Wine Blog

April 1, 2016

The wine world lost one of its greatest ambassadors this week with the passing of Paul Pontallier the passionate managing director of Ch. Margaux. For the full obituary on Mr. Pontallier see


Just this last Saturday right before leaving work I emailed Paul to ask him, for about the hundredth time, to request a visit to Ch. Margaux for a special customer of mine on his first trip to Bordeaux for his 50th birthday. At the end of that request I wrote…Thank you as always for your consideration. I look very much forward to see you on April 5th at 3:30 to shake your hand and hear you speak about the wine which is always a great pleasure… while I get to taste it!


That is so true! I first met Paul in early April of 1990 on my first visit ever to France and then Bordeaux to evaluate the 1989 vintage for K&L Wine Merchants. To say I was excited is the understatement of the...

July 1, 2015

I often refer to the weather in Bordeaux as turbulent and erratic and this always seems to surprise people. The famous worldwide reputation this region has earned leads people to believe that the weather is always great. The reality is that Bordeaux deals with weather adversity almost every year; this can come in the form of early season frost’s that can kill vines, uneven flowering from rain and wind, blistering and unrelenting summer heat (remember you can’t water your vines in France!), thunder storms and hail that can badly injure vines and rain in September and October that can swell and compromise quality. On the other side of the pond here in California these conditions almost never happen.


2011, 2012 and 2013 all experienced different combinations of these challenging conditions. 2014 started great but a gloomy July and a cold August was cause for great worry; in almo...

November 5, 2014

​​2014 Bordeaux: Just What the Doctor Ordered!


You can rest assured that everyone in the business of wine in Bordeaux France today is breathing a deep sigh of relief and have wide smiles on their faces. The reason is that the 2014 vintage has been harvested in perfect condition and is heading for the fermentation vats.


The 2014 vintage will forever be remembered for being just what the doctor ordered, after the three extremely difficult and small crop weather vintages in 2011, 2012 (no question the best of the 3) and 2013, Bordeaux not only needed a good vintage but an abundant vintage, and 2014 has thankfully delivered on both counts.


The long story short on the weather conditions that framed 2014 is that for the first time in 3 years there was nice spring weather and budburst and flowering were early and the flowering was even and abundant. July and August had below average...

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