Thunevin-Calvet Wine Dinner @金門莊, May 27, 2008

Visits: 23

Certainly the most unusal wine dinner for me, but not because of the wine.

Neal Martin writing in had this to say about Jean-Luc Thunevin:

There is no question that for better or for worse, Jean-Luc Thunevin changed the Right Bank, perhaps changed Bordeaux . I only met him briefly during en primeur in 1999, shook his hand ignorant of his identity. When I ask people what he is like, the reply is often a garrulous, “rogueish” man with equal measures of intelligence and guile. Within the conservative Bordeaux establishment he is a maverick who took them on at their own game and came out trumps, his wines garnering points that put many historic properties in the shade. This was from a man with virtually no oenological experience whose vines are planted on quite unremarkable soil.

I walked into this place expecting to witness a theatrical personality who had turned Bordeaux upside down and for this was given the nickname Bad Boy.   

Instead I found a nice, ever-smiling gentleman with a boyish look and a shyness that is a complete opposite of Neal Martin’s portrayal.


He is an enigma to me.  He doesn’t talk much, but he looks elated. 

Because he has people lining up to buy his baby at an outrageous price for the simple reason that Parker scored it a 95? 

I told him I could not understand why people called him Bad Boy, as he is such a gentleman.  He smiled.  I pressed on, and he said: Well, I made wine for the bad boys!

I think I got it now.  This genius works in the fashion business where image, branding and critics’ wows count more than anything else.  Didn’t one recent research say that people tend to think a wine they are offered tastes better when they are told it is expensive? 

Girls snap up their Guccis.  We snap up our Valandrauds.  Especially when it is a limited edition, and absolutely when there’s a good discount. 

Give people what they want: a cardinal principle of democracy.   Didn’t we cast our votes in the last election using the same gut feeling when we bought our last bottle of wine?

Long live democracy.

Thunevin is giggling, loudly.  Got the last laugh.

And before I forget, the food is pretty good.

Who cares if Valandraud is up to first-growth status, when this soup is sure 1er Grand Cru Classe, at almost any price, whatever you call it.


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