue du Clocher, 33330 Saint-Émilion. Phone.33 05 57 74 48 31. Menus: 26.50€, 32€ (lunch). Carte: around 55 € 3 courses, without drink. Large choice of wines by the glass.

The Baravin de Chasse-Spleen, 32, chemin de la Razé, 33480 Moulis-en-Médoc. Open 7 days a week from May to October. Chasse-Spleen glass of wine from 7 to 14€.

The Château Giscours, 10, route de Giscours, 33460 Labarde. Tel. 33 05 57 97 09 09. Three guest rooms from 185€, breakfast included. Private table for small group.

And finally, some views from well known winegrowers on the outlook of their wine in the 2019 vintage year. It is a super year folks, grab those 2019!! Bordeaux should be in the top.

Nicolas de Bailliencourt co-owner of Château Gazin, in Pomerol: “2019 may be better than 2018 …” 2019 is quite close to 2018. It may even be better. At Château Gazin, it’s a compromise between the very beautiful 2016 and 2018.

Olivier Bernard owner of the Domaine de Chevalier, in Pessac-Léognan: 2019 vintage? For the first time in my life, I hoped for rain is a great vintage. In general, it left on time and arrived the same. Many have imagined that with the very sunny periods that we lived, this vintage would approach 2003 or 2009, warm, generous.

Jean-Charles Cazes co-owner and manager of Château Ormes de Pez: “I classify 2019 in the same category as the 2010, 2016, 2018”. 2019 is a luscious, charming, opulent, generous vintage. The wines are again solar, with lamb’s lettuce, good quality tannins. These are wines that go towards freshness thanks to their acidity.

Philippe Dambrine director of Château Cantemerle, president of the Médoc wine council: “In the style of the wines that I like” The three areas of the Haut-Médoc appellation, long and vast tongue of land sixty kilometers from the south (Blanquefort ) to the north (Saint-Seurin-de-Cadourne), all produced a very beautiful 2019.

Jean-Pierre Foubet co-owner of Château Chasse-Spleen, in Moulis-en-Médoc: “The Cabernets have corrected the softness of the Merlot” ;2019 is a superb vintage. “All the wines of the appellation (600 hectares) that I have tasted are successful, with, of course, different expressions depending on the terroir “ In recent vintages, 2019 would be a little notch below 2018, but would be comparable to 2014, a vintage that remained in the shadows because of the beautiful 2015 and 2016.

Emmanuel Danjoy director of Château Clerc Milon, in Pauillac: “A remarkable refining of tannins” With three properties in Pauillac . the Premier Cru Classé Château Mouton Rothschild, and the great classified growths Château d’Armailhac and Château Clerc Milon, we already had a very positive vision of 2019 “This is a great vintage. The terms that stand out during the tastings: nose of fresh black fruit, floral, liquorice . Soft, creamy, unctuous, velvety, silky on the palate. It is rare for Cabernets to present such sweet suave tannins. The finish stretches out with chocolate notes enhanced by a minty freshness. The remarkable balance of the wine, its richness and its tannic quality destine it for a very bright future which is already confirmed by the evolution observed since the beginning of the aging: the wines are built, become more complex, demonstrate an ability to not not be dominated by wood.

François-Xavier Maroteaux co-owner and director of Château Branaire-Ducru: “Both accessible now and long-lasting” The nose of the 2019 is already expressive, full of fruit. Dense, the wine has a nice depth. Very aromatic, it has maturity, great freshness and good acidity. But above all, “I think the 2019 can be appreciated quite quickly, a bit like the 2015 and the 2018”. Branaire-Ducru 2019 is higher than 2015 the alcohol levels are lower than we imagined at the start.

Stephan von Neipperg owner of Château Canon La Gaffelière: “A great integration of tannins” 2019 is one of the great classic vintages of Bordeaux. The wines are incredible, with superb, dark colors, with bluish reflections for the Merlots on limestone soils. Admittedly, 2016 remains a benchmark vintage but the wines are harder, the tannins more solid and marked than in 2019.

Alexander Van Beekdirector of Château Giscours, in Margaux: “An almost perfect balance” In the appellation in general, 2019 is a very great vintage, with beautiful marginal nuances, perfectly balanced between energy, freshness and acidity. Very deep in its style, elegant and precise, 2019 is enormously complex because the body is sumptuously mature.

Jean-Jacques Dubourdieu owner of Château Doisy-Daëne in Barsac: “2019 is above 2018” “We have really produced a nice, homogeneous vintage”. In terms of purity, structure, balance and acidity despite the heat, 2019 in the dry and sweet whites is above 2018. “We find all the classic specificities of Sauternes and Baracs. We are proud of this vintage because we saved it from a complicated state of health by giving us a lot of trouble in the vineyard The sweet 2019 reminds me of 2013 because we had the richness, the acidity and therefore the balance. It differs from more opulent vintages like 2015, 2016, 2009, 2005. My favorite vintages in the field are, in order: 2011, 2013, 2019, 2014.”

So there you go folks another round of wonderful French wines for the world to enjoy, the very best, often trying to imitate but never surpass. The very essence the world copys in all its production runs from grape to bottle. Enjoy Bordeaux, one word is enough. En vinos veritas!

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



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