Some questions from Bordeaux
Currently sitting in the last session of the Lallemand Tour. We're in Bordeaux today, holding our meeting in the HQ of the syndicat of Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur.
Last night we dined well at a lovely restaurant in St Emilion. Even in driving rain, it's still quite a beautiful town. Two of the wines we had divided opinions. Both were Fronsacs from the 2001 vintage. One was edgier, more lively, a bit grippier, fresher and with some lovely semi-funky dark fruit notes. The other was lighter, simpler and fruitier. I preferred the first, which was really interesting; some others preferred the latter. Is there a universal standard for wine? Are we both right? But there are cases when there is right and wrong in wine judging, aren't there? It's no good saying 'anything goes', and not all opinions are equally valid, surely?
The wines were decanted. I was sitting next to Jean-Michel Salmon, a noted wine scientist. He confirmed what I suspected: decanting at table doesn't allow time for oxygen to have an effect on the wine. So what does it do?
Pictured is Mickael Moisseeff, an expert in smells, giving his talk. He's a very interesting person, with some wonderfully colourful stories to tell. His talk is very participatory, with lots of aromas to smell. Jean-Michel is also in the picture - it makes Mickael look like a giant.