Vin Expo Bordeaux – what’s it all about

Vin Expo is an amazing event that happens every two years in Bordeaux, for me it’s four years since I’ve attended Vin Expo. As the exhibition attracts most of the wineries we import, it’s a great way to catch up with everyone and talk face to face – something that with the distance between us and our European wineries is not all that easy. So what did the first day hold for us? In trying to work out how to best describe it, this seemed appropriate, the day started with;

  • Jaboulet Ventoux Les Traverses White 2010 – an 80% Grenache wine
  • Jaboulet Secret Famile Viognier 2010 – interesting – perhaps for the NZ market?
  • Jaboulet Saint Peray 2010 Les Sauvagnin – 80% Marsanne
  • Jaboulet Saint Joseph Frame Pompee 2009 – these 2009 are quite stunning
  • Jaboulet Crozes Hermitage Thalabert 2009 – 40 – 50 year old vines, 100% Syrah
  • Jaboulet La Petit Chapelle 2009 – this just left a whole heap of expectation for the next wine
  • Jaboulet La Chapelle 2009 – wow – stunning, must put some of this in my cellar

What next?

Vignerous de Caractre – Benjamin Laroche is working for this co operative, an interesting group, 80 families who have worked together since the co op started and all actually make their living from winemaking.

  • Cote du Rhone Fontaines 2010 – fruit that jumped out of the glass
  • Chateaneuf du Pape 2007 – what a vintage
  • Domaine Etienette Vacquerayas 2007 – that same sunning vintage
  • Grand Vin Eloquence Gigondas 2009 – another smart vintage

Next we were reminded there’s more to Lambrusco than sweet wine! The top wines are something to believe – I’m sold. More on these later.


  • Domaine Paul Mas, with Jean Claude Mas
  • Mas de Mas Picpoul de Pinot 2010 – Picpoul is the variety – very interesting
  • Domaine Paul Mas Marsanne 2010 – a top seller in Aussie for them
  • Domaine Paul Mas Viognier – spicy and rich
  • Chateau Pay Mas Blanc 2010 – Marsanne, Verminto, Grenache, Viognier blend
  • D A Chardonnay Limoux – Jak would love this Chardonnay, rich and full
  • Mas de Tannes – Classic 2010 – an organic wine
  • Arrogant Frog Reserve 2010 – a new range for Paul Mas
  • Chateau de Cres Ricards Terrasses du Larzac 2009 – fruity and forward
  • Chateau de Cres Ricards – silky and rich
  • Calvados and Cider next with Drouin – what a great product
  • Then some NZ Sauvignon in Bordeaux – Métis – made by Pascal Jolivet in Hawkes Bay with Trinity Hill, amazing wine – and such great value
  • Sancerre Les Caillotes 2010 – from chalky soils
  • Sancerre du Roy 2010 – clay this time
  • Pouilly Fume Griottes 2010 – rich and powerful
  • Pascal Jolivet Sauvage – very good indeed

Next, our Rugby mad friends from the Rhone – both loved their NZ Rugby hats – and are in NZ for 10 days for the World Cup – first up – Pierre Gaillard – we tasted (almost) everything ….

  • Pierre Gaillard Le Cairn Faugeres 2010
  • Domaine Madeloc Callioure 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Saint Joseph 2010
  • Pierre Gaillard Viognier VDP 2010
  • Pierre Gaillard Cote du Rhone Gendrines 2010
  • Pierre Gaillard Condrieu 2010
  • Pierre Gaillard L Octroi 2010
  • Jeanne Gaillard Rose VSP
  • Madeloc Rose 2010
  • Domaine Cottebrune Faugeres 2010
  • Jeanne Gaillard Syrah 2010
  • Pierre Gaillard Syarh La dermiere Vigne 2010
  • Jeanne Gaillard Merlot VSP
  • Pierre Gaillard Crozes Hermitage 2010
  • Jeanne Gaillard La Reliue Saint Joseph 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard St Joseph 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Clos du Cumille 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Les Pierre Saint Joseph 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Cornas 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard A Siaticus 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Cote Rotie 2009
  • Pierre Gaillard Rose Purpure Cote Rotie 2009
  • Domaine Cottebrune Faugeres 2009
  • Asphodeiles Banyulys Sweet wine 2010
  • Terre Mer
  • Domaine Madeloc Solera

Next to the talented northern Rhone producer – Yves Cuilleron

  • Yves Cuilleron Marsanne VDP
  • Yves Cuilleron Roussane VDP
  • Yves Cuilleron Viognier VDP
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Lyseras 2010
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Le Lombard 2010
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Saint Pierre 2010
  • Yves Cuilleron Condrieu La petit Cote 2010
  • Yves Cuilleron Condrieu le Chaillets 2010
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Les Pierre 2009
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph L’Ambrybelle 2009
  • Yves Cuilleron Saint Joseph Le Serrines 2009
  • Yves Cuilleron Cornas Le Vines 2009
  • Yves Cuilleron Cote Rotie Basseron
  • Yves Cuilleron Cote Rotie Terres Sombres 2009

Next to taste the brilliant bio dynamic wines of Josmeyer;

  • Josmeyer Pinot Blanc 2010 – so fresh and clean
  • Josmeyer Riesling Les Pierrets 2007 – what a vintage
  • Josmeyer Riesling Brand Grand Cru 2009
  • Josmeyer Riesling Hengst Grand Cru 2009
  • Josmeyer Pinot Gris Foundation 2008
  • Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Les Archets 2007

Almost enough wine? Not quite – after another meeting, off to catch up with our good friend Sophia from Quinta de la Rosa and Jorge, her talented winemaker over dinner;

The dinner was held at Chateau Pichon Baron in Pauillac, the event was kindly put together by Christian Seeley from AXA, who manage Quinta do Noval in the Duero. He had gathered together about 20 top producers from the Duero at Pichon for unique experience during Vin Expo. When we arrived we were guided into one of the barrel halls at Pichon to first taste the 2008 wines from the producers. Wow, what an experience, we worked our way around the room, the Quinta de La Rosa wines displayed wonderful finesse along with the inherent power of this region. Jorge’s own wines under the label Poeira were also superb. We were treated to the 100% Touriga Nacional wines from Quinta do Noval and Churchills as well. After the tasting we headed upstairs and into the garden for pre dinner drinks, these consisted of the white wines and rose from all the producers. Tables were set around the edge of the garden at the rear of Pichon, all laden with food. There was a delightful collection of Portuguese delicacies – cured meats, fish and almonds to start. About 10.30pm, we were shown the way to a large marquee in the gardens for dinner; it was a very hot day and lovely to be sitting outside. The meal was a traditional Portuguese dish, that Jorge felt had been prepared with a French twist. It was a goat casserole with white beans, garlic and truffle.

Alongside dinner we had Quinta de la Rosa 2004 Reserve from Magnum and a selection of older wines from the producers present. For dessert we had an Almond tart, served alongside was a selection of ports from Quinta de la Rosa. The two Colheita were then served – 1997 – from Quinta de la Rosa and Quinta do Noval – a bold move from Sophia to present her 1997 for direct comparison. It was a far match; the pricing of the wines is worlds apart, the quality, quite close. Around midnight, our bus collected us and took up for the hour and half long ride back to Bordeaux –whilst staying awake was the aim, the jet lag started to kick in.

So that’s a quick snap shot of what Vin Expo entailed for us on day two – just a few more to go ……………

It’s great fun, this is the part of the job I love, tasting wine and talking to friends about wine.