Bordeaux Tasting Trip 2- Day Two

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April 19th 2011

Two eggs, yoghurt, croissant, orange juice, tea, then… Dame and Ch Montrose- wines of great power with concentrated fruit and huge tannins. These wines are burly and for the very long term. Into the sunshine, two minutes in the car and into Ch Cos d Estournel. Pagodes has a wonderful perfume and perfect balance- a wine of finesse and elegance but with underlying power-really fun to taste. Cos is fabulous, dark, creamy exotic fruit, lots of freshness and pure velvet on the palate- a really beautiful Cos.

Next we hit Lafite- what a wonderful line up- Carruades, Duhart Milon, Lafite, l’Evangile and Rieussec. The Carruades is sexy with dark ripe fruit and lovely sweetness on the palate. I was expecting a taughter Carruades and was surprised by its openness. Duhart is darker with a velvety mouthfeel. It isn’t pretty like Carruades but has beautiful balance. Lafite is very dense, silky with superb finesse and is surprisingly elegant yet with a huge underlying power. This will evolve into something special. Now, Evangile really really impressed me. One mustn’t be seduced by the exuberant Merlot after the