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Bordeaux 2017: The Final Lowdown

I finished publishing my Bordeaux 2017 report last week, ending up with my Primeur Picks, summing up some thoughts on the vintage, as well as picking out my top wines, those we like to dream about as well as more resonably priced ‘reality’ and ‘sense’ options.

I thought it would be interesting to bring some of this report out here, onto the free-to-read Winedr blog. So over the next four days I will publish my concluding thoughts about the vintage here, in four short, bite-sized pieces. Here goes…..

Bordeaux 2017: Primeur Picks

After fifteen regional reports on the 2017 Bordeaux vintage, featuring well over 300 tasting notes (the honest truth is I lost count somewhere between Pomerol and Pessac-Léognan) it is time to sum up the vintage.

While my regional reports provide detail, with notes and scores on every wine I tasted during my time in Bordeaux (without exception, whether the wine be great or grim), in this conclusion I aim to provide a more facilitative overview of the vintage, one which perhaps answers some of the more frequently asked questions about any new Bordeaux vintage.

So, is it a bad, good or great vintage?

There is perhaps an argument for saying it is all three rolled into one, but eager to simplify things I would say that 2017 is a very good vintage, at least it is for some parts of Bordeaux, for some domaines and for some appellations. But not for others. OK, maybe that doesn’t simplify it very much, but don’t blame me, blame Jack Frost. The result of the frost that struck in late April has been marked heterogeneity in quality, as it overlooked some domaines, leaving the vines with a healthy crop, the end result a potentially excellent wine, while on other domaines it wiped out any hopes for good quality in this vintage.

Bordeaux 2017

If you home in on those parts of Bordeaux that escaped the frost, or those domaines which were able to reject the fruit from frosted vines and instead produce a reduced volume of wine solely from non-frosted first-generation fruit (in some cases including tiny quantities of carefully selected second-generation fruit), then quality is excellent. The very successful appellations (or part-appellations) in this vintage are St Estèphe, Pauillac, much of St Julien, select parts of St Emilion and also select parts of Pomerol. That the vintage deserves high regard in the latter of these appellations is perhaps best illustrated by the words of Denis Durantou (pictured above), of Château L’Église-Clinet, who described 2017, along with the excellent 2015 and 2016 vintages, as one of “a rare triplet for Bordeaux”. That’s true for his domaine and his neighbours, but not for many others, sadly. Other appellations such as Margaux and Pessac-Léognan suffered more in the frost; this did not stop the preeminent domaines in these regions also producing excellent wine, but it often required an incredible amount of work in the vineyard, and a strict selection at harvest.

Continued in part 2…….

Bordeaux 2017: The Halfway Mark

It is Wednesday morning and I am pleased to say I am now past the halfway mark in my marathon of tasting the barrel samples of the 2017 Bordeaux vintage.

It has been a busy few days. I flew into Bordeaux last week, on Friday. The journey here was, as football pundits might say, “squeaky bum time”. I flew down from Edinburgh to Stansted on a 6:30am flight, followed by a 9:15am flight from Stansted out to Bordeaux. I take the 6:20/6:30am flights from Edinburgh to London airports quite frequently, and they are very rarely delayed. Of course, the one time it really mattered, an air traffic control restriction moved our departure time back by half an hour, wiping out a large chunk of what time I would have on the ground at Stansted.

When we landed I was off the plane like a rocket, leaving the other passengers far behind. This confused the airport’s security staff who saw a lone passenger exiting the gate area and they quickly assumed I was lost. Having reassured them I knew exactly where I was going, I made my way out of the front of the airport, back in through fast-track security, and I made it to the gate with about five minutes to spare. Phew!

Next year, I think I will have to come up with a different travel plan. Back in 2016 an air traffic control strike meant I ending up living in Gatwick airport for two days before being able to get a flight to Bordeaux. I have no desire to repeat the experience.

