Code of silence still surrounds Bordeaux producers
There are producers in the Bordeaux region who are real liars that haven't been outed or caught due to a culture of omertà - a code of silence. That's according to Jean-Michel Laporte, director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, who believes barrel manipulation is still very much alive in the region.
“A few producers have been guilty of keeping their best barrels for samples while the majority tasted completely different, but the négociants caught onto it and stopped buying their wine,”
Indeed Bordeaux consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt admitted that the samples he makes from en primeur are different to the final wines that end up in the bottle. Last month, Yann Bouscasse of Château Cantinot admitted that he offers different en primeur barrel samples to different journalists, with US critics James Suckling and Robert Parker getting new barrels while the Revue du Vin de France gets a sample from a second or third use barrel. Meanwhile, Stéphane Derenoncourt admitted that the samples he prepares for primeurs week are different to the final wines that will be bottled.
Laporte admitted that it would be sensible to hold the en primeur tastings a year later than they currently take place, but that it would be difficult to do so as many of the châteaux rely on the money that selling en primeur provides them.