Wall Street Journal article


Anyone read the Wall Street Journal article on Bourdeaux's. Several wine distributors did a blind tasting of 9 1-5th growth 2001 Bourdeaux's. The results were dismal with Latour coming out dead last and the Negociants stating it was no better than a non-crus Beujolais.
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman
"Lawrence Leichtman" skrev i melding news:larry-D903F4.16153902092005@news.east.cox.net... > Anyone read the Wall Street Journal article on Bourdeaux's. Several wine > distributors did a blind tasting of 9 1-5th growth 2001 Bourdeaux's. The > results were dismal with Latour coming out dead last and the Negociants > stating it was no better than a non-crus Beujolais. Why should it be 'better'? That's a different sort of wine... The non-cru Beaujolais should be drunk now, the Latour is possibly shut down now and not ready to drink before 2010-2020 or something like that. But, of course, Latour is overpriced - relative to the many very good wines available today at a tenth, or less, of the price. I've said it before - 80 years ago, before the first-growth craze, Latour asking price was 4 or 5 times that of common plonk! Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
"Anders Tørneskog" wrote in news:Q14Se.5012$qE.1141436@juliett.dax.net: I've > said it before - 80 years ago, before the first-growth craze, Latour > asking price was 4 or 5 times that of common plonk! > Anders >
But, then, don't you think that Latour is one of those wines that really set the level? I only had the chance to taste two vintages (1998 and 2002, both at the Chateau tasting room), and was amazed. I can count the wines that have really impressed me with the fingers of one hand, and Latour is really one of them. I even like their third wine, called Pauillac.
Had I 150 euros to spend in a single bottle of wine, I would buy Latour three out of four times.
Best,
S.
Reply to
Santiago
They did discuss just that but these folks distribute Bourdeauxs and felt that this was a poor example of Latour. Other large second and third growths they felt had more aging potential. They didn't feel that the Latour had any aging potential and their top pick was the much less expensive Kirwan. > "Lawrence Leichtman" skrev i melding > news:larry-D903F4.16153902092005@news.east.cox.net... > > Anyone read the Wall Street Journal article on Bourdeaux's. Several wine > > distributors did a blind tasting of 9 1-5th growth 2001 Bourdeaux's. The > > results were dismal with Latour coming out dead last and the Negociants > > stating it was no better than a non-crus Beujolais. > Why should it be 'better'? That's a different sort of wine... The non-cru > Beaujolais should be drunk now, the Latour is possibly shut down now and not > ready to drink before 2010-2020 or something like that. > But, of course, Latour is overpriced - relative to the many very good wines > available today at a tenth, or less, of the price. I've said it before - 80 > years ago, before the first-growth craze, Latour asking price was 4 or 5 > times that of common plonk! > Anders > >
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman
"Santiago" skrev i melding news:Xns96C630928107meprivacynetonmyown@212.89.0.29... > "Anders Tørneskog" wrote in > news:Q14Se.5012$qE.1141436@juliett.dax.net: > > But, then, don't you think that Latour is one of those wines that really > set the level? It is, or rather, used to be... :-) No, it still is, but Lawrence seems to have a sound basis to claim that his 2001 was a disappointment. Now, it could have been an off bottle (or bottles?) - or simply what Michael would call "ein Korkenfehler". He is probably the one around here who could refute or confirm that claim. Anders
Reply to
Anders Tørneskog
> >They did discuss just that but these folks distribute Bourdeauxs and >felt that this was a poor example of Latour. Other large second and >third growths they felt had more aging potential. They didn't feel that >the Latour had any aging potential and their top pick was the much less >expensive Kirwan.
I think it is also true that the wine might be shut down, as someone else noted. I had the 2000 Latour last fall and I didn't really care for it. I suspect it will be a lot better in another 5-10 years. The same is probably true of the 2001.
Dimitri
Reply to
D. Gerasimatos
>> But, then, don't you think that Latour is one of those wines >> that really set the level? > It is, or rather, used to be... :-) No, it still is, but > Lawrence seems to have a sound basis to claim that his 2001 was > a disappointment. Now, it could have been an off bottle (or > bottles?) - or simply what Michael would call "ein > Korkenfehler". He is probably the one around here who could > refute or confirm that claim.
Sorry, no, never tasted it. But the results clearly would point into the direction of one (or more?) off bottle(s). And what else than the cork should be the reason for this?
Btw: My best 2001, tasted in April 2002 from cask, not taking into account premiers and garagistes: La Tour Carnet (94/100).
