Exclusively on primeurs.tv : scores and reviews from Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego

Michel Rolland, Consultant Wine Maker.

Since the 1960s, he initiated major changes in viticulture and winemaking, and has carried them worldwide. Today, he advises 200 properties in France and abroad: from vineyard to marketing and sales including various blends

How would you describe this vintage?
It is funny, I'd be tempted to call it 'vintage of the century'. This is by far the most complicated Vintage we had in winemaking since the 2000.

Adverse weather conditions early in the cycle?
At the beginning of the season, neither early or late budding in April but temperatures played no role and there were successive spring rains. The month of May, was gloomy again and resulted in a slow development of vegetation.

Flowering was also unusually late?
Due to the rainy and cool month of June, the flowering which generally begins in the end of May and 10th June, began very late in completely disastrous climatic conditions. We already thought of this as the wonderful vintage 1984, when sagging and millerandage (dying flowers that yield no fruit) had almost taken away the entire harvest. Surprisingly, these incidents have largely explained the future productions but this year fruits remained somehow.

From the end of June the morale was no longer declining?
Nature suddenly had brightened and warmed to give us a dry and sunny July. However, high humidity would give mildew and slyly induce botrytis. August brought no inconvenience. It is therefore with a high moral that we progressed towards harvest in October and waited for maturity that was already over shadowed.

Mother Nature had some of its secret mischief in store for you?
Yes. Although the rain was minimal but it was steady. Combined with high daytime and nighttime temperatures it greatly encouraged botrytis, the enemy of red and white dry wines, but friendly to sweet wines The famous botrytis has however allowed the sorting of very good quality of good quality in the sweet wine regions

In such a context, how to keep panic at bay?
Experience. This is not the first complicated vintage in the history of Bordeaux. Of course, at that time, we heard all kinds of narratives..” this is 1965 , this is 1976, this is 1992” ... But nothing compares, I can assure you, I was there! Since those years, everything has changed, from the vineyard to winemaking methods.

What were the techniques used to preserve the health of the grapes?
Without being the ultimate weapon, de-leafing which is massively adopted today gives very good results. In 1992, the latest vintage of poor quality, only a small percentage of the properties practiced de-leafing. Since then, sorting, dating back from the 90s, has averted gangrenous grapes. Sorting tables were invented to eliminate the botrytis and paradoxically they were never used for this purpose. Finally, thanks to the fragmentation, which was not part of the vocabulary there 20 years ago, we can now act in one place at the right time, and even choose areas at risk, which are likely to endanger the rest of the production. That is the 21st century viticulture! We must also add the fierce determination that has been shown by the owners to ensure that quality requirements are met.

Despite grave predictions, can 2013 still hold pleasant surprises?
2013 is not similar to any disastrous vintages we produced earlier. For those who can choose intelligently, there will be very good wine on the markets, without power or longevity but belonging to a great vintage. The wines will possess the primary qualities of drinkability and accessibility.

Last year, the auction of the Hospices de Beaune has made a new record. Is it a good omen for this campaign of Primeurs?
Sale of Hospices is a barometer. It should be considered an indication but never a certainty. This year, the marker went up instead, why not? We will soon have the answer.

How should the continued success sponsored media frenzy be explained?
Success is never accidental. It has demonstrated its value. If the system works, it is because everyone is benefiting from it.

Imagine one day it will open to foreign wines?
One could imagine, but in the spirit of Bordeaux, we need to remain patient.

Pallavi VATSA


PRIMEURS: 31st March to Saturday, 5th April

 

Bordeaux En Primeur:

History, samples, pros and cons, scores, prices…

 

History

 
Selling wines en primeur is a very old practice in Gironde, starting in the 18th century. From then until the mid-20th century, most of the harvest was bottled in the wine merchants’ warehouses. The wineries did not all have the technical capacity nor the necessary storage to bottle wine on their own property.
 
