Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#451 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 9th, 2013, 9:30 am

All for dialogue Kevin!
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

johngonzales
Posts: 7515
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 6:07 pm
Location: City of Angels

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#452 Post by johngonzales » December 9th, 2013, 9:53 am

Gary York wrote:Can I get an Amen for brother Bill.
Yeah, but he's probably wrong about the age at which most Bordeaux is actually consumed even at the $30 and above level.

I'm not about to find data, and it shouldn't be required for a discussion on a wineboard. It's easy to poke holes at people's assertions and citings without citing anything one's self. Does anyone else believe that most good Bordeaux isn't consumed within 15 years of its vintage?

If you believe it isn't, you've been on the wine boards too long and miscalculate the influence of Bereserkers etc. There are hundreds of millions of bottles produced every year in Bordeaux. Being generous there are 500 significant bordeaux collectors on this board. Being generous again, give them 700 bordeaux bottles on average. (How many do you own Bill?). That's 350,000 bottles of bordeaux owned. That's for ALL vintages and is about 1/100 of the production in bordeaux for EVERY year. I realize that a lot of that production is of lesser chateau, but there is still a shitload of wine produced every year. Sticking with the production for all of Bordeaux, over the 30 vintages beginning with 82, there have been more than 8 BILLION bottles produced. That someone would think anything but a minute percentage of those remain in cellars is unbelievable to me.

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#453 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 9th, 2013, 10:06 am

John, does anybody believe that it is consumed within 24 hours of purchase? That was the point, not your rant. I said not the first damn thing about consumption within 5, 10 or 15 years, and had you asked, I would readily agree that the trend is absolutely to consume wine young. Some is engineered expressly for that purpose. That made for aging is often consumed by those with more money than good wine sense who have no idea what properly aged Bordeaux tastes like. The issue on the table was most wine being consumed within 24 hours of purchase, which is worse than totally irrelevant to this thread. Do you think that most Bordeaux is purchased the day that it is drunk? Even if that is true for restaurant Bordeaux, the restaurant did not buy it that day, eh? And by the way, vast quantities of that sea of Bordeaux that you describe does not even make it to market...it is plonk that never should have been produced in the first place, and it ends up distilled for the alcohol because there is no market for it...

k s h i n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3765
Joined: August 17th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#454 Post by k s h i n » December 9th, 2013, 10:34 am

Bill,
I am not a big fan of high alcohol Bordeaux and I didn’t like the 16.2% wine tasted during the 10 UGC tasting held in DC. I also would not use the 47 CB to support the modernist camp. I agree that we shouldn’t look backward.

I think we all can agree that almost all great wines will have the ideal ripeness and balance. So what are some of the great examples of traditionally made wines? Because thus far, there has not been too many examples to support the cause, e.g. Rudi’s and the Latour postings.

I just don’t think that “modern” wine making has been detrimental to Bordeaux. The modern wines are still in minority.
Kevin
ITB - I may be offering some of the wines that I drink and post TNs on.

johngonzales
Posts: 7515
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 6:07 pm
Location: City of Angels

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#455 Post by johngonzales » December 9th, 2013, 10:57 am

Bill, someone posted a citing about wine being consumed within a day or a week of purchase. Whether it's that day/week or within a couple of yearsr really isn't the point as it would apply to this discussion. It's that almost all of the wine doesn't get consumed at the 10 year+ point. So why ask Mark and Stefan for data supporting the articles they cited and "bitch slap"? That one can say the wine is consumed at age five versus day one really is about the same as it applies here.

It is relevant to the thread that most Bordeaux, even at the $25+ price does not reach 15 years. Because all of the positve attributes that someone might say emerge at 15+ never materialize. One can wax poetic about how the wine should be purchased to be barely touched for those fifteen years, and apply that strategy ones self, but it just is not what goes on for the millions of bottles that producers have to make and sell each year. And while you'd like to think it's just soccer moms and those with more money than sense, I'd say that most of the people on this board consume the majority of the bordeaux they drink at younger than age 15. The hard-core traditionalists on this thread may not, and that is probably a great strategy, but by my guess there are only 10 of you posting. Cost is a part of the equation. At $75+ per bottle, even adjusted for cost-of-living increases, the cost of building an aged bordeaux celler of 500+ bottles of 15 year old bordeaux is quite prohibitive. People are far less wililling to buy 100 bottles per year to lay down at 2000 and beyond prices. Say one is a Figeac lover. It's now $175 per for the 2010 IIRC. Assuming one bought just 15 bottles each year, and wanted to wait a decade to drink. By the time one reached the ten-year mark of having their first vintage ready to drink they'd be out $26,000 in Figeac. So aside from the taste preference, using the cellaring strategy requires a different financial capability and dedication. If the Bordelaise want to command so much more money for their wine and sell it in each and every vintage, they have to combat the financial barriers to their customers adopting a cellaring strategy. The most obvious method, aside from lowering price is to allow an adequate group of buyers to not wait as long for the wine to reach peak.
This does not make it the most desirable course for the older drinkers or anyone, but that's the reality. Even if Parker disappears and tastes equilibrate to valuing wines that age gracefully, the financial barrier remains. I think the "modernized" style inasmuch as the winemaking homogenizes the wines, enables the chateau to have less of a variance from one vintage to the next. They can't beat a horrible vintage, and they may actually inhibit a great vinatge slightly, but they are able to avoid the fallow vintages where buyers skip and sales are tough. Again perhaps not ideal for a patient consumer, but the reality of the market and why style has shifted.

Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#456 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 9th, 2013, 11:05 am

Well, I think traditional vs modern is a bit misleading. Let's talk about the fact that Michel Rolland takes credit for calling for riper picking. How about that? But then again, he sometimes went too far for some tastes, including mine. I generally do not like Pavie. Nor do I get too excited about Pape Clement. Although there are vintages of both I like more than others.

I own a bottle of 2000 Pavie and will pour it in another regularly shaped bottle, wrap it aluminum and have it served blind with other 2000s and see how it does. In five years. Who is game? And then I will look foolish for loving it? Perhaps.

All I can say is that - to answer Kevin's question about naming a fine "traditional wine" it is not really that hard. Calon Segur. Leoville Barton. Figeac. On the Right Bank, Chateau Canon for me is in the "traditional camp" and that goes in quotation marks because even John Kolasa said that the "modernists" have served a useful purpose, if I recall correctly in this article from 2008.

Things evolve, it is called progress.

The nuance is: how far do you go in terms of systematic de-leafing. On both sides. Or how late do you pick?

Especially when you have Merlot and with climate change (in spite of 2013). Here an article I wrote in 2011, where vintners express worry about that.


So "more of everything" to achieve "balance" is not really my cup of tea.

So the question of ideal ripeness and balance is very important but the question of subjective taste can lead to different interpretations of said ideals. As I get older, I like freshness more and more.

