Bordeaux may serve as a general model for fine-wine regions worldwide, but one Bordeaux institution is little imitated elsewhere: its property classifications.
Bordeaux is also unique in the French context in that it is often the property as a whole which is classified, not individual vineyard parcels.
Joining Wine Scholar Guild's Academic Advisor Andrew Jefford to discuss these and other questions concerning classification are:
Fiona Morrison MW is a writer, winemaker and wine merchant based in both Bordeaux (where, with her husband Jacques Thienpont, she manages their family properties of Ch Le Pin, L’If and Le Hêtre) and in Belgium, where she manages the family négociant business; she obtained her MW in 1994.
Stephen Browett began his wine-trade career in 1980 as a van driver for wine merchant La Réserve in Knightsbridge. He joined fine-wine traders Farr Vintners in 1984 and soon became a director. He has been Chairman and principal shareholder since 2008. Farr Vintners is the UK’s leading wholesale fine wine merchant with offices in London and Hong Kong. It has an annual turnover of £100 million per year, some 60 per cent of which is represented by transactions in fine Bordeaux wines.
After university graduation in his home state of California, Jeffrey Davies studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux under Emile Peynaud. He initially worked as an importer of European wines to the US Midwest and later as a wine writer for Gault et Millau before becoming a négociant, and founding his own negociant business Signature Selections. He is known in particular for its championing of new, mould-breaking Bordeaux producers. Robert Parker often tasted with Jeffrey Davies when he was researching in Bordeaux, and writers and commentators from Oz Clarke to Jancis Robinson MW and Michel Bettane have paid tribute to the significance of Davies’ knowledge and insights.
Beyond Sauternes and Barsac there are eight AOPs for Sweet Bordeaux that frame the Garonne river. Although these AOPs are neighbors, their climatic and geologic nuances result in a complex range of expressions and wine styles from Semillon, Sauvignon, and Muscadelle.
Deborah will be presenting the following wines/AOPs geographically starting with the Moelleux which can be sourced from the entire region, then working counterclockwise from north to south down the Left Bank AOPs and up the Right Bank AOPs.
If you'd like, you can source some of the wines and taste along with her! As a special holiday treat two of our members attending the webinar will be randomly chosen and gifted one bottle of the above wines!
Deborah was appointed National Editor, USA for the Slow Food Slow Wine guide in 2020. As global wine editor for sister publications the SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines, she has been writing about the beverage alcohol industry for these and other outlets since 2004. Deborah teaches as an adjunct professor in the Wine Studies departments at Santa Rosa Junior College and Cabrillo College and owns a Wine & Spirit Education Trust school offering Level 2 and Level 3 certifications. In addition to writing and speaking about wine, she is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno. Her motto is: To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach. A partial archive of her published work can be found at www.deborahparkerwong.com
Our next Meeting of the Minds will cover the issues and challenges facing Bordeaux, France's largest AOC wine region and an area that drives the global fine wine market. Jane Anson, Bordeaux expert and author of the encyclopedic Inside Bordeaux (described as a 'category buster' by Jamie Goode and 'the most complete, up to date and scientifically accurate book on Bordeaux' by Imbibe magazine) will host the discussion. She will bring together one of the region's leading négociants (and organic winemaker at his home estate) Mathieu Chardonnier of CVBG-Dourthe-Kressmann (Compagnie des vins de Bordeaux et de Gironde), Smith Haut Lafitte's technical director Fabien Teitgen and wine educator Tanisha Townsend to debate new developments in viticulture and winemaking in the face of a changing climate, as well as looking out how the commerce and marketing of the region should take on the challenges of the next decade in the face of Covid, changing consumer behaviour and the challenges of selling En Primeur.