The practice of bottling wine in the chateau started slowly in the early 1920s. Baron Philippe de Rotschild, started this initiative by making chateau bottling mandatory for the entire harvest of Mouton Rotschild (wine). Wine bottling has been working the same way since then, the wine from the latest harvest is bottled at the chateau 18 to 24 months after its barreling, then it is sold to wine merchants.
 
In the city of Bordeaux, buying wines en primeur means that customers purchase wines from the latest harvest at an early stage: while it is still in a barrel. Only the grands crus classés and some highly rated wines can be bought en primeur, which means between 200 and 300 Châteaux (the number changes every year). The success of en primeur sales depends on the general fame of the vintage, and on the global economic conditions.
 
-     In May / April, journalists release their comments on the wine tasting, along with their grades.
 
-     From May to the end of June, prices are offered and the wines are put on sale. Initially, only traders from the Bordeaux market can buy these wine en primeur, at a lower price than after the bottling. Then these same wines will be offered to other French and international traders.
 
-     18 months later, the bottles of wine are delivered to the purchasers. The grands crus classes are then delivered a little later.
 
The Châteaux offer prices for their wines and virtually give a part of their latest harvest at reduced rate to the merchants, who then also virtually sell these same boxes of wine to other purchasers. Trust is a key factor is this process.
 
In the early 1970s, primeurs were initially only about tasting the vintages from the 200 or 300 upscale châteaux for the en primeur sales. The name “semaine des primeurs” (primeurs’ week) comes from this tasting period.
Fine wines from Pauillac, Saint-Emilion and Graves are fermented for 12 to 18 months in barrels. They are only available 24 months after the harvest. 
 
Meanwhile potential purchasers come and taste samples of these wines to make investments in particular wines.
 
Once the price has been set by the property owners, the merchants will put these wines on sale in advance in May or June. Since there is often more demand than supply, especially for fine years such as 2010, having a good producer and merchant network is essential. The average buyer is the final customer who can take advantage of this system by booking and paying in advance for the product.
 
Recently, a dozen of other tastings, not traditionally included, have been combined to this unique process. Low-end and mid-range products, federations, enologists, and clubs try to organize numerous meetings in order to take advantage of the media coverage, as they do during the Vinexpo exhibition for instance, which promotes all wines from Bordeaux

 

The early sample should not be mistaken as a Bordeaux Primeur.

 
As a reminder, here is a definition of 'Vin Primeur', which is a wine which may be sold in the same year as in which it was harvested. This kind of wine is characteristically fruity. Representative samples of the wine are initially presented to journalists, potential buyers, purchasing advisers.
 
They can taste the wine about one or two years before the wine is put on the market (place) so that buyers get an idea of the quality of the future product. It allows owners to show what will be delivered while at the same time, trying to show off the quality of their product.

 

What is a Primeur sample ?
 
Primeurs are introduced in Bordeaux on the first week of April, although winemakers start thinking about how to make it far earlier: at the beginning of the fermentation phase, or even as soon as the harvest is done.
 
The sample is first made at the property with help from advisors, crew, friends, and sometimes even the owner himself.
 
There are many ways to make a sample. Basically it is about trying different blendings and taste them, which will lead to the final version of the sample. What we are trying to do here is get a decent “wine-to-be”, which can be quite challenging since the wine is very volatile at this stage. Moreover, it may not be so appealing at such an early fermenting stage: the wine is far from being ready to drink, it is actually just starting to develop into existence.
 
Therefore you could say that tasting Primeur samples is about trying to turn a negative into an HD image. Very few tasters are able to accurately find out what the sample is going to be like, and of course people’s own subjectivity has to be taken into account.

 

How are samples made?
 
Many people wonder how exactly Primeur samples are made. There is not one unique “recipe” that works every time, man’s creativity is endless and it would take a whole book to write everything about all the methods. This is why we are not going to explain them all here, but only summarize a few of them.
 
One may select some grapes and have them fermented in a barrel so the tannin and fruit are properly assimilated. The point is to lead the wine to a convenient fermenting stage faster than usual.
 
