I’m sat here in the shop at Pichon Baron in Pauillac, stealing their WiFi, as my Primuer week comes to an end. Primeur week is where wine-o’s come from all the way around the world to try the most recent vintage (2016) of wines from Bordeaux. The week has a lot of critics, because the wines are so far from being the finished article. But there are always some lessons to learn form the week…
Taste The Vintage Not The Wine
I still don’t understand how all these journalists can mark the individual wines. The Chateaux make a special blend of the extremely young wine just so the press will like it. By the time the wine is ready for release, two years later, the blend is usually pretty different. But as an overall snap shot of the vintage, and certain big areas in Bordeaux, you can tell there are trends. Is the fruit ripe? Are the tannins spot on? Is the acidity going ok? Nothing wrong with being a generalist this week.
Bring A Suit Next Time
I keep forgetting this every year. The expectation around these parts is that you wear a suit, or at least something smart, to come to these tastings. After embarrassing ourselves at a tasting on Monday (JB taking his beany hat off did little to improve the glares we got!), we’ve had a go with our best GAP shirts, but still falling just a bit short. We’ll have to porn it up next year!
Get The Gym Membership Ready
With so many aggressive, young wines on show, you need a bit of lining for the stomach and for the teeth. I got here on Monday morning and went straight to lunch. I’m a bugger for a buffet and just three days later I’m rolling around the region praying for soup and a salad! Think I’ll be hitting the gym pretty hard next week!
Don’t Volunteer To Drive
As I write this I’m gearing up for one last event before I head off. I’m in Pauillac with my colleague, JB. I volunteered to drive today as he’s be doing it the last couple. I’ve had to spit and pour away some incredible wine at lunch time, and will have to tonight as well, which just feels horrible. JB, on the other hand, is currently having a siesta in the car. The git!
Whoever else is here, hope you’re having fun