In any case, as long as one remains civil and promotes dialogue, then all good.
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#457 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 9th, 2013, 11:13 am

Kevin, you cannot really duke this out based upon numbers of wines, and I am guessing that you know what the great traditional wines are and have tasted a number of them...1947 Lafleur and Petrus; 1959, 1982 and 1986 Mouton; 1982 Lafleur; 1990 Margaux; 1945, 1959, 1961 and 1989 Haut-Brion and 1961, 1975, 1982 and 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion; 1959 Lafite; 1989, 1990 and 1998 Petrus; 1961, 1982 and 1990 Latour; 1961 Latour a Pomerol; 1961 Palmer; 1990 Beausejour-Duffau-Lagarrosse; the list could go on and on, and these are only pulled from the very top shelf. I suspect that, of the 2009s and 2010s, maybe Haut-Brion, La Mish, Petrus and Latour have any chance of traveling with the company above, and of the new millennium vintages, maybe the 2000 and 2005 editions of those wines, along with the 2000 and 2005 Margaux and maybe the 20005 Ausone, occupy that hallowed ground...

k s h i n
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3765
Joined: August 17th, 2009, 1:23 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#458 Post by k s h i n » December 9th, 2013, 11:44 am

Bill Klapp wrote:Kevin, you cannot really duke this out based upon numbers of wines, and I am guessing that you know what the great traditional wines are and have tasted a number of them...1947 Lafleur and Petrus; 1959, 1982 and 1986 Mouton; 1982 Lafleur; 1990 Margaux; 1945, 1959, 1961 and 1989 Haut-Brion and 1961, 1975, 1982 and 1989 La Mission Haut-Brion; 1959 Lafite; 1989, 1990 and 1998 Petrus; 1961, 1982 and 1990 Latour; 1961 Latour a Pomerol; 1961 Palmer; 1990 Beausejour-Duffau-Lagarrosse; the list could go on and on, and these are only pulled from the very top shelf. I suspect that, of the 2009s and 2010s, maybe Haut-Brion, La Mish, Petrus and Latour have any chance of traveling with the company above, and of the new millennium vintages, maybe the 2000 and 2005 editions of those wines, along with the 2000 and 2005 Margaux and maybe the 20005 Ausone, occupy that hallowed ground...
Bill,
I have had almost all wines in correct conditions except the 47 lafleu and petrus, the 45 HB, the 98 Petrus and the 61 Latour a Pomerol. I think these are great wines not great "traditional" wines. Incidentally, most of them are very ripe and concentrated. The 09 and 10 younger siblings will age as well except a few. For me, the one hit wonder aka 1990 Beausejour-Duffau-Lagarrosse is very modern in style and the 90 Margaux very ripe and hedonistic, a monster of wine that will last 100 years. Perhaps a great example of traditional style of Bordeaux is the 90 Latour, atypical classic Pauillac from a very atypical vintage.

I am not supporting the modernist movement but just stating that the modernist movement is not detrimental to Bordeaux. I am not disagreeing with you but I find some of the examples given to support the traditional wines by the others are pretty poor ones.
Kevin
ITB - I may be offering some of the wines that I drink and post TNs on.

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#459 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 9th, 2013, 12:12 pm

Ripe and concentrated or not, Kevin, they are all recognizable as traditionally made Bordeaux. They are not, by and large, thick and chewy or Snickers-like or whatever it is that makes Leve believe that heavy texture is somehow a positive in a wine. They are Bordeaux. You can drink them and watch the light dance through them, rather than having to cut them with a steak knife. You do not get to make them great but not traditional. They are what made the tradition, and they are what preserves it. But not by any means these wines alone. There are outstanding but less famous wines. There are off-vintages that have their charms to a greater or lesser extent, but are still recognizable as Latour, Petrus or whatever. 2009 Cos is barely recognizable as wine...

Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#460 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 9th, 2013, 12:58 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
Panos Kakaviatos wrote:Fascinating thread. Neal Martin wrote somewhere once that Angelus is "post modern" and like Mark G, I find more heavy handedness in the Pavie, and comparing is interesting in terms of terroir and because both were made "A"s.

Having said that, I'll take Trotanoy over both.

Realistically for my budget these days I'll actually buy none of them, but that's because of the insane pricing.

I recall purchasing Angelus 98 in Washington DC for $65 per bottle. It is an excellent wine.

Stylistically to me what is most important in Bordeaux is freshness and too often the modernists lack it.

Compare Lascombes to Brane Cantenac. Which is modern? Use a freshness meter and you'll see.

I dislike spoofilated wines.

I know some people hoo and haw for, say, Cos 2009. En primeur I found it extremely well made and quite boring. Montrose 09? Now, that's Bordeaux. To take but two opposing examples.

The problem with high alcohol is more pronounced in Saint Emilion. Merlot. I also agree with Mark and others who point to Pomerol somehow "managing the degrees" better overall than in Saint Emilion.

Then again you have the great influence of the Moueix who stress freshness in their wines and serve as good models, from smaller estates like Plince up to the very top.

And let's not forget the brilliance of VCC.

Well this topic is a long and complex one. Good luck to all :-)
Panos, you need to buy Corbin. Despite Sotheby's wine shop buying out most of the old stock, and putting an obscene mark-up on the wines, I can think of few better buys in the $40 range.
Cheers Mark. This is the GCC of Anabelle Cruse-Bardinet? I like her wines. Any particular vintage you like?
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

Nick Ryan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2797
Joined: October 7th, 2009, 3:24 pm
Location: NorCal

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#461 Post by Nick Ryan » December 9th, 2013, 2:30 pm

Corbin is absurdly good for the price. K&L still has cases left of the 2009 for $34 a bottle.
http://sites.google.com/site/nryan4242/CellarPlannerV11.zip

John Gilman
Posts: 555
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 10:46 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#462 Post by John Gilman » December 9th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Hi Folks,

I have only been able to read through about 8 or 9 pages of the posts here, so I may have missed some important points in the discussion. I like Dale's list from way back in page one pretty well, but have added or subtracted a few estates due to what I think are recent changes at a property since he compiled his listing in 2006. I have placed below the list of who I would call "traditionalists" in Bordeaux these days- not an insignificant number of estates, despite the perception that the region has been pretty much overrun by the modernists in recent times. The thing to remember when scrolling through the list below is that there is no cut and dry demarcation between "traditonalist" and "non-traditionalist" (probably a more useful term than "modernist" for the point of discussion), as the Bordelais are quite reticent about what they actually do in their cellars and it is quite clear that they will do whatever they deem necessary to save a vintage if Mother Nature is seen to conspire against them in a season. There are no Bordeaux estates that I know of that would loss as much of a crop as Chandon de Briailles did for instance in 2008 to stay true to their vision of biodynamics. First of all, most estates are not managed by their owners, so the management team has to answer to the ownership group or person, and secondly, most of these (outside of Pomerol and the tiny St. Emilion properties) are big businesses with a lot of wine to move and IME larger institutions in any business tend to be far more risk averse than smaller enterprises. So probably a lot of the estates on this list would break out the concentrators or the RO machines in a very rainy and thin vintage these days, or resort to other cellar parlor tricks to compensate for what they deem nature did not provide if faced with that or courting disaster for the vintage. And on the list, some estates are certainly more prone to see a threat on the horizon than others and resort to parlor tricks sooner.

So it is not what an estate might or might not do in the cellars in a difficult year that earns them a place (or not) on my list of traditionalists, but rather, whether or not their wines would be deemed classic claret in inspiration to folks such as myself who cut our teeth on vintages of Bordeaux from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. For instance, I include Prieure-Lichine on my list of traditionalists, despite Stephane Derenoncourt being the consultant here, as the wine is still done in an elegant, middlewight style that would not strike one as out of character with the property, even if the fine 1983 was the definition of Prieure-Lichine one was using as a benchmark. But, I think that all of these wines would make lovers of traditional claret content to add to their cellars and drink at their apogees of maturity. Naturally, some of these are more "classical" in style than others, as this is a continuum of style and one has to make a cut off somewhere arbitratily to try and construct a campful of traditionalists. Rather than make the list longer than necessary, I have not listed second or third labels of the big estates here, or their satellite properties, but one can usually be pretty confident if the "grand vin" is reasonably traditonal in style, so will the second wine.

