Vinexpo 2011: The wines of the world by a lake – A partial tale.

With a few weeks of delay here is the English version of my “trials” not to say “tribulations” as Miss Glou Glou would say of Vinexpo 2011. Gosh! I better hurry and catch up with time with the sleek elegance and quick footedness of a feline.

As I began to write this post wordpress magically erased everything as soon as I saved it… the mysteries of external CMS’s will never cease to surprise me 😦 Good start I thought, and I began to jot down a few notes of some of the adventures at Vinexpo 2011. This year there was a noticeable increase of Italian wineries present at Vinexpo thanks in part to financing and sponsorship by the Ministry of Agriculture which benefited both big and small wineries  🙂


First Day: Sunday June 19th

My first appointment was at the Syndacate of Bordeaux and Bordeaux superior wines where I had the pleasure of seeing my wine geek friends Miss Vicky Wine, Missinwine, aka Caroline Henry, Marc Rosin aka Vinogusto, Andrè Riberinho aka Adegga, Audrey Domenach and Luis Hurren of Outsider of Languedoc fame. I tasted amazing wines, amongst which I reserve the right to declare a marked preference for white Bordeaux’s, herby and mineral but structured thanks to the presence of the Semillion grape.

Here’s a taste of what I had:

Château Belle Garde 2010, Bordeaux Blanc

Clairet de Lisennes

Chateaux la Mothe du Barry,  French Kiss, Bordeaux Clairet

So, what else is new? I want to participate in the harvest at Château Fayau, just for two days. I believe that in order to write about wine one has to go a bit beyond just tastings. It would be useful to see at least what goes on in the vineyard where a lot of the real work is done.

After these fortuitous encounters I had the pleasure to have some fun in my favourite country in the world: Lebanon… their Chardonnay and their Syraz were and are  formidable, even though I dare say that especially with their Syraz the character of the wine is decidedly masculine, not surprising as wine acts a social mirror of a country

My favourites at the Lebanon pavilion:

Château Ksara, Couvée du pape 2010

Château Ksara, Réserve du Couvent, 2009

All the wines of  Clos St. Thomas, particularly their  Chardonnay and Les Sultans.

Morning turned to evening and then it was morning again…

Second day : Monday June 20th

I will try to be more succinct, I would like to underline once again a significance Italian presence with some regions in particular revealing themselves as strong players such as Sicily where I found some real “thunder” as it were.

The gatto bianco (white cat) e il gatto nero (black cat) of Azienda Vinicola Funaro, Sicily, are a line of young, easy to drink wines, the grape blends make them very interesting and accessible, wines to be drunk in all occasions, also the label is a work of art! That settles it! I have to find a French distributor for these wines.

After Sicily, with all its elegance, I went to Michela Marenco, a truly extraordinary woman in the wine world and a delegate for Piedmont in the Italian association Women of Wine. She is quite active in this organization and in many other areas related to wine.

Do try her Bollicine (sparkling wine) Moscato d’Asti DOC Scrapona, I will be writing about this amazing winemaker in greater details in the next couple of  months, for now… a big hip hip hurray to the women of wine of Piedmont

Morning turned to evening and then it was morning again…

Third Day: Tuesday June 21st

Running late as always I missed a ton of appointments. Will I ever be a punctual person? Probably not, all the same I ran into a group of young wine industry business leaders who were there thanks to sponsorship and financing  by the Ministero delle politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (The Italian Ministry of Agriculture, food and Forestry) …all in all I was quite pleased with my encounter and exchanges  with them. It’s odd, I have to go all the way to Bordeaux to speak calmly with my Italian wine colleagues. However my blog is predominately followed and read by a French audience. All in all France is good to me. Vive la France!

Here are some interesting wines I tried on my third day:

Fonteina, I Loghi di Valentino Berni they currently do not have an online presence but I am helping them with this, theirs is a IGT white wine, dry and light a blend of Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes.

Senipale, I Loghi di Valentino Berni, IGT Toscano Rouge (cabernet, merlot and sangiovese)

Rosso Cinabro, I Loghi di Valentino Berni, Orcia

Chianti Riserva 2007, Cascina Cignozza

Toscana IGT 2007, Peregrinus, Cascina Cignozza

And also:

Toscana IGT Bianco 2009, Fonte delle Donne, Fattoria Fibbiano

Morning turned to evening and then it was morning again…

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Fourth day

Once again late, I am barely able to take in an incredible conference on how online wine sales work with some high level input and participation (Miss Vicky Wine, Marc Roisan, Gèrard Spatafore of Millésima, Xavier Court of Vente-Privée, Marie Mascre of Sowine, Guillaume Chamailard of this conference was mc’d by Laurent Berguc the Director of master’s program Inseec & The Bordeaux Wine Institute, who knows if during the next VinItaly we will have this type and quality of service and information, I am quietly giggling just at the thought!

Then off and mad dash to a restaurant in Bordeaux, where unfortunately I was too late and could not participate in the tasting of Sauvignons, but I still managed to taste 2 magnificent bottles thanks to the kindness of Bernard Vincent, I totally recommend the white Bordeaux of Château Bonnet Entre Deux Mers, delicious 

With great pleasure I enjoyed meeting Marie-Christine Tarby, the president of Vino & Società, an organization that has developed the very important project “Wine, what if we measured it?” an effort to protect the living heritage of wine and at the same time discover its true dimensions. I signed the petition for this effort, what about you?

So I rushed off once again and visted Terroirs Associeés, 10 small wineries that produce high quality wines and have decided to form a network to share in the costs of marketing and communication for promoting their products and territory. Admirable and so were their gorgeous wines like the Sancerre of Domain de la Rossignole, the Manetou-Salon of Domaine du Loriot, e also the  Bordeaux Clairet di Château Penin. If you want to know more about these wines and their producers just click on the links.

Do you want to know about the genius behind “Garage Wines”? Even Robert Parker had something to say about it and its creator, Jean Luc Thunevin, an amazing man, to get to know him it helps to buy a bottle of his Bad Boy Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon blend, or for the ladies there is the Crémant Bad Girl or the Baby Bad Boy , it isn’t compulsory to love these wines, but I went crazy for the labels and I always want to have a Bad Boy next to me 

My favourite bottle?

Daimon, rosado, tinto et blanco, Bodegas Tobia… a weakness for whites, but all three are worth trying, can you guess why? Well all we have to do now is find an Italian distributor and it’s a done deal.

Despite not having written about everything I am spent now, so bye for now and I invite you too share a good California Syrah, like for instance the Syrah 2006 di Vineyard Pasterick, Dry Creek Valley, or perhaps a glass of Chamagne Thienot may be in order, the couvèe you prefer or why not a wine of the  Les Vignerons Catalans, I adore them, what about you?