Bordeaux 2017

The rest of the day was uneventful. I picked up my hire car, drive over to St Emilion, found my accommodation, and so on. I spent the first few days tasting on the right bank, with a few visits to those willing to see me over the weekend, such as Jonathan Maltus, Château La Dominique and Château Pavie-Macquin, several large tastings and a Sauternes extravaganza. By the time Monday morning came I had already tasted hundreds of wines, and the weather had changed from sunny, to cool and cloudy, and it seems to have steadily worsened since then. I spent Monday in Pessac-Léognan and Sauternes, starting the day in a drizzly, foggy rush-hour gridlock (rail strikes in France have made the roads even busier than usual) en route to Château Haut-Brion, finishing the day at Château d’Yquem, when the sun came out momentarily, both above my head and, seemingly, in my glass. On Tuesday I made a marathon journey through the Médoc, with fifteen visits in one day, the most I have ever managed. But I started at 8am at Château Calon-Ségur, and I finished at about 7:30pm, having meandered south as far as Château La Lagune, and there were only a few minutes drive between most appointments, so I had plenty of time not only to taste the wines but to talk about the vintage. By Tuesday evening the weather had degenerated into heavy rain, with thunder and lightning.

The 2017 vintage is a fascinating one to taste, because quality is so variable this year. It isn’t an easy vintage that can be summed up in one word like we might try with a washout year like 2013, or with a great year such as 2005 or 2010. It is a complex vintage, one with highs and lows; there are wines that feel profound, composed, exciting and desirable, while others are simply everything that you don’t want in Bordeaux, with overtly green and vegetal fruit, light and loose textures, and bitter tannins. The vintage has been unkind to some in this region, frost and the response to it being a major driver (but it certainly does not act alone) of style and quality this year. And those that escaped the frost know this only too well. “We were very lucky, very lucky indeed” has been one of the most commonly heard refrains when visiting domaines where the frost did not bite.

During the week I won’t be making behind-paywall updates, but will be posting on Instagram and Twitter so it will be easy to keep track of my progress. My full reports, with weather report, harvest and tasting overview, soundbites and then my region-by-region tasting reports, will kick of on Tuesday 17th April.

Reprimandeur Week Approaches

I just wanted to give a quick head’s up to everybody in the wine trade that next week is the Bordeaux reprimandeur week. It’s that time of year (again!) when half the wine writing world disappears to Bordeaux to see what sort of wines the Bordelais have produced during the previous year’s growing season. The other half, meanwhile, stay at home and reprimand their colleagues for even daring to participate in such profane and immoral tasting activity.

I would like to thank all these reprimandeurs for participating in this year’s event – it just wouldn’t be the same without you! And in a spirit of collegiality I wanted to give you a few tips and hints on how you can stir things up this year. We’re counting on you…..

First, price. Remember to criticise anybody attending the primeurs because the wines are too expensive, because the hyperbole of early ‘scoop’ reporting drives up prices, and because Bordeaux no longer functions as wine and is perhaps better considered a luxury product or collector’s item. Don’t let anybody tell you that the alternative, a vacuum of independent opinion, would be worse than useless. Don’t pay any attention to the notion that sensible critics provide guidance to their readers on prices, value and the wisdom (or idiocy) of buying en primeur. And please overlook the hundreds of good-value wines that get reviewed. Just stick your reprimandeur oar in! And don’t let it put you off going to that DRC tasting you have been invited to (again). That’s obviously completely different.

Primeurs Sign

Second, remember to criticise primeur attendees for daring to taste barrel samples. It doesn’t matter that they are finished blends, and that decent critics provide an honest and clear indication that these wines provide a snapshot of what the future wine will be like. It is irrelevant that after attending years and years of primeur tastings, regular attendees worth their salt can see a clear correlation between their own opinions on barrel samples and the same wines when tasted from bottle for any given vintage. And don’t give any time to the thought that regular Bordeaux buyers and primeur-report readers are intelligent people who know about the fallibility of barrel samples. Stick to your reprimandeur guns! Every good reprimandeur knows barrel samples are the devil’s work, sometimes not even made from grapes. And they are largely undrinkable. Like a lot of natural wine, except there you can’t blame it on the barrels.

Finally, remember to criticise those attending the primeurs for using scores. Just because sensible critics use ranged scores to denote the uncertainty of a barrel sample, don’t let that dissuade you from letting people know how wrong this all is. And just because scores for wine weren’t exactly invented yesterday (have you noticed Robert Parker is now retired?) don’t let that kid you that a seasoned Bordeaux buyer might understand that scores are not an intrinsic element of the wine, swimming around among the tannins and acids. All good reprimandeurs know that scores are objective, exact and written in stone for all time, and are harmful to consumers, who must be protected from them at all costs.

