December 18th 2012, by Gavin
Forget silly gadgets and dodgy bottles of spirits. Wine people like to be given wine. And wine books. (Ange likes Hendricks Gin, by the way.) Here’s a list of this year’s best publications which you can still grab in time for Christmas, albeit not from us. Santa, Amazon..
All were published in 2012.
Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz
£120 rrp, £77 on Amazon or elsewhere here. Fascinating for wine geeks but it’s probably not one for the casual reader and it isn’t in the bargain basement. As it says on the cover: ’A complete guide to 1,368 grape varieties, including their origins and flavours.’ (Can you name one of the 22 varieties that start with Z?) It’s hard to think of a more important or thoroughly researched opus on wine. I’m looking forward to getting to stuck in after Christmas.
Bordeaux Legends by Jane Anson
£35 rrp, £31.50 on Amazon. We loved this stunning book on the Bordeaux First Growths by our friend Jane Anson, the Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter magazine, so much that we pre-ordered 35 signed copies for Bauduc Bondholders and Club Members. We were totally oversubscribed in the space of two days. It won’t be available in the UK until the Spring, so we’ll keep you posted, but it’s only fair to include it in our list of favourite wine books from 2012.
May 31st 2012, by Gavin
No, we haven’t won a Silver Medal for our wine – which doesn’t really come as a shock as we haven’t entered any competitions for a few years, rightly or wrongly.
But I’m chuffed to have won a brand new Kindle and a year’s subscription to jancisrobinson.com for coming in as ’1st Runner-up’ in the 2012 Born Digital Wine Awards in the Best Winery Content category. Much of this chuffness stems from there being such a stellar bunch of wine writers on the judging panel, including Jancis Robinson, Tim Atkin, Elin McCoy, Wink Lorch and Richard Ross.
(As you can see, the section is actually called Best Winery Self-Produced Content, as opposed to stuff put out by PR firms and third-parties, I suppose. But it is the only ‘Winery’ section.)
November 25th 2011, by Gavin
Join me at the ‘Three Wine Men’ tasting
3rd and 4th December, at Lord’s, London NW8
Prize draw for free tickets
Come and taste our stuff at the ‘Three Wine Men’ event at Lord’s next weekend, hosted by Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin and Olly Smith. There are scores of other wines to try as well.
Oz will be standing on his soap box at the Château Bauduc table at 2pm on Saturday. No doubt he’ll be quite rude about us.
September 25th 2011, by Gavin
‘Points v prices’ often throws up some anomalies but we couldn’t resist these scores by Jancis Robinson MW, the UK’s most respected critic. (Source: www.jancisrobinson.com). Prices are per bottle, UK.
Château Mouton Rothschild blanc 2009 £70 16 points/20
Château Bauduc blanc 2009 £8.95 16.5 points/20
Château Haut Brion blanc 2009 £750 17 points/20
Yes, Haut Brion blanc, a rare wine, is £750 a bottle from leading UK merchants. The Bauduc blanc is available online here.
August 22nd 2011, by Gavin
I recently interviewed a fellow ‘Brit in Bordeaux’ for the subscriber section of JancisRobinson.com. There’s a great deal of free content on the site but for any wine enthusiast, the ‘Purple Pages’ are well worth £69 a year. Jancis has kindly allowed me to publish the article here:
This is the second in a series of articles looking back at the 2010 Bordeaux En Primeur campaign.
Englishman Christian Seely is the managing director of the AXA Millésimes group of estates, based at Château Pichon-Longueville in Pauillac. Besides this ‘Super Second’, Seely looks after Châteaux Pibran, also in Pauillac, Petit Village in Pomerol and Suduiraut in Sauternes, as well as estates in the Languedoc, Burgundy, Portugal and Hungary. He is also president of the Compagnie Médocaine, AXA’s Bordeaux négociant business.
