The 2016 Bordeaux vintage has been billed as the best since 2010 and from a recent tasting of a number of wines in Antwerp that is really the case.
The Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux brought together representatives from over 50 chateaux in Bordeaux for a unique dinner with the trade and press in Antwerp recently.
It is not normal for so many representatives of Bordeaux wineries to be present for such a tasting.
Among the wineries present for the dinner were Château Figeac, Clos Fourtet, Château Clinet, Château Beychevelle, Château Branaire – Ducru, Château Langoa Barton, Château Leoville Barton and Château Talbot to mention just a few names.
For the dinner, I was sitting next to the director general of Chateau Giscours and Chateau du Tertre Alexander Van Beek and his wife Véronique Sanders, the president of Chateau Haut Bailly. They told me this was a really special occasion because it was the largest ever gathering of representatives of Bordeaux wineries they could remember.
The aim behind the event was to promote the Bordeaux 2016 wines to the trade and also journalists but also to share and discuss the state of Bordeaux wine today.
At table, the winemakers shared magnums from previous vintages which they brought with them specifically for the dinner. At different tables, guests tasted different wines but the wine representatives would visit other tables and share the wines.
The Union des Grands Crus has become an ambassador of French culture of which wine is an integral part in recent years.
The strength of the Bordeaux grand crus resides in their history going back centuries, but updated from generation to generation. This continuity and a constant calling into question of the wine growing methods enables the region to keep progressing.
The foundations of the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux were laid by a small group of estate owners during a trip to Japan in the early 1970s, with the aim of developing promotional initiatives around the world. It was soon followed by a number of other fine-wine producers who also wanted to extend their reputation beyond their own borders. Strengthened by its differences and its common values of sharing, the Union now numbers 134 top estates from the most prestigious Bordeaux appellations.
On 24 to 26 May, the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux will organise Le Weekend des Grands Crus. Guests will be able to taste wines in the presence of owners and representatives of over 110 properties. The wines will all be from the 2016 vintage.
A number of dinners will also be organised at Chateau Bouscaut, Chateau du Tertre, Chateau Siran and Chateau Bastor-Lamontagne.
There will also be visits to wineries as well as tastings.