Wines news of France XXXV !!

Well, we are moving right along in Fall season , and November 2022 ,is coming along fine, the temps are warmer so say the so call experts. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

World wine production, hit by climate change, is expected in 2022 to be below the average of the last twenty years, according to initial estimates from the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) published this past Monday Nov 1 2022, based on information collected from 29 countries representing 91% of world production. Italy and France , the world’s number one and number two wine producers respectively are expected to produce more wine than the average for the past five years (2017-2021). Spain, which completes this top three, on the other hand, shows a 12% drop in production compared to the 2017-2021 average due to “drought and limited access to water in certain regions”. The country most affected by the heat is Greece, with production which has plunged by 29% compared to the 2017-2021 average. Outside Europe, production in the United States , the world’s fourth largest producer fell by 6% compared to the 2017-2021 average, in particular due to an early frost followed by drought, In the southern hemisphere, after a 2021 harvest record, production fell back to the 2017-2021 average. New Zealand is an exception with historically high production against a backdrop of excellent climatic conditions and strong international demand. The international organization also announced last week the return to its ranks of Ukraine, which had ceased to contribute to its funding. The country produced 660,000 hectoliters of wine in 2021.

After a year 2021 weighed down by a disastrous harvest in France, the European harvest should be slightly larger in 2022 by +2%, with 154 million hectoliters of wine in the eight main producing countries, announced last Tuesday Nov 2 2022 during a conference the european agricultural confederation Copa-Cogeca ,According to its forecasts, Italy would retain first place in the European top three, a trio which produces nearly half of the bottles sold in the world. Spain, whose vineyards have been thirsty and crushed by the heat, should however give up its place of number 2 to France. Unbeatable, Italy should maintain stable production, slightly above 50 million hectoliters despite volume declines in Lombardy and Sicily. The harvest should be very heterogeneous in France, with exceptional harvests in certain wine-growing areas such as Champagne or Burgundy, and others such as the Sud-Ouest which suffered from frost, hail and then the heat wave. French production should soar by 20.2% and reach 44.6 million hectoliters.

From one end of the long Loire Valley to the other, winegrowers are happy with the quality of the 2022 vintage. Only the quantity is not uniformly there, The Chinon 2022 is a very, very great vintage with exceptional flavors, well above the great year 1989! A little further north, the finding is similar to Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueil in quality but regrets a small lack of quantity, due to water stress which has sometimes blocked the vines. The harvest took place from September 15 to October 6, a little earlier than expected due to the lack of water which pushed back the ripening. In Bourgueil, volumes will be reduced in certain sectors which suffered from hail. As for the Touraine appellations, the volume is medium to medium plus, with irregularities, due to a heavy hail that crossed the Cher and attacked the Pouillé vineyard in Oisly, After two small harvests, the Vouvray winegrowers are happy to regain volume, All types of wines will be made this year, sparkling, dry, semi-dry and sweet, thanks to the different characteristics of the terroirs of the property,

A primer, Even before reading the cellar book, a few clues can alert you to its probable indigence. To avoid indigestion, here are 5 warning signs that suggest that the wine list may be disappointing, The vintage is missing here, the name of the domain there, the precise appellation, the color is only mentioned half the time. In short, a wine list “with holes” but you have passed the age to play hangman , Appellations, domain names, regions sometimes, obviously the sommelier or the wine attendant has not passed the certificate of studies ! Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire Valley, Languedoc… Red, white, rosé . And that’s it. A miserable choice, generally engraved in marble between two laminated sheets, which does not bode well , The same name often comes up, declined in all colors and all designations? Surely a big trader – which in itself is no indication of poor quality – but indicates the restaurant’s laziness and lack of imagination. The logo of a region, a major player in wine, a trading house. Here is a wine list swallowed up by a single marketer ! Be aware !

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou unveils its alabaster box, intended to adorn the emblematic 1982 vintage. Bruno Borie goes even further by offering an exceptional setting for a wine that is just as special, the Château Ducru-Beaucaillou 1982 in double magnum. It is on the mineral side that the contemporary art lover turned to ask Atelier Alain Ellouz to imagine an alabaster box. Cozyly nestled in the alabaster box, lulled by a soft integrated light, the Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Julien acquires an additional dimension. Because 1982 is one of the mythical vintages in Bordeaux and this wine testifies to it with its deep and complex bouquet, as comfortable as a leather armchair after a walk in the forest. The silkiness of stone responds to that of wine, the texture of cashmere is not far away. This box is an exceptional piece, for lovers of art, whether sculptural or vinous. Or both.