Another possibility is to take samples from several barrels, blend them together to try and get a “tastable” sample. One can also add some wine from an elder vintage (up to 15% legally). 
 
Oenology techniques such as gum Arabic and micro-oxygenation can be used as well. 

 

Why do winemakers alter samples?
 
Some people may ask why the samples are altered so much. Can’t they be just taken directly from barrels and then tasted as they are with no modifications made? Should winemakers alter samples in order to try and make them taste as close to the final result as possible, or should they introduce them just as they are the day the tasting takes place and let tasters imagine how it will change?
 
There is controversy about altering samples because some people think that it might lead winemakers to use whatever methods in order to get high scores. 
 
You might also wonder what the point of introducing an altered sample is because 20 months later the wine will not always taste like the sample did. The alterations are meant to have the taste of the already fermented wine, while it actually is only a couple of months old.
 
On the other hand, some winemakers have a philosophical point of view on the matter: altering samples are meant to introduce the wine as they think it will be when it is ready.
 
Science and ethics both have their place in the altering process. Trying and introducing a good sample in order to promote the future wine is blameless. Trying by any means necessary to get the highest score by showing off an unrealistic sample is not reputable.
Let us remember that wine is not only about tasting : it is about drinking, sharing, experiencing sensations…

 

Pros and cons:

1: Pros

 
Château Latour’s manager has recently announced their decision to leave the Primeur system next year. Some people suggest that this could be the beginning of the end for the Bordeauxen primeur” sales. In any case it leads people to wonder whether ending the Primeur tradition would be a good or bad thing.
 
The Primeur system relies on the existence of many Bordeaux over 400 merchants.
 
By selecting a number of traders with different strengths, the Château can ensure a good overall distribution of its wines to a wide variety of merchants. The existence of these traders, managed by knowledgeable wine professionals who travel the world to promote and provide global distribution for Bordeaux wines, is a major asset for producers of Bordeaux.
The primeur system also is a good thing for wine purchasers. There are many “first class” traders and the competition between them is so intense that they are able to charge moderate prices. This enables global distribution of wines at a relatively low cost.
 
Once a wine’s price has been fixed, the price is announced to the merchants by the brokers. This can happen, for example, around 11:30 in the morning: if all goes well, all the merchants have made confirmations of their reservations a couple of hours later.
 
Then it is the merchant’s turn to offer wine they have purchased to their partners around the world, who then purchase the wine.
 
In a good year, this whole selling process can be completed within hours, by the end of the day the properties have sold all their vintages (or the amount they have decided to put on the market), which means they able to virtually distribute their wines globally within hours. The wineries have the clear advantage in this system.
 
From the perspective of the purchasers, buying wine en primeur is a very effective way to acquire wine from vineyards across the world. If the property tried to distribute the wine themselves, without working within the trading network, it would be more costly and less effective, because it would be impossible to ensure the remarkable worldwide distribution that traders are capable of achieving.

 

2 : Cons

 
There are striking examples of spectacular improvements in the “primeurs” samples.
 
The chateau selects about twenty of the best tasting barrels and performs blending to produce the best primeur samples possible.
 
Some vineyards even place these selected barrels in heated cellars to accelerate the malolactic fermentation, so that the samples are more attractive by March.
 
We do realize that a strategy is initiated; select the best wine, and "work" on it so that it presents best during primeur wine tastings. This is crucial, as it will decide the commercial success of the vintage.
 
Some even speak of samples developed specifically for professional tasters...
It is therefore understandable why the final bottled result can sometimes slightly differ from primeur samples. Knowing this, amateurs should avoid buying en primeur out of elementray caution because it will not give them advantages.
 
He purchases, two years before being on the market, a wine that he has most likely not been tasted, based on marks given by pros who tasted the samples they were given, and whose resemblance to the final product is at least questionable.
 
