Bordeaux 2010: You’ve Got Questions, We’ll Get Answers!

Join Us For Bordeaux En Primeurs!

You’ve got Questions…We’ll get Answers.

Each year, our team of wine specialists spends a week in Bordeaux at En Primeurs, meeting with winemakers, Chateau owners and negociants on both banks. We taste literally hundreds of wines during the course of the week, make our tasting notes, and choose what we’ll offer on futures that year.

Our Bordeaux customers have always enjoyed our coverage of the events and our perspective and buying recommendations for the vintage at hand. But this year, in addition to our usual blog and Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and annual Bordeaux Vintage Report, we’ve decided to do something a little bit different…

Video journalist, blogger, and winemaker Hardy Wallace (yeah !!!) will be embedded with our team, capturing all the action on location at the UGC events and posting updates to our social media channels.

But the fun doesn’t doesn’t end there! This year, we want you to be a part of our adventure. Ask us anything you’d like to know about the 2010 Bordeaux vintage, or any other Bordeaux-related question for that matter. We’ll film the response on location and post it back to you here!

Maybe you’d like to ask Jean-Guillaume Prats a question about his 2010 Cos d’Estournel, or Alfred Tesseron a question about his Pontet-Canet. Or perhaps you’d like to know more about exciting Bordeaux up-and-comers—ask Jeffrey Davies, one of our top negociant suppliers who always has his finger on the pulse of Bordeaux.

Scroll down for our week-long schedule of activities, then post those burning questions to the comments area below. We can’t promise we’ll be able to answer each and every question, but we’ll do our best.

Cheers!
The JJ Buckley Team

JJ Buckley Bordeaux Itinerary

April 1st
Team 1 arrives into BDX
Dinner at Chateau Lagrange

April 2nd
Team 2 arrives into BDX
Meeting and tasting with negociant A
Meeting and tasting with Stephane Derenoncourt
Dinner at Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou

April 3rd
Visits and tastings at Chateau Pavie, Monbousquet, Pavie-Decesse, Bellevue Mondotte, Monbousquet and Chateau Gracia
Meeting and tasting with negociant B
Meeting and tasting with negociant C
Meeting and tasting with negociant D
Dinners at Chateau Kirwan and Chateau Prieure-Lichine

April 4th
Visits and tastings at Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Leoville-Las Cases
Lunch at Cos d’Estournel
Visit and tasting at Chateau Margaux, Chateau Palmer
Tasting of all Margaux appellation wines at Chateau Lascombes
Meeting and tasting at negociant E
Dinners at Chateau Lascombes and Chateau Beychevelle

April 5th
Meeting and tasting at negociant F
Lunch at Pontet Canet
Tasting of all Graves/Pessac appellation wines at Chateau Malartic Lagraviere
Visit and tasting at Chateau Montrose
Tasting of all Pauillac/St Estephe/St Julien appellation wines at Chateau Branaire Ducru
Visit and tasting at Chateau Haut Brion
Dinners at Chateau Pape Clement and Malescot St-Exupery

April 6th
Meeting and tasting at negociant G
Tasting of all Pomerol appellation wines at Chateau La Pointe
Tasting at Circle Rive Droite – Right Bank tasting
Tasting of all St Emilion appellation wines at Chateau La Couspaude
Visits and tastings at Chateau Ausone, Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau Barde Haut, Chateau Le Gay and Chateau Fonplegade
Dinner at Chateau Clinet

April 7th
Meeting and tasting with negociant H
Tasting at Moueix
Visit and tasting at Vieux Chateau Certan
Tasting at La Grappe (all wines of Stephane Derenoncourt)
Visits and tastings at Chateau La Conseillante, Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere, Chateau L’Eglise Clinet, Chateau Petrus, Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Chateau Haut-Bailly
Dinners at La Grappe and Domaine de Chevalier

April 8th
Visits and tastings at Chateau Tetre Roteboeuf, Chateau Angelus
Lunch at Chateau Troplong Mondot
Visit and tasting at Chateau d’Yquem
Dinner at Rauzan Segla

April 9th
Depart for Verona, Italy

When you see ‘tasting at negociant X’, we usually taste 50-150 wines at a time. This means we will sample many of the same wines 3-4 times throughout the week. And in case you are wondering how we can eat two dinners in one night, its because we actually have two JJB teams who are tasting and visiting separately.

