What will 2013 bring? Here are a few things that I would like to see happen during this year along with the odd stab at trying to guess what will happen.
Firstly I hope that 2013 will be kinder to wine producers in the northern half of France. Generally vignerons in Burgundy, Champagne and the Loire had a very tough time in 2012, although quality in some places is good, volume is generally well down. It will be very interesting to be able to start tasting some of the 2012 Loires now that many of them will have finished their alcoholic fermentation.
Vinexpo will be declared a huge success, although there will some complaints from non-European exhibitors that they were dealt a raw deal. Attendance at Prowein will continue to grow but this will be dismissed by the Vinexpo organisers as not a threat to the ‘most important wine and spirit fair in the world’.
It would be good to see the end of 1855 along with its associated companies Cave Privée and ChâteauOnline. However, I suspect that the apparently tortuous process of French justice will allow Emeric Sauty de Chalon and Fabien Hyon to keep their‘arnaque’ afloat for another year despite Jean-Pierre Meyers bailing out.
I trust you all have Pancho Campo’s forthcoming marketing seminars in your diaries. Despite many setbacks – an unsuccessful tennis school with links to Nick Bollettieri, to forced to flee from Dubai, the short-lived CIE Marbella, and most recently the much-vaunted Future Economy Barcelona 2012 cancelled at the last minute, Campo is a feisty entrepreneur. On the plus-side he persuaded Robert Parker to speak in Rioja and Hong Kong for a substantial cheque. I’m sure his Marketing, Sales and Event Management for the Wine Industry courses in Madrid (8th and 9th February – 290.00 EUR) and Marbella (22nd-24th February – 675€) will be full of invaluable insights, especially if Campo can persuade his defrauded ex-partner Jackie Wartanian to do a session on organizing events.
2012: a vigne large in the Baumards’ section of the Quarts de Chaume
Some 13 bunches – a viticultural triumph in a year of very low yields
The yield under the new décret is set at 2.5 kilos per vine for les vignes larges
It would be excellent news if France’s Supreme Court threw out the Baumards’ challenge to the Quarts de Chaume Grand Cru. It would be equally good if the Baumards just withdrew their challenge. I would have more sympathy for the Baumards if firstly the other members of the Quarts de Chaume Syndicat had been unreasonable. Instead they tried hard to find a compromise giving the Baumards plenty of time to phase out cryoextraction or cryosélection as they prefer to call it. Secondly the Baumards have an obvious preference for a generous yield in their Quarts de Chaume vineyards as photos from both 2011 and 2012 indicate. In the summer 2011 they were ordered by the INAO to cut off some of their grapes because of excessive yields.
I have asked Florent Baumard for details of their Quarts de Chaume yields over the past ten years, which I believe are customarily close to the maximum permitted under the décret. This used to be 25 hl/ha and now under the new décret is 20 hl/ha. I have yet to receive these details but Florent is not alone here as I have also asked some other Quarts producers for the same data and am still waiting. To have a complete set of yields for all the producers in the Quarts de Chaume would be fascinating.
The valuation of the Elite Advisers Nobles Crus wine investment fund will probably continue to be questioned. It would seem unlikely that the recent Ernst & Young report into their valuation methods will still the doubts, especially as its findings are confidential.
Let’s hope that Natalie MacLean honors her promise to give proper attribution and that she gets permission to use writers’ tasting notes before putting them on her blog.
Lastly I’m supremely confident that Bordeaux will enjoy in 2013 another finest vintage of the third millennium.