Cover image for Noble rot : a Bordeaux wine revolution
Noble rot : a Bordeaux wine revolution
Echikson, William.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., [2004]

Physical Description:
302 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Map of Bordeaux -- Millennium madness -- Broker business -- The Rothschild revolution -- Parker power -- Sweet injustice -- Right Bank revenge -- Luxury on the block -- Riding the new wave -- A garage dinner -- Paysan promises -- Battle royal -- Harvest hurdles -- Cellar time -- Report card -- Reality check.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD9382.7.B6 E24 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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For wine lovers the world over, Bordeaux is the center of the universe. But in the past two decades, revolutionaries have stormed its traditional bastions, making their mark--and their fortunes--modernizing the production and marketing of wine. Noble Rot introduces us to the figures who epitomize the changes sweeping Bordeaux--the noble family behind Château d'Yquem; a stonemason turned winemaker whose wine, made in a garage, sells for $100 a bott≤ the Maryland-based critic Robert Parker, whose opinion routinely makes or breaks a wi≠ the New World operations that have used branding to undercut Bordeaux's supremacy--and delves into the mysteries of the legendary classification of 1855.

Author Notes

William Echikson, author of Burgundy Stars, is the Brussels bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires and a wine columnist for Wall Street Journal Europe

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In vino veritas. Yet as Echikson (Burgundy Stars) shows in this entertaining journey through Bordeaux's wine-making landscape, the truth of wine is also highly subjective and subject to change. Bordeaux has long epitomized fine wine. In 1662, Echikson relates, the English diarist Samuel Pepys described "a sort of French wine called Ho Bryan that hath a good and most particular taste...." This Haut-Brion was the first Bordeaux wine; it would soon join a handful of other chateaux that became the coveted "first growths." Indeed, Thomas Jefferson noted there were "four vineyards of first quality": Margaux, Latour, Lafite and Haut-Brion. After a rigid classification system was imposed in 1855, it seemed likely that the French reverence for tradition would make "innovative Bordeaux" an oxymoron. Over the last several decades, however, some revolutionary "garagistes" (garage wine makers) have begun using new growing and wine-making techniques to show the world that less than perfect land and less than blue blood can yield extraordinary wines. Echikson, a wine columnist for Wall Street Journal Europe, profiles merchants, brokers, enologists and the most influential wine critic in the world, the American Robert Parker. The title comes from Chateau d' Yquem, the maker of a legendary sauterne ("noble rot" has to do with allowing grapes to begin to rot on the wine to achieve concentration and sweetness). Oenophiles will come away from this lively account with a sense of how globalization and economics have challenged the rot and created ferment and growth in ancient Bordeaux. 23 illus. Agent, Michelle Tessler. (May) Forecast: Bordeaux is the world's wine capital, and few books have covered it as accessibly as Echikson does. The author's connection to WSJ Europe and his status as Brussels bureau chief for Dow Jones Newswires will help his book get media coverage. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

At first glance, a book about wine and winemaking in Bordeaux may seem too specialized to engage all but the most sophisticated oenophiles. Yet Echikson (Burgundy Stars: A Year in the Life of a Great French Restaurant), a wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal Europe, has written a thoroughly engrossing account of how tradition-ridden Bordeaux has been transformed by new money, modern technology, and international tastes. He deftly describes the personalities and events that triggered these changes and, ultimately, enhanced Bordeaux's reputation for producing outstanding wines. A key factor is the successful challenge to the French government's 1855 classification that determined whose wines were of higher quality and, accordingly, commanded higher prices. Then there are the garagistes (winemakers often literally working out of garages), who experiment with innovative techniques to create more flavorful, fruity wines. Another element, Echikson notes, is wine critic Robert Parker's 100-point rating system, which revolutionized the way wines are judged. And, finally, many traditional estates hit hard by inheritance taxes and economic necessity passed out of family hands. A fine addition to larger public libraries and wine collections.-Andrea Dietze, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Map of Bordeauxp. 10
Prefacep. 11
1. Millennium Madnessp. 21
2. Broker Businessp. 54
3. The Rothschild Revolutionp. 77
4. Parker Powerp. 89
5. Sweet Injusticep. 111
6. Right Bank Revengep. 135
7. Luxury on the Blockp. 153
8. Riding the New Wavep. 164
9. A Garage Dinnerp. 184
10. Paysan Promisesp. 195
11. Battle Royalp. 218
12. Harvest Hurdlesp. 230
13. Cellar Timep. 243
14. Report Cardp. 263
15. Reality Checkp. 276
Acknowledgmentsp. 293
Indexp. 295