Liv-ex interviews recap: Critics

(Top left to right: Tim Atkin, Antonio Galloni. Bottom: Jane Anson)

This month, the trade and critics have been starting to focus on Bordeaux 2016 as the wines are bottled. Last week, Jane Anson (Decanter) released her 2016 in-bottle scores for the Left Bank and Neal Martin (Vinous) wrote about the vintage’s “value” wines. To coincide with these reviews, we decided to look back at our three most recent interviews with some of the leading critics in the wine trade.

In this interview recap, we summarise the reoccurring themes discussed with Tim Atkin MW, Jane Anson (Decanter) and Antonio Galloni (Vinous). Views on the Bordeaux market, En Primeur and the future of wine constitute some of the topics we have covered with them.

Back in 2016, we had the privilege of talking to Tim Atkin MW. Atkin gradually grew fond of the wine trade as he travelled and met winemakers around the world. He shared that he was initially taken by journalism, and that the wine industry “was very male dominated”, when he embarked on his career.

Jane AnsonDecanter’s Bordeaux correspondent, who we interviewed in May 2017, also commented on the notion of the industry being male-dominated. She reckoned that “success is about sticking at something […] whoever you are”. Like Atkin, Anson was a journalist and editor before becoming a wine writer, though always partial to “drinking and travelling”. She has been living in Bordeaux since 2003. During her time there, Anson has observed a shift in the region towards “more classic wines”, “a rise in interest in sustainability”, and tension between “old and new ways of selling”.

Antonio Galloni, who we interviewed this year as well as in 2013, also shared his thoughts on Bordeaux vintages and the En Primeur system. For him, Bordeaux embodies classicism, which never goes out of style. However, he noted that En Primeur’s pricing needs to be fair, as “vintages don’t live in isolation; they live in context”.

On the topic of Bordeaux, Atkin felt that with a diversified global wine scene, the region had lost some of its power. He remarked that “Bordeaux used to dominate […] like some enormous Himalayan mountain range”, which is “not necessarily true anymore”. Anson also expressed her concerns regarding En Primeur, saying that “chateaux don’t allow enough money into the rest of the system to make the investment of time worthwhile for retailers in […] other parts of the world”.

Stay tuned. We have another recap of interviews lined up this autumn, which will look at some of our conversations with winemakers and chateau owners.

All interviews from this article:

[mc4wp_form id=”18204″]