39 comments

  1. Left Andy a message about Ducru 1985. If he is tasting there or with the principals, please ask if they have any Large bottles of ’85 to sell a fan for his 60 birthday and 35 anniversary.

      1. william norris Says:

        April 3, 2011 at 5:49 pm e

        Wow. The last great wine, a ’76, that was given to me was from, Prieure Lichine, and signed by the then, President, Gerald R. Ford, a friend of mine. I will look forward to sharing this with friends. I will save this most special VIDEO and show them all!!

        WOW!

    1. Bonjour Tracy…from Bordeaux! Just wanted to get back to you as I had your question in mind when I attended a special tasting of about 50 different 2007 and 2008 reds (and some whites) today. In my opinion, 2008’s showed excellent with a few wines that really stood out. In particular, Cantemerle, Leoville Poyferre (LP was winner of the day), Pontet Canet, Smith Haut Lafitte, Montrose, Pape Clement, Pichon Lalande are some great choices. Of course, much depends on your style preference and price point. In general, the 08’s REDS were heads and shoulders above the 07’s (it was really great being able to taste these 50 or so wines side by side and vintage by vintage). Many of 07 REDS were OK, but definitely not exciting wines…many had too much oak relative to fruit (resulting in that sort of dark, roasted quality) and in general lacked complexity and structure. However, the exception was the 07 d’Armailhac. Although i thought it tasted evolved at this early age, the flavors were already turning to the ‘truffly’ side (if you like that) and a wine i will consider buying for JJ Buckley. At a higher price point, I did enjoy the 07 Pape Clement, which showed better than most of the other 08’s in the room. Of course the 07 whites were definitely showing better than the 08’s. The stand out wine (without a doubt) was the 07 Malartic Lagraviere Blanc.

  2. I want to know…2009 and 2010 will possibly do down as two of the best back-to-back vintages of the century YET they’re completely different. What makes them both polar opposites yet both incredible at the same time? Thx!

    1. Great question, Jason. We’re here to find out exactly how these vintages differ and will know more after we’ve a good look at wines on both banks. Look forward to a reply later this week!

  3. So much for all the hype of ’09 and ’10 being the best back to back in a century. What about those of us old enough to remember the fantastic balanced not punch you in the face low alcohol, ’88 ’89 ’90 vintages. Are they just loose change now because drinkers want soda pop for $100+ a bottle?

  4. It seems there have been a higher number of great vintages in the last 15 years or so. What is different that explains this? I am not complaining about the wine mind you, but it does drive up the price on the best grand crus.

  5. Wow. The last great wine, a ’76, that was given to me was from, Prieure Lichine, and signed by the then, President, Gerald R. Ford, a friend of mine. I will look forward to sharing this with friends. I will save this most special VIDEO and show them all!!

    WOW!

  6. Hello,

    Could you ask Ronan at Chateau Clinet. What other vintage(s) would he compare to the 2010 vintage? What vintage of Clinet is he the most proud of? Also, how is the marathon training going?

  7. Is it common for red Bordeaux to be fined and/or filtered? If so, what’s the common filtering method, egg whites? One more for Leoville Las Cases because I have a mini vertical going – do they accept tourists for tours/tastings? How about this tourist/LLC-fan?

  8. I was wondering during last year during this time Petrus and Trotanoy were not tasted side by side but with Trotanoy being tasted with the others at their offices in Libourne and Petrus being tasted at the tasting room at Petrus. Was this done to separate the two great wines from the tasters or just because there was not enough room at Petrus?

