Wines news of France XI !!!

And here I am again on my wine rumblings and news! Of course, one of my best hobbies since more youthful days, and never stop. Tried them all, visit most corners of the world on them, but settle for my belle France, and especially Bordeaux. Now let me share this love with you all. Any questions?

And this is the season of Easter and why not the wines ! Happy Easter to all !

The lamb will go ideally with a red wine? Preferably made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, so a priori from Bordeaux.  And, in order to afford “reasonably” a bottle of about ten years (2001 or 1999 vintages), you can choose either a cru bourgeois, or a “second wine” from a prestigious estate. The Château Ormes de Pez in Saint-Estèphe (same owner as Lynch-Bages): notes of dried flowers and ground pepper from the first nose, and a nice freshness on the finish. In the second, I would hesitate, either Les Forts de Latour (the “second” of Château Latour, Pauillac premier grand cru classé) for its elegant classicism, its aromatic richness and its almost silky texture  Or Le Clémentin by Pape Clément, also the dolphin of a flagship of the Bordeaux vineyard for its intense aromas and light delicacy.

Foires aux vins de printemps 2021 oh yes the  Spring wine fairs are here again. I have invitations to a few even folks from the Loire making deliveries here to get around the covid19 restrictions.  As Bordeaux classified growths are almost absent from the landscape, competition between large-scale retailers is less frontal. E. Leclerc, does not organize a national operation for spring wine fairs, which does not prevent some of its stores from putting on occasional events. Of course, Carrefour has it and I have invitation with discount here too lol!!  While large-scale distribution is leading the way, wine merchants and websites are not left out, with often more sophisticated selections. Moreover, it is this return of sunny days, as well as the period of family or religious celebrations, which guides the choices during the spring wine fairs. Indeed , a great round of wine purchases to come!!!

How about the emblematic and historical Corton-Charlemagne by Louis Latour: sublime of  Burgundy. This Chardonnay cuvée is a jewel from the mamelon which culminates in the north of Beaune. Some attribute extraordinary virtues to it. The hill of Corton, with a wood top  at its summit that evokes the shape of a monastic tonsure  a nice nod to its Cistercian past, has more than 1,000 hectares of which 550 are vines of 167 great vintages in the Corton appellation and Corton-Charlemagne. Red or white? If the vines are planted with Pinot Noir, they are entitled to the Corton appellation. Often, the red Corton was called “the king of the good living”. The wine owes its name to two emperors. Otho, a Roman whom no one remembers, who reigned from January to April 69, owned an estate here, like Charlemagne later. It is said that the latter, at the end of his life, suffered from tremors. Tired of spilling his red wine on his superb flowery beard, he had white grape varieties planted. Let us remember that Corton-Charlemagne is an aesthetic work!

A young Corton-Charlemagne, whose color sometimes reveals green reflections, releases formidable mineral notes. It is then urgent to wait. Over time, the aromatic palette widens, the notes of honey, frangipane, toasted almond and cinnamon become more present. The oldest vintages release a leathery nose, without the wine ever losing its delicate acid touch. On the palate, the juice is both racy, concentrated but elegant.  In Paris, a discreet circle, aptly called Cercle Corton-Charlemagne, maintains the cult of this wine. The Maison Louis Latour house covers some twenty hectares, a continent on the scale of Burgundy. Half of these vines are in the Corton-Charlemagne appellation, spread over the climates En Charlemagne, Le Charlemagne, Les Pougets, Les Languettes and Le Corton. The price of the wines of the hill is at its highest, and the price of the land continues to rise. A fifth of the Corton-Charlemagne appellation has changed hands over the past twenty years. In one generation, the value of land would have quintupled. At the start of 2017, the acquisition of the Bonneau du Martray estate (11 hectares) by the American billionaire Stanley Kroenke terrified the locals. The wine heritage of the hill has become colossal. Fortunately, this in no way affects the work of the families of winegrowers who work here. The wine has remained the same, unique, reflecting a protected territory, a know-how transmitted over the centuries, an ideal detached from fluctuations in the price of the land.