In Margaux, Château Lascombes changes hands. The mutual MACSF, which guarantees the health of the French health care system with more than a million members, has been the owner since 2011 of Château Lascombes, second classified growth of Margaux .The announcement of the sale to American businessman Gaylon Lawrence, owner of Lawrence Wine Estates, run by Carlton McCoy, marks a new stage in the life of this castle which has already changed hands three times in two decades. However, the new owner is not just a simple investor since he already owns several wine estates in California with the successive acquisition of Heitz Cellar and then several major Napa Valley appellations (including Ink Grade, Burgess Cellars, Stony Hill). MACSF remains a shareholder and reinvests in the capital, in order to allow this grand cru to continue to develop and reach new markets. This major acquisition, the fifth in Margaux in three years, reinforces the appeal of the appellation with investors with the acquisition of Château Cantenac-Brown by the Le Lous family, La Tour de Mons by the Perrodo family, Château du Tertre by CNP Assurances and, more recently, the acquisition by the Roulleau family of Château Dauzac.

The land pressure was too strong: located in the heart of the most famous village on the Côte d’Azur since its foundation in 1908, the cooperative cellar of Saint-Tropez ended up leaving the walls of the small port in 2019. Here it is installed on the road that leads to the mythical beach of Pampelonne. This was an opportunity for winegrowers to rebuild their image and launch a new brand, Torpez. Don’t see a typo here: the name is taken from San Torpé di Pisa, martyrdom of Pisa, whose decapitated body washed up on the city’s shore 2,000 years ago in a boat accompanied by a dog and a rooster. A singular destiny which gave its name to the village of Saint-Tropez. The winery now has 130 “winemakers” of 30 different nationalities who bring their grapes. A nice melting pot, where descendants of sailors turned farmers rub shoulders with the owners of luxurious villas. In the Domaine des Parcs de Saint-Tropez, the hill where the villas of billionaires are located, we frequently see four, five or six rows of vines bordering a farmhouse, a villa, a bastide. The smallest of these “gardens” measures only 25 acres. Their combined grapes are used to produce a top-of-the-range cuvée, Ultimum, available in red, rosé and white.

Resurrection in Chinon, Domaine Charles Joguet in Sazilly , created in 1957. The Domaine Charles Joguet remains intimately linked to its founder, whose wines still resonate in the hearts and palates of Cabernet Franc lovers. His Clos de la Dioterie 1989 is in the pantheon of reds from the Loire Valley. The wines regain accuracy and finesse. This precision in the work is the whole style of the 2020s (Petites Roches, La Cure, Les Charmes and Varennes du Grand Clos) and the 2019s (Clos du Chêne Vert and Clos de la Dioterie). Thirty years after the legendary 1989, Clos de la Dioterie 2019, the archetype of the deep and refined Grand Chinon, regains its place at the top of the Loire Cabernet Francs An estate in great shape !

The Edmond de Rothschild Heritage group recently fed the columns of the press for the acquisition of Akarua in New Zealand. But another event is preparing in Médoc with the 50th anniversary of Château Clarke under the era of this family. For the occasion, a new cellar and a cuvée…This Cru of Listrac with a large proportion of Merlot is a historic decision that dates back to the mid-1980s (50% versus 42% before that) and which has gradually intensified each year to reaching around the 2000s 70% Merlot for 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

In 2024, China will also have its Cité du Vin or Wine City in the province of Fangshan. This project is part of a strong partnership with the Bordeaux Cité du Vin. As in Bordeaux, the objective is to make the cultural dimension of wine accessible to as many people as possible. However, there are a few differences, starting with the clientele. The knowledge of Chinese visitors is not the same as those who visit us in Bordeaux. Asian attitudes and tastes also had to be taken into account. The visit will take place over five main themes: the making of wine, its history, its place in the world, its essences and finally the art of living that results from it. An exciting and unprecedented parallel is notably drawn between the history of wine in the West and in China. Bordeaux will have a place in keeping with its importance in the world of wine. We can therefore imagine a strong visibility of the Girondin vineyard within the framework of this new structure. The building will be finished at the end of this year 2022 ,and the final opening is scheduled for May 2024.

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

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

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