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Vol. 29 "Trophy Wines"

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Book of Bertil 28.01


An educated man is unfortunately sometimes unsophisticated. But a sophisticated man, on the other hand, is always well educated.




Man is a subject that fundamentally fascinates me.

In its social evolution over the past five thousand years, man’s projected image of power and success has adapted through the exhibition of various and multiple trophies, according to the times. Like David exhibits the decapitated head of Goliath, Caesar exhibits his superiority by giving his throne to Cleopatra, or Napoleon displays his monuments all-around Paris, effigies of his Oriental conquests, a mark of the accomplishment of a particular action as a proof wrung from the vanquished, which the victor keeps as a mark of his deed. Then the trophy is a reward given to the best of a physical test, and sometimes even the winner gives this trophy himself to secure himself from the uncertainty of his social and monetary superiority. In the evolution of sedentary society, these marks of superiority were transferred to specific objects, such as the size and number of rooms in a house, the size and exposed wealth of a transport vehicle, complexity, wealth, and sartorial exclusivity. But it was with the industrial revolution that these effigies were transformed. By becoming accessible to a greater number, often educated but unfortunately often unsophisticated, trophies become rare and unique goods, which are often hidden, preserved, insured, protected, and displayed only to a chosen and envious elite. This race for trophies has provoked exponential speculation of its monetary value far greater than its qualitative value. This is the case with the bottle of wine since the possession of Aquitaine by the British in 1152 and Robert Parker since 1975.

28.1.1 Wine Trophy

Definition from Winopedia

-A trophy wine is a bottle of wine that is considered a status and wealth symbol for others. The term is often used in a derogatory or derogatory way, implying that the wine in question has little personal merit outside of its appeal for its label, rarity, and requires substantial expense to maintain its appearance, is often unintelligent or unsophisticated, does little but remain attractive, and is somehow synonymous with the term gold digger. A trophy bottle is usually relatively young and attractive, and may be a second, third, or later owned by an older, wealthier subject.

28.1.2 Faith

"Those who make idols are all vanity, and their best works are of no avail; They themselves testify that they have neither sight nor understanding, so that they may be in confusion.

Isaiah 44:9

28.1.3 Again, the fault of the British

When the British took possession of Bordeaux (Aquitaine 1152-1453), they very quickly established quality standards for wines to give them a market value, and this to classify the prices of barrels for export. The more the wine is of remarkable and consistent quality, the higher its purchase price from the producers, which will cause greater demand in the market, and the product will become sought after. The first rules of the market economy will be established.

28.1.4 The consequence after departure

Long after the territorial departure of England from Aquitaine, and this until Napoleon III (1855), the British merchants continued to be the main traders of Bordeaux wines, and for more than four hundred years they imposed the prices of the wines of Bordeaux wine estates in the world. This hunt for Bordeaux trophy wines forced Napoleon III in 1855 to regain control over this foreign speculation, which impacted the price and supply of these wines on French territory and resulted in the loss of direct export taxes (since the wine was bottled in England).



28.2.1 La classification

The classification of Bordeaux wines was born (1855), and with it the awarding of trophies to Vitam Aeternam of the estates that have received the "Exceptional Grand Vin" trophy for eternity. This will govern all the prices of Bordeaux wines. The degressive classification of the Crus Exceptionals to Crus Bourgeois (1932) established the color of the trophies; Gold, Silver, Bronze, or nothing at all.

28.2.2 The Sophisticated

The real treasure hunt for lovers with sophisticated palates was to discover the decommissioned trophies, which through the talent of a new winemaker or a new owner were able to produce exceptional wines at a not speculating price. But to do that, you had to be a sophisticated and well-educated person in the wine world of the time. But as all things must come to an end, the world wine order would change with the arrival of new prestigious players such as Burgundy, Italy, and the United States (Napa). But also, a new class of consumers, less sophisticated but more educated, are seeking to distinguish themselves in this new bourgeois of the nouveau riche. They need a guide, a Guru who will establish the "numerical" value of the wines on a more than personal judgment. And so, the Parkerism was born.


28.2.3 Bobby the God,

           Since his judgment is final and irrevocable.

Suddenly, wine no longer has a soul, no more winemaker identity, no more conversation with its consumer, but just a numerical speculation evaluation. Bobby Parker doesn't evaluate wines for their souls and sensibilities, he doesn't take the time to understand the land and the winemaker, but simply to evaluate the whole of a work based on a technical, linear, and immutable value of a purely technical impression of the wine. So, I now admit without hesitation that Robert Parker is the God of trophy wines, wines exhibited for their notes and not for their souls. It doesn't matter if the bottle speaks to you or not, if you like its content or not, since the importance is to show it off in your trophy cellar, with its numerical score, its exuberant monetary value, and your power as an unsophisticated educated.

28.2.4 Mia Culpa

Wine is not a trophy, like a sports car, a yacht, or a villa, Mr. Parker! Just because it's impressive, powerful, and monolithic doesn't mean it deserves a 100-point on your report card. Wine is not a temple, a cult, a religion, where a single master has the power and supreme right of a Last Judgment.

28.2.5 This is autocracy, Sir.

As for me, Bobby, I believe that wine is democratic, social, full of justice and sensitivity. Wine is the soul of a year, of a winemaker, of a story. Many of your 100-point wines will not survive history and often not even a few years. But it doesn't matter, since your wines have 100 points are not made to be tasted and enjoyed, but simply bought and kept being better idolized as trophies.

28.2.6 True Imagination

Imagine, you consumers of common sense, if tomorrow a Robert Parker of music began to rate works and compositions only on a numerical criterion. "Piano sonata No.11 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart- 52 points", or "Smile by Katy Perry 100 points". Not to mention authors' books, or paintings "Guernica by Pablo Picasso 48 points, or The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 97 points" Really?



Over to you, my dear consumers

So, stop searching and showing off your money by buying wines that don't speak to you. Take the time to taste and discover the ones that suit you, don't copy the others, have fun surprising your friends and yourself with Outsiders wines. Then you will be a true Guru, one who speaks with himself before imposing his own judgment on others.

Welcome to Bonde Fine Wine, where each of you is the Guru of your tribe. And the shop, an Alibaba cellar, full of hidden treasures. As for me, I am not the guardian of these treasures, but only the doorkeeper to serve you.


*Memorandum: My words and opinions in these newsletters are and would always be personal, and I intend to offend. I always accept that others have the full right and duty to challenge me, to argue, and, if it is necessary, excommunicate me from their beliefs (often dull and hollow) because I would act the same way if it were the other way around.