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French Issues


Standard-style Bourdeaux label (left) versus the modern Chateau de Launay

Over the last few years, the problems of France's wine industry in general, and Bordeaux in particular, have been well publicized. In Bordeaux, they're ripping up vines because they can't sell the wine. There's general oversupply, not to mention an incredible disparity between the wealthy chateaus and the lesser ones. As a case in point with this news item that Petrus is going to retail for close to $2,000 a bottle upon release. Other top Bordeaux flies like hotcakes, but then there are the wines that don't sell at all.

I don't have the answer to their problems, but I do like how Chateau de Launay, which has modern looking labels, stands out from the crowd. It’s a wise move because many U.S. consumers are accustomed to partially selecting wine based on the label, and when an entire, enormous region has the same label design, it makes choosing a bottle so vexing that many don't even bother.

Kudos to Chateau de Launay!

(Which by the way is pretty good juice (90% Merlot).)