Category Archives: Chateau Bauduc

Bordeaux 2018 – an independent guide. April review

It’s Bordeaux en primeur time and 2018 is actually a vintage to get quite enthusiastic about. There hasn’t been such a great year since, erm, 2016.

The fine wine world descended on the region earlier in April and, along with thousands from the global trade and scores of journalists and critics, Gavin tasted hundreds of barrel samples.

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March review

Good Lord. The 29th of March 2019 already.

Now we’re into time added on – what in football we used to call injury time – we still don’t have an answer to the most popular question from visitors in the last two and three quarter years – ‘how will Brexit affect you?’ As Brits in France, exporters to the UK from the EU, and as importers in the UK, we’ll put some answers on a postcard in due course, once we’ve got a stronger indication as to where we’re headed.

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Q1 in the vineyard – in pictures

The start of the year might seem like a quiet time yet there is so much to be done. We don’t host tours and tastings at Château Bauduc until April, so we have fewer visitors, but along with the bottling and other important tasks in and around the winery, there’s the winter pruning and preparation of the vines for the season ahead. Here’a an album of pics of the pruning, removal of old branches and the tying down of new ones.

With this photo gallery, you can tap, touch or click on a photo to enlarge it and for a description, then use the < arrows > to scroll through. Then use the X (top left) to exit.

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February review – No posing please and other tosh

What a month. 23°C yesterday afternoon here and who’d have thought we’d need refrigerated trucks to transport our stock around in February.

Not really, but we have been busy with shifting the new vintages of our wines. The complete series is available for delivery in the UK.

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January review – The Bauduc backstop and UK duty up


Sorry to use the ugly b-word in the subject line but we thought we should let you know that we have a plan B and, all being well, this one is deliverable.

‘They are bottling early this year at Château Bauduc’ writes Jon Henley in the Guardian early next week, so our plan isn’t quite so cunning that we have to keep it a secret. We simply aim to get as much of our new wine over to our bonded warehouse near London before the Ides of March, and a considerable stash to our collection point near Calais much sooner.

Duty on wine in the UK goes up tomorrow, 1 February. More on that below but it’s one reason our new season offer will include the option of UK delivery or Calais collection – for those that want to swerve the new UK duty rate of £32 for 12, or more than £40 for a dozen sparkling.

Everything could turn out fine but, just to be sure, we’re getting a wiggle on.

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Bauduc Plan B in The Guardian

It was a pleasure to welcome Jon Henley, The Guardian’s European affairs correspondent, to Bauduc last week. He was on a mission to find out more about the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit on Bordeaux wines, and his piece is scheduled to be in the paper early next week. Do look out for it – we’ll mention it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – and we’ll link to the online version here when it’s available. (Update – it’s online here.) Keep reading

New highs with Bordeaux 2018 – and UK duty: October review


This month’s exciting review covers the Bordeaux 2018 vintage and how the weather impacted on the harvest. Below is a cutdown version of a longer article that Gavin has just put together for Jancis Robinson’s website and for Liv-ex (the London International Vintners’ Exchange).

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September review – the sunshine harvest


This month has seen our twentieth harvest at Bauduc. We took over the grapes that were on the vines when we arrived at the start of September 1999, so we haven’t quite clocked up 20 years, but the 2018 vintage is still a (frightening) milestone. Daniel was already here, and he still has no grey hairs, while Nelly joined us as a trainee. Pictured below, they’ve both put up with us ever since. Meanwhile, Michel, above, and better known as known as Papi, had already retired back then yet he’s volunteered to help in each and every harvest, and at 85 is still going strong. There’s hope for us all yet.

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Véraison – 16 grape varieties changing colour

Every stage of the grapes’ development is fascinating to some of us but August is the month when most of the bunches change colour (véraison) in Bordeaux, so you really get a visual perspective on how the different varieties perform.

As well as the Bordeaux varieties, we have some non-Bordeaux grapes too, planted around ten years ago as an experiment. Most visitors have little idea that we’re restricted to growing only certain types of grapes, but that’s the same for all protected ‘appellations’ in France: should we wish to make wine with non-Bordeaux grapes, like Syrah or Chardonnay, this would have to be under the basic Vin de France label. (Only a tiny fraction of wine from the Gironde is Vin de France, the rest ‘Bordeaux’ or one of its 60-odd appellations.)

This is a long post below with several photos of each variety, and you certainly don’t need to know all about this stuff to enjoy a glass or two of wine. However, to give you a picture of how different grapes ripen at different times, here are several reds in the same block, taken on the same mid-August day:

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