30 Apr - And today Parker's assessment of the 2008 vintage is published and he too likens it to 2005, calling it an excellent even great vintage and bestowing scores in the 90s like confetti. There is surely no chance that the Bordelais will ever again release their opening prices before seeing Parker scores.
Today Michel Rolland celebrates 30 vintages at his Ch Bon Pasteur in Pomerol with a tasting and lunch at President Sarkozy's favourite restaurant in the Hotel Bristol in Paris. Tomorrow is a particularly busy day in the London wine tasting calendar. So busy in fact that I have had to decline an invitation from one of Rolland's most important clients. Bernard Magrez is coming over from Bordeaux to show 35 of his wines, including his 2008s and various favourites from 2004, 2005 and 2006 from Chx Pape Clément, La Tour Carnet, Fombrauge and Les Grands Chênes.
As the picture suggests, Magrez is nothing if not conscious of the power of the media. (When I was last in Bordeaux, I heard several people suggesting he had been the source of the rumour that Ch Latour was for sale.) It was no surprise therefore to find the following press release in my inbox:
'This exciting event represents a wonderful occasion to introduce and re-introduce wine lovers to his wines, highlighting in particular their diversity. 'I have chosen to showcase these selection of 35 particular wines today as they each come from different terroirs and represent 35 very different wines and 35 different emotions.' says Bernard Magrez.
'For the press, this is also a rare opportunity to sample and discuss the notorious 2008 Bordeaux vintages and to obtain the view of the problematic Bordeaux market situation from one of region's leading wine authorities.
'Despite a grim forecast following bad weather, the 2008 vintage has exceeded all expectations and has been described by M Magrez himself as similar in quality to the revered 2005 vintage. But this has led many to believe that the outstanding quality of this 2008 vintage may damage potential sales of the "lesser", but now comparatively more expensive 2006 and 2007 vintages. Furthermore there has been a significant decrease in the quantity of Bordeaux Grands Vins being exported to the UK – a drop of 10 to 32% from 2007 to 2008.
'With nearly 50 years' experience in the trade and having witnessed first-hand several ups and downs in the market, M Magrez has the insight to see beyond the current economic situation, saying: "This crisis is temporary and will not affect wine investment in the long-run." '
Phew. That's all right then.
* See also Great tastings but where are the tasters? We really are spoilt.