Ben Kennedy
The views expressed in db Reader do not represent the views of the drinks business.

Hit the road, Jack!

28th October, 2013 by Ben Kennedy

Wine doesn’t sell itself – especially Bordeaux right now – so it’s time to go and see some customers for a couple of weeks.

hit the road

Hit the road, Jack!

A stop-off in the Rhône to pick some Grenache grapes and help out in the cellars at my favourite producer, Chêne Bleu, first though. I love to get my hands dirty and keep in touch with what’s happening on the winemaking side, and there’s no better place than in the fabulous setting of the Vaucluse, nestled under the spectacular Dentelles de Montmirail mountains, chez Xavier and Nicole Rolet. Their wines have been hailed as the first “Super Rhônes” and as well as offering my own range of Bordeaux producers I am helping them to distribute these couture beauties across Europe, a very exciting new departure for Rive Gauche Wines. Wednesday saw me in Switzerland for breakfast, back into France for lunch, dinner in Germany and then an overnight in Holland. Following a whizz through Belgium I’m writing this from the deck of a ferry, with the white cliffs looming into view!

Les Dentelles de Montmirail

Les Dentelles de Montmirail

So how is Bordeaux faring in these different markets? The French Swiss are still basically pro-claret but they are losing confidence at the top end, the general feeling being that very little 2013 en primeur will be needed, if any, while the Swiss-Germans have been moving away from Bordeaux for some time in favour of Italian wines. In Germany itself you really have to search for an importer who is still optimistic as regards anything but the top Parker-rated clarets, and the same goes in Holland: both countries have drifted towards southern French and New World as the prices in Bordeaux have steadily risen, and Italy is now joined increasingly by Spain as the preferred source of top-quality wines. Belgium is a better prospect for the travelling négociant, our friends here still swear by the traditional choices of the key French regions, as long as the wines on offer are up to date and up to scratch, and show great value for money. I was informed by a major Brussels buyer this afternoon that, in his opinion, good wines from the Bordeaux Supérieur appellation can be had for half the price of their equivalents from the Languedoc-Roussillon.

The coming week will be very telling as I call on some of the stalwarts the British claret-drinking establishment, although my list of appointments is not as long as I might have liked: you’d be surprised at just how hard it is to find a UK merchant prepared to give claret the time of day in 2013.

 

Ben Kennedy
info@rivegauchewines.com
Tel: +33 (0) 5 56 57 18 65
Twitter: @thewinebuffer
Facebook: Rive Gauche Wines

Rive Gauche Wines is a Bordeaux négociant which offers a range of wines for everyday drinking as well as Crus Classés and other Fine Wines.  The company was established in 2011 by Ben Kennedy, formerly Bordeaux buyer for a leading St James’s merchant.  The wines on our list are hand-picked on the key criteria of quality and value-for-money, and include numerous undiscovered gems that are exclusive to Rive Gauche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

ViVAS Wine - Category Development Manager

ViVAS
Harlow and Stowmarket or Salisbury, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, GB

Brand Ambassador East Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
New York - field-based, USA

Brand Ambassador West Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
San Francisco / Los Angeles - field-based, USA

Global Travel Retail Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Portfolio Ambassador - Europe

Maverick Drinks
North West Europe - field-based, UK

Senior Partner Manager - Grocery

Maverick Drinks
London/Field Based, UK

Sales Executive

Woolf Sung Ltd
London

Trade Marketing Manager - Maverick Drinks

Maverick Drinks
London / Kent

Business Development Executive Central London

William Grant & Sons UK
London

Almaviva 2015 Vintage and Vertical Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Sep 2017

TFWA World Exhibition & Conference

Cannes,France
1st Oct 2017

Franciacorta London Festival

London,United Kingdom
2nd Oct 2017
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more