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New Year Resolutions?

I’ve never been one for resolutions; but then I am fortunate in that I don’t have any health-damaging addictions I need to give up. Nevertheless, when it comes to Winedoctor, I’m always thinking ahead and making plans, and this time of year seems as good a time as any to make some changes, and to lay down some objectives for the coming twelve months.

The past year has been one of continued evolution for this site, with a newly integrated blog to replace my old blogger platform, and stack load of new content. I did start to tot up how many new profiles, profile updates, tasting reports, vintage reports and wine guide updates I had made, but I only made it to mid-February before my eyes started to glaze over, so you will just have to take it from me there were plenty. If there is just one stream of updates made during 2011 that I am allowed to draw your attention to then it is my Loire Vintage Reports, focusing on 2010, 2009, 2005 and 2003. The level of analysis on the internet and in print that other regions (principally Bordeaux and Burgundy) are subjected to has never really been applied to the Loire; hopefully my vintage summaries go some small way to correcting that. In the same vein, coming in 2012 I plan a 2011 report, a 2010 update, and a look back to 2008 and then 2006.

So, as we have nearly reached 2012, here are my other plans:

1. Focus even more on Bordeaux and the Loire. Going off-piste once in a while (as with my Chapoutier reports here and here, or Tom Cannavan’s Portugal, or my many recent updates on Tuscany) is valuable, as it hopefully prevents me developing a regional version of cellar-palate. But the value in sites such as Winedoctor is specialist, regional, focused information I think. With that in mind, 2012 plans include:

  • » Featuring some less familiar names from the Loire. It’s time to look beyond Luneau-Papin, Pierre-Bise, Huet and Vacheron (although these will also see 2012 updates!).
  • » An increased focus on right bank Bordeaux – there are some profile gaps I need to fill.

So I have trips to Bordeaux lined up for April (yes, the primeurs) and also July for some new visits and new profiles, and to the Loire in February (yes, the Salon) and also October (otherwise I’ll feel out of touch!). And no other trips planned – at present, anyway. Throw in my as yet unpublished notes from the 2011 Salon (unforgivable I know – sorry) and from the Biodyvin tasting last November (more Huet, Vacheron, Roches Neuves and so on), a report on the Bordeaux 2007 vintage tasted last November and my visits and tasting from my Bordeaux visit last October and it’s clear I won’t be short of material to publish during 2012.

2. A small home-page facelift. Winedoctor has evolved into how it looks today, and I have no plans for a major overhaul. Content has long been my priority, but I have a few new features and links that need to be slotted into the homepage, and associated with this I will be *trying* to streamline its appearance somewhat. So don’t be surprised if it feels a little different in the New Year.

3. Finally, something of a teaser. Although Winedoctor always has been a web-only publication, 2012 will see the publication – in print – of an associated pocket-sized (if you have A5 pockets, anyway) guide to Bordeaux. The format will be informal, soft-cover, and it will hopefully appeal to a broad range of readers with generic information and a regional guide for Bordeaux-beginners, cut-down profiles and vintage reports for the more Bordeaux-familiar, and the latest news from the region for the real Bordeaux-nuts. With a short lead time (measured in weeks rather than months) it will hopefully maintain a ‘current’ feel more than many of the annually-published pocket guides. And it will be inexpensive (to my mind). I have about ten chapters in the bag, and about three more to write, and the aim is to have it on the shelves (and available in electronic format also) before I leave for the primeurs. To my mind, 2012 could be a very exciting year!

I will bring more news of this project here during the next few months. In the meantime, my best wishes to all readers, I hope you have had a great Christmas and holiday, and that your New Year celebrations go down a storm. See you all in 2012! – Chris

14 Responses to “New Year Resolutions?”

  1. Happy New Year Chris…look forward to checking in as often as I can!

  2. oh, yeah, Chris, all the best and forward leading in this new year! let old good vintages grow with you!

  3. Bob, Igor, thanks for your wishes, hope that 2012 is a good one for you both!

  4. Sounds like good resolutions – possibly easier to follow than the general “quitsmoking(I don*t)/drinkless(I don’t want to)/shapeup(I never succeed)” 🙂

    Best wishes to you for the new year, and hope to discover some new Loire favorites through the site.


  5. Chris,

    Would like to see, if possible, some more commentary on the non-classed growths for Bdx (right/left). The reality is that this is where the sweet spot is right now and where most of us will be buying.

    Also, if possible a link from your topics which are not in blog format so comments can be made to you directly, even if not published on the web page.

    Have a great new year!


  6. Thanks Erica, well there will be plenty of Loire recommendations. There usually are!

    Hi Gary, good to see you here. You are right in that looking beyond the classed growths is requried. Whether or not I find the time, that is another thing. As for commenting, as Winedoctor’s birth preceded the creation of blogs and the commenting they allow it is difficult to mve towards free commenting. It is very easy to comment off the page though (which is what you are asking about I think) via the Facebook and Twitter links on the left-hand side.

    Best wishes to you both in 2012.

    – Chris

  7. Very glad to hear you’ll continue and intensify coverage of the Loire. It’s really valuable stuff, and a pleasure to read.

    Will your Bordeaux guides be published in the US?

  8. Hi Dave, thanks for that comment. The Bordeaux pocket guide should be available in the US, probably published under licence. I will bring more news to the site about it as it develops. Best wishes for 2012, Chris.

  9. Happy New Year, and glad to hear that you are continuing with the world’s best wine review website. Look forward to seeing the Bordeaux publication in the US.

  10. Thanks Eduard – high praise indeed!

  11. Happy New Year to you and your readers Chris. Looking forward to more informative comments this year. Is there the chance of an occasional review of NZ wines? we do make the odd one or two that are fairly respectable and I am sure are available in the UK.

    kind regards from down under

  12. Hi Alan, thanks for your wishes. NZ Wine deserve credit in that until recently at least they brought their annual wine tasting to Edinburgh, and I usually made an effort to attend. But I missed it two years ago, and lost track of it thereafter, but on investigation I see the last one was January 13th 2011. I shall check my diary immediately for the 2012 tasting!
    Best wishes

  13. Could we have a Kindle version too?


  14. Daniel, I hope so. Will clarify with publisher soon.