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay

Looks like there is a copy of the WSJ article at
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>Anyone read the Wall Street Journal article on Bourdeaux's. Several wine >distributors did a blind tasting of 9 1-5th growth 2001 Bourdeaux's. The >results were dismal with Latour coming out dead last and the Negociants >stating it was no better than a non-crus Beujolais.
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Reply to
Leo Bueno
Michael Pronay wrote in news:Xns96C775BAF7C0Bpronaygmxat@pronay.com: > > Btw: My best 2001, tasted in April 2002 from cask, not taking into > account premiers and garagistes: La Tour Carnet (94/100).
Michael,
I purchased two bottles of La Tour Carnet 2001 at Lavinia when I read you comments and have not regretted it at all. The first bottle, drunk two months ago was marvelous, specially for the price (about 20 euros retail).
I managed to convince a local retailer to purchase it and now it is available in my city. A few bottles more to lay down and see how it develops.
However, I do not think that it is the best 2001 that I have tasted. Leoville Barton 2001 (I suppose this fits into the "premiers" category you mention) has more structure and substance and, while a bit tight now, I think it is going to be a better wine, which is not surprising considering it costs 50 euros retail in Spain.
Another however, and, probably, my only doubt about La Tour Carnet 2001. I felt that somehow it lacked Bordeaux character. It tasted a bit like an internationalized wine (Bernard Magrez touch?). What do you think about this?
Best,
Santiago
Reply to
Santiago
>> Btw: My best 2001, tasted in April 2002 from cask, not taking >> into account premiers and garagistes: La Tour Carnet (94/100). > La Tour Carnet 2001 > > However, I do not think that it is the best 2001 that I have > tasted. Leoville Barton 2001 (I suppose this fits into the > "premiers" category you mention) has more structure and > substance and, while a bit tight now, I think it is going to be > a better wine, which is not surprising considering it costs 50 > euros retail in Spain. Caution: I was talking about that specific cask tasting week in April 2002. I had bought some LTC en primeur (at 16.09 euros, VAT and delivery included), but haven't tasted it yet. It's highly probable that there are better wines, but then they simply did not show as good as LTC on that specific occasion. I just looked up my TNs, Léoville Barton scored 84: "Cardboardy, although good structure", very much looks like a sub-par cask sample, so your comment makes very much sense. > Another however, and, probably, my only doubt about La Tour > Carnet 2001. I felt that somehow it lacked Bordeaux character. > It tasted a bit like an internationalized wine (Bernard Magrez > touch?). What do you think about this?
In my experience, even if clarets taste "international", "parkerized", "Michel Rolland vinified" (which happens to be the case with post-2000 LTC) in their youth, these oak influenced aromas tend to disappear with due bottle age.
I had a beautiful experience two years ago, at a lunch in Paris with May-Éliane de Lencquesaing from Pichon-Lalande. Amongst other wines we had the 1982. She commented that at vinification time she had called it "mon petit californien". 21 years later there was nothing Californian with this wine, it was pure and unmistakeable Pauillac. "Il se reclassifie", "it's getting classic again", was Gildas d'Olonne's (Mme de Lencquesaing's nephew's) comment.
All this supports my theory that after 20 years in bottle it's more or less irrelevant whether the wine had been vinified in new oak, old oak, stainless steel or concrete vats. While being very important in its youth, the differences totally edge out with time, imho.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
Michael, > > Caution: I was talking about that specific cask tasting week in > April 2002. I had bought some LTC en primeur (at 16.09 euros, VAT > and delivery included), but haven't tasted it yet. I can purchase it at 22 euros VAT included, and I pick the wine at the shop ;-) > > It's highly probable that there are better wines, but then they > simply did not show as good as LTC on that specific occasion. I > just looked up my TNs, Léoville Barton scored 84: "Cardboardy, > although good structure", very much looks like a sub-par cask > sample, so your comment makes very much sense. I do not have a great experience with Leoville Barton but I think I read somewhere that their wines are usually very tight while in cask and in their youth. However, I found the 2001 truly an excellent wine. > > In my experience, even if clarets taste "international", > "parkerized", "Michel Rolland vinified" (which happens to be the > case with post-2000 LTC) in their youth, these oak influenced > aromas tend to disappear with due bottle age. > > All this supports my theory that after 20 years in bottle it's > more or less irrelevant whether the wine had been vinified in new > oak, old oak, stainless steel or concrete vats. While being very > important in its youth, the differences totally edge out with > time, imho.
That is interesting. I tend to drink wines too young, specially wines that are new for me. When do you think I should drink my remaining bottles of LTC 2001?
Best,
S.
