September 30th 2012, by Gavin
The sunny, dry weather carried on from August up until the last week of September, giving us the chance to harvest our Sauvignon as and when we wanted. Last year, we spent 500 hours cutting out less-than-noble rot from the bunches. This year, none. Tasty.
So we’ve been able to pick our entire crop of 2012 Sauvignon Blanc ’à la carte’. This is an expression routinely used by cocky vignerons who have had the luxury of choosing when to harvest each parcel of vines, as and when they ripen, without being inconvenienced by forecasts of rain or other such interruptions.
The weather has indeed been kind and there was an important change at just the right moment in mid-September, when the mornings became quite chilly. This allowed us to pick by machine before and just after dawn, while the grapes were cold and delicious. By starting at 5am, as we do routinely nowadays, and wrapping up each day’s harvest by around 9.30am, we brought the grapes in with minimal risk of oxidation at around 12 to 13C.
October 5th 2011, by Gavin
With the growing season almost three weeks ahead of last year, the harvest of our white grapes at Château Bauduc kicked off at the end of August. It wasn’t the easiest vintage, as we had four months of near-drought from March to early July and a tad too much rain from mid-July to the beginning of September. The summer was cool overall but at times it was very humid, which caused problems. In the end, after getting hands-on in the vines to sort the grapes, we’re pretty pleased with the result.
Here’s the story of the white harvest in photos. Click on an image to enlarge it.
Update, Summer 2012: if you’re in the UK and would like to sample the fruits of our labour, you can order the wine here.
September 28th 2011, by Gavin
Our personalised labels have been going down well, so we’ve tightened up on the process and can price them attractively at £1.50 a bottle surcharge. A minimum order applies and advance planning is recommended to avoid high shipping bills.
The cost is £1.50 per bottle surcharge, with a minimum one-off fee of £180 – which covers the first ten cases of 12 (120 x £1.50). The ten cases can be made up of different wines – white, red and rosé. For more on the wines, which cost between £7.95 and £9.75 per bottle in the UK for the regular labels, see here.
Essentially, we use the classic Bauduc label, with our special raised print, and can add 3 lines of personal text below the drawing on our label.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
May 26th 2011, by Gavin
An early start to the growing season, then lovely weather for the all important-flowering in the vines – three weeks ahead of usual – seems a little too much of a good thing.
Now what we need is a little divine intervention for some much-needed rain and, with any luck, no natural disasters. We have, after all, had one or two catastrophes strike in May (hail, 2009) and June (hail, 2003).
Budburst kicked off early this year, towards the end of March.
April 26th 2011, by Gavin
We like weddings. Especially big ones.
It’s the time of year when we get asked to quote for many special occasions. Thankfully our wines often seem to fit the bill, as far as quality, versatility, prestige, provenance, a smart label and price is concerned. And you won’t see it everywhere.
Receiving this sort of feedback too is encouraging for any wine grower:
“The Bauduc wines drew a remarkable number of positive compliments, way outside the usual drunkard expletive. Really, so many people came up to me to say how good they were… My purpose in writing is merely to say thank you for a) the Bauduc which you must never be complacent about – it is seriously good b) the sound advice on bubbles.”
(Mark Johnstone, 25 June 2010)
Another advantage is that buyers can collect the wine from our Calais collection point, saving £25 duty per case in the process. As long as the wine is for your own use, such as for a wedding, there’s no limit to the amount you can take home from France.
So we’ve decided to go one step further for a trial period, following an idea from a customer who wanted to buy a barrel (all 25 cases) of wine. For a substantial order, we’ll print the names of the happy couple and the date on our Château Bauduc label. We are, after all, known for putting the names of famous chefs on our label, not least Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsay. The same applies for anniversaries, birthdays, special events, and so on.
February 23rd 2011, by Gavin
Ronan Sayburn is one the leading sommeliers in the world and recently made a star appearance on Michel Roux’s ‘Service’ on BBC2. He’s also Director of Wines and Spirits at the Hotel du Vin, and has taken on one of the Scholarship winners, Danielle, from the programme. In this video from their new website – via the ‘HdvTV’ YouTube channel at the foot of the page on their site – Ronan talks through what to look for when tasting a dry white.
January 26th 2011, by Gavin
We’ve had an incredible response to our recent ’30-Second Survey’. As I mentioned in 10 Questions about Corks v Screwcaps, we’ve considered whether we should continue with corks for our white and rosé, and possibly for our reds. With the bottling of over 10,000 cases due to take place next month, we wanted to know what everyone thinks. The easiest thing to do would be not to change anything – after all, we get few complaints.
On 14 January, we emailed all our customers (or rather, all those who are on our email list), with a link to a simple survey, which closed a week later. The question was:
What closures should we use to bottle our wines?
There were three choices – cork, screwcap or don’t mind – for each category of white, rosé and red. Over 1100 responded within a week, leaving their full name and email address (which wasn’t obligatory). Around 700 left a comment. This was the result (1148 entries):
January 26th 2011, by Gavin
Everyone who completed our January ’30-Second Survey’ was invited to enter a short quiz, with the closest to guessing the % vote in favour of cork winning a prize. 600 people took part.
The results were 16%, 12.4% and 59.5%. For the full results, see Corks v Screwcaps Survey Results.
Congratulations to the winners, Stuart Denlegh-Maxwell and Brian Cockburn
who each win a case of 2000 Château Cap de Faugères (89/100 from Robert Parker). Both were within 2 points on average of the pro-cork vote.
Mike and Liz Stamp snatched the third case, of 2000 Château Puygueraud (87/100 RP).
A Château Bauduc apron, for being within 3%, goes to these 6 who were so close – within 3% on average: