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For centuries, Bordeaux has assumed a mythical status in the world of fine wine as a leitmotif of wealth, power and influence, but its prosperity has always been linked to the capricious nature of markets and the shifting fortunes of global economies. Now change is coming to Bordeaux, with traditional customers like the US and the UK falling away, as China's new rich push prices to stratospheric levels. The demand is unprecedented, but the product is finite and this new client wants it all. Will the China market be the bubble that never bursts or the biggest threat yet to Bordeaux's centuries old reputation? Written by
This is an Australian-produced doco, looking at the history of wines from Bordeaux.
It is 75 minutes long.
After 75 minutes, I was aware that they have been making wines in Bordeaux since the Romans brought the vines; that Napoleon III had the wines graded in 1855 and the grades given remain to this day; that conditions come together for a great vintage about every 20 years; that wine is bought as an investment; that Americans have stopped buying it but the Chinese now do; that some French are sniffily xenophobic about dealing with the Chinese and that if the Chinese ever stop buying, the market may collapse.
Those facts took 75 minutes to explain. 75 very long minutes.
Some nice aerial photography. And looking at beautifully designed and constructed French chateaux is always easy on the eye.
The film had a nice, laconic commentary from Russell Crowe whose smoky, tobacco-enhanced voice fitted the subject well.
But it was all just too superficial, too under-researched with not enough of interest to fill the film's time span. Some more history would have been welcome; the Great French Wine Blight of the late 1850s post-dated Napoleon III's gradings didn't the blight make them obsolete? This question wasn't addressed but would seem fundamental to an evaluation of Bordeaux. Still, I'm sure had I gone to France's bucolic beauty spots to research such a film, I too would have been so distracted drinking the stuff I'd have forgotten the reason for the visit.
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