Complete Bordeaux (Mitchell Beazley Wine Library) Hardcover – 15 Oct 2007
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The definitive work on the wines of Bordeaux. Assesses all of the significant wine properties throughout the region - more than 1,000. Includes detailed statistics on the grapes, wines and production for every property featured. Written by one of the world's foremost authoroties on Bordeaux, whose book Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics won the Veuve Clicquot and ICP awards.
About the Author
Stephen Brook is a leading writer on wine and gastronomy. His previous books include Sauternes, The Wines of Germany, and The Wines of California, which won the Prix Lanson, Glenfiddich and Veuve Clicquot awards. He is also the author of Pauillac and Bordeaux: People, Power and Politics, which won the Veuve Clicquot and ICP awards. He revised the lastest edition of Hugh Johnson's Wine Companion.
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Whilst Stephen Brook is not the best known author in the world of fine wine, his recent book is certainly likely to put him irrevocably on the best seller list in this field. Whether read by the novice or professional, the reader cannot help but be informed as never before on the fascination of wine as it is in Bordeaux. Massive, previously unknown detail contains a veritable mine of invaluable information on properties, production methods, vintages and personalities. The seven hundred pages are crammed with interest from beginning to end. The only downside is that the type size is too small for those inclined to short-sightedness. Buy, buy, buy!!
I enjoy his brief notes because they give the reader who is already familiar with the wines on some level a sense of what each vintage is like. If you removed the words "blackcurrant, tobacco, oak, and leather" I think you'd halve Robert Parker's book. Doing so leaves you with more room to read what the author thinks about the chateau as a whole; a sort of comprehensive look back at the vintages tasted with a comparison and contrast between them. Another nice feature is that with the score removed I find myself thinking more about enjoying the wine itself rather than chasing numbers...
I always enjoy comparing the Brook/Coates/Broadbent camp to the tastes of Parker (I'm sorry, it just seems like Jancis Robinson doesn't like anything at all and Tanzer/Wine Spectator strikes me as totally useless). This book is excellent for that purpose and is truly a must-have for anyone who is serious about Bordeaux.
On cellartracker.com as "Englishman's Claret"
Brook also gives you a perspective of some of the inner workings of Bordeaux. He does this without getting snarky like some other writers. He definitely has an opinion of this and also about the chateaux in general, but he's not here to necessarily bash anyone. Not every chateaux is making world class wine when they should and he'll at least let you know that in a professional way.
Granted, the book is somewhat dated at this point, but what wine book isn't after a few years? The general information is still valid. It's not like the region has undergone a radical change in laws or how they make wine. What few legal things that have happened since 2007 aren't critical to the book, and he even talks about some of this (Saint Emilion's Classification being in flux at the time for one example). Those things can easily be found on the 'net. And there will have been some ownership changes, winemaker changes, etc., but again, not like it takes away from the overall information in the book.
If you need to delve deeper into Bordeaux, then this book will deliver.