Thanks for reading reprimandeurs, and keep up the good work. Bordeaux and all who sail in her ship, the primeur tasters, and the consumers who dare to buy and drink these wines are all counting on you to do your duty! If you are eager to get going, please start reprimanding now. While the official primeurs tastings begin next week, some immoral and frankly vulgar critics are already in the region, daring to taste the wines a week or two early. Your reprimandeur skills are needed!

Arranging a Primeurs Visit

Two different methods of arranging a visit during the primeurs tasting week in Bordeaux.

Method One:

I send an email requesting an appointment at 10 am on Tuesday morning.
I receive a reply confirming my appointment with a cheery “see you soon!”.

Method Two:

I send an email requesting an appointment at 11 am on Tuesday morning.

I receive an email explaining that the programme for the primeurs hasn’t been settled yet. The time will probably be OK, but I must wait until they begin organising the week’s schedule.

A few weeks later I receive an email confirming an appointment at 11 am, but that I should wait for a subsequent email inviting me to participate in the online appointment registration system, otherwise my appointment won’t be included on the schedule.

A further few weeks later I receive a formal email inviting me to click a link to participate in the online appointments system. I follow the link, where I have to fill in an online form, name, address, email, telephone, publications, gender, sexual preferences, etc. (I may have made some of these up). I make it through to a “form submitted” page which informs me that a confirmation email has been sent.

Shortly afterwards I receive a confirmation email, again agreeing the date and time of my appointment, the same date and time as was agreed in the email from the château over a month beforehand. The email informs me I will now receive an official invitation, which I should look out for. Which of course I do.

Several weeks later I receive an official invitation again by email. This document needs to be printed out to be presented at the château. Without presenting the scannable code on the invitation, again I am warned I will not be received.

The various châteaux of Bordeaux are of course entitled to organise themselves and their primeurs week as they see fit. My only points are as follows. Firstly, I much prefer the first system, for its simplicity. Secondly, the primeurs week now features thirty or forty châteaux appointments alongside the larger tastings, and if I had to jump through all these hoops for all of these appointments it seems inevitable that things would go wrong. I employ an assistant to do administrative work on Winedoctor, but they only do a few hours each week, and together we are grateful that most châteaux follow the first system and not the second!

The Results Are In

The Vinovision results are in, released with a surprising lack of fanfare considering this salon has enjoyed a significant increase in visitor numbers in 2018.

From a starting point of 3,300 visitors for the first ever edition in 2017, the 2018 edition saw visitor numbers hit 5,000 (some reports I have seen claim 5,500). Even taking the lower of these two figures, that is a 52% increase on the 3,300 who attended in 2017, a remarkable success and surprising as having visited both the 2017 and 2018 editions I wouldn’t have said the 2018 edition was 50% busier (although the Sunday in 2017 was, I suppose, extraordinarily quiet). But the figures don’t lie, and I can only assume the organisers are delighted with this dramatic increase in support. The visitors included 20% from foreign markets (up from 17% in 2017), essential for those looking to improve international sales, with the United Kingdom, Belgium and the USA in the lead.

Loire Salons 2018

By contrast, attendance at the Salon de Vins de Loire declined in 2018, as I have already described in my earlier post. There the figures declined from about 8,500 to 7,500; both figures are obviously approximate, so acknowledging that, the figures here add up to an 11% decline in attendance, although absolute numbers are still well ahead of Vinovision. Indeed, I spoke to a few exhibitors at Vinovision who felt they had done more useful business at the Salon de Vins de Loire, which I suspect reflects the fact the Salon de Vins de Loire was a more active fair, with higher attendance figures over just two days.

I hope the Salon de Vins de Loire continues as it remains a fabulous showcase for what the region has to offer, but I wish the organisers of Vinovision well for the 2019 edition, in association with Vinisud.

Vinovision 2018 Review

I have just returned home after three days of tasting in Vinovision, the second edition of this cool climate wine salon held in the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre, in Paris. It has been an interesting event, and I suspect how successful it was depends on your point of view.

From the point of view of a visiting journalist with a strong interest in the Loire Valley and its wines, I have found the last three days remarkably useful. The Salon de Vins de Loire is never long enough to get around and taste with all the vignerons you would like to see, even when it was three days long. This year (and next year too) it has been pruned to just two days, so having three more days to taste at Vinovision is a real bonus. Secondly, there are some vignerons who exhibit at Vinovision who have never been to the Salon des Vins de Loire, so it is a great opportunity to meet and taste with these people.

