Eat out, drink up
We drink more wine than ever but increasingly it’s from the New World. In Bordeaux they’re fighting back. Words: Barry Shelby
('hatillon. thc man in chargc ot‘ inarlxcting Bordcaux'x
\yincx. .xtaying loy ally on-mcxxagc. ‘Wc arc looking at thc l'uturc.’ 'l'hrcc .xlightly cynical journalixtx \ ixiting l‘rom thc l'K arcn‘t going to .xhakc him. 'l'hc ncyy xlogan xayx it all. hc xayx. r'cpcating thc rcccntly' launchcd branding mantra: 'lixpcricncc a World ol‘ lincxxc'.
But Bordcaux docx hayc a problcin and (‘hatillon knowx it. 'l'hc linglixh. Wclxh and Scotx arc drinking inor'c mcrlot and downing copioux quantitic'x ol' chardomuiy'. .-\croxx Britain. .xalcx ot' \yincx hayc bccn on thc rixc that ix l'rom thc Ncyy World and countricx xuch ax South Africa and Auxti'alia. Bordcaux'x xharc i.xn°t lolloyying xuit. 'l'hc planct'x moxt-lainoux \x'inc making rcgion may .xtill bc thc globc'x biggcxt produccr. but onc ol' itx hixtorically .xtrongcxt inarkcts has apparcntly turncd away.
In thc t'icld. many Bordcaux “incinakcrx rcadily acknoyylcdgc thc crrorx: inconxixtcncy in quality and too many trading on Bordcaux's historically good namc alonc. But they hayc a .xinccrc cominitmcnt to itttpt‘oy c.
.\'car thc picturquirc mcdicy‘al \illagc ot' St limillion.
IiE','-LL’§21‘,Z‘.:“ 111' ‘Homeopathy
.Z‘Ilt‘i‘; 0* the so"; we
about muchL niorc everything, every day’
i I don‘t \\ ant to talk about thc paxt.' xayx 'I'anguy
than Bordcatu'x rich tradition and thc tcrroir. that \auntcd. alrnoxt mythical combination ot‘ natural conditionx ~ from xoil to clcy'ation to axpcct that many bclic\c i.x uni‘iyallcd.
Shc and hcr latc huxband inhcritcd ('hatcau l‘tlllg‘c‘l'c‘x in l%’7 and .xincc thcn practiccx hayc changcd. 'l'hcy tcnd thc yincx year round. pruning thcm to improy c thc quality of thc grapcx rathcr thc quantity ol output and trcat thcm \x ith t‘cyicr chcmicalx. 'l‘hcy hayc donc cxliauxtiy c xtudicx oi thcir \incyard'x carth. ‘llomcopathy ot~ thc xoil.’ xhc xayx. 'Wc hayc to think ol‘ cy cry thing. 0 cry day.'
(‘hatcau l‘augcrcx. \xhicl‘. xtraddlcx thc appcllationx ot‘ ('otcx dc (‘axtillion and St limillion. c\cmplitic.x a mix of ancicnt and modcrn: thc crumbly paxtcl xtonc t‘acadc of 200-
but much ol
ycar—old buildingx hay c bccn joincd \\ ith r'cccnt cxtcnxionx ol‘ prc-caxt conci‘ctc. and thc ncyi \at room hax glcaming \laittlcxx \lccl latth lt ix xtatc ol' thc art. 'l‘hcy‘ u.xc xomc inodcrn yiincrnaking tcchniqucx to imprmc t‘ruitincxx. xol'tcn tanninx and dccpcn colour too.
Bcnoit ('alyct ix anothci' niodcrnixci'. llc co-oyynx a l‘cyy chatcaux ax \xcll ax xclling and rnai‘kcting \yincx o\ci‘xcax from an ot‘l'icc in Bordcatu city. llc hax lir‘xt— hand c\pcricncc \xith rncrchantx li.xting and dc- lixting hix productx. llc proudly xuppoi'tx l‘r'cnch xtandai‘dx and xtrict appcllation control. Still. hc pointx out that blcnding
bcgan in Bordcaux: a mix of
mcrlot grapcx \y'ith cabcrnct \aricticx crcatcx thc charactcr (ll. L‘ltll‘cl. \Vllltilt thc l'ltlc‘x. llC xayx. thci'c xhould bc no xhainc in blcnding to .xatixl‘y cottxtttttct‘ l;t\lcx.
And xoinc othcr old- laxhioncd \icyyx arc rubbixh.
LOT OF BOTTLE
Chateau Cap do Faugeres, cotes do Castillon 2000 For everyday drinking. Mostly merlol. With about if) ‘; cabernet sauvrgynon and cabernet tranc. SllUCtill price: No.35) per bottle by the case from Berry Bros; 8 Rudd Ltd. ()Bl‘b 900 4300 or vrsrt wwwbbrcom Chateau Faugeres St Emilion Grand Cm 2001 A slightly better pour than the above. S‘tfrt) per do/en to be shipped end of 20011 from Raebiirn Fine Wines. l erth. ()Mt 3:13 1 1:39 or wwvvraebur‘n tinewinescom.
Chateau Greysac Cru Bourgeols1998 Rich bouquet and nice finish Two others; to consider are Chateau la Cardonne (meal in a glass) and Chateau Loudenne (finish like a warm blanket). All S,‘t 1.99 per bottle by the case from Hailsham Cellars. 01323 M 1212
hc addx. 'l‘hc notion that aim dr'inlxcrx xtatt \\ ith baxic \ylllcx and xloyy ly graduatc to grand cru ax il' climbing a pyramid docsn't \york. 'l‘hc xarnc pcoplc drink lcxx-cxpcnxiy c \\ incx ax \ycll ax dcar bottlcx. dcpcnding on day -lo-day circumxtanccx.
.-\t ltiugcrcx. thcy appcar to agrcc. Sonic \tinc ix tailorcd tor daily conxumption. \yhilc othcrx arc dcxigncd tor mor'c .xpccial occaxionx. But thc oycr-riding goal ix to hit thc quality ot~ all. .-\nd it that happcnx. a lot gripcx oycr hct'c \yould dixappcar. "l‘crroir ix not crioilglt.' xayx .\lmc (iuixc/. 'lt takcx hard \xork and a dcxirc to achicyc.‘
An extra helping of news
I Ar iE-R DROPPING A bombshell in one Sunday paper by announcing his
t dinbuiuh restaurant Rogue had i»>:;sential|y only three riionths remaining if business; ttidn't rmr.)ioye. restauratmu Dayid Harrisden ht :; seen a dramatic turnaround. 'l'rii a rogue in a Rogue restaurant.’ says; Ramsden ot his rather unprecedented and potentially risk tilled en de coeur. Many in the busmess have tears that the end may well be in sight. but they nearly never go public With that knowledge.
‘I had to do something] he says. 'I had a three month period to gauge whether people wanted to come here or not.’ It not, then more debt would have been on the cards; and he'd have been forced to ask himself: ‘l)o I want to continue it the only way is to borrow more money’."
He implies that it was a rhetorical question. It now looks like a redundant one as; well. The irrirriediate result of his; public appeal was an increase in trade by 400%,. He says; that no one is “making a big toss and he doesn't expect tull houses on a daily basas but he says the response :ndicates that people are telling him: ‘We do want you to still be there' in Morrison Street.
It's been “uplittrng'. 'rewarding' and ‘stimulatrng'. Ramsden says. But was it all a shrewd public relations move to begin wrth’? No way. he retorts. A man who is smart enough to know when it pays to be humble. Rarrisden says he hasnt the brains to do anything so deVious'.
»'~t ' *THE LIST 107