Gavin Quinney, the owner of Château Bauduc (a recent Wine of the week), interviewed his compatriot about the 2010 campaign. Here is the transcript.
GQ: Why does the campaign have to take so-ooh long?
CS: Everybody agrees it should be quicker and start sooner – it is very annoying for customers. But each campaign has its own rhythm, and each property is waiting for the right moment. It shouldn’t be like that, of course. The timing though is key and it’s an incredibly important decision. There is an unofficial order, or hierarchy, and each property has their own idea of where they’re situated in that order. It’s their decision – and there are hundreds of individual decisions.
June 28th 2011, by Gavin
One Bordeaux story that flew around the internet this month was a Bordeaux negociant’s public refusal to buy a top Chateau’s 2010 because the price was ‘ludicrous’. At that price the wine ‘deserved to tank in the market’, I tweeted. So guess who I sat next to at a black-tie dinner, given by the leading Châteaux, two days later?
Let me explain.
June 26th 2011, by Gavin
Last week was a busy week, what with the biennial Vinexpo trade fair taking place in Bordeaux. After tastings and meetings, and five dinners on the trot (two small ones here, three flashier affairs at neighbouring châteaux), I was flagging a bit when a short email came through to firstname.lastname@example.org from Jancis Robinson MW OBE on Thursday morning: “Hope Vinexpo is treating you well. Much enjoyed your 2009 white, even if it is not based on the usual vines. What is the RS pse?”
Angela was about to reply ‘£8.95′ before checking with me at the show. ‘The Residual Sugar is 2.94 gms/litre’ was the answer Jancis was looking for. ‘Why?’ we asked. HRH replied “I’m planning to make it wine of the week on my website tmrw.”
Now that is good news at the end of a long week, and somehow all the effort we put in after the hail in May 2009 seems worth it. Here below is Jancis’s article on the wine, taken from the freebie part of her site. (Subscription costs £69 a year for ‘Purple Pages’ – essential reading for any wine nut.) Jancis then kindly tweeted the link to her 90,000 followers on Twitter. I did the same for my, er, 1,193.
June 20th 2011, by Gavin
Harpers Wine and Spirit Trade Gazette published my article on 3rd June, with my photo of a picker at Château Troplong Mondot on the front cover: “Massive prices for the 2010 First Growths, Super Seconds and Flying Fifths won’t deter investors, and buyers from the Far East, but will the Bordeaux en primeur bandwagon run out of steam further down the line?”
May 24th 2011, by Gavin
It’s five years since Oz Clarke and James May came to Bauduc at the start of their Big Wine Adventure – the video of the day is on the home page of our main Bauduc website and on the blog here. Oz has been back a few times since, the most recent visit being in March.
Here are his thoughts following his visit, with his kind permission. A slightly shorter version appeared in our Gazette, the newsletter we printed and posted to UK customers in May. You can view La Gazette online here.
‘Right, I thought – time to hit the 2010s. So I stopped off at my old mate Gavin’s place, Château Bauduc, and tasted at least 10 barrels of rather fine Merlot before we hit the real business of the evening which was to actually drink as much Bauduc as he could possibly afford without bankrupting him. Which we did – we bankrupted him. We drank the lot.
May 5th 2011, by Gavin
I wrote this piece for Livex, “the insiders’ guide to the global fine wine market”, and was published on 3rd May.
There was something different in the air this year, and it wasn’t just the constant tweeting of what the stuff tasted like.
En primeur attendances were higher than ever at the top estates, according to Paul Pontallier of Château Margaux (right). Much in evidence there, and at all the Firsts, were the Chinese translations of the brochures, to add to the long-standing piles of English and French versions. Based on visits to the leading properties the week after the UGCs, these were still being snapped up by Bordeaux’s new best friends.
Perhaps that’s what’s changed. Opinions about many of the great wines no longer matter. For the top Châteaux, even huge Parker points or double asterisks won’t be required to sell the iconic brands and for most of us, some of the tastings were academic.