The organisation of Vinovision is pretty standard for a salon, in other words the associated website is clunky, I found it impossible to register online and had to email for help, I continued to receive emails reminding me to register when I (eventually) already had, and the website listed some domaines as exhibitors who were in fact never coming (and the names were only removed from the website after the start of the salon). I was also confounded by a couple of vignerons I expected to be there (because they were last year) but who didn’t sign up this year, so I missed tasting with them. That last mistake is clearly my own fault though, and I will just have to chalk it up to experience.

Vinovision 2018

Putting that to one side, I still managed very easily to fill three days of tasting. Well, two and three-quarters, anyway; as usual my tasting progress started to slow midway through the afternoon of day three, as many exhibitors started packing up, and one or two stands were left permanently unmanned, which meant some exhibitors I had hoped to taste with missed out (or maybe they were avoiding me). During my final tasting of day three the vigneron put on his coat halfway though, which I did take as a message. But I tasted a lot, catching up with some significant Loire Valley names such as Henri Bourgeois and Couly-Dutheil, some old favourites such as Domaine du Haut Bourg and Château Gaudrelle, some domaines that have long been on the very periphery of my Loire radar, such as Tinel-Blondelet and Domaines Vinet, and also a handful of domaines I have never tasted with before, such as Jean Tatin in Quincy (although I know his wines quite well), and Domaine de Noiré in Chinon.

So from my point of view, I had three successful days at Vinovision. But let’s not forget this is a trade fair, and the reason the vignerons are there is to meet clients and sell wine. So how much of a success was it from the point of view of a (possibly frosted-out and cash-strapped) Loire Valley vigneron?

Rather like the Salon des Vins de Loire, where most exhibitors reported being busy on day one, but quiet on day two, activity at Vinovision also faded away during the course of the salon. Every vigneron I spoke to had been happy with the number of visitors on the first day, but days two and three were reported as being too quiet. The Salon des Vins de Loire cost €1200 for two days this year, a reduction from the fee in 2017 which was, for the same vigneron, “about €3000” (although it all depends on the size of the stand taken, of course). Vinovision, meanwhile, in 2018 was the same price as last year, also €3000 (again depending on the size of the stand, this is the price for a micro-booth), although as it is an international trade fair exhibitors quality for financial support. All the same, this is an expensive activity. “It’s a lot of money for not many sales”, said one vigneron.

Next year Vinovision will again be three days, and it will have a friend, as Vinisud is moving to Paris on the same dates, the two salons presumably in adjacent halls of the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre (I have no idea how big Vinisud is, by the way). Read the press release on the Vinisud website for more details (in French). Some hope this will enhance visitor numbers, while others are keen to support Vinovision regardless. “We wanted this salon, you can’t expect great success at the start, it is getting better, going up, up, up”, one vigneron told me. “Now that we have it, we just need to build on it”. Some may, however, vote with their feet, marching in the opposite direction. “I don’t know if I will come back next year”, said one of his neighbours.

Presumably we will get some idea of visitor numbers to Vinovision in the next day or two. Last year the organisers claimed 3,300 visitors over three days. Visitors to the Salon des Vins de Loire trended downwards from 2017 to 2018, so it will be interesting to see in which direction visitor numbers to Vinovision is heading.

Vinovision Time

It’s time for my second big Loire tasting trip of the month. After four days in Angers last week for the Salon des Vins de Loire and associated tastings, I landed in Paris yesterday and later today I will be heading to Vinovision, France’s cool climate wine fair.

Last year’s Vinovision (the first ever year for this fair) was, to my mind, a real success. I spent three days working my way around the Loire Valley, and tasted a huge amount of wine. There were some big-name domaines in attendance, many of which I knew pretty well already so it was great to catch up with the latest vintages, but I also met a large number of vignerons I hadn’t met or tasted with before (some of last year’s exhibitors are pictured below). Having looked at the list of exhibitors for this year, although some of the names have changed, it otherwise looks like the same set up. Today I expect to be tasting the latest from Henri Bourgeois, Couly-Dutheil, Château de Villeneuve and others. But of course I also have a selection of less familiar names on my list for the day.

