“The attraction of the virtuoso for the public is very like that of the circus for the crowd. There is always the hope that something dangerous may happen.” Claude Debussy
I’ve never quite understood this idea, in much the same way as those folks who watch the Grand Prix for the crashes. I want to see the very best in their field, performing at their peak, safe in the knowledge that the enjoyment is pure and that everyone who watches, or joins in, will end the day feeling like a winner. As the Bordeaux 2016 En Primeur circus rolls into town again, I feel much the same – we want all the thrills and spills of a great vintage without the danger of a poorly managed campaign... something rather like the excellent 2015 vintage again would do very nicely, thank you very much.
The BI Team fly out to Bordeaux on Sunday filled with excitement. There’s nothing quite like the ‘getting to know you’ stage of meeting a new vintage – what some dealmakers might call ‘The Discovery Stage’; in a great year, it provides a permanent memory stamp for all those wonderful experiences you are set to have in the future with these wines, a real ‘I was there’ opportunity. In a poor year, one tends to veer between the hopeless and the hopeful. Will the wines sell? Will they come good in time? Either way there’s nothing like tasting young wines from barrel and talking with those behind the scenes to get a real feel for a new vintage. And the signs for 2016 look very good indeed.
We always wait until we have a few wines under the belt before passing any kind of judgment but there’s already been a fair bit of comment from estates and winemakers, plus the regular ‘early doors’ reviews from James Suckling, all of which paint a pretty bright picture. The quality is said to be up there with 2015 (if not even better in some cases) but as always there look to be subtle differences: better performances from the Northern Medoc and lower alcohol levels seem to be two prevailing features.
What happens next?
With no further second guessing, we’re off to the vineyards and we will keep you updated on our daily blog as we progress through the region. We’ll tweet occasionally and share some pictures on our Facebook and Instagram pages but we won’t bombard you with emails until the campaign really starts to move and the wines are released.
Once our En Primeur 2016 pages go live, we’ll contact you to let you know that the floodgates are open. As usual, we will offer the opportunity for you to pre-order wines or add them to your wishlist. Then as the wines are released, those that are not fully pre-ordered will be offered for sale in the usual fashion.
So for now, keep your eyes and minds open, your wallets in your pocket and purses in your handbag – wait for the drum roll to start... and let’s hope it’s the lions not the clowns who are waiting in the wings.