January 6, 2009

Holiday Report

Running a bleeding-edge, oenological research centre (I prefer the more pretentious, British spelling) isn't something you every really get away from. But I did manage a few days of indulgent respite over the holidays.

Which means I drank my way through my brother-in-law's Bordeaux cellar without writing a single tasting note (although I did take a picture of a few of the empties).

I don't have much experience with Bordeaux (I've often noticed a division between the people who drink Burgundy/Barolo and those whose who drink Bordeaux/Rhone reds; I locate myself on the Champagne/Riesling half of that divide). So it was a real treat to sample a range of different wines, all from the 2000 vintage.

Back at the turn of the century, my brother-in-law read an article championing that vintage in Bordeaux. For fun, he decided to buy a case from one of the best producers in the region. He bought the wine, en premeur, or as "futures". Which means this is likely the best investment he's made this decade. Bordeaux is sold in tranches. And tranche to tranche, price equilibrium shifts according to demand. Demand for 2000 Bordeaux was unexpectedly strong, so it was never cheaper than when he paid for it. It had actually increased in value substantially before he even received any of the bottled wine.

Even more fun (for me), he also decided to buy several mixed cases of the various Bordeaux wines that he discovered while researching which single wine he would buy in bulk. Several of these have reached their drinking window.

So we drank them.

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