Younger generation injects breath of fresh air

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 May, 2012, 12:00am


Bordeaux, defined by the classification system of 1855, is a region associated with history and tradition, and most of the world's most expensive wines. A bunch of young Bordelais, however, are attempting to inject a breath of fresh air into the region, and they go under the collective name of Bordeaux Oxygene.

The organisation was set up in 2005 by Benoit Trocard of Clos Dubreuil (St-Emilion Grand Cru Classe) and Clos de la Vieille (Pomerol); and Alice Cathair-Tourbiert and Jerome Tourbier of Ch?teau Smith Haut Lafitte (Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe); and the hotel-restaurant-spa Les Sources de Caudalie.

Today, it is a diverse group, ranging from those with properties in prestigious appellations, such as Pomerol, to the classified growths of the Medoc, and those in lesser-known appellations such as Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux. In addition to quality, they are committed to notions of dynamism, conviviality and freedom. 'Most of us met and wove friendships on the university benches, attending the classes of DUAD (tasting ability diploma) or at the Bordeaux University's Institute of Oenology,' says Sylvie Courselle of Ch?teau Thieuley (Bordeaux Superieur) and Clos Sainte Anne (Premieres C?tes de Bordeaux), who acts as a sort of vice-president of the group.

'There are more than 5,000 chateaux in Bordeaux, and groups like ours are the ones that help the region to look a bit younger and approachable,' says Basile Tesseron, of Ch?teau Lafon-Rochet, third growth of St-Estephe.

Jean-Christophe Mau, who purchased Chateau Brown in Pessac-Leognan as recently as 2004, likes the new discoveries that the group offers, exchanging ideas on the technical side, and the opportunities for tasting together. He also embraces the youth of the members. 'This group is the initiative of a young generation of Bordeaux, which is quite uncommon, especially within the fine wine sector.' This, he says, helps create a more casual way of promoting wine, to make it readily accessible to a broader market.

'It is a way to share our passion,' concludes Juliette Becot of Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot, Premier Grand Cru Classe of St-Emilion. 'To give another image of Bordeaux wine which is serious - but welcome and friendly.'

Several Bordeaux Oxygene members will be present at VINEXPO Asia-Pacific 2012, either on their negociant stands or at group tastings such as the Union des Grands Crus and the Cercle Rive Droite.