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08 Bordeaux 'a mixed bag'

Published:  08 April, 2009

Berry Bros has drawn up a list of 42 wines from the 2008 Bordeaux vintage that it will offer to customers - subject to agreements on price.

But the fine wine merchant has confirmed that it has no plans to buy stock for the future, at least until sterling recovers against the Euro.

Berry Bros had already expressed fears that the en primeur market could grind to a halt unless chateaux agreed to drastic price cuts.

After six days of tasting the 2008s, sales director Simon Staples said the Berry Bros team had concluded that it was a mixed bag in terms of quality.

"It's not a Right Bank or a Left Bank year," he said, "nor a Cabernet or Merlot vintage.

"It has all come down to which chateaux had the nerve and skill to let their grapes sit on the vine longer and absorb all that wonderful Indian summer sun."

Staples added that the 2008 vintage was like no other.

"Some of the wines tasted have the cool precision of 2002 but with the puppy fat of 2004 and mineral excitement of 2006.

"At the cheaper end of the market, where the money wasn't spent in the vineyards, or there was reluctance to make that selection, the wines are really mean and will make the selection of Petits Chateaux even harder than usual in a few years' time."

The Berry Bros team's top selections included Chateau du Tertre, Chateau d'Angludet
and Chateau d'Armailhac.