Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bordeaux 2011 En Primeur full price list released

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Vintages released its final price list for its 2011 Bordeaux Futures offer. Not many surprises . . . First Growths still hideously priced, and likewise for the Top Pomerols and St-Émilions. Anyone just so tired of these campaigns anymore?! I think I'm having some serious Bordeaux fatigue. See, that's why when you start any hobby really, you need a mentor who's willing to share wisdom, and start you off right. Otherwise you end up spending lots and lots of money on wines that you don't really want in your cellar 20 years later.

I didn't have a mentor. Not a real one anyways. My neighbour is an old wine guy, the old Bordeaux/Champagne/Burgundy kind of drinker. But he's a tightwad. You can only talk so much about wine . . . what good is it to someone who wants to learn about wine if you don't actually open a bottle to drink? As in most things, talk is so cheap.

So I taught myself by reading everything and anything I could find about wine, and really tasting. And yes, I read many, many books on how to taste wine. I fell in that trap most people do - that when you begin building a cellar, you start with red Bordeaux. I enjoy the wines, I really do . . . but I should have tasted around more first, before committing SO MUCH to claret. I'd say at the moment, about 60% of my cellar is in Bordeaux (red, white, and sweet), 20% Ontario, with the remainder split between Chablis, Champagne, Mosel, Rioja, and Barolo. And of course, the odd one-off bottle.

If given the gift of hindsight (and about $30,000) to redo my cellar, I'd focus on Barolo, Champagne, and both red and white Burgundy. Then, to a lesser degree, Mosel, Bordeaux (equal parts red and white), and Ontario. I'd also really like some Tokay, northern Rhône, and Bandol. But it's not too late . . . come on, I'm only about 7 years into seriously buying wine.

So what's stopping me from buying the wines I actually want? The number 10. I have a twitch, this almost OCD thing about wine that once I start with a certain producer, I HAVE to have 10 vintages of it on the shelf. Certain wines are worth it . . . 2, 3 times over. But other ones? It becomes a problem. At the moment, I've got 2 Bordeaux producers I'm working on - La Lagune, a 3rd Growth from the Haut-Médoc, and L'Arrosée, a Grand Cru Classé from St-Émilion. My first taste of both these wines were courtesy of a very, very generous family friend with a very deep Bordeaux collection. 2011 will be my 8th vintage of both, so I'm getting there. All I want is to see 10 years on the shelf, and then I'm out . . . or I might run out of money once I start school, whatever comes first.

I'm not suggesting that you need to be opening wines for anyone who asks, but really, if you have a chance to mentor a young person in wine, do it. You're going to make a difference in a young wino's life, and trust me, once that wino grows up, you'll get to drink all the wines you helped them put together. That's what I call a win-win.

DF

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