Sunday, June 21, 2015

Conclusions From My Tour De France

There are a number of takeaways for me, apart from the individual tastings.

1) Nothing replaces the visit of individual wine regions. You develop a different relationship to the wines, based on the vibe you picked up, some key impressions, the concentrated tastings in a few days, and the personalities you meet.

2) In Bordeaux, the house style, i.e. winemaker reigns, in Burgundy it is the terroir. In that sense, the emphesis in Bordeaux on the chateau, and in Burgundy on the vineyard, is appropriate. The cult around the winemaker is not as strong as in the US or Australia. This is smart, as the wineries need to transcend individual winemakers.

3) Great wine can come from many different soils, such as limestone, sand, rocks, clay. Therefore the hunt for certain soils in the New World to duplicate the conditions in France, is probably misplaced.

4) Many wineries produce a great wine, but the most exciting experiences were where a winery has developed a clear signature or style, e.g. Chapoutier or Vieux Telegraphe.

5) Bordeaux is still hooked on new oak.

6) The Parker influence remains huge, in all of France. This does not benefit the wines, I think.

7) Brand building has been enormously successful, for example for Bordeaux's First Growths or DRC. Some of these wines do not stand up to their standing, and other wines can be as good, for a fraction of the price. You can find these in the country (France), but it is much more difficult abroad.


Nicole Rouge said...

What an experience. Your take-homes were interesting. I think it is often that case that quality doesn't always live up to reputation.

Alontin said...

Thank you, Nicole Rouge