    1. James,

      Petrus has not been shown in the Libourne office of Moueix for the last two years because Christian’s team no longer manages the estate and the wine making. The new wine maker is the young Olivier Berrouet (worked for a bit at Cheval Blanc and is the son of Jean-Claude Berrouet, the previous winemaker since 1963). If you want to taste Petrus, you must visit the estate in Pomerol instead. BTW, we tasted the 2010 Petrus today and its a beauty. Its more approachable than usual (despite the high amount of tannin), with big fleshy fruit and integrated tannins. Its smooth as silk. To this taster, it was a little hot on the finish but it was extraordinarily good.

  9. Also had a question for you during your visit at Pape Clement: When you are there could you ask to taste their wine called Egregore. I was wondering if it will ever be imported to the US or if they ever sell large formats of that wine. Thanks

    1. James, one of our team members visited the estate yesterday and i will ask if they tried the Egregore and get back to you.

    2. James, i just heard back from Bernard Magrez’ sales manager, Sophie Bonnet-Doux, who says:

      “Regarding Egregore, I am afraid we do not make any magnums only regular bottles. The wine is imported in some states but in California we do not work with distributors, we work directly with a few retailers. I don’t think it’s been sold recently in this state.”

      One of my guys said he tried it yesterday and will post a tasting note when he returns from dinner at Domaine de Chevalier.

    3. Hi James – Here is a tasting note for the 2006 L’Egregore Cuvee d’Exception (Bernard Magrez) from JJB team member, Cory Gowan:

      “Sourced from a small plot of old vine 100% Merlot in Blaye in rare (for the area) sandy clay subsoil, l’Egregore is vinified in demi-muids and is then aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels. Although it is only classifived as a generic “Bordeaux,” Bernard Magrez has found a diamond in the rough with this cuvee. The 2006 vintage is dark, shiny red with a deep nose of vanilla, fresh mushrooms, black cherry, and wet earth. Unmistakeably Bordeaux, this has a depth to the earth component that gives it a lot of character. Finishes with fine tannins that give it length. 90-92 pts.”

  10. A question about Cos d’Estournel 2009 vs 2010 was emailed to one of our sales team. Here’s his question being answered by Jean-Guillaume Prats, Directeur Generale of Cos:

  11. A question to your Bordeaux team : the Bordeaux & Bordeaux superieur appellations have an abundance of single estates producing outstanding PQR wines, under-represented on US market. For most consumers, Bordeaux equals Grands Crus, unaffordable for most people. How could we convince intermediaries and final consumers that this alternative offer from Bordeaux, often retailing under $20 has to be discovered and enjoyed ?

    1. Regis,

      I think the marketplace is efficient and intelligent. As the Grand Crus become too expensive for everyday enjoyment and even out of reach of some collectors, people will migrate to lower level appellations – i am sure of that. This week we have tasted some excellent wines from Bordeaux Sup, Fronsac, Medoc, etc that will no doubt be fantastic values, equaled by few others in the world. At the end of the day, Bordeaux represents all price categories very well, but especially the value category…unfortunately, it is the high prices of the First Growths that give Bordeaux an expensive name.

  12. What a surprise that he thinks we should buy both ’09 and ’10. I think the french invented marketing :). Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    1. Its called the Bordeaux Marketing Machine – the best in the world. Nobody markets a region of wine better than Bordeaux. No contest. They get everyone involved at all levels of the supply chain, down to the end consumer (our JJB team visit Bordeaux more in a year than we do Napa and we’re just over an hour from there). They create buzz, debate, and passion. And it doesn’t even matter if the vintage is good or bad. It is truly amazing.