The problem is the Bordeaux wine vending machine is so well oiled, it manages to make customers believe that if they don’t buy en primeur, they no longer have access to the most sought-after wines, at least not to the "friendly prices" made during primeur campaigns.
 
This process seems contrary to common sense, as most people notice that almost all wines (except perhaps a dozen labels) are available for many years at similar or even lower prices than en primeur.
 
And yet, it works and it will continue to work for a while, considering the excitement and pressure that the Primeur forum in May and June brings every year...
 
One may consider that the people responsible for this absurd system, pushing to haste and greed, are: vineyards, journalists and ...................... amateurs!
 
This controversy reflects some of today's prominent societal issues.

 

Scores

 
Scores are determinant for business purposes: they enable producers to decide on skyrocketed prices for private sales which start immediately after. This private sales system which is unique to Bordeaux allow wine producers to sell their product twenty months before the delivery time.
 
At the time of purchase, the buyers can only rely on evaluations made by wine critics who, compared to the former, have had the privilege to taste the wines. While this practice is a boon to wine producers to whom it is highly profitable, to others it is equivalent to a curse when a vintage is poorly rated and the demand for the wine declines. In such a situation, the châteaux can either lower their prices or decide not to adopt the private sales system, hoping for an increase in their price level after some months. This last option has been adopted by the Château Latour who, on the 16th of April 2013, made an announcement on its withdrawal from the private sales market. "Our wine will be available on the market at the time they are ready for consumption", said the director of Château Latour to the traders.

 

Prices

 
As with the stock market or real estate in major cities, you can not win every year. But over time, buying fine wines en primeur is a good deal. It is a safe investment since you cannot lose any money ; your investment can only grow in value. The primeur market deals with 200-300 upscale chateaux, selected according to their excellent reputations. These wines are very popular all over the world. However the amount of bottles produced is limited because the properties’ surfaces cannot be indefinitely extended.
 
Of course, for the « elite of the elite », there’s always a high demand.
 
Ausone 2008 (Saint-Emilion), released at 480 euros, is now valued  at 1 500 euros! Château Margaux went from 178 to 780 euros; Latour (Pauillac) went from 168 to 1230 euros; Petrus (Pomerol) went from 295 to 2400 euros.
 
