Vinexpo Finale

Wrap up: buyers pleased with wines tasted and the global wine lovers club.

This year's Vinexpo is at a close. But don't miss the wrap up! And be sure to check out all of our great coverage from the entire event. 


Weather or not


Pouring 1998 Haut-Brion.

Who would have thought that Wine Enthusiast would meet Gary Dourdan in the Graves...and not "Las Vegas?" But why not? Dourdan is a Bordeaux wine lover who doesn't mind a little rain between sips of grand vin any more than the other 1,500 guests invited to the grand ball that ends Vinexpo, the Fête de la Fleur.

Dourdan had the cameras on him at Daniel and Florence Cathiard's Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte but the guest list was impressive enough for the French paparazzi to snap everywhere with abandon. It was right out of a scene-setter in a

Peter and Stella Sichel, wine importers from New York ,with Wine Enthusiast European Editor Roger Voss.
Carol Higgins Clarke novel and she was there, too. Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, journalist and French TV evening anchor was the French hit and heartthrob (he presents nightly news à la Peter Jennings). The titles followed the stars, including Prince Henrik of Denmark (married to the heir to the throne), Prince Robert of Luxembourg (owner of Château Haut-Brion), and Baronne Philippine de Rothschild (owner of Château Mouton Rothschild). Wine Enthusiast publisher Adam Strum was too quick for the camera as he greeted scores of global friends in the lovely gardens of the chateau. The nearly untitled Alan Juppé mayor of Bordeaux, who lost a Senate election last Sunday, drew the biggest applause of the evening, the 20th anniversary of the Pessac-Léognan appellation. Dinner for 1,500 in the Cathiard wine cellar (yes, it's that big) ended with Château Haut-Brion 1998 with cheese and Château d'Yquem 1998 with dessert. Fireworks and dancing continued until the early hours.


Red wine, red robe, is there a connection?


For the intronization of some 40 wine lovers as "honorary commanders" of the global wine lovers club, the Commanderie du Bontemps du Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac, the A list of Bordeaux puts on heavy red velvet robes and in a ceremony mimicking what might have been done a half-millennia ago, calls the honored guests to the podium with a drum roll and asks them to swear to love and promote the wine more or less forever. It's a lot of fun and with cool weather this year, it  was much less painful than in years where the temperatures were above 90 degrees.





At last, real fashion

 Severine Bonnie and friend Corinne Seely

The fête is always a way to see what is happening in the evening dress department. While the chilly weather was said to have caused some last minute dress changes, the variety of styles was great. Wine Enthusiast gave four stars to Corinne Seely, wife of director of Château Pichon Baron in Pauillac for her flower-inspired hoop dress with a slight "stem" hat that captured the vine flowering, fete de la fleur theme of the evening) and to Serena Sutcliffe of auctioneers Sotheby's for her sharp geometric angles and dramatic white hair. Severine Bonnie, one of the Bordeaux Oxygène group whose family owns Château Malartic Lagravière, was with a friend, both in silver and (take note) short dresses.




 Mildew on grapes

The end, and the beginning
The Vinexpo week ended on a calm note with buyers saying they tasted and bought good wine that could be appearing at a store near you by the end of this year. The Bordeaux futures 2006 pricing campaign, on pause during Vinexpo, will resume next week, with prices generally down, but not by enough, on 2005. As with the dinners at Vinexpo, there are some good wines and then there are great wines. The weirdly tropical weather (hot and humid) until midweek has raised the pimples of mildew on grape leaves. So, for the producers, it's back to work (a rather sharp reminder that life in wine is not only pouring and partying, on the off chance you are thinking about planting a vineyard).


Check out all of our Vinexpo 2007 coverage:


Getting ready for Vinexpo

Day 2: Weekend parties and opening day. Also: wine dating, security issues and missing bottles.

Day 3: The Baroness as the ultimate hostess, board game for wannabe vineyard owners

Day 4: The world's most expensive rosé; a gastronomic miracle; 18 wines, 18 chateaus, one barrel

Day 5: Clothes made from cork, haute couture from recycling, and a wine superhero.

Finale: Fête de la Fleur, global wine lovers club and buyers happy with wines tasted.



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