Monday, October 23, 2017

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017

I just received today this amazing book I bought online titled "Le Vignoble Girondin" by Germain Lafforgue, 1st edition from 1947, numbered 295 out of the 910 exemplaries published then. In superb condition I must say for a 1st edition of 1947.

I discovered this book while doing a few researches online for my post titled "Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same...."  (read it here) where I mentioned the unvaluable "Geologic Map of the Gironde Soils" contained in that book.

I cannot express or hide my joy and pleasure to now possess such a treasure, more especially for someone passionate about vineyard's soils, subsoils, topography and geology like me.

Here are a few pictures of this book (that all Bordeaux and other wine lovers should have on the shelve of their wine library) and more especially the Geologic Map just to give you "le vin a la bouche" (meaning to make your mouth watering with wine...  wine and vineyard knowledge that is 😉😊)

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Table des Matières

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Table des Illustrations and Héliogravures

There is even the original letter from the editor.... amazing

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Original Editor's Letter

And of course, the treasure inside, the cherry on the cake, there is the unfoldable map divided in 2 parts: The Gironde vineyards Map and Gironde Soils Geologic Map..... Love it.

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Vineyards Map of the Gironde Region

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Geologic Map of the Gironde Region

It is a great book of invaluable facts and data known at that time back in 1946-1947 about the wines, vineyards, soils, subsoils, geology and topography of the Gironde Region (Bordeaux), facts and data that are still relevant to this day for the most part. That's what makes that book invaluable in my opinion. I may be wrong but reading the knowledge of the old and wise is always a source of enlightenment to me. The old and wise were not always right, but if so why are we always going to the ancient methods and traditions (i.e. Organic and Biodynamic)?

A big Thank you to Denis, the person who sold it to me, the bookseller of a library called
"La Belle Page", located at Prades-Le-Lez (34730), a village situated north of Montpellier (Hérault), in the Languedoc-Roussillon in France. He packed the book the old way, in newspaper, which i appreciated very much as it reminds me of my grandfather and how he used to pack all sort of things back when I was a kid growing up surrounded by vineyards in the Côtes de Bourg

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Packed like the old days with newspaper

"Le Vignoble Girondin" de Germain Lafforgue 1947 - ©LeDomduVin 2017
Just unpacked - Nearly pristine condition

Voilà, hope you like it as much as I do and you know what's left for you to do if you are curious enough, go buy the book, it is definitely worth it if you can find it.


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bottle Dimensions

Bottle Dimensions

In order to design and order custom-made Gift boxes and Shipping boxes for the company, my management asked me to provide them with bottle dimensions. 

As always, I first browsed around the Internet via Google and found a countless amount of websites talking about bottle's volumes/sizes and their respective names (and their respective ratio of 750ml contained per volume) like within the following table, but rare were the ones really specifically detailing bottle dimensions. 

Bottle Sizes and Names Chart compiled by LeDomduVin 2017

Therefore, I decided to write this post for those of you who might be in need for detailed information on bottles dimensions (height, Overall Width, Neck top, Neck Height, Shoulder width, Bottle body height, bottom of the bottle, etc...) and to create a table based on measurements of actual standard bottles of different formats from various regions that we have in our cellars.

In fact, quite a few websites are showing you pictures of different bottles with or without dimensions, but not detailed enough, and other websites are too technical and do not necessarily offer a listing of the dimensions like in my table below (easy to see at one glance rather than to have to browse around various pictures or web pages).     

So as usual, unsatisfied by my search results, I decided to take the measurements of the bottles that I had on hand at the office and in our cellars and created the following easy to read "Bottle Dimensions" table. 

I decided to post it on my blog as I think it that, maybe, it could be useful for some of you in need of these kinds of details. 

You see, I always go by the principle that if I'm looking for something and can not find it on the Internet, then at least one person in the world must have the same issue as me and thus, for this particular subject of Bottle Dimensions (measurements of sizes and formats), might be interested to find the kind of detailed table I did below.

So here it is. 