The biggest price increase was for Carruades, - second wine from Chateau Lafite (Pauillac) and an icon in China, whose price has increased tenfold in two years (from 54.50 to 530 euros).
/ Home
Millésime 2013: Jean-Luc Thunevin (Fr & En)
Millésime 2013: Paul Pontallier - Château Margaux (Fr & En)
Millésime 2013: Markus Del Monego, Best Sommelier of the World 1998 (Fr & En)
Millésime 2013: Pierre Lurton - Château Cheval Blanc (Fr & En)
Millésime 2013: James Suckling (Fr & En)
Millésime 2013: Michel Rolland (Fr & En)
Markus Del Monego tells us about En Primeurs tasting
Michel Rolland, The Flying Winemaker Tells us about his experience with the Primeurs
Andreas Larsson tells us about En Primeurs tasting
Cyril Mondon from Socamil Leclerc tells us about Primeurs
TASTING AT JEAN PIERRE MOUEIX 03/04/2014, 17H00
Braving the incessant rain we arrived at Jean Pierre Moueix, situated at Quai du Priourat in Libourne where we tasted a great selection of wines from Pomerol and Saint Emilion.
Commenting on the tasting, Andreas Larsson said, “As always some of the wines from this vintage belong in the elite category. But it was nice to see that Bonalgue performed on a higher level than the previous year”
Our tasting comments and scores coming soon!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU TERTRE ROTEBOEUF 03/04/2014, 16H00
It was an exceptional tasting experience for sure with Mr. Mitjavile himself sharing  his technical expertise experience in wine making.
Andreas Larsson said “wines were very good. But here all the wines are fantastic regardless of vintage. They do not belong to any category..they belong to ‘Mitjavile category”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU CANNON LA GAFFELIERE, 15H00
The view outside from the tasting hall at Chateau Canon La Gaffelière was enchanting! After the tasting Markus Del Monego said, “A well compiled collection, true “De Neipperg” style. However wines are focused more on fruit than on concentration”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU PAVIE 03/04/2014, 14H00
Andreas Larsson commented upon the tasting, “As usual stylish line up to top end wines but each wine is quite different from the other and representative of its respective terroir.”
After the tasting we were taken on a tour in the chateau-with some newly constructed portions the chateau looked more opulent and magnificent than ever!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU PAVIE-MACQUIN 03/04/2014, 13H30
“Good  white wines. The red wines are expressing the best of 2013 vintage. The wines are well structured with a certain depth, and there are some very convincing wines on the top end,” said Markus Del Monego.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT ASSOCIATION DE GRANDS CRUS CLASSES DE SAINT EMILION 03/04/2014, 12H30
CHĂ‚TEAU FIGEAC
About the tasting at Chateau Figeac, Markus Del Monego, Best Sommelier of the world and MW said “All the wines showed a good quality level, however in slightly more heterogeneous style than usual. It is undoubted that in this vintage the vine grower played a major role than the terroir of different areas of Saint Emilion”
We had  a great meal with wonderful wines before we marched on to our next tasting!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU EVANGILE 03/04/2014, 11H30
Markus Del Monego said about the wines “The right decision at the right time allowed Chateau Evangile to be one of the leading wines of its appellation, proving that Cabernet Franc had a key role to play in this vintage.”
We also caught up with Jean-Pascal Vazart at the chateau who shared his thoughts on the vintage,
“we had to lose a large quantity of grapes due to disastrous weather and had to increase the hard work to manifolds to fight against unfavorable conditions”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU PETRUS 03/04/2014, 10H45
After the tasting session, reflecting upon Chateau Petrus, Markus Del Monego said, “This wine has pure fruit and is very fine. Though the wine is not as powerful as in the previous vintages what is noteworthy is that the beginning of attack, the middle palate and the finish are very linear with a great persistence. Tannin has good structure”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC 03/04/2014, 09h40
After a wonderful testing session at Chateau Cheval Blanc, Andreas Larsson said about the wines “These are the style of wines difficult to judge young. They are closed but with development they are best of Bordeaux wines. So we have to wait and watch.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU AUSONE 03/04/2014, 9h00