Jane Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003. She is author of Inside Bordeaux (BB&R Publishing 2020), Wine Revolution (Quarto Publishing 2017), The Club of Nine with Andy Katz (2016), Angélus (Editions de la Martinière 2015), Bordeaux Legends, a history of the First Growth wines (November 2012 Editions de la Martiniere as Elixirs (French title) / April 2013 Stewart, Tabori & Chang, English version), the Bordeaux and Southwest France author of The Wine Opus and 1000 Great Wines That Won’t Cost A Fortune (both Dorling Kindersley, 2010 and 2011). Anson is contributing writer of the Michelin Guide to the Wine Regions of France (March 2010, Michelin Publications), and writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, where she lived from 1994 to 1997, and a weekly column for DecanterChina.com. Accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, with a Masters in publishing from University College London, WSET qualified, Diplôme Universitaire d'Aptitude à la Dégustation des vins (DUAD) from Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology (2013).
Mathieu Chardonnier, CEO of CVBG (Compagnie des vins de Bordeaux et de Gironde)
Mathieu Chadronnier, CEO of CVBG, is one of Bordeaux's most influential wine negociants and one of its youngest top players. A modernist in this traditionalist world, he has pioneered new IT solutions to fine wine distribution, and is at the forefront of the recent introduction of great “Beyond Bordeaux” wines on the place de Bordeaux.
In a sometimes commoditized market, he has always placed trust in relationships, candid passion and extensive knowledge of fine wines among his core values.
Beyond his busy career as a grand cru negociant, Mathieu runs Château Marsau with his wife Anne-Laurence, a professional winemaker, with whom he shares his passion for great wines.
Fabien Teitgen, General Manager of Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Fabien Teitgen is a child of Nature. From a very early age he would accompany his grandfather through his vineyard and as he grew up, developed a very deep respect for Nature around him. It was thus, that a true passion was born...
After graduating from viticulture and winemaking in Rennes and in Montpellier, Fabien Teitgen was then initiated into “listening to the earth” by Paul Pétrou, (Château Canon la Gaffelière). Over the years he learned to “read the signs of the vines, to respect and to love them.
Drawing upon this extensive experience, Fabien joined Château Smith Haut Lafitte at the beginning of the 90’s and quickly rose to became Technical Director of the estate.
With his agricultural and winemaking qualification he brought extensive knowledge of viticulture and wine, whilst on the other hand his experience of the soil brought a practical wisdom and a strong ability to listen and understand the behaviour of the vines.
It is in this vein, that Fabien along with Florence and Daniel Cathiard ; owners of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, have developed a unique working method called : «Organic Precision ».
After more than 25 years of commitment, this approach ; from ploughing with horses in the vineyard, to the establishment of an on-site cooperage and an island-based rootstock nursery in the Garonne river. As well as the building of a positive energy Stealth Cellar, have all been hailed as a great success by wine professionals, global press and wine lovers from all around the world.
Fabien Teitgen strives to make wines in perfect harmony with Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte’s magnificent terroir. Wines that are full-bodied and powerful but also smooth, harmonious, and elegant.
These rather opposing characteristics stand testament, as one of the greatest wines from a great terroir which captures the pleasure and emotions of wine lovers.
Since 2014, Fabien Teitgen has been responsible for the wine making at Château Beauregard in Pomerol.
In 2016, Fabien Teitgen was promoted to General Manager of Château Smith Haut Lafitte.
Tanisha Townsend, Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass
Tanisha Townsend has cultivated a community of wine enthusiasts through an unyielding passion for oenology. As Chief Wine Officer of lifestyle agency Girl Meets Glass, Tanisha leads wine classes and tours in Paris (and virtually). She also hosts the podcast, Wine School Dropout. Her goal is to empower individuals with an advanced knowledge of wine & spirits in order to build confidence in their tastes and make choices as a better informed consumer.
Following on from The Wine Scholar Guild’s excellent October Bordeaux wine tour, our locally based Tour Manager, Sarah, is continuing her series of articles about travel tips to Bordeaux. This third blog looks at some of Bordeaux’s top wine-shops.
Unlike many other wine regions in the world, the top Bordeaux Châteaux are often not the best place to purchase their wines: they sell mostly through the Place de Bordeaux’s wine négociants and although the Châteaux do sometimes keep back a small percentage of their wines for over the counter sales, this may not be the best place to find good prices and older vintages. So, for these wines, do look at the following wine shops.