Several of the estates on this list make wines that are a bit too new oaky for my own personal palate, as new oak syndrome is still as rampant amongst the classified growths as it is in Vosne-Romanee today, and we are still waiting for the courageous chateau team to step up like Freddy Mugnier did several years ago and define a new paradigm of minimalist new oak for high end wines. For example, the superb wines at Pichon Baron are awfully marked by their new wood these days- so much so that I would not buy them for my own cellar at the present time- but, I still think that they have both feet still at least very close to the traditionalist camp and others who are more tolerant of very new oaky wines would certainly find them fairly traditional in style (beyond the wood). New wood is part of the "luxury goods" wine world these days, and most classified growths in Bordeaux are either already firmly ensconsed in this camp or have aspirations in this direction, so the percentage of new oak in Bordeaux cannot really be a barometer of in which camp the wine belongs.

For me, the things that I look for when trying to ascertain if a property would make it into the traditionalist camp include date of harvesting (is late harvesting the norm here?), malolactic fermentation in barrel, heavy-handed extraction, micro-oxygenation to manipulate palate opulence and tannin perception, and which tonneliers are used (if Taransaud is the tonnelier of choice, it is usually a pretty safe bet that the wine will lean away from the traditionalist side of the ledger- though not always, as Ducru-Beaucaillou is making one of the most classically old school wines in the entire Left Bank these days and yet use exclusively Taransaud for their barrels). And again, there is slippage on some of these fronts with each passing vintage- for example the Moueix properties on the Right Bank, Canon and Beychevelle (another wonderful old school estate) are now using partial malo in barrel for their wines (probably to make them show better earlier for the En Primeur tastings). So there are no hard and fast rules, but these are good parameters to look at along with tasting the wines (when and if possible).

But, the thing to remember is that no one is making as traditional wine today as they did in 1985- there is simply more money now at the estates to buy more new and higher quality oak barrels, be stricter with selection through the use of optical sorting etc, stuff like extraction enzymes and the like were only in their infancy back in the early '80s, and there was generally a different generation in charge of the properties back then- even where the estates remain in the same familial hands, there is not the same generational connnection to the style of claret that was preeminent in the early post-war decades. So one is not going to find the '82 and '09 Calon Segur cut precisely from the same cloth (though one also has to account for climate change and the dramatic differences in the style of the two vintages that one gent compared earlier- try the 2008 Calon-Segur and see if that strikes you as more attune with the style of the brilliant 1982, as 2008 is the second coming of the 1985 vintage at an even higher level of potential quality, whereas 2009 is a torrid vintage in the era of global warming). What can be seen as an uncompromising pursuit of the highest quality possible is also a classic management fear of sparing expense on the latest gadget, gizmo or prevailing winemaking tool and being seen as negligent in their duties and being removed by the financial interests of the estate. So when Leoville Las Cases started routinely using concentrators in the mid-1980s (or did they start with the 1982?) and garnered huge scores for their wines, this correlation was not lost on other neighboring estates and pretty soon everyone had a concentrator or a RO machine or what not. Not that they are always used, but not having the technology on hand if it were necessary could be deemed negligent. Managing a classed growth is a very lucratice gig and no one wants to lose it by not keeping up with the technological advances that are making waves for neighbors. The same dynamic is one of the important impetuses for hiring on one of the trendies consultants.

This post is already too long, and I have not even put up the list, but I wanted to take a quick moment to comment on a few estates I left off of the list. Haut-Brion and LMHB are not here- which would have seemed an insane oversight only a few years ago- but, I sense a very strong push away from the traditionalist camp at both properties in the last several vintages and IMO, the Prince of Luxembourg has pushed on to what he deems as the warmer climes of the modernist school. Maybe I will be proven wrong when the next great, classic vintage like 2008 comes along and both of these wines return to their great historic styles, but the last several vintages have been over the top wannabes to my palate. Likewise, I have not put Margaux, Mouton or Leoville Las Cases on the traditionalist list, as all three (for varying reasons) seem to me to not have their roots any longer in the traditionalist camp- certainly not the same way that Montrose, Latour or Ducru do. Ausone is also missing from the list- though it is by a very, very wide margin my favorite modernist Bordeaux, as there is simply too much terroir at this particular magic spot of earth to keep down with even the slickest, "cuvee de luxe" techniques in the cellar and more than enough new oak to make Bartolo Mascarello roll over in his grave. Anyway, the list, for what its worth, appears below.

All the Best,

John

Pomerol:
La Conseillante
Certan de May (though a bit over-oaked these days)
L'Evangile
La Grave
Hosanna
Lafleur
Lafleur-Gazin
Lafleur- Pétrus
Latour à Pomerol
Pétrus
La Pointe
Providence
Trotanoy
Vieux Château Certan

St. Émilion:
Bélair-Monange
Canon
Corbin
Cheval Blanc
Figeac (up through 2011)
Magdelaine (up through 2011)
La Serre

Graves:
La Louvière (through 2011)
Haut-Bailly (again, a bit oaky these days)
Latour-Martillac (since 2006)

Médoc and Haut Médoc:
Beaumont
Cantemerle
Chasse-Spleen
Fonréaud
La Lagune
Lannesan
Laujac
Potensac
Sociando-Mallet
La Tour de By

Margaux Appelation:
Ferrière
D’Issan
Palmer
Prieuré-Lichine (bit spit-polished, but still with old school soul)
Rauzan-Ségla
Rauzan-Gassies

St. Julien:
Beychevelle
Lagrange
Ducru-Beaucaillou
Gruaud-Larose
Talbot

Pauillac:
Croizet-Bages
Grand Puy Lacoste
Haut Bages Libéral
Latour
Lafite-Rothschild
Lynch-Bages
Pichon-Lalande
Pichon-Baron (though very oaky these days)
Pontet-Canet

Ste. Estèphe:
Calon-Ségur
Montrose
Phelan-Ségur
Tronquoy-Lalande

User avatar
Bill Bøykin
Posts: 4439
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 2:00 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#463 Post by Bill Bøykin » December 9th, 2013, 3:33 pm

John Gilman wrote:Hi Folks,

I have only been able to read through about 8 or 9 pages of the posts here, so I may have missed some important points in the discussion. I like Dale's list from way back in page one pretty well, but have added or subtracted a few estates due to what I think are recent changes at a property since he compiled his listing in 2006. I have placed below the list of who I would call "traditionalists" in Bordeaux these days- not an insignificant number of estates, despite the perception that the region has been pretty much overrun by the modernists in recent times. The thing to remember when scrolling through the list below is that there is no cut and dry demarcation between "traditonalist" and "non-traditionalist" (probably a more useful term than "modernist" for the point of discussion), as the Bordelais are quite reticent about what they actually do in their cellars and it is quite clear that they will do whatever they deem necessary to save a vintage if Mother Nature is seen to conspire against them in a season. There are no Bordeaux estates that I know of that would loss as much of a crop as Chandon de Briailles did for instance in 2008 to stay true to their vision of biodynamics. First of all, most estates are not managed by their owners, so the management team has to answer to the ownership group or person, and secondly, most of these (outside of Pomerol and the tiny St. Emilion properties) are big businesses with a lot of wine to move and IME larger institutions in any business tend to be far more risk averse than smaller enterprises. So probably a lot of the estates on this list would break out the concentrators or the RO machines in a very rainy and thin vintage these days, or resort to other cellar parlor tricks to compensate for what they deem nature did not provide if faced with that or courting disaster for the vintage. And on the list, some estates are certainly more prone to see a threat on the horizon than others and resort to parlor tricks sooner.

So it is not what an estate might or might not do in the cellars in a difficult year that earns them a place (or not) on my list of traditionalists, but rather, whether or not their wines would be deemed classic claret in inspiration to folks such as myself who cut our teeth on vintages of Bordeaux from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. For instance, I include Prieure-Lichine on my list of traditionalists, despite Stephane Derenoncourt being the consultant here, as the wine is still done in an elegant, middlewight style that would not strike one as out of character with the property, even if the fine 1983 was the definition of Prieure-Lichine one was using as a benchmark. But, I think that all of these wines would make lovers of traditional claret content to add to their cellars and drink at their apogees of maturity. Naturally, some of these are more "classical" in style than others, as this is a continuum of style and one has to make a cut off somewhere arbitratily to try and construct a campful of traditionalists. Rather than make the list longer than necessary, I have not listed second or third labels of the big estates here, or their satellite properties, but one can usually be pretty confident if the "grand vin" is reasonably traditonal in style, so will the second wine.

Several of the estates on this list make wines that are a bit too new oaky for my own personal palate, as new oak syndrome is still as rampant amongst the classified growths as it is in Vosne-Romanee today, and we are still waiting for the courageous chateau team to step up like Freddy Mugnier did several years ago and define a new paradigm of minimalist new oak for high end wines. For example, the superb wines at Pichon Baron are awfully marked by their new wood these days- so much so that I would not buy them for my own cellar at the present time- but, I still think that they have both feet still at least very close to the traditionalist camp and others who are more tolerant of very new oaky wines would certainly find them fairly traditional in style (beyond the wood). New wood is part of the "luxury goods" wine world these days, and most classified growths in Bordeaux are either already firmly ensconsed in this camp or have aspirations in this direction, so the percentage of new oak in Bordeaux cannot really be a barometer of in which camp the wine belongs.

For me, the things that I look for when trying to ascertain if a property would make it into the traditionalist camp include date of harvesting (is late harvesting the norm here?), malolactic fermentation in barrel, heavy-handed extraction, micro-oxygenation to manipulate palate opulence and tannin perception, and which tonneliers are used (if Taransaud is the tonnelier of choice, it is usually a pretty safe bet that the wine will lean away from the traditionalist side of the ledger- though not always, as Ducru-Beaucaillou is making one of the most classically old school wines in the entire Left Bank these days and yet use exclusively Taransaud for their barrels). And again, there is slippage on some of these fronts with each passing vintage- for example the Moueix properties on the Right Bank, Canon and Beychevelle (another wonderful old school estate) are now using partial malo in barrel for their wines (probably to make them show better earlier for the En Primeur tastings). So there are no hard and fast rules, but these are good parameters to look at along with tasting the wines (when and if possible).

But, the thing to remember is that no one is making as traditional wine today as they did in 1985- there is simply more money now at the estates to buy more new and higher quality oak barrels, be stricter with selection through the use of optical sorting etc, stuff like extraction enzymes and the like were only in their infancy back in the early '80s, and there was generally a different generation in charge of the properties back then- even where the estates remain in the same familial hands, there is not the same generational connnection to the style of claret that was preeminent in the early post-war decades. So one is not going to find the '82 and '09 Calon Segur cut precisely from the same cloth (though one also has to account for climate change and the dramatic differences in the style of the two vintages that one gent compared earlier- try the 2008 Calon-Segur and see if that strikes you as more attune with the style of the brilliant 1982, as 2008 is the second coming of the 1985 vintage at an even higher level of potential quality, whereas 2009 is a torrid vintage in the era of global warming). What can be seen as an uncompromising pursuit of the highest quality possible is also a classic management fear of sparing expense on the latest gadget, gizmo or prevailing winemaking tool and being seen as negligent in their duties and being removed by the financial interests of the estate. So when Leoville Las Cases started routinely using concentrators in the mid-1980s (or did they start with the 1982?) and garnered huge scores for their wines, this correlation was not lost on other neighboring estates and pretty soon everyone had a concentrator or a RO machine or what not. Not that they are always used, but not having the technology on hand if it were necessary could be deemed negligent. Managing a classed growth is a very lucratice gig and no one wants to lose it by not keeping up with the technological advances that are making waves for neighbors. The same dynamic is one of the important impetuses for hiring on one of the trendies consultants.

This post is already too long, and I have not even put up the list, but I wanted to take a quick moment to comment on a few estates I left off of the list. Haut-Brion and LMHB are not here- which would have seemed an insane oversight only a few years ago- but, I sense a very strong push away from the traditionalist camp at both properties in the last several vintages and IMO, the Prince of Luxembourg has pushed on to what he deems as the warmer climes of the modernist school. Maybe I will be proven wrong when the next great, classic vintage like 2008 comes along and both of these wines return to their great historic styles, but the last several vintages have been over the top wannabes to my palate. Likewise, I have not put Margaux, Mouton or Leoville Las Cases on the traditionalist list, as all three (for varying reasons) seem to me to not have their roots any longer in the traditionalist camp- certainly not the same way that Montrose, Latour or Ducru do. Ausone is also missing from the list- though it is by a very, very wide margin my favorite modernist Bordeaux, as there is simply too much terroir at this particular magic spot of earth to keep down with even the slickest, "cuvee de luxe" techniques in the cellar and more than enough new oak to make Bartolo Mascarello roll over in his grave. Anyway, the list, for what its worth, appears below.

All the Best,

John

Pomerol:
La Conseillante
Certan de May (though a bit over-oaked these days)
L'Evangile
La Grave
Hosanna
Lafleur
Lafleur-Gazin
Lafleur- Pétrus
Latour à Pomerol
Pétrus
La Pointe
Providence
Trotanoy
Vieux Château Certan

St. Émilion:
Bélair-Monange
Canon
Corbin
Cheval Blanc
Figeac (up through 2011)
Magdelaine (up through 2011)
La Serre

Graves:
La Louvière (through 2011)
Haut-Bailly (again, a bit oaky these days)
Latour-Martillac (since 2006)

Médoc and Haut Médoc:
Beaumont
Cantemerle
Chasse-Spleen
Fonréaud
La Lagune
Lannesan
Laujac
Potensac
Sociando-Mallet
La Tour de By

Margaux Appelation:
Ferrière
D’Issan
Palmer
Prieuré-Lichine (bit spit-polished, but still with old school soul)
Rauzan-Ségla
Rauzan-Gassies

St. Julien:
Beychevelle
Lagrange
Ducru-Beaucaillou
Gruaud-Larose
Talbot

Pauillac:
Croizet-Bages
Grand Puy Lacoste
Haut Bages Libéral
Latour
Lafite-Rothschild
Lynch-Bages
Pichon-Lalande
Pichon-Baron (though very oaky these days)
Pontet-Canet

Ste. Estèphe:
Calon-Ségur
Montrose
Phelan-Ségur
Tronquoy-Lalande
Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your perspective,John.......and certainly not,to my mind,overlong,overbearing and thankfully.......not overoaked.

One question:
One wine to have in your cellar.
One wine only.

Collina Rionda Riserva 89 or Petrus 98? [wink.gif]

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#464 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 9th, 2013, 3:56 pm

Help me, Rionda!

John Gilman
Posts: 555
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 10:46 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#465 Post by John Gilman » December 9th, 2013, 4:35 pm

Bill Bøykin wrote:
Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your perspective,John.......and certainly not,to my mind,overlong,overbearing and thankfully.......not overoaked.

One question:
One wine to have in your cellar.
One wine only.

Collina Rionda Riserva 89 or Petrus 98? [wink.gif]
Hi Bill,

They would make nice bookends btw, but I would take the Collina Rionda without a moment's hesitation. But, keep in mind, despite the fact we have been discussing in another thread just how good the 1998 Right Bank wines are, the 1989 Piemonte vintage is the 1961 vintage for Bordeaux- a once or twice in a lifetime vintage of seismic proportions and unfathomable potential. There have been an awful lot of superb vintages in the Langhe since 1989, and yet, to my palate, none of these subsequent years has been able to aspire to the summit that 1989 currently sits comfortably atop. So, if you asked me '61 Petrus or '89 Collina Rionda, I might have to first ask to consult a crystal ball to see how long I could be planning for the future, as the '89 Collina Rionda is still really a puppy and I just might have a mind to drink it at its apogee!

All the Best,

John

User avatar
Bill Bøykin
Posts: 4439
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 2:00 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#466 Post by Bill Bøykin » December 9th, 2013, 6:14 pm

John Gilman wrote:
Bill Bøykin wrote:
Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your perspective,John.......and certainly not,to my mind,overlong,overbearing and thankfully.......not overoaked.

One question:
One wine to have in your cellar.
One wine only.

Collina Rionda Riserva 89 or Petrus 98? [wink.gif]
Hi Bill,

They would make nice bookends btw, but I would take the Collina Rionda without a moment's hesitation.
Hi John,

[cheers.gif]
I thought you might,as would I ......and yes,89 is/was truly a seismic event in Piemonte winemaking history and a tide that has raised many a lesser house to more than satisfactory results while elevating the greats to exceedingly lofty and,as you say,not yet unfathomable heights........save the querulous Monfortino.

That said,the 89 CRR,while still in the infancy of the Grand Reckoning of Barolo giants,has still for at least 5 years given us a glimpse of one of the present and future Kings of Wines,the Wine of Kings.....
Not surprising of course,for why should we wonder why many 64s show to be so fresh,vibrant and exciting,a full quarter century from the monumental 89 CRR........so let us hope that we can catch this jewel at its apogee.

Excuse me,but please carry on with the discussion...........

Kent Fisher
Posts: 133
Joined: January 29th, 2013, 10:40 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#467 Post by Kent Fisher » December 9th, 2013, 7:06 pm

John, Thanks so much for your great post! Really appreciated your perspective.

Kent

Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#468 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 9th, 2013, 10:01 pm

John,
That was a superlative/epic post.,
Thanks for taking the time.
The nuances are essential here.
Did not realize partial malo in barrel chez Moueix in recent years ...
And since Vincent Millet, Calon Segur has been using 100% new oak but does not ever have that over extracted oakiness you get from modern styled wines.
One question: why is Leoville Barton not on your list?
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#469 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 9th, 2013, 11:43 pm

John Gilman wrote:
Bill Bøykin wrote:
Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your perspective,John.......and certainly not,to my mind,overlong,overbearing and thankfully.......not overoaked.

One question:
One wine to have in your cellar.
One wine only.

Collina Rionda Riserva 89 or Petrus 98? [wink.gif]
Hi Bill,

They would make nice bookends btw, but I would take the Collina Rionda without a moment's hesitation. But, keep in mind, despite the fact we have been discussing in another thread just how good the 1998 Right Bank wines are, the 1989 Piemonte vintage is the 1961 vintage for Bordeaux- a once or twice in a lifetime vintage of seismic proportions and unfathomable potential. There have been an awful lot of superb vintages in the Langhe since 1989, and yet, to my palate, none of these subsequent years has been able to aspire to the summit that 1989 currently sits comfortably atop. So, if you asked me '61 Petrus or '89 Collina Rionda, I might have to first ask to consult a crystal ball to see how long I could be planning for the future, as the '89 Collina Rionda is still really a puppy and I just might have a mind to drink it at its apogee!

All the Best,

John

Excuse me, John, but the 1989 vintage is vying for the SECOND slot of the "twice in a lifetime" vintage competition with 1996 and perhaps 2004, the first being held by 1978. Every time that I open a 1978 Giacosa red label, I realize that, as admittedly great as the 1989 CR is, it is, all in all, another brick in the (Maestro's) wall. And what a wall!

You showing up here has already paid huge dividends. Within 5 minutes, Mike Steinberger shows up out of nowhere and the two of you engage in a spirited, gentlemanly pissing contest over on the 1998 Right Bank thread. Now, however, with your remarks on recent-vintage H-B and La Mish, you have gone to the very heart of why I started this thread to begin with. I am yet sure what the truth is about those two wines in 2009 and 2010, whether your assessment is right or whether the wines remain traditionally made, are victims of weather patterns and you are merely jumping to contusions (and not for the first time!). It seemed that you left the door open for those two to return to the traditional fold in the future, so perhaps you are not certain, either, at this point. However, I very much appreciate your thoughtful post and traditionalist list. I suspect that 2009 may go down as the make-or-break vintage in this debate. If it is a modern-day 1947, the modernistas and the reviewers who hyped the vintage into the stratosphere will be vindicated. If not, maybe we will not see so much 14.5-16% alcohol Bordeaux in the future. You can never safely generalize across wine regions, of course, but 2009 was a hot, dry, nasty summer in the Piemonte, seeming nearly as bad as 2003, and I have no intention of buying or drinking its wines here. I was thus surprised when the early ballyhoo was heard for both Bordeaux and Burgundy. I did not buy the 2009 vintage in either of those regions, either, as much due to age and good supply as skepticism. For me, the jury is still out, but Burgundy seems to have 2009 bona fides that Bordeaux lacks. It is rather fun to have tasted a few wines, like the 2009 Cos, to understand the diversity of opinion, but also to not have a dog in the hunt for the first time in many years, and to be able to study the 2009 and 2010 vintages slowly and with detachment. I suspect that I will succumb to buying single bottles (more like half-bottles) or tiny quantities of H-B, La Mish, Latour and a couple of others for scientific purposes, but otherwise, I will just sit back, backfilling pristine 1961, 1964, 1967, 1971 and 1978 Nebbiolo whenever I can, and watch this thread evolve!