Primeurs TV is excited to share with you its En Primeurs tasting experience tasting of today…
Situated on the western edge of 11th century village Saint-Emilion, with elevated vineyards facing south on steep terraces in ideal situation, Chateau Ausone was our first stop for tasting. Chateau Ausone is one of the four to be ranked Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) in the Classification of Saint-Emilion wine.
Andreas Larsson commented on the wines from Chateau Ausone “These are stylish wines which interpret the vintage. They are soft and light styled wine which bear resemblance to the burgundy texture.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU LATOUR 02/04/2014, 17h30
The  last stop of Primeurs TV for its 3rd day at En Primeurs Tasting was Chateau Latour, rated as a First Growth under the 1855 Bordeaux Classification.
We tasted a number of amazing wines and Markus Del Monego said “one of the best wines of this vintage! And this true not only for the grand wines but also for the second and third labels”
It was a happening and fruitful day for us at the various tastings we attended and the wonderful people we met!
Our tasting comments and scores coming soon.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU COS D’ESTOURNEL 02/04/2014, 17h00
A  chateau with a remarkable architecture, Chateau Cos d’Estournel offered some very good wines for tasting. The Director General of the property  Aymeric de Gironde, accompanied us during the tasting and shared with us his experiences of the 2013 vintage.
About the tasting Andreas Larsson said, “all the wines were gracefully opening and showing power and elegance.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU PONTET-CANET 02/04/2014, 15h40
After walking through the beautiful chais of Château Pontet-Canet, we were directed by the welcoming staff to the first floor where the wines to be tasted waited us in an immense tasting hall.
Markus Del Monego said after the tasting, “surprisingly strong today for this vintage-a style which points towards Napa Valley style of wine making: a wine like from another world”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU MOUTON ROTHSCHILD 02/04/2014, 16h00
What can be said about the opulence  and charm of the property which has not been said earlier?!
We were driven to the building where tastings were organized. And there we met the ever elegant and ever charming  Baroness Philippine de Rothschild herself! She was her usual self-witty and a bundle of energy. What a pleasure it was interacting with her!
Andreas Larsson said about the wines he tasted, “ Newly born classicism , a representative tasting for terroir in Pauillac. With Chateau d’Armailhac on the elegant side, Chateau Clerc-Milon has charming depth and length, is promising yet closed.”
Markus Del Monego said, “tremendous expression with fruit, freshness and precision.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU LAFITE ROTHSCHILD 02/04/2014, 15h00
Primeurs TV has the pleasure of sharing with you its experience of En Primeurs tasting at Chateau Lafite Rothschild. Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego our two Best Sommeliers of the World share their experience.  Andreas Larsson said, “It is almost pure Cabernet-like many of the top wines of Medoc. It is quite challenging tasting them young due to high tannic presence. But it showed a remarkable length.”
Markus Del Monego said, “ The wines present themselves in a very classic style that does not rely on power but on very fine persistence of flavor on the palate. Wines showing up quite closed but they promise a very good ageing potential. Classic drinking pleasure in 20-25years”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU MONTROSE 02/04/2014, 14h30
Primeurs TV tasted wine at Chateau Montrose in the Saint Estephe appellation. When asked to divulge the details, Andreas Larsson said “These wines finish in a classic Bordeaux style. They possess great tannic precision and have potential for a really long ageing.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU GRUAUD LAROSE 02/04/2014, 13h15
Team Primeurs TV was welcomed by David Patrick LAUNAY at Chateau Gruaud Larose.
David recounted how difficult the vintage had been. After tasting red wines from the property, Markus Del Monego said , “The second wine has freshness and juicy fruit flavors. The first wine on the other hand has well worked structure and length.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU LEOVILLE POYFERRE 02/04/2014, 12h30
