Archive for May, 2011

2010 Sauternes Tasting Notes

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I find writing tasting notes incredibly difficult.  Words seem so inadequate for purveying all the sensations that can be found in a glass of good Sauternes.  Steve called for these notes 3 weeks ago, and I kept writing them and ripping them up.  It was somehow so difficult to encapsulate this exquisite vintage.

I still feel my remarks are inadequate but post them now in the hope they are meaningful and useful.  All the notes are now in one place and in alphabetical order so it is easy to compare the wines.

2010 Sauternes Tasting Notes

Enjoy! Bill Blatch

2010 Bordeaux En Primeur – Half Time Report

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

What strange times we are in! You will have already seen my article on Sauternes v Red Bordeaux chateaux prices which can be neatly summed up by this graph:

And chateaux prices for Red Bordeaux show no sign of slowing down.  Most winemakers are convinced they have made as good if not better wines in 2010 than in 2009 and their belief in the Chinese market is strong.

But, here we are half way through the 2010 En Primeur campaign and I can’t help feeling that a tipping point of some type is approaching.  All my gut instinct is telling me that there will be a significant closing between Sauternes and Red Bordeaux prices over the next few years.

Firstly, the Chinese are beginning to discover Sauternes.  It was actually illegal to import Sauternes into China until earlier this year because of the higher than normal Sulphate levels in botrytised sweet white wine.  Big efforts are being made by Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Guiraud to break into the Chinese market and, as Sauternes is such a natural partner to Chinese cuisine, I see no reason why these shouldn’t work.

More importantly though is the fact that Sauternes is better than Red Bordeaux!  Who says so?  Bill Blatch?  No actually – YOU!

We have been looking at what wine drinkers actually think of Sauternes compared to Red Bordeaux and the results are fascinating – take a look at this new article:

Sauternes – the Best Bordeaux Wine

If you are confused by the current market then you are not alone.  The only certainty in my mind is that Sauternes is both great wine and great value in 2010.  Prices have generally remained at 2009 levels from the chateaux with slight increases from a few balanced by some significant reductions from others.    Bill Blatch

2010 Domaine de L’Alliance – Best Yet!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Daniel Alibrand, fisherman turned winemaker, goes from strength to strength with his 2010 Domaine de L’Alliance – just released in handy 50cl bottles.  Take a look at the video below to see what Daniel gets up to in his garage, sorry cellar!  Neal Martin was amazed enough to include Daniel in the foreword to his vintage report:

“The region continues to be beset by financial woes and consumer apathy, but that has not deterred young vignerons from throwing the dice and making Sauternes. Take Domaine de l’Alliance for example. After visiting the historic Yquem shrouded in its luxuriant air, I found myself in an unkempt garage on the outskirts of an industrial estate in Langon. Just a few years ago, Daniel Alibrand, commercial fisherman turned winemaker, was welding his vats together, but now this, dare I say, “maverick genius” is making top-class Sauternes from the most rudimentary equipment. It is these kinds of passionate individuals that the region needs.”

2010 Domaine de L’Alliance – £74/half case Bottles (50cl) or £13.33/Bottle (50cl)

2010 Sauternes – the Eurovision Chart!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Following the Eurovision Song Contest (and popular demand) we couldn’t resist one more Top 40 Chart!

Taken into account are a host of new scores from France (Revue du Vin de France, Professor Bernard Burtschy, Jacques Dupont, Jacques Perrin & Antoon Laurent), Izak Litwar’s scores from Denmark and, to make things truly European, the scores from the Grand Jury Europeen founded by Francois Mauss.

For tasting notes and scores just click on the links or on the large blue box at the top right of your screen.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

1.  L’Extravagant de Doisy Daene (-) – No changes across the top 5 wines but it was very close for No.1! RELEASED – £797 (6 x halves)
2.  d’Yquem (-) – RELEASED – £4,911/£4,927 (12 x bottles/24 x halves)
3.  Climens RELEASED – £839/£847
4.  Suduiraut (-1) – RELEASED – £562/£578
5.  Coutet (-) – RELEASED – £528/£544
6.  Guiraud (+1) – Moving back up the chart!  RELEASED – £349/£365
7=. Doisy Daene (+2) – Up for the second week running! RELEASED – £308/£324
7=. Raymond Lafon (+5) – Up 5 places again!  RELEASED – £292/£308
9.  Rieussec (-3) – A slight faller! RELEASED – £556/£572
10.  La Tour Blanche (-2) – Down 2 places!  RELEASED – £441/£457
11.  Doisy-Vedrines (-) – A non-mover! RELEASED – £234/£250
12.  de Fargues (+5) – Moving up to where it belongs! RELEASED – £900/£916
13.  Lafaurie-Peyraguey (-3) – Out of the top 10 – just!  RELEASED – £338/£354
14.  Nairac (-1) – A slight faller! RELEASED – £384/£400
15.  Rabaud-Promis (+1) – Still moving up slowly!
16.  Clos Haut-Peyraguey (-1) – Falling one place! RELEASED – £344/£360
17. Sigalas Rabaud (+1) – Good top 20 position! RELEASED – £349/£365
18.  de Rayne Vigneau (-5) – Moving down the charts! – RELEASED – £322/£338
19.  de Myrat (-) – A non-mover! RELEASED – £219/£235
20.  de Malle (+5) – Well deserved big move!  RELEASED – £232/£248
21.  Bastor-Lamontagne (+7) – Now just outside the top 20!  RELEASED – £164/£180
22=. Haut-Bergeron (-2) – A slight fall after last week’s big rise!
22=. Caillou (-) – A non-mover this week!
24.  Filhot (-1) – A slight faller!  RELEASED – £177/£193
25.  d’Arche (-4) – A surprise faller this week!  RELEASED – £210/£226
26.  Broustet (-2) – A slight fall but a great price!  RELEASED – £143/£159
27.  Lamothe Guignard (+5) – Back into the top 30!  RELEASED – £168/£184
28=. Cantegril (+1) – Moving up slightly! RELEASED – £157/£173
28=. de Veyres (+2) – More progress up the chart!   RELEASED – £137/£153
30.  Romer du Hayot (+4) – Bouncing back after a fall!  RELEASED – £140/£156
31=. Lamothe Despujols (-4) – A faller this week! RELEASED – £175/£191
31=. Domaine de L’Alliance (+2) – Another move up the chart! RELEASED – £74
31=. La Clotte-Cazalis (+6) = A deserved big move! RELEASED – £169/£185
34.  Romer (+2) – Up 2 places!
35.  Les Justices (-9) – The biggest faller this week!
36.  Suau (-1) – A slight faller!
37.  Tuyttens (-7) – Another big faller!
38.  Liot (-) – The first of 3 non-movers!  RELEASED – £140/£156
39.  Saint-Marc (-) – No move here!  RELEASED – £125/£141
40.  Partarrieu (-) – Still in the top 40! RELEASED – £117/£133