There have been moments in my career as a professional winophile where I’ve realized I haven’t retained a bit of information that perhaps I should have learned in grade school had I been paying attention. Everyone needs a refresher once in a while and this series of blog posts aims to fill in possible gaps of knowledge that your grade-school mind may not have realized you would use in your fabulous wine career.
Estuary is a term that surfaces a lot when talking about Bordeaux. Though it is often used interchangeably with the word “river,” estuary has a very specific meaning.
Bordeaux is the largest AOC quality wine region in France, and is home to some of the best known names in the world of wine.
Its oceanic climate allows the grapes a long, slow growing season that delivers complexity of flavours and long ageing potential in bottle, but also poses challenges in terms of keeping the grapes healthy during the season.
Jane Anson, long-time resident in Bordeaux and correspondent for the region for Decanter magazine, takes a look at the green revolution that is slowly unfolding in Bordeaux, led by high profile estates such as Chateau Pontet Canet in Pauillac and Chateau Palmer in Margaux, but spreading across all appellations.
She looks at small estates championing the natural wine movement and discusses the challenges in the commercial structure of the region that need to be overcome.
Anson is the author of Wine Revolution, out October 26 2017 with Quarto Publishing, highlighting the best organic, biodynamic and natural wines worldwide - and this webinar looks at how Bordeaux fits into this global movement.
Jane Anson is Bordeaux correspondent for Decanter, and has lived in the region since 2003.
She is author of Bordeaux Legends, a history of the First Growth wines (November 2012 Editions de la Martiniere as Elixirs (French title) / April 2013 Stewart, Tabori & Chang, English version), the Bordeaux and Southwest France author of The Wine Opus and 1000 Great Wines That Won’t Cost A Fortune (both Dorling Kindersley, 2010 and 2011).
Anson is contributing writer of the Michelin Guide to the Wine Regions of France (March 2010, Michelin Publications), and writes a monthly wine column for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, where she lived from 1994 to 1997, and a weekly column for DecanterChina.com.
Accredited wine teacher at the Bordeaux Ecole du Vin, with a Masters in publishing from University College London, WSET qualified, Diplôme Universitaire d'Aptitude à la Dégustation des vins (DUAD) from Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology (2013).
As Market Advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) for North America, Mary is in the perfect position to provide us with an in-depth look at Bordeaux's white wines.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW is a New York based Master of Wine. She is also a businesswoman, with 17 years’ experience in a range of environments from multinational corporations, to start-ups as well as Government agencies.
Today Mary is Market Advisor to the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) for North America – a position that combines her passion for wine with her extensive international business expertise.
Mary became a Master of Wine in 2011, a distinguished title held only by 310 people worldwide. She was also awarded the Viña Errazuriz Award for excellence in the Business of Wine exam paper. During the course of her MW studies Mary was the recipient of the Trinity Champagne Scholarship and the Constellation Brands Award – international prizes for MW candidates.
In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Côteaux de Champagne.
As one of the foremost Wine Educators in the United States, Mary is a Board member of the Society of Wine Educators and a member of the North American Education committee for the Institute of Masters of Wine. She also teaches the globally recognized WSET wine programs.
Fluent French speaker with excellent communications and editorial skills, Mary has a highly trained wine tasting palate and international experience in wine judging, reviewing and scoring. She is a judge at the Decanter Wine Awards, the Ultimate Wine Challenge and the Dallas Morning News/TexSom international wine competitions. Between 2008 and 2014 she was the wine columnist for the highly trafficked lifestyle website Apartment Therapy.
Mary has a BA (Honors) in Languages and International Marketing from Dublin City University, and an MBS in International Marketing (First Class Honors) from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business (University College Dublin), where she was awarded both the Dean’s List Award & the Sir Charles Harvey Award for academic excellence in post-graduate studies.
Delve into Bordeaux with the insight of Bordeaux experts and masterful instructors..sign up for the Bordeaux Master-Level program and Bordeaux Study Trips. Learn more about French wines with the French Wine Scholar study & certification program.