Andreas Larsson, about the tasting at Chateau Léoville Poyferré (in Saint Julien appellation) said “I have observed enormous quality progression in the last years in the wines from this property. This  puts them in the elite class of wines from Bordeaux.”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU 02/04/2014, 12h15
Markus Del Monego threw light upon the characteristics of wine of Chateau  Ducru Beaucaillou in Saint Julien appellation stating that these were fine , elegant, fruity wines with lighter body. He said that the wines had great length and persistence of palate.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU LA LAGUNE 02/04/2014, 10h45
We arrived at Chateau La Lagune  for the tasting organized by Les Crus Classés de Sauternes and Barsac and L’Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux.
We tasted best of best Sauternes and Andreas Larsson said that this was an excellent year for the Sauternes. He further added that all wines performed on a very good level. According to him the wines were marked by good extent of ripeness and particularly freshness.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU MARGAUX 02/04/2014, 10h00
At the magnificent Chateau Margaux, Primeurs TV was accompanied by Thibault PONTALLIER to the tasting.
Markus Del Monego said after the tasting “The white Pavillon Blanc Chateau Margaux  is very good with excellent minerality, elegant acidity, very good fruit expression and very good length.”
For red wines Markus says “Pavillon Rouge Chateau Margaux is a very good quality wine. Chateau Margaux on the other hand has good structure, long length and its aromatic persistence is very convincing.
We caught up with Paul PONTALLIER, the managing director at Chateau Margaux  and narrating his experience he said “2013 was a challenging vintage. But it was also a vintage of great summer. In heterogeneous year like this, the difficulties sometimes translate into great surprises that is what happened with this vintage”
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU PALMER 02/04/2014, 9h30
Primeurs TV brings to you the tasting sessions of day 3
The magnificent Chateau Palmer was our first stop today. Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego the two Best Sommeliers of the World did tasting in the Chais de Marronnier accompanied by Thomas DUROUX , Director General of Chateau Palmer.
About his impressions about the wines, Andreas Larsson said that the wine the wines are very very elegant  and stylish. They are not opulent and concentrated but beautiful wines with gentle expression. Markus Del Monego said that he couldn’t agree more.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT POMEROL: L'UNION DES GRANDS CRUS DE BORDEAUX 01/04/2014, 15h30
Château Gazin
Andreas Larsson said after the tastings that Pomerol is generally an appellation with elegant ,soft, lush wines. The wines here are more supple than any other appellation.
Markus Del Monego said that despite lighter style of 2013 wines in Pomerol we had some wines with juicy fruits on the palate, well balanced in soft style than the neighboring appellations
Find all tasting comments and scores very soon on  Primeurs TV, our website and our Facebook, Twitter and Google plus pages
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT JOANNE 01/04/2014, 9h00
Primeurs TV presents you the En Primeurs tasting experiences of day 2 !
We arrived at Maison Joanne situated in Fargues Saint Hilaire,  10 kilometres  south east of Bordeaux. We received a warm welcome from the staff and were accompanied to the venue of tastings. These were specially created and temperature controlled rooms for En Primeurs tastings. Pierre Antoine CASTEJA the President &Director General of Maison Joanne visited us and made sure we had a comfortable environment for a smooth tasting. The Two Best Sommeliers of the World  Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego tasted a varied range of appellations like: Haut Medoc and Medoc, Saint Julien, Saint Estephe, Pessac Léognan, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé , Pomerol in Red and Bordeaux Blanc sec  in white
There gist of their general impressions is as follows
-Light and fresh, with pure fruit, some finer examples with a more depth and length. A lot of wines will be soon ready to be enjoyed . Only a few show potential of aging
-Those who waited to harvest late Cabernet Sauvignon made the examples whereas Merlot gave lighter wines.
-Bordeaux Blanc sec and Sauternes are exceptional while the reds are a mixed bag
-A year of the winemaker more than that of the “terroir”
 