Reply to
Santiago
>> Caution: I was talking about that specific cask tasting week in >> April 2002. I had bought some LTC en primeur (at 16.09 euros, >> VAT and delivery included), but haven't tasted it yet. > I can purchase it at 22 euros VAT included, and I pick the wine > at the shop ;-) Yeah, but I have my wine in my cellar right from the start. I really love to know the provenance ;-) > I do not have a great experience with Leoville Barton but I > think I read somewhere that their wines are usually very tight > while in cask and in their youth. However, I found the 2001 > truly an excellent wine. It probably is. I remember having tasted L-B much better from cask the other years. Since I taste blind (where possible), there is seldom a chance to have another bottle (in case there is a bottle problem). If the cask samples themselves are sub-par (which happens from time to time), then it's really difficult to give an appropriate judgment. >> In my experience, even if clarets taste "international", >> "parkerized", "Michel Rolland vinified" (which happens to be >> the case with post-2000 LTC) in their youth, these oak >> influenced aromas tend to disappear with due bottle age. >> >> All this supports my theory that after 20 years in bottle it's >> more or less irrelevant whether the wine had been vinified in >> new oak, old oak, stainless steel or concrete vats. While being >> very important in its youth, the differences totally edge out >> with time, imho. > That is interesting. I tend to drink wines too young, specially > wines that are new for me. When do you think I should drink my > remaining bottles of LTC 2001?
Ask me something different, please!
No, seriously, this is one of the most difficult questions which almost entirely depends on how you like your wines, rhather young or rather mature.
From our yearly Bordeaux tastings "10 years after" I'd suggest to have wines like LTC somewhere in the 10 to 15 years range, provided you have good (cool) storage. But, once again, it's all up to your personal taste.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
Michael Pronay wrote in news:Xns96C7E98A6C3F7pronaygmxat@pronay.com: > Ask me something different, please! I knew this one was not going to be easy ;-) > > From our yearly Bordeaux tastings "10 years after" I'd suggest to > have wines like LTC somewhere in the 10 to 15 years range, > provided you have good (cool) storage. But, once again, it's all > up to your personal taste.
Thanks, I do have my best bottles in a Liebherr Vinotheque which holds about 250 bottles. Regulated at 12ºC. And then the rest are below ground at 12ºC in the winter and 20ºC in the summer, but with no daily variation. The LTC are in the Vinotheque.
Best,
S.
Reply to
Santiago
I guess everyone has really missed my point in posting this article. I have been drinking and tasting Bourdeaux wines since the "60's. I'm quite familiar with cellaring Bourdeaux as well as the fact that many are quite closed young. That being said, you can also see the aging potential immediately. Often still in the cask though I've never been privy to that. From the 1998 vintage onward my tastings of first growths have not produced anything I would be overwhelmed with in terms of QPR. Many Bourdeaux's seem to increasing in price while dropping in quality. My percentage of corked wines from France now approaches 15% since 1990 vintages though the price does not reflect the lesser quality of some wines and the dismal state of corkage in France. Over the last 2 years I've lost about 40 bad bottles of French wines from Bourdeaux. Burgundy, Rhone to a total of $1900. My cellaring program has kept track. In that same time I've lost 6 bottles of various California, Spanish, Italian and OZ wines to the same problem to the tune of $125. Because of this I have severely reduced my buying of French wines restricting to Rhone and white wines only as these have been the fewest losses. The French wine industry has serious problems from my small sampling but my tasting group which now numbers 60 has expressed the same feeling and have begun limiting French purchases for the same reason.This has zero to do with politics though we do have a number of active military and ex-military. None supported the boycott. This is pure economics. We have yet to have a tasting involving French wines without a bad bottle and some of these folks have envious cellars. Just my personal rant here. From what I've read lately there are others in this group with similar feelings. > Michael, > > > > Caution: I was talking about that specific cask tasting week in > > April 2002. I had bought some LTC en primeur (at 16.09 euros, VAT > > and delivery included), but haven't tasted it yet. > > I can purchase it at 22 euros VAT included, and I pick the wine at the shop > ;-) > > > > It's highly probable that there are better wines, but then they > > simply did not show as good as LTC on that specific occasion. I > > just looked up my TNs, Léoville Barton scored 84: "Cardboardy, > > although good structure", very much looks like a sub-par cask > > sample, so your comment makes very much sense. > > I do not have a great experience with Leoville Barton but I think I read > somewhere that their wines are usually very tight while in cask and in > their youth. However, I found the 2001 truly an excellent wine. > > > > In my experience, even if clarets taste "international", > > "parkerized", "Michel Rolland vinified" (which happens to be the > > case with post-2000 LTC) in their youth, these oak influenced > > aromas tend to disappear with due bottle age. > > > > > All this supports my theory that after 20 years in bottle it's > > more or less irrelevant whether the wine had been vinified in new > > oak, old oak, stainless steel or concrete vats. While being very > > important in its youth, the differences totally edge out with > > time, imho. > > That is interesting. I tend to drink wines too young, specially wines that > are new for me. When do you think I should drink my remaining bottles of > LTC 2001? > > Best, > > S.