The 2013 Château Latour was released, with a higher price than the previous one, despite ratings in free fall and a vintage deemed to be catastrophic. 365 euros!. This is the professional price announced by Château Latour for its 2013 vintage, which is one of the five Premiers Grands Crus Classé of 1855, i.e. a slightly higher price than the previous one, which already amounted to 350 euros when it was released. The property of the Pinault family no longer sells its wine en Primeurs since 2012.The only thing is: who would have expected the 2013 vintage to be one of the worst Bordeaux has seen since 1984? The second wine Les Forts de Latour 2015 has just been released at the professional price of 150 euros, with marks of 93 and 94, respectively attributed by Galloni and Martin. The competition promises to be tough.Indeed!!

Hear all about it loud and clear ! The “Cahors Révélations Malbec” operation returns to introduce you to Cahors wines at 215 wine merchants throughout France. The key is a wine tourism trip in the vineyards of Cahors accompanied by a dinner at the starred restaurant Le Gindreau, as well as a night and a lunch in a century-old institution in the city of Cahors, the Hôtel Terminus, known for its gourmet table Le Balandre, which will continue with a tailor-made tasting at Villa Cahors Malbec. Find the Cahors Révélations Malbec competition on the Facebook page @vinsdecahors and on Instagram @cahorsmalbec.  Find all of the participating wine merchants on the @vinsdecahors Facebook page.

And for the British: Brexit oh yes that word will live in history! The United Kingdom postpones the import formalities for French wines on the territory. Finally, good news for exporters, importers (and drinkers!) Of wines from the EU zone in the United Kingdom, with new import formalities postponed until the end of 2021. For the moment.  At the heart of the debate, form VI-1, made up of two parts, with first of all a certificate which confirms compliance with the rules relating to PDOs, PGIs,labeling, names of categories of vine products. and authorized oenological practices , but also the obligation to provide an analysis report, consisting of having to have a bottle of each batch “tested” through an official laboratory. A puncture that does not take into account the size of the importer or the volume of cases imported. In other words , a serious shortfall for a trader whose flow is limited to one or two units per transaction. Indeed no help for free trade!

And something could not tell much before, but now in retirement mood, let me tell you a bit. This is my HQ head office and they were into wines of course, I saw it part of my job in Finance dept. head of a service to be told later.  I knew it coming and we are now big into wines!! By completing the merger with Vinadeis and taking over the entire Cordier brand, the InVivo Wine group is deeply restructuring and changing its identity: it becomes Cordier by InVivo, with the ambition of establishing itself as a global wine giant. In 2015, InVivo, the leading French agricultural cooperative group (whose wine branch is InVivo Wine), acquired a 78% stake in Cordier-Mestrezat, (I got a free bottle!) , the remaining 22% being held by the large wine cooperative group Val d’Orbieu  which has since become Vinadeis. Vinadeis goes completely under the banner of InVivo, the whole being now called Cordier by InVivo. Currently bringing together 9 cooperatives, 32 estates, 600 employees, 3,600 wine growers for a turnover of 500 million euros, Cordier by InVivo aims to quickly reach one billion turnover, by relying on a solid logistics park, a production tool spread over several key sites (Cubzac, Trilles, UCCOAR, Sudvin) and a very wide range, which goes from bulk to organic and revolves in particular around promising brands such as Café de Paris, Maris, the Mythique cuvée, Bonne Nouvelle, Canei or LeVal. The affordable wine drinkers of the future beware a new player is coming and soon purchasing property in California USA ::) The webpage:

So, therefore, stay tune, wines gets better even if change tastes a bit in Summer. Enjoy the post as I do, and do drink wines, its good for you, the jobs, the history the traditions. Of course, in moderation.

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

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