  13. Big fan of JJ and Pontet Canet from Canada!

    I hope the 2010 is as great as the past vintage from Mr Tesseron. I’ve been working on a ”verticale” of MAGNUM from this amazing Chateau and the missing pieces of the puzzle are 95, 97, 98 and 99. My ”verticale” is a testament to the great Mr Tesseron: 1994 to 2009. Could you please see if the Chateau as those magnums in stock and any way to get them to my cellar!

    A little note in French: Monsieur Tesseron poursuivez votre beau travail. Vos grandes bouteilles agrémentent les moments importants de la famille Gervais!

    P.S. I talked to Devon today to get the 1994 from JJ!!!

    1. Hi Jack – we took the liberty of moving your question here. Ronan Laborde and JJB co-founder Shaun Bishop tasted the 2000 Chateau Clinet, and here’s their advice!

    2. Jack, your timing of asking this question was superb! As you can see from the video, we had dinner at Clinet last night with Ronan Laborde who manages the estate. We had a fabulous meal paired with the 1996, 2003, and 2000 (out of mag and in that order). Personally, i thought the 2000 showed young and had not yet developed the tertiary flavors that I really enjoy in more mature wines. In my opinion, 10 years is a good amount of time to wait to open a bottle of great red wine. After that the good stuff starts showing, like truffles, earth, animal, smoke, and other complex, yummy stuff. The 2000 Clinet, although an excellent wine, is still on the black fruit flavors, and not the earthy ones, so give it another few years for some complexity to kick in…if that’s what you’re looking for!

      1. Shaun thanks. I suspected as much. It will sit with the other 2000’s in my cellar for more years.
        I am guessing the same for VCC and Trotanoy that I also purchased in 2000.

  14. Question for Domaine Chevalier: is the magnum or other large format bottles the best way to age the Blanc and which red wines do they feel are drinking the best right now?

  15. Is there anyway you can add a video when you are at Tetre Roteboeuf? Sometimes I like to match the wine maker, terroir, and wine together. Thanks

    1. James, i am not sure we can. Our awesome video (mad)man is leaving tomorrow morning on an early flight and will not make it to TR. However, we have a cheaper camera that one of our non-trained staff may be able to use…so we will try. i completety agree that this is the perfect estate to “match the wine maker, terroir, and wine together”. Francois Mitjavile is an amazing person and our visit with him last year was the most interesting visit of the whole trip. He is truly a philosopher and his personality and philosophy on life, nature, and wine making show through in his wines. Really fascinating man. By the way, i am attending a party for Stephane Derenoncourt in about an hour and i purchased a couple of bottles to take with me, including the 1990 Roc de Cambes (Mitjavile’s other property) and the 1997 Tertre Roteboeuf, which the shop owner in St Emilion says is absolutely fantastic. Coincidentally, the shop owner is the son-in-law of Michel Gracia, who makes great wine as well (Gracia) and who we have on video. Small world…

      1. Thanks for that. My friends and I are going to Bordeaux this fall and have a tasting at Tetre Roteboeuf and I am really looking forward to this. I have heard so much about him that I really wanted to learn more. Also what is the name of that wine shop in St. Emilion because I think I stopped in there during my first trip to Bordeaux and the shop got me hooked on Gracia, and I liked the video of the tasting it was great. On our trip this fall, we are also going to Petrus and might try the 2010 so it is a small world. I purchased the 1990 from JJ Buckley years ago and always enjoy that wine or any Moueix wine that I can get. No I havn’t touched the 1990 yet.

  16. James i don’t recall the name of the wine shop, but it sits at the top of the twon on the square by Plaisance (Gerard Perse’s 5 star hotel). They have a downstairs cellar that sometimes has some great finds. BTW, tried the 90 Roc de Cambes and it was pretty disappointing – over the hill and nothing complex really, could have been a bad bottle. The 97 Tertre Rotebouef was better, but i think blind i would have mistaken it for a grenache from chateauneuf du pape. A bit of sweetness and cherries. It was certainly a good wine, but not a great wine…I have no doubt the 90 petrus has many years ahead of it.

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