Vinovision 2018

One aspect of this tasting I really like is that it is open to any of the region’s vignerons, so it gives Loire-interested people (like me!) a chance to taste across the spectrum, from huge operations such as Bouvet-Ladubay down to lone winemakers working just a hectare or two of vines, such as Adèle Rouzé, for example. How someone works in the vines isn’t a bar to entry, so the domaines here are conventional, raisonnée, organic and biodynamic. Anything goes! And so the wines can be judged on the basis of what is in the glass, rather than some notion of how the vines were farmed.

As a commentator on the region, this open-minded approach is really valuable to me. The problem with many of the UK tasting opportunities which feature Loire Valley wines (among others), such as RAW and the Real Wine Fair, is that they focus on winemaking dogma. As a consequence you get a view of just a narrow subsection of the region, and despite what the organisers of those tastings might tell us this narrow view of the region isn’t a guarantee to finding the best wines; the spread of quality is no different to at a tasting of conventionally made wines. And for me, these tastings also provided little more than duplication; many vignerons I would meet there I had already tasted with during the Salon des Vins de Loire and Renaissance tastings.

If I could just pop along to tastings such as RAW and the Real Wine Fair I would continue to attend, but as attendance usually involves flying down from Edinburgh and is certainly not a zero-cost exercise I decided to look around for other tasting opportunities. Vinovision came along at just the right time. I am looking forward to my first day of the 2018 edition immensely. First job of the day, though, is café and a pain au raisin.

Harvest 2017 in Vouvray

After publishing some harvest pictures from Château de Minière a couple of weeks ago I thought I should continue with some pictures from Vouvray, taken when I called in on Vincent Carême on 22nd September 2017.

I found Vincent and team in the larger section of Le Clos, just as they were finishing their picking in this section. Vincent was leading from the front.

Vincent Carême

I had only been there five minutes and the picking in this section was completed, so we moved round to the much smaller front section of Le Clos, in front of the house. The slope here has a southwesterly aspect, and looks down onto the outskirts of Vernou-sur-Brenne. I have bought a lot of groceries in that Super-U over the years.

Vincent Carême

The team moved swiftly through the vines; having chatted with Vincent for a few minutes, I saw the pickers were already halfway through this small section of vines.

Vincent Carême

There’s a lot of ribbing about the weight of hods; the idea is to ensure the more slender-framed members of the team carry the hod, and then poke fun at how much weight they can carry. It’s very good-natured, with smiles all round. This hod wasn’t the most heavily laden on the day, and it certainly produced a few chuckles, which were bore with good grace. I have to confess I was full of admiration for the whole team; I got the notion everybody was enjoying being part of the harvest, even though it was obviously hard work.

Vincent Carême

Just to prove the first hod wasn’t just for the camera, here’s Vincent at work again, in the front section of Le Clos. That’s a well-filled hod, Vincent leading by example.

Vincent Carême

A few steps up the ladder and Vincent’s hod of grapes was tipped into the waiting trailer, which was filling up nicely.

Vincent Carême

And after adding this latest hodful to the trailer, he was off like a bullet, ready to refill. The whole team worked at remarkable speed, and five minutes later they were finished.

Vincent Carême

The 2017 vintage will largely be dominated by dry and sparkling wines chez Carême, Vincent having continued to pick everything as the weather conditions threatened rot. I tasted the 2017 Vouvray Sec at the Salon des Vins de Loire (largely from vines up on the plateau, not from Le Clos) and it is clearly a vintage with nice potential. I will publish a tasting report on releases from 2017, 2016 and 2015 for subscribers later in the year.

Salon des Vins de Loire 2018: Early Figures

The theme of this year’s Salon des Vins de Loire was frugality. Last year’s three-day Sunday-Monday-Tuesday salon was cut to just two days this year, Sunday having been pruned (on reflection, not that surprising, it was a very quiet day), presumably slashing costs for all. The press dining room, which usually lays on a lavish lunch with hot food, was reduced to a corner table of sandwiches and a thermos flask. Shocking! Seriously, however, I am not complaining, as I always thought the lunch service was a little over the top, and tended to dive in and out as quickly as possible, to maximise tasting time. And frankly, after the devastating frosts of 2016 and 2017, which hurt many in the region, I am all for reducing overheads.