We said good bye to Joanne after a superb lunch and fine champagne!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT CHATEAU ANGELUS 31/03/2014,16h30
Primeurs TV marches on to its next stop to bring to you the latest update on the En Primeurs Tastings !
We arrive at Chateau Angelus where we are ushered into a tranquil and beautiful tasting room on the first floor. The wines to be tasted are arranged in perfect order. The view from the tasting room was so charming that for a moment we almost forgot that we had to continue with the Tastings!
At the end of the Tasting, Markus Del Monego said that he found some wines extraordinarily good and that these represented what can be achieved in a difficult vintage. He further added that a very good selection in the vineyard and in the cellar is applied.
Andreas Larsson informed us saying that despite the modern wine making know how, the vintage shines through in the end because a lot of wines were light and diluted. He voiced Markus Del Monego’s opinion that some of the wines were very well performing.
Find all tasting comments and scores very soon on  Primeurs TV, our website and our Facebook, Twitter and Google plus pages.
As we descended from the tasting room and walked towards our car, the sun in the west was casting its brilliant glow to the chateau. We ended our day with this enchanting view in our minds!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT LES CLES DE CHATEAUX 31/03/2014, 14h00
Michel Rolland Consulting
Primeurs TV brings to you a sneak peek into our next destination for the first day of En Primeurs Tastings.
When we arrived at Les Clés de Chateaux at Michel Rolland Consulting, it was already lunch time . A sumptuous buffet of delectable French meal awaited us under clear skies and bright sunshine. We began with delicious cauliflower soup and for entrée we had a delicate mélange of courgette and lentilles. The Aperitif comprised of fine charcuterie of jambon and  rillette.
In the main course we devoured on potato and mushroom purée, veal and French bread!
The dessert selection was to die for with the irresistible tarte de citrontarte aux fruits, white and dark chocolate with nuggets and fresh crispy strawberries with cream.
We had an amazing selection of wines from new world: Napa Valley, Argentina and South Africa.
Well the buffet had to end and so it did… after which we proceeded for the Tastings. Andreas said about the tastings: “2013 is surely a vintage where a skilled wine making is very crucial. It is not one of those vintages where terroir does it all. 2013 is a difficult vintage where the human hand is one of the most important factors.”
Markus said “very good fruit expression, easy to understand and easy to drink wines. The wines are not meant for aging but to be enjoyed now”
We met The Michel Rolland and when we asked him about his impression, he said “because of the bad weather it was indeed a difficult vintage. In the last many many years never had the vine growers had to put in so much hard work for a decent output.” He then summarized “we cannot say it is a good vintage, we cannot say it is bad either”. Words from the expert himself!!
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT LA GRAPPE 31/03/2014, 11h00
Consulting of Stéphane DERENONCOURT
Primeurs TV brings to you the update of the day as we arrive at La Grappe, Consulting of the world renowned Enologist Stephane Derenoncourt.
Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego tasted around 45 wines. When Andreas was asked to give his opinion he says “the wines are easy to drink, with fruity flavors and a lot of freshness. The frutiness is of course an asset and so is limited extraction. The wines have good balance and are lighter in style than the previous year wines”
We interviewed Stéphane Derenoncourt during the Tasting and he shared his experience and his view about the vintage 2013. He began with saying “ j’ai essayé de faire des vins équilibrés  pas des vins impossible a faire”…. I try to make balanced wines-wines which are not impossible to make.
He said that this vintage was a lovely surprise. On comparing the 2012 year with the present he said that 2012 produced powerful wines which were easy to taste and decipher; whereas this year is a hard vintage with less powerful wines. But the advantage this year is that it is beautiful sunny weather which makes wine tasting very pleasant as the wines open up with sunlight and dryness in the atmosphere. The impact of bad weather cannot be left unaccounted for the difficult vintage.
About the wines from La Grappe he said that a lot of fruit is evident in the wines. The wines are well balanced, have got acidity and lack weight and structure on the palate.
He also gives a lot of importance to “terroir, travail et chance” opining that none of the one can be out weighted in preference to the other. For example this year “terroir” was in play a lot because of the series of bad weather conditions that we had, therefore the clay in the soil played a key role in healthy maturation of grapes. Further, He lamented that  despite a lot of hard work many vine growers put in the bad weather took its toll on the eventual output. Therefore we need the lady luck to smile on us!
On commenting on the effect on business this En Primeurs results  may have, he simplified  that all depends on the quality of  vintage and economic context.
He was sure that the tradition of En Primeurs unique to Bordeaux , is here is stay and to bring wonderful discoveries to critics and wine lovers around the world.
Pallavi VATSA
TASTING AT THUNEVIN 31/03/2014, 9h00
Primeurs TV is excited to share with you its first en Primeurs 2013 Tasting experience.
Andreas Larsson and Markus Del Monego our two Best Sommeliers of the World tasted wines at Thunevin’s  home in the centre of Saint Emilion. We were welcomed by Murielle ANDRAUD to the Tasting. We tasted 90 wines amongst which were all the wines made by Murielle and Jean Luc THUNEVIN ,  the wines of their merchant, and the wines for which they do consulting.
Andreas Larsson said that though it is too early to give impressions about the tasting, he did opine that the wines were surprisingly light on the palate and had quite high acids. He further added that the wines which were well made had supple structure and had early drinkability. Markus Del Monego agreed, adding that the vintage is fruit based and that he discovered a number of very well made wines.
When we came to the fag end of the Tastings, the hosts offered us delicious meal prepared by two Moroccan chefs who were specially there to prepare the wonderful treat of couscous and other Moroccan delights!
Our tasting comments and scores coming soon on primeurs tv, and our Facebook, Twittter and Google Plus pages.
Pallavi VATSA
Google+