Bottles Dimensions

Wine Bottle Parts © LeDomduVin 2017

In my "Bottle Dimensions" table below, you will notice a few things:
  • The measurements are mostly "ranges" due to bottle dimensions variations, as I could not create a table for each unique specific bottle (which could prove impossible as there are so many shapes and forms and sizes of wine bottles). Therefore, the variations ranges apply to the most common bottles found in the market. So called "standard" bottles.  
  • There is no measurement for the "shoulder" as, (like for the human body 😉), it is difficult to really define where the "Neck" stop and where the "Shoulder" begin... it is a grey area, so I leave it up to you to decide and be the judge of that....
  • Consequently, the measurements of the bottle "Body" are approximate and may vary depending on your own judgment, yet it is roughly measured from the bottom "Shoulder" to the bottom of the bottle.    

Bottle Dimensions and Sizes measured by LeDomduVin © 2017

NB: I will continue to measure some of the bottle size missing and update that table as soon as possible (work still in progress) 

I took a few pictures this afternoon while measuring the bottles at the office and in one of our cellars to show you the bottle's shapes and sizes differences .

750 ml Bottles of various shapes ©LeDomduVin2017

DRC Romanee Conti 750ml ©LeDomduVin2017

Paul Jaboulet Hermitage 750ml ©LeDomduVin 2017

Petrus 1961 750ml and Magnum and Gruaud Larose 5 liters and 6 Liters ©LeDomduVin 2017

Guigal Ex-Voto 750ml and Chapoutier ermitage Le Pavillon 3 Liters ©LeDomduVin 2017

Yquem 375ml and 5 Liters ©LeDomduVin 2017

Voila... Hope it will maybe help some you. 


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noel

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

Bordeaux is not only two banks
and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

As a French, born in Bordeaux, and grandson of a winemaker from the Côtes de Bourg, as well as being a certified Sommelier opening, preparing, pouring and tasting Bordeaux wines for more than 25 years, I feel the need to put my fist on the table and remind people that Bordeaux is not only two banks and not all Bordeaux wines taste the same....

One can not reduce Bordeaux to only two banks and one can not say that all the Bordeaux have the same taste or taste alike, yet it is unfortunately the view of a majority of people in the world: Bordeaux is 2 banks only and both banks wines roughly taste the same…

Under that perspective, just imagine what a Bordeaux Wine Regions map could look like....

For a majority of people in the world Bordeaux is  2 banks only and both banks’ wines taste roughly the same…  Original Bordeaux Wine Regions Map courtesy of DUCLOT Revisited by LeDomduVin
For a majority of people in the world Bordeaux is 
2 banks only and both banks’ wines taste roughly the same… 
Original Bordeaux Wine Regions Map courtesy of DUCLOT
Revisited by LeDomduVin

This normally pristine Bordeaux Wine Regions Map produced for DUCLOT LA VINICOLE is of course a metaphor translating the concept of "Bordeaux is 2 Banks only"... a scary metaphor in my opinion... moreover being the vision of the majority of people in the world.

In reply to a comment on Facebook to a recent article from the newspaper "Le Monde" on the "Flying Winemaker" a.k.a. "the Wine Guru" Michel Rolland (which I posted earlier today on Facebook - read the article here) roughly saying:

"All Bordeaux have the same taste and even experts have difficulty in defining the right bank and the left bank as all Bordeaux wines taste alike."

I replied that it is quite exaggerating and exasperating to think or say such kind of things as Bordeaux is so much more complex and far more diversified than just "2 banks only and all wines taste alike", for the following reasons:

More than 9800 wine estates in Bordeaux

    • including 6 700 winegrowers 
    • including 3,775 declared or registered as private cellars "Châteaux" 
    • plus about 2,950 cooperators from 42 cooperative wineries 
    • producing more than 10,000 different wines 

Map of the Graves and Sauternes courtesy of

Right Bank Map courtesy of

Spread over 57 Appellations d'Origine Controlée (AOC)

Bordeaux Appellations Map courtesy of "Vins de Bordeaux"

Bordeaux Appellations (in Alphabetical order)

