The following is strictly authentic:
An honourable Chinese recent owner of several Bordeaux wines has renamed them under names that are at the very least imaginative:
- we no longer say Château Larteau (Bordeaux red) but Château Lapin Impérial (Imperial Rabbit)
- we no longer say Château Tour Saint-Pierre (Saint-Émilion) but Château Lapin d'Or (Golden Rabbit)
- we no longer say Château Clos Bel-Air (Pomerol) but Château Grande Antilope (Great Antelope)
- we no longer say Château Sénilhac (Haut-Médoc) but Château Antilope Tibétaine (Tibetan Antelope)
For the moment, a draw between the rabbits and the antelopes, but still beaten by a little sheep (Petit Mouton) and a white horse (Cheval Blanc)...
With 46.5 million hectolitres of wine, the 2018 vintage established itself in France between 2015 (47.9 Mhl) and 2016 (45.5 Mhl), and significantly above 2017 (36.8 Mhl due to frost and drought).
In Bordeaux, 2018 (5.40 Mhl) is below the levels of 2015 (5.67 Mhl) and 2016 (6.71 Mhl), but well above 2017 (3.69 Mhl).
While Champagne will have broken all its records, with 3.38 Mhl in 2018 for a five-year average of 2.51 Mhl, that is +35%.
For information, the ranking of French wine regions in terms of volume produced (five-year average 2014-2018), where Bordeaux is not on the podium, is not intuitive:
- 29.0% in Languedoc-Roussillon (first region, unrivalled)
- 18.9% in Charentes (it takes at least 6 bottles of white wine for one bottle of Cognac)
- 12.2% in the South-East (Rhône Valley and Provence)
- 11.9% in Bordeaux
- 7.7% in the South-West (from Cahors to Madiran, not forgetting Armagnac)
- 5.8% in Champagne
- 5.8% in the Loire Valley
- 5.1% in Burgundy and Beaujolais
- 2.4% in Alsace
- 1.2% in the rest of France (Corsica+Savoy+Jura+...)
[from French Ministry of Agriculture]
The 2003 classification of the Médoc's crus bourgeois wines having been cancelled by court in 2007, it was soon replaced by a single level classification (cru bourgeois) granted to each vintage. An estate could thus be considered bourgeois one year but not the next...
10 years later, it has to be said that this ephemeral classification no longer interests many people, both in estates and among amateurs, which is why we do not mention it in our columns.
We pay tribute to the judicious (and courageous!) decision of the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois to launch a new classification:
- valid for 5 years: 2020, 2025, 2030....
- on 3 levels (cru bourgeois, cru bourgeois supérieur, cru bourgeois exceptionnel),
- with the strictest specifications controlled by an independent agency.
We look forward to seeing this future ranking in February 2020, and we will then echo the newly promoted. We hope that as many castles as possible will contribute to this, and that the inevitable legal actions will not put him down.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator