By Anto Coates, Wine Program Manager
Jeff Poole and I managed to squeeze two negociant visits into our French trip in October last year. Both negociants are highly respected outfits in Bordeaux, 'Les Vins de Crus' in Bruge and 'Grans Chais de France' who are based at the historic Place de la Bourse (the home of the 1855 classification and the annual en primeur campaign/circus).
Over 4 teeth-staining hours, we tasted through about 80 Bordeaux reds, from basic AC Bordeaux and various sub-appellations of the Left and Right Banks, through to the Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe and Cru Bourgeois. About half the wines we deemed worthy of tasting again, so we shipped 43 bottles back to NZ to evaluate in a more controlled and professional manner. Of those 43, only 12 wines made the grade, offering the optimal combination of quality and value.
These wines will be shipped in February 2017 and we look forward to offering them in due course. I hope customers will buy with confidence knowing the work that went in behind the scenes. There are some great bargains that will add diversity to the wine program in our two Super Stores.