    • Barsac
    • Blaye
    • Bordeaux
    • Bordeaux Clairet
    • Bordeaux Côtes de Francs
    • Bordeaux Moelleux
    • Bordeaux Rosé
    • Bordeaux Supérieur
    • Bordeaux-Haut-Benauge
    • Cadillac
    • Canon Fronsac
    • Cérons
    • Côtes de Bordeaux-Saint-Macaire
    • Côtes de Bourg
    • Côtes de Castillon
    • Crémant de Bordeaux
    • Entre-Deux-Mers
    • Entre-Deux-Mers-Haut-Benauge
    • Fronsac
    • Graves
    • Graves de Vayres
    • Graves Supérieures
    • Haut-Médoc
    • Listrac-Médoc
    • Loupiac
    • Margaux
    • Médoc
    • Moulis-en-Médoc
    • Pauillac
    • Pessac-Léognan
    • Pomerol
    • Premières Côtes de Blaye
    • Premières Côtes de Bordeaux
    • Sainte-Croix-du-Mont
    • Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux
    • Saint-Emilion
    • Saint-Estèphe
    • Saint-Julien
    • Sauternes

Each appellation with its own particular "Terroir"  

    • Soils and Subsoils types (Geology)
    • Climate and Microclimate
    • Environment (river, lake, residential or industrial proximity)
    • Reliefs (Topography)
    • Fauna and Flora (Animals, Insects, Plants, Trees, etc..) 
"Carte Géologique du Vignoble Girondin"
from Germain Lafforgue book "Le Vignoble Girondin"
Edition Louis Larmat 1947

NB: this map is a very valuable proof of the diversity of the soils and subsoils of the vineyard of Bordeaux. I acquired the book and will soon this picture of the map by a better one, easier to read.

Carte des Sols Dominants de France - Map Courtesy of INRA

As you can see the predominant soils type of Bordeaux are

    • Left Bank: Gravelly, Clay, Sandy soils with Calcareous parts and patches
    • Right Bank: Calcareous, Clay, Gravelly soils with Sandy parts and patches
    • Entre-Deux-Mers: Clay, Gravelly soils with Sandy parts and patches

The diversity of Bordeaux soils and subsoils accounts greatly in the resulting wines too.

Le bassin sédimentaire aquitain (Image de J Fanet)

Providing each wine its own particularity and personality

    • Light
    • Fresh
    • Rich
    • Complex
    • Dry
    • Fruity
    • Ripe
    • Sweet
    • Young
    • Mature
    • Old
    • Short
    • Long
    • Tannic
    • Acidic
    • Balanced
    • Texture
    • Structure
    • Ready
    • Can Wait
    • Organic
    • Biodynamic
    • Lutte Raisonnée
    • Natural
    • Treated or not
    • Etc, etc, etc.... 

Crafted with various grape varieties 

of which the % differ on the blend depending on the appellation of production

    •  Red / Rosé
      • Cabernet Sauvignon 
      • Merlot 
      • Cabernet Franc 
      • Malbec
      • Petit Verdot
      • Carmenère
    • White - Dry / Sweet / Sparkling
      • Sauvignon Blanc
      • Semillon
      • Muscadelle
      • Sauvignon Gris

NB: Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Merlot Blanc can also be found in Bordeaux

Producing wines of all styles and colors 

Wines of all colors

Wines of all styles

And finally, atop the reasons already cited above (Appellations, Terroirs and Grape Varieties), the wines of Bordeaux also differ from one another (like any other wines in the world) due to the age of the vines, the weather, the quality of the vintage, the environment, the vinification techniques used, the ageing process (concrete vats, stainless steel vats, used oak or new oak barrels,etc..), the final blend, and so much more.. not to forget also the winemaker style, the desired wine to be produced, the effect of culture, traditions and the level of expertise on the perception of the wine intrinsic qualities and dimensions.

This list is nonexhaustive and so many other things could be added, yet that's a lot of reasons and diversities that explain quite obviously why it is impossible for all the Bordeaux Wines to taste the same!!!

Unfortunately, the public and many of the so-called "experts" and "critics" only know, recognize, reward and/or promote (at the most) the top of 500 to 600 Châteaux (history, ranking, awards, notoriety, marketing, etc. ..) and altogether reduce Bordeaux to two banks only, without taking into account the many differences (and other influential factors) of the of the wines produced in the 57 AOC of this beautiful region of Bordeaux

The comment cited above made on Facebook in response to "Le Monde" article is in my opinion the perfect example of the mass with a narrow, critical and reducing mind and spirit, and it is offensive in the eyes of all the other Bordeaux producers who are trying to change that image of "Bordeaux is 2 banks only and all wines taste alike".

Do you agree? Or do you also think that all Bordeaux are similar and that there are only two banks?


LeDomduVin a.k.a Dominique Noël