John Gilman
Posts: 555
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 10:46 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#470 Post by John Gilman » December 10th, 2013, 1:40 am

Hi Bill,

I am in full accord with you regarding 2009 and 2010 and do not have much hope for a majority of those wines from either vintage in Bordeaux (and not much for the majority of 2009 Burgundies either, but that deserves another thread). Interestingly, I liked a great many more wines in 2009 than in 2010, as I felt that there was the possibility (particularly on the Left Bank) to harness the power of the vintage a bit in '09 and make a ripe, powerful, but well-structured wine that could just end up being pretty special- Latour, Ducru or Montrose are good examples of how good an old school 2009 one could make. The drought of 2010 made things tougher on vignerons on both banks in Bordeaux, as the tannins were lagging so far behind the sugars (which were concentrating to alarming levels due to dehydration of the berries) that one had to leave the grapes hanging even as the potential alcohol levels were moving the settings on their phasers up from stun to kill. It's a strange year with a lot of strange wines on the Gironde and one hopes that it does not become a more typical type of year as climate change further evolves growing seasons here. The funny thing for me is that the Bordelais have indeed had a great vintage in recent times- the 2008s- and yet, only a few vignerons like to talk about those wines (perhaps for fear of upsetting the delicate balance of financial interests deeply entangled in the 2009s and 2010s for investment funds?) at the present time, but for my palate, the vintage towers above both '09 and '10 and is the last Bordeaux vintage I bought for my own cellar. Of course, my favorite vintage of the 1980s is 1985 (which the 2008s share some resemblance to), so my palate predilections are pretty predictable I suppose.

In the world of Haut-Brion and La Mission I really do not know what is going on here, but we now have four vintages in a row that I really did not like at either property, but I hold out hope that this can be blamed on the weather (though not sure how the aggressive new Taransaud oak spice in these four vintages can be weather-related) and these two flagship estates will not plunge over the precipice for good. But, the sense of drift here is palpable when visiting, if one bothers to pay attention to these types of things. So, it is a very good time to be backfilling Baroli and Barbaresci from the decade of the 1960s and 1970s mon ami and very glad to see you included the very underrated and superb 1967s on your shopping list! BTW, '78 CRR is my reference point for where the 1989 is headed in the fullness of time- have had the wine on a couple of occasions and fully agree that if it is not heaven to be drinking that wine, one can at least see heaven from the summit of the '78 CRR.

All the Best,

John

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#471 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 10th, 2013, 3:53 am

John, there are a few of the Nebbioli glitterati who believe that the 1989 CRR is the reference point for where the 1978 is headed in the fullness of time! I have bottles of the latter that have surely not arrived yet. But indeed, we ought not continue in the Nebbiolo vein, unless I start a new thread: "Name Your Favorite Wine That Is Demonstrably Better Than Bordeaux"... :)

Gary York
Posts: 7987
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#472 Post by Gary York » December 10th, 2013, 7:56 am

Seems Pavie was not on JG's list, an oversight for sure. And how is high Alc not a marker for mode, sorry, non-traditional Bordeaux?
ITB

Peter Chiu
Posts: 3817
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#473 Post by Peter Chiu » December 10th, 2013, 8:13 am

Bill Klapp wrote:John, there are a few of the Nebbioli glitterati who believe that the 1989 CRR is the reference point for where the 1978 is headed in the fullness of time! I have bottles of the latter that have surely not arrived yet. But indeed, we ought not continue in the Nebbiolo vein, unless I start a new thread: "Name Your Favorite Wine That Is Demonstrably Better Than Bordeaux"... :)
Bill....really.....that will be very interesting !!


newhere

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#474 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 10th, 2013, 8:29 am

Peter Chiu wrote:
Bill Klapp wrote:John, there are a few of the Nebbioli glitterati who believe that the 1989 CRR is the reference point for where the 1978 is headed in the fullness of time! I have bottles of the latter that have surely not arrived yet. But indeed, we ought not continue in the Nebbiolo vein, unless I start a new thread: "Name Your Favorite Wine That Is Demonstrably Better Than Bordeaux"... :)
Bill....really.....that will be very interesting !!


newhere
Peter, I worry that the volume of posts might crash the website! :)

Peter Chiu
Posts: 3817
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#475 Post by Peter Chiu » December 10th, 2013, 8:42 am

It will crash for sure.

One small suggestion : maybe limit the *wine* made by Nebbiolo grape only ?

Gary York
Posts: 7987
Joined: April 26th, 2010, 4:02 pm
Location: Richmond, Va.

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#476 Post by Gary York » December 10th, 2013, 8:44 am

What I really need is for you smart guys to come up with some way for me to pay for some of these wines. Beside hard work and saving of course.
ITB

User avatar
Bill Klapp (deactivated)
Posts: 5039
Joined: June 27th, 2009, 12:50 am
Location: Neive, Italy and Burgundy, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#477 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » December 10th, 2013, 8:55 am

Gary York wrote:Seems Pavie was not on JG's list, an oversight for sure. And how is high Alc not a marker for mode, sorry, non-traditional Bordeaux?
I spoke with John privately about this. He told me that he adores Pavie, and, beginning with the 2000 vintage, has put away multiple cases of it every vintage. However, he is constantly worried that, if he goes public with his high opinion, the prices for subsequent vintages are likely to go through the roof, and the available stocks will disappear. Being the anti-Parker, John is sensitive to such things, and thus, chooses to remain silent on the subject of Pavie...

John Gilman
Posts: 555
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 10:46 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#478 Post by John Gilman » December 10th, 2013, 9:24 am

Gary York wrote:Seems Pavie was not on JG's list, an oversight for sure. And how is high Alc not a marker for mode, sorry, non-traditional Bordeaux?
Hi Gary,

Certainly high alcohol should have been on the list, but I thought it might be covered under "late harvesting". The thing is that Mother Nature does not always cooperate with the late harvesters, such as in 2008, when it was simply impossible to let the grapes hang much longer than your neighbors', as nothing ripened until the start of October in any case. It is one of the reasons that I enjoy the vintage so much, as there are a lot of wines that I would studiously avoid in earlier ripening years that I found far more potable than usual in 2008, as the producers' hands were tied in terms of picking dates.

Re Chateau Pavie, all I can say is that Bill is a wily fox.....

All the Best,

John
Last edited by John Gilman on December 10th, 2013, 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

John Gilman
Posts: 555
Joined: June 30th, 2009, 10:46 am

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#479 Post by John Gilman » December 10th, 2013, 9:29 am

Panos Kakaviatos wrote:John,
One question: why is Leoville Barton not on your list?
Hi Panos,

I have been wondering where Leoville Barton is headed for many years now, and a vertical tasting that Mark G organized of Beychevelle and Barton only further added to my confusion about LB these days. I think you came up for the tasting, if memory serves me correctly. The Barton wines all seemed "forced" stylistically to my palate, with much more overtly new oaky personalities, much more extraction than back in the decade of the 1980s (when I absolutely fell in love with the property and drank tons of the estate's wines), and a creamy textural element on the palate that made me think that the malo was being done in barrel. I was told by our Barton family member that the estate has never done malo in barrel, so there has to be another tool at play in the cellars (micro-oxygenation perhaps) to give the wine that creamy textural thing that I find so abhorant in Bordeaux. In any case, LB is not the wine it was in the decade of the 1980s, and hence why it did not make my list, though I do know that a lot of other folks like the wines just fine still and find me hyper-sensitive. Maybe I was just too big of a fan of wines like the '85 and '89 to join LB in the modern world of 21st century claret!

