First Growths are Revealed to the Team

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April 2nd 2008

Tuesday am we check out of our hotel and head to Ch Latour, this is very impressive to visit, slick tasting room, and wines were great, “majestic” even. Next Lafite, harder to taste, then Talbot which was lovely. Then to Ch La Tour Carnet, for the UGC Medoc tasting, very impressive castellated chateau, some “hard work” wines but Poujeaux stood head and shoulders above the rest. Lunch at Le Lion d’Or in St Julien was famous, Basile had kindly sent some bottles of Lafon Rochet in to wash down the excellent lamb, and a blind tasting of Amelia’s Portugese Canto Decimo was huge fun – coffee and the best Canelets in Bordeaux and we were fully charged for our pm tastings – Lynch was good, Beychevelle, Gruaud Larose too but many wines were green and over worked. A visit to Ch Margaux where we enjoyed a brief audience with Corinne Mentzenopoulos and her faithful hound, and also came across Neil Martin and film crew. Lots of mention of Goedhuis and our greatness in close range of the mike! Margaux was lovely and what a treat to have in one’s cellar. Then to a very busy tasting room at Ch d’Issan, one of the oldest properties, moated, and making very good wine at the right price, and love a bit of Gold label. The UGC Margaux tasting at Ch Lascombes next was fun and games – Rauzan Segla, Prieure Lichine, Giscours and Brane Cantenac I enjoyed.

There was plenty of banter with the growers and other tasters whose views alike suggest that it seems unlikely to be a “value” vintage as with a strong euro, reduced yields and the owners being cashed up after previous 2 vintages. The suggestion is they may be happy to sit on stock if it is not snapped up, lets wait and see. Our final tasting of a very busy day was the UGC Sauternes tasting. I love my sweet wines and this is a great vintage, so it was a pleasure to enjoy some great wine from De Fargues, Doisy Daene, Lafaurie Peyraguey, Rabaud Promis, Filhot and Coutet. Time for a super quick check in and change at our very cool hotel, Maison de Bord’eaux, a town house run by the indefatigable Thierry and his wife, which has 7 rooms all individual and quirky. Then Antony Lafarge kindly drives us up to a fine dinner for the Cru Bourgois exceptionnel at the Cordeillan Bages, a 2 Michelin starred establishment; food is a bit fussy, lots of textural challenges, foam, and funny shaped spoons but some lovely wines from Poujeaux 1989, Chasse Spleen 1978 to Ormes de Pez 1990. I sat next to Jean Pierre Foubet the boss of Chasse Spleen and president of the group who was excellent company, and suggested I visit his chateau to crack a bottle of my birth year when next in town. Any of you 1964 babies out there who may be interested, let me know.