One of the jobs I have is to sell wine to private punters, and Bordeaux makes up a large proportion of that. It’s a region I love, from the food, the wine, and producers…everything really, so it’s not really a toughy to be an enthusiastic salesman. But every year, around April/May the primeurs campaign has me struggling. But a recent article in Decanter made me realise I was missing some obvious tricks…
Finishing off this week’s round up of 2017 with April’s trip out to Bordeaux for the annual En Primeur tasting. Basically you all drive around different Chateau drinking young and unfinished wine and make up a load of guff about how amazing it’ll be in a few years. Honest to god, that’s roughly it. I don’t get it as a system, but hey ho. It’s still a great week to meet up with people and see what’s what in magical Bordeaux!
APRIL: Primeurs samples in Bordeaux
“I work for a Bordeaux specialist wine company, so April is always about Primeurs to one extent or another. I’m still not sure I agree with the idea of it, but everyone else does it, so sod it, let’s try make the best of it, they do serve some stunners at the lunches.
The 2016 vintage we were trying was another top vintage for Bordeaux (good job given the volume problem for 2017), but one of the better experiences was Millesima’s Primeur Panorama event, retasting the 2015 a year after barreling.
Much closer to the final product than the press-focused barrel samples straight after harvest, could this be a way forward for Bordeaux?”
FULL ARTICLE HERE
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…
We were out in Bordeaux during Primeur week. This is the week where the world’s wine press meets in Bordeaux to taste through last year’s recently fermented and mixed wines. We then all head off and tell everyone if it was a good year or not and which were the better wines than others. That we’re tasting the wines 2 years before they’re released is neither here nor there. On the back of recommendations, the end client pays for some wines that they’ll get delivered in 2 years time, and the Châteaux get some much needed cash flow. Maybe you’re noticing one or two holes in the theory?
The other 5 bloggers and I were in Bordeaux because we’d written something good about wine at some point. I have to admit that reading everyone else’s entries kind of made me shrink a bit, but that’s just my English inadequacy shining through once again. Obviously we were all there to get stuck into the great wines of the region, taking our photos and making our tasting notes as we went around. From my point of view though, one of the best things about wine is that it’s unescapedly linked with food. Me oh my, the food that week was amazing!
Anyone who follows the wine press will have seen plenty of articles in the last few weeks about how much the 2015 Bordeaux releases cost. The 2015 vintage of Bordeaux is trading in a futures market at the minute, where you buy the wines 2 years before they’re released. So everyone’s waiting to see how much the Chateaux are releasing their wines at. And you hear plenty of comments like “oooh it’s the most expensive for 5 years” like that’s a terrible thing. So what?
So last week I spoke about why I was in Bordeaux on this VIP trip of a lifetime. Before I crack on with what we got up to I thought a quick post on the other excellent boys and girls that were “blog winners” too. Then I don’t have to keep introducing them as I start banging on about the ridiculously cool (and sometimes daft) stuff that we got up to!
To Toma, Maddie, Michelle, Regina, and Jezzer, thanks so much for being top people and adding so much to what was already a phenomenal experience!
And to those of you from Millesima and Bernard Magrez who aren’t mention (yet), apologies, but there are just so many people to thank! I will get round to all of you in the next few posts, I swear!!
A few weeks back I trooped off to Bordeaux to enjoy my prize for winning the Millesima Blog Awards. I flew out for the 6 days of Primeur Week to have what turned out to be an incredible experience put together by the fine folks at Millesima and their partner for the awards, Bernard Magrez’s group. So much happened over the week that’s worthy of a chat that I’ll be winging off a few posts over the next few weeks, but for now, here’s a quick intro on how it came about.
I’ve got more things to write about my recent trip out to Bordeaux than you can shake a stick at! As one of the winners of the Millesima Blog Awards, I was VIP’ed all the way around Bordeaux for the week with my 5 amazing fellow winners, all looked after brilliantly by the teams at Millesima and Bernard Magrez.