All the Best,

John

User avatar
Rudi Finkler
Posts: 591
Joined: May 31st, 2009, 5:43 am
Location: Saarland, Germany

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#480 Post by Rudi Finkler » December 10th, 2013, 9:54 am

The traditionalists are no monolithic block, and there will always be differences of perception, knowledge, taste and opinion. Everyone draws their own demarcation line between good and bad, but traditionalists are most likely to reject today’s monstrosities. This is aggravated by the fact that the prices of many illustrious wines are simply ridiculous.
Over the last decade, I have heard from many traditionalists that they feel offended and declassed. Most of them have stopped buying Bordeaux in the meantime, and I wonder whether that is desirable for the winemakers in Bordeaux?
Of course, in today’s global village there are enough fancy people who can replace traditional groups of buyers, but will they prove to be just as reliable as the traditionalists?
Rudi - The Bordeauxphile -

User avatar
Marshall Gelb
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2773
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 9:36 am
Location: Redondo Beach, California

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#481 Post by Marshall Gelb » December 10th, 2013, 10:01 am

Rudi Finkler wrote:The traditionalists are no monolithic block, and there will always be differences of perception, knowledge, taste and opinion. Everyone draws their own demarcation line between good and bad, but traditionalists are most likely to reject today’s monstrosities. This is aggravated by the fact that the prices of many illustrious wines are simply ridiculous.
Over the last decade, I have heard from many traditionalists that they feel offended and declassed. Most of them have stopped buying Bordeaux in the meantime, and I wonder whether that is desirable for the winemakers in Bordeaux?
Of course, in today’s global village there are enough fancy people who can replace traditional groups of buyers, but will they prove to be just as reliable as the traditionalists?

Rudi; Nice post! I agree with your sentiments and would add that many traditionalists , including me, have also advanced to an age where they no longer need to buy wines that need 15-20 years to show their best.
If you combine age with the ridiculous pricing you have reason enough to avoid Bordeaux purchasing .

Cheers! [cheers.gif]
Marshall
A quién tiene buen vino no le faltan amigos.

User avatar
Mark Golodetz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5959
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 8:49 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#482 Post by Mark Golodetz » December 10th, 2013, 10:35 am

Bill Klapp wrote:
Gary York wrote:Seems Pavie was not on JG's list, an oversight for sure. And how is high Alc not a marker for mode, sorry, non-traditional Bordeaux?
I spoke with John privately about this. He told me that he adores Pavie, and, beginning with the 2000 vintage, has put away multiple cases of it every vintage. However, he is constantly worried that, if he goes public with his high opinion, the prices for subsequent vintages are likely to go through the roof, and the available stocks will disappear. Being the anti-Parker, John is sensitive to such things, and thus, chooses to remain silent on the subject of Pavie...

I have photographs of John tasting the 2009 and 2010 Pavie. I am saving them for when I need retirement money, and I can either blackmail John or sell them to the Enquirer. John knew I would be taking a photo of him tasting the '010, but even so, he was unprepared for its, how can I put it, gutsy personality, so the photo of him in great pain, is absolutely genuine.
ITB
I could agree with you, but then we both would be wrong.

Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#483 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 10th, 2013, 2:00 pm

Mark Golodetz wrote:
Bill Klapp wrote:
Gary York wrote:Seems Pavie was not on JG's list, an oversight for sure. And how is high Alc not a marker for mode, sorry, non-traditional Bordeaux?
I spoke with John privately about this. He told me that he adores Pavie, and, beginning with the 2000 vintage, has put away multiple cases of it every vintage. However, he is constantly worried that, if he goes public with his high opinion, the prices for subsequent vintages are likely to go through the roof, and the available stocks will disappear. Being the anti-Parker, John is sensitive to such things, and thus, chooses to remain silent on the subject of Pavie...

I have photographs of John tasting the 2009 and 2010 Pavie. I am saving them for when I need retirement money, and I can either blackmail John or sell them to the Enquirer. John knew I would be taking a photo of him tasting the '010, but even so, he was unprepared for its, how can I put it, gutsy personality, so the photo of him in great pain, is absolutely genuine.
Funny!
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

Carl Steefel
Posts: 979
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 3:45 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#484 Post by Carl Steefel » December 10th, 2013, 4:24 pm

John Gilman wrote:
Panos Kakaviatos wrote:John,
One question: why is Leoville Barton not on your list?
Hi Panos,

I have been wondering where Leoville Barton is headed for many years now, and a vertical tasting that Mark G organized of Beychevelle and Barton only further added to my confusion about LB these days. I think you came up for the tasting, if memory serves me correctly. The Barton wines all seemed "forced" stylistically to my palate, with much more overtly new oaky personalities, much more extraction than back in the decade of the 1980s (when I absolutely fell in love with the property and drank tons of the estate's wines), and a creamy textural element on the palate that made me think that the malo was being done in barrel. I was told by our Barton family member that the estate has never done malo in barrel, so there has to be another tool at play in the cellars (micro-oxygenation perhaps) to give the wine that creamy textural thing that I find so abhorant in Bordeaux. In any case, LB is not the wine it was in the decade of the 1980s, and hence why it did not make my list, though I do know that a lot of other folks like the wines just fine still and find me hyper-sensitive. Maybe I was just too big of a fan of wines like the '85 and '89 to join LB in the modern world of 21st century claret!

All the Best,

John
Which vintage do you see this style arising? We had a vertical tasting of Leoville Barton from 1982 to 2000, and at least through 1996 their house style was recognizable--firm, austere even, and I would say overall traditional. One could plot the years to peak drinking for each vintage and it fell on a straight line with "ready" at 20 years (i.e., the 18 year old was close, but not quite there, the 14 year old less so, and so on).

But with the 2000, it showed as almost impenetrable back then. Later bottles were not much better, with the wine showing essentially as monolithic. Maybe these just need more time--not sure, but I flipped most of mine.

Panos Kakaviatos
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1178
Joined: July 6th, 2009, 11:36 am
Location: Strasbourg, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#485 Post by Panos Kakaviatos » December 11th, 2013, 2:09 am

Thanks John and Carl for your reaction to the Leoville Barton question I posed.
Allow me to defend Leoville Barton as being in the traditional camp, and in a positive vein, although I give that the 2010 was quite imposing. And since we are talking about John's fine list, allow me to critique a bit the other notable LB, being Lynch Bages :-).

First the Barton.

I had the 2000 Barton and thought was absolutely lovely. Lilian Barton had found it a bit "soft" in the past, but I think it is one of the very best Medocs in its price point from that vintage.
Same for the 2005 and 2009 by the way.
And the 2003 is a darn good wine, considering the torrid nature of that vintage, with 02 and 04 excellent buys, with freshness.

As for Lynch Bages, I feel like that since Sylvie left, the style has become bigger and more modern, and less to my liking - although it can be still very good, with appeal in certain vintages.

But with its prices going nutso, in recent vintages, GPL is my more obvious choice between these two often compared fifths - and GPL is made from earlier harvesting with less extraction of tannin, generally speaking.

Anyway, I will get me more Corbin, as I do have a bottle of the 2009 and while working at the Council of Europe liked it so much that got the protocol division to purchase a case for the cellar of the organisation's secretary general.

And by the way, this thread more than illustrates the fact that indeed "traditionalists" or those who lean in that direction, and I would put myself in that camp, are "no monolithic block" and that "there will always be differences of perception, knowledge, taste and opinion". Indeed: [cheers.gif]
I am mainly based in Europe, and thanks for reading wine-chronicles(.)com

User avatar
Ross W
Posts: 474
Joined: June 4th, 2009, 1:57 pm
Location: Westchester NY

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#486 Post by Ross W » December 13th, 2013, 8:22 am

John..Thanks for taking the time and that's a wonderful list. For folks like me who prefer the traditional style, but who do not or can not taste as many wines as we'd like to; this list is extremely helpful.

