Stop this 2013 Bordeaux bashing !


Because, collectively, Bordeaux risk to take ages to decide to react to what I now call the “2013 Bordeaux bashing”, I prefer to react as a wine lover and try to bring some elements in a “one way conversation”. Bordeaux, out of fashion ? Can be. Grossly overpriced ? It depends. No 2013 on the market? Stop this 2013 Bordeaux bashing…

Stop! Stop! Stop! Lots of negative things are written on the 2013 vintage, while no one has yet put the nose into a glass. The latest article comes from Drinks Business magazine. Virulent. Extremely virulent, I would say. Besides a bit of a mix of everything, in associating high prices and poor vintage, the introduction is quite clear: “Some commentators have even speculated that there is a chance leading properties will choose not to participate in next spring’s campaign.”

I am fortunate to work for famous wine estates for now some time. They are not only based in Bordeaux, they are everywhere where you can make great wines. And these people are conscientious, they try to make the best possible way to make a wine that gives a taste of the place where it comes from. So it gives me each year the opportunity to taste wines that were just born and that are still receiving the best care. This is especially the case now for the 2013 vintage which will be revealed in a few months. And it is for this reason that as a wine lover, I am sad to read such things.

In its article “En Primeur 2013 : The perfect storm” Drinks Business asks: “With evidence that en primeur is increasingly expensive yet unprofitable and therefore faced with mounting pressure to drop prices while simultaneously facing up to the worst growing season of recent years, is it really worth the châteaux putting their wines on the market?”

Of course it is worth presenting these wines en primeur ! Of course it is worth presenting the 2013s to international wine critics! It will be up to them to judge the quality proposed by each chateau. How can we prevent chateaux give the best of themselves in any vintage, good or bad? If we look at the history of Bordeaux wines, let’s imagine all the vintages that we should not have put on the market due to a “bad” vintage and that today prove very nice, giving much pleasure to wine lovers. Tasting regularly vintages that were called “weak” or “bad” from the 19th and 20th century – including many since 1831 thanks to Mr. Merlaut at Chateau Gruaud Larose – I am always amazed at the quality that can deliver a famous chateau in “bad” vintages.

Associating price and “bad” vintage is another story … I have already written on this blog that fine wine was the last luxury industry where marketing and communication were not considered and that we should change that. In fact, I founded VitaBella Luxury Wine 10 years ago to help some top names that had understood that they should consider taking a new approach. Attitudes must change and it must be understood that the prestige of a chateau, its classification and its appellation, are no longer sufficient to sell expensive Bordeaux wines. Marketing and communication have become essential in a long-term approach. Some people may say that Bordeaux gets what it deserves. For my part, after reading the history of the great Bordeaux wines, I am convinced of the ability of this beautiful region to bounce thanks to the competent teams that run today’s most prestigious chateaux.

(Ecrire à Guillaume Jourdan