Salon des Vins de Loire in 2018

So how did attendance at the new, streamlined 2018 Salon compare with last year? It’s a bit of a mixed picture, and difficult to interpret, as three days have been reduced to two. Monday felt busy, but most exhibitors I spoke to on Tuesday felt it was too quiet on that day. Significantly, I think, overall visitor numbers are down; last year the organisers claimed “close to 8,500 visitors”, whereas this year there were “more than 7,500 visitors”. So although the place was buzzing on Monday, I suspect this was just the effect of condensing the Salon into two days. That’s a poor result. Having said that, the number of exhibitors at the Salon was up this year, from a low point of 230 last year (down from 400 the year before, and down from the heady days when there were 700+ exhibitors) up to 300 this year, a 30% increase.

So in short there were more exhibitors, and it felt busier (on Monday, anyway), but in fact this year’s Salon saw even fewer visitors than last year. That’s a shame, as there were plenty of great tasting opportunities here, and the region continues to offer both value and quality to discerning wine buyers. With La Levée de la Loire just next-door, providing access to 280 organic and biodynamic domaines, there was still more great wine here than you could taste in a month.

The 33rd Salon is set for February 4th and 5th 2019, so just two days again. First though, we have Vinovision, in Paris next week. It will be interesting to see what trends are established there.

Salon 2018: Nearly Done

It’s Tuesday morning and I have three days of tasting under my belt. I spent Saturday at the Renaissance tasting in the glorious venue of the Hôpital Saint-Jean, where I thought two Savennières domaines, in particular Damien Laureau (sporting handsome beard) and Tessa Laroche of Domaine aux Moines were some of the stars of the show, especially Tessa who has completely turned around the family domaine which always made interesting but rather old-school wines. Until Tessa took over that is, as today they are minerally, precise and profoundly better.

One other star of the show was Domaine de Bellivière, but then Eric’s wines are nearly always remarkable, so maybe this is not really news. Usually I might also mention Richard Leroy at this point, but of course Richard wasn’t there. As I described in my Anjou 2016 report last year, Richard suffered a total wipe-out in the 2016 frost and made no wine. And so there was little point in him coming to smile sweetly at people with no wine to pour. His absence is just one small example of how devastating the frosts of 2016 and 2017 have been for some people. All fingers crossed for 2018.

On Sunday I went to Les Pénitentes, a tasting group led by Thierry Puzelat, René Mosse and Hervé Villemade. This was a really funky way to spend a Sunday morning. And when I say funky, I mean funky. After a few hours I headed back to Renaissance, where I revelled in the pure and perfumed Roannaise Gamays of Domaine Sérol and Domaine de Pothiers, both domaines having enjoyed success in the 2017 vintage. Some of their superior cuvées are seriously delicious, and although I have drunk some of their lower- and mid-level wines at home, I really must track down some of the top single-vineyard wines some time soon.

Salon des Vins de Loire 2018

It was soon Monday, and I headed up to the Salon des Vins de Loire proper, and after a rather patchy weekend (yin and yang – the highlights described above were balanced out by any number of vinous lows) the quality of wines was overall very good indeed. With only two days of tasting at the Salon this year I drew up a list of a dozen domaines where I simply had to taste, and I visited eleven of them, exceeding my expectations, making for a successful day. But as my ‘hit list’ included Domaine de la Pépière, Château Pierre-Bise, François Pinon, Philippe Alliet, and Alphonse Mellot, is it surprising that quality was so high?

Indeed, the only thing about the Salon week in Angers that does surprise me, and it surprises me every year, is that many visitors to the region only go to the ‘off’ salons that focus on ‘natural’, organic and biodynamic domaines, thereby missing out on some of the region’s very best wines. There is dogma in wine-writing and wine-blogging as well as winemaking, it seems. I am content that I am sufficiently open-minded to visit a selection of salons, and taste with a number of groups of vignerons bound by a variety of different philosophies and aims, rather than just restrict myself to one ‘type’ of wine. To do so would certainly give a rather blinkered view of what the Loire Valley, a great wine region, is achieving.

Today (that’s Tuesday, in case you haven’t been following the scheme) I will cross off number twelve on that list, François Chidaine. After that I have now drawn up a reserve list for today. I don’t normally do this but I didn’t want to get to Tuesday evening and have that ‘oh crap’ moment when I realise I missed out an important visit. Any vignerons who I don’t see before the end of the Salon, if you are at Vinovision, I will hook up with you there. And I will be making some visits in May, in a combined Bordeaux-Loire trip, and October for the harvest.