The only name I was surprised to see was Pontet-Canet. I have had a few vintages and they felt more modern to me. Thanks again
Ross Weissman

User avatar
Rudi Finkler
Posts: 591
Joined: May 31st, 2009, 5:43 am
Location: Saarland, Germany

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#487 Post by Rudi Finkler » December 14th, 2013, 11:34 am

As for some prestigious appellations, John’s list is really helpful, no question, but I’m missing wines from…

AC Médoc, AC Listrac and AC Moulis, AC Blaye and AC Premières Côtes de Blaye, AC Fronsac and AC Canon Fronsac, AC Côtes de Bourg, AC Lalande de Pomerol, AC Lussac St.-Emilion, AC Montagne St._Emilion, AC Puisseguin St.-Emilion, AC St.-Georges St.-Emilion, AC Côtes de Castillon, AC Côtes de Francs, AC Saint-Foy-Bordeaux, AC Côtes de Bordeaux, AC Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, and from the generic Appellations AC Bordeaux & AC Bordeaux Supérieur...
Rudi - The Bordeauxphile -

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16245
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#488 Post by Howard Cooper » September 22nd, 2014, 6:32 pm

John Gilman,

I was just rereading this thread and saw your list of traditional producers. Wow, that list and the discussion is helpful. One question. I was surprised to see Domaine de Chevalier omitted. Interested in your or anyone else's thoughts.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Pat Martin
Posts: 2551
Joined: May 22nd, 2011, 11:38 pm

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#489 Post by Pat Martin » September 22nd, 2014, 7:05 pm

Howard Cooper wrote:John Gilman,

I was just rereading this thread and saw your list of traditional producers. Wow, that list and the discussion is helpful. One question. I was surprised to see Domaine de Chevalier omitted. Interested in your or anyone else's thoughts.
In case John isn't following this thread, I'll chime in as I got to ask him in person this very question in June: John indicated he no longer considers Domaine de Chevalier a traditionalist producer, to my dismay.
P@ tr!ck M 8rt!n

Gary Ahearn
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 505
Joined: February 20th, 2013, 7:06 pm
Location: Venice, FL

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#490 Post by Gary Ahearn » September 22nd, 2014, 7:36 pm

For a second there, I thought Bill was back. Oh well.

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16245
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#491 Post by Howard Cooper » September 23rd, 2014, 12:52 pm

Pat Martin wrote:
Howard Cooper wrote:John Gilman,

I was just rereading this thread and saw your list of traditional producers. Wow, that list and the discussion is helpful. One question. I was surprised to see Domaine de Chevalier omitted. Interested in your or anyone else's thoughts.
In case John isn't following this thread, I'll chime in as I got to ask him in person this very question in June: John indicated he no longer considers Domaine de Chevalier a traditionalist producer, to my dismay.
Thanks Pat. What changed and when. I went to a big Bordeaux tasting last winter of 2011s and thought their red and white was quite good.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16245
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#492 Post by Howard Cooper » September 23rd, 2014, 12:53 pm

Gary Ahearn wrote:For a second there, I thought Bill was back. Oh well.
Please don't confuse me for him. Not a good comparison.
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

User avatar
Julian Marshall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 635
Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:44 am
Location: Paris, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#493 Post by Julian Marshall » September 24th, 2014, 8:15 am

I only just caught up with this fascinating thread - more fool me. John's list is excellent, although I would agree with others that Léoville-Barton would be in mine. I'm also surprised that Durfort-Vivens is not considered "traditional". I'm one of this estate's few fans, precisely because of its traditional character.

User avatar
Peter Simpson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 720
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 12:03 pm
Location: Bakersfield, CA

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#494 Post by Peter Simpson » September 24th, 2014, 11:54 am

Now I know why I miss Bill, and why the Board would be more interesting if he came back.
Cheers, Peter

User avatar
Julian Marshall
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 635
Joined: August 12th, 2011, 4:44 am
Location: Paris, France

Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#495 Post by Julian Marshall » September 24th, 2014, 1:36 pm

While I'm at it, how about these traditional style wines:
Margaux: Bel Air Marquis d'Aligre, Boyd-Cantenac, Pouget, Marquis de Terme
Haut-Médoc: Tour du Haut-Moulin
Pauillac: Batailley, Haut-Batailley
St.Estephe: Cos Labory

User avatar
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2961
Joined: March 12th, 2013, 7:32 am

Re: Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#496 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » June 28th, 2019, 10:15 am

With all the recent posts on Bdx, and epic thread which I thought some of the newer members might enjoy...

User avatar
Sc0tt F!tzger@ld
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2961
Joined: March 12th, 2013, 7:32 am

Re: Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#497 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » June 28th, 2019, 10:16 am

Note this is also in the HoF thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=137710

User avatar
Howard Cooper
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 16245
Joined: May 30th, 2009, 8:37 am
Location: Rockville, MD

Re: Traditional vs. Modern Bordeaux?

#498 Post by Howard Cooper » June 29th, 2019, 10:32 am

Matthew B wrote:
November 22nd, 2013, 9:56 am
To Dale's list and mentioning Gilman, John wrote me las year and prided this list of traditionalists.

Beychevelle – Saint Julien (4th)
Calon-Segur - Saint-Estèphe (3rd)
Canon - Saint-Émilion (Premier Grand Cru B)
Cantemerle – Haut-Medoc (Cinquièmes Crus)
Chasse-Spleen - Moulis-en-Médoc
Figeac - Saint-Émilion (Premier Grand Cru B)
Haut-Bailly – Pessac-Leognan (Premiers Crus)
La Tour de By- Medoc
Lagrange – Saint Julien (3rd)
Laujac - Medoc
Magdelaine - Saint-Émilion (Premier Grand Cru B)
Montrose - Saint-Estèphe (2nd)
Pontet-Canet – Pauillac ( 5th)
Potensac – Medoc
Rauzan-Gassies – Margaux (2nd)

Dale Williams wrote:This is a list I made in 2006 on another forum, I haven't tasted enough recent vintage Bordeaux to know about recent changes. This is probably based mostly on wines produced between 1996-2003.

John Gilman's VFTC would give a pretty good idea about who is traditional now.

This list might be dated, and in some cases based on only 1 or 2 data points

More or Less Traditionals
Vieux Chateau Certan
Certan de May
Leoville-Barton
Figeac
Trotanoy
La Louviere
Meyney
Haut-Bailly
Magdelaine
Latour
Lafite-Rothschild
Haut-Brion
Cantemerle
Lanessan
GPL
Talbot
LMHB
L'Arrossee
Cheval Blanc
L'Evangile
Lafleur

Moderates (many modern techniques, possibly seem rather modern in ripe vintages and rather traditional in less ripe vintages)
Mouton-Rothschild
Margaux
du Tertre
Ducru-B
Cos d'Estournel
Lagrange (St J)
LLC
Calon-Segur
Lynch-Bages
Pichon-Baron
Pontet-Canet
Gloria
Palmer
La Conseillante
Gruaud-Larose

MidModerns
Angelus
Pavie-Maquin
Nenin

Moderns
Leoville-Poyferre
Pavie
Pavie-Decesse
Monbousquet
Smith-Haut-Lafitte
Giscours
Troplong Mondot
Bon Pasteur
Hosanna
Lascombes
La Confession
Roc de Cambes
Peby Faugeres
Quinault l'enclos
It has been several years since these very useful lists were made. Any changes in that time?
Howard

"That's what I do. I drink and I know things." Tyrion Lannister

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”