Wine Press Release Disses Vintage

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before.

A wine critic and consultant has issued a press release to announce that others in the wine media are now coming around to his way of thinking regarding the 1996 Burgundy vintage; in particular, that it wasn’t nearly as good as it was originally declared to be and its wines are dying.

The release was issued today via PRweb by Thierry Paul Leroux, a wine consultant and proprietor of The focus of the press release, essentially that Mr. Leroux was right and others were wrong, about a particular vintage, is the sort of "inside baseball" you don’t often see discussed in a press release concerning the wine industry. And while I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad way for Mr. Leroux to promote his consulting business and his website, I can’t help but think there’s even more going on behind the scenes. You get the impression Leroux is raising his voice via a press release in some sort of a squabble most people don’t know about. But I can’t be sure.

The most telling line in the press release is this one:

"Most wine critics, however, are sticking to their guns, refusing to
admit what is now obvious: they were wrong about the quality of the1996
Burgundies and, overall, the vintage does not have the cellaring
potential they announced early on."

I don’t know which critics Mr. Leroux is talking about but I can guarantee has someone or some two specifically in mind.

But the most interesting line in the press release is this one:

"Thierry Paul Leroux’s explanation of why the vintage was overrated rests
on the fact that most critics today focus too much on primary aromas,
on “the fruit” or “the flesh” and do not take into account the ageing
potential of wines. After a few years, when the wines lose their flesh,
sometimes only bones remain and this is exactly what is happening to
the 1996 Burgundies."

He is right, of course.

The fact is, is a very interesting site. Leroux’s commentary page is filled with very good, very personal commentary mainly on European wines.

Posted In: Rating Wine


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