2010 Raymond-Lafon – better than 2009?

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Last year the 2009 Ramond-Lafon was a must buy wine.  The price attracted the attention of pretty much everybody and it was our best selling wine by a country mile.  What about this year?

Well, Jean-Pierre Meslier is convinced that his 2010 is even better and we agree.  Last Friday I re-tasted all the 2010 Sauternes and it was in my Top 3 wines.  Always a man of principle, for which I greatly admire him, Jean-Pierre has put his price up a little from 2009 where others are staying at the same price or going lower.  The 2010 Raymond-Lafon is still, however, probably the best buy at the top end of this vintage and is only £9 per case more expensive than last year.  All the details are below.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2010 Chateau Raymond-Lafon

Sauternes – the Best Value in Bordeaux by 500%?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The recent price releases from Bordeaux have got me thinking.  So much so that I have trawled through my old card index system with historic opening prices for both red and white wines.  It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me that wines such as Chateau Gazin are being released at the same price as Chateau Suduiraut, Chateau d’Angludet at the same price as Chateau Doisy-Vedrines.

The results (with the help of Steve’s maths skills) are fascinating – do take a look below at why we think Sauternes is the best value wine in Bordeaux by 500%.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Sauternes – the Best Value in Bordeaux by 500%?

2010 Suduiraut – Best Priced Sauternes yet!

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Well the price this afternoon for Suduiraut has confirmed it for me.  The chateau price is down 10% meaning that we can sell it for over £100 per case cheaper than the 2009!  This is the best value of the vintage so far!

2010 Suduiraut

Compare this to Chateau Gazin which also opened this afternoon and which went up by around 7% to almost the same price ex-chateau and it is clear where the most sensible pricing is happening – Sauternes!  Good though Gazin is I couldn’t possibly recommend to anyone purchasing a 93-95 point 2010 Pomerol over the majesty that is the 94-96 point 2010 Suduiraut!  Bill Blatch

Great 2010 Guiraud Released

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Three more 2010 Sauternes to tell you about today.  A significant price reduction of nearly 12% on the great 2010 Guiraud to make it the same price as the 2010  Sigalas Rabaud released at the end of last week.  Also out is the excellent 2010 de Malle.  All three of these wines have styles that really suit the 2010 vintage and come highly recommended – click on the wine names to find out more or on either the red or blue boxes on the right-hand side of this page.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

Chateau Guiraud – 12% price reduction on 2009 to under £350/case
Chateau Sigalas Rabaud – 6% down on 2009
Chateau de Malle – 6% down again to just over £20/bottle or £10/half

More Good News on 2010 Sauternes Prices

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Four major releases today – the two First Growth ‘Peyragueys’ and two Barsac Second Growths, Doisy-Vedrines and the superbly priced Broustet.  Every year there is always someone who really prices to sell – last year it was the Mesliers at Raymond Lafon who reduced their price substantially and the new owners at Broustet have done the same in 2010 with a 20% reduction.

Chateau Broustet – 24% decrease on our 2009 opening price!
Chateau Doisy-Vedrines – 6% less than last year!
Clos Haut-Peyraguey – 5.8% down on the 2009 opening price!
Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey – down 5.8% again!

Just click on a wine name for tasting notes, scores and a link to our 2010 Sauternes sales page.  Enjoy!  Bill Blatch

2010 Sauternes Prices Down!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Good news for Sauternes lovers – 2010 prices are stable at the chateau and, for the moment at least, down for UK customers as the Euro weakens against Sterling.  There have been 3 (4 now as I speak) releases today including the First Growth, Chateau La Tour Blanche, which is pointing the way for others to follow.

This is a very important moment in the en primeur campaign and it is looking promising so far for consumers,  Particular credit should be given to both Chateau Lamothe Guignard and Chateau La Tour Blanche as both properties were severely hit by hail last month (see post below) and may have lost a large amount of next year’s crop.  Click on a wine name below for tasting notes and prices:

Chateau La Tour Blanche – 5.9% decrease on 2009 opening price!
Chateau Lamothe Guignard – 5.6% decrease on 2009 opening price!
Chateau de Veyres – offered for the first time this year!
Chateau Liot – £1 cheaper per case this year