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman
> My percentage of corked wines from France now approaches 15% > since 1990 [...]
Last Wednesday we tasted 45 Bordeaux from 2001 and 2002. 9 of them - exactly 20% - were corked, from heavily to almost indiscernible. The latter was the case for Léoville Las Cases 2001, scoring 90 for the first, 94 for the second bottle.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay
> >Last Wednesday we tasted 45 Bordeaux from 2001 and 2002. 9 of them >- exactly 20% - were corked, from heavily to almost indiscernible. >The latter was the case for Léoville Las Cases 2001, scoring 90 >for the first, 94 for the second bottle.
How do you manage to taste 45 wines and retain any information about them? Is this an art which must be practiced or is it genetic?
Dimitri
Reply to
D. Gerasimatos
> How do you manage to taste 45 wines and retain any information about > them? Is this an art which must be practiced or is it genetic?
Compared to Michael I am a slow taster, but I have taken notes on 20+ wines tasted over several hours. The keys are to spit, to write as you taste and to employ mental shorthand to reduce the amount of writing. When you know in advance what wines you are tasting, you can write down the identification (name, year, etc.) in advance and simply supply your impressions as you taste. It is definitely a different activity from even a visit to a winery: more analytical, less time to savor what you're tasting, little conversation and a minimal amount of eating. It's not recreation, but a great way to quickly gain an impression of a large number of wines.
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
Made my point thank you. At the prices these bottles fetch losing 20% to bad corkage is a major loss. 9 bottles of wine that some could be over $200 is a big loss. > > > My percentage of corked wines from France now approaches 15% > > since 1990 [...] > > Last Wednesday we tasted 45 Bordeaux from 2001 and 2002. 9 of them > - exactly 20% - were corked, from heavily to almost indiscernible. > The latter was the case for Léoville Las Cases 2001, scoring 90 > for the first, 94 for the second bottle. > > M.
Reply to
Lawrence Leichtman
> >Compared to Michael I am a slow taster, but I have taken notes on 20+ >wines tasted over several hours. The keys are to spit, to write as you >taste and to employ mental shorthand to reduce the amount of writing. >When you know in advance what wines you are tasting, you can write down >the identification (name, year, etc.) in advance and simply supply your >impressions as you taste. It is definitely a different activity from >even a visit to a winery: more analytical, less time to savor what >you're tasting, little conversation and a minimal amount of eating. >It's not recreation, but a great way to quickly gain an impression of a >large number of wines.
But how do you compare them between each other? Or is that not the point? Even when taking notes, 45 is a whole lot. I can taste 45 wines in a day, but I cannot compare more than 8-10 wines to each other at any one time.
Dimitri
Reply to
D. Gerasimatos
>> Last Wednesday we tasted 45 Bordeaux from 2001 and 2002. 9 of >> them - exactly 20% - were corked, from heavily to almost >> indiscernible. The latter was the case for Léoville Las Cases >> 2001, scoring 90 for the first, 94 for the second bottle. > How do you manage to taste 45 wines and retain any information > about them? Is this an art which must be practiced or is it > genetic?
It's my job, and all I can say is: practice, practice, practice.
We started at 5pm with 28 Austrian Weinviertel wines (25 whites: 13 grüner veltliner, 5 rieslings, 2 chards, 2 sauvignons, 3 other whites, 3 reds) to proceed to 45 clarets, tasted in roughly ascending order of price, from EUR 6,60 (Malesan Bordeaux) to EUR 80 (LLC). Finished at 9pm. And, of course, I sit, taste, write TNs into my laptop, the other tasters delivering descriptors from time to time. We taste in flights of four.
This was a rather small tasting, in fact. When we do our annual ~1500 wines roundup, we usually do 200 wines a day. Needless to says that this is very hard work, but it's possible.
What we do in our tasting panels (between three and five members), is to agree immediately upon the score we attribute a given wine. If it's excellent, we award a score (usually 91 or higher) and put it aside for an open final tasting of the best 10 to 15 percent of the wines. This final round is rather fast and serves very well to evaluate the top wines against each other.
M.
Reply to
Michael Pronay

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