Drinks publications and websites have described this year’s Bordeaux en primeur campaign as ‘a bumper one… for journalism at least’.
‘It got off to a slow start, with many journalists struggling to wake up in a cold spring,’ said Morgan Claret-Trouser from the Keep Giving us Bottles (KGB) wine writers’ group. ‘But by the time the chateaux started to release their prices many were in full flow and have managed to keep spouting absolute balls about nothing at all for weeks on end.’
A long, slow campaign, he said, was ‘perfect for allowing terrible copy to get really ripe.’
Right bank vintage
While there was a general lack of anything interesting to say across the board there are, as always with Bordeaux, big variations from one publication to the next.
Some content was fruity and overblown – though likely to prove popular in the US, while other articles were more classically European – dry and unpalatable. The only consistent element was that 99.9% of the world’s population couldn’t have given an Entre-deux-merdes about any of it.
Claret-Trouser described it as ‘a Right Bank vintage.
‘Mainly because, if our writers played their cards Right, they were able to keep taking cheques to the Bank for months.’
Quantity over quality
Seasoned Bordeaux watchers have said that early indications suggest that 2021 is probably ‘more about quantity than quality’, but that this should help publications to stock up websites that had run dry of angles during Covid.
‘Very few of these stories will stand the test of time,’ said Bernard Eauneau, owner of Chateau Discours, ‘But there is always room for simple, one-dimensional stories that are read young.
‘While this year’s crop of reportage might have no body, little structure and not much of a finish either – they all have that classic Bordeaux typicité – scores.’
Meh and Boff
Top articles so far have been Boo Zhack’s polemic (98-points) on why a total lack of headline release prices made this an ‘electrifying’ 2021, and critic Antony Baloney’s lengthy 100-point discussion on the strategies of Chateau Meh and Chateau Boff.
‘One went up from €30 to €31 and one went down from €31 to €30, so there was literally no story,’ said Claret-Trouser. ‘But somehow he managed to fill 1000 words with idle speculation, rhetorical questions, unfounded hyperbole and utterly self-indulgent tasting notes.
‘It was drinks writing at its best.’
‘Our journalists are saying that this is a vintage that is both inconsistent and consistent at the same time,’ said George Wine-Bore, editor of Decanter.
‘Inconsistent in quality, but consistent in the fact that we will all write about it until hell freezes over.
‘Like we do every year.’
Read about the start of Bordeaux’s ‘best en primeur campaign since last year’ here; about Bordeaux kick starting the ‘fine wine space race’ here; and about the region’s exciting new six grape varieties here.