The King is dead. Long live the King. Of the seven wines I have consigned to purchase or private ordered in the past year one has been from Chile, two from the United States, a Sekt from Germany and three have been French ... that's just a personal aside, but also a comment about the quality of French wines on the world stage.
These days, the French find themselves in and an under-dog role, not a position you would have thought possible 25 years ago. The French ruled the wine roost ... they were the Kings of all the wines - nobody topped the French. Today, we know different: while wine regions around the world still compare their product to French wines – retailers know a different story, as they see us (the wine buying public) buy more and more new world wine (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina). The French have had to re-invent themselves, and it's the next generation of winemakers that are realizing that the plonk of the past just won't do - quality has got to supersede quantity. This is the challenge the French have now undertaken ... and that is the motto that Albert Bichot’s sixth generation of family ownership have decided to focus upon. No longer do they want to flood the market with as much wine as possible, the move is to quality wines, small plots, single vineyards. At a recent dinner tasting I got a chance to taste through 8 of the "new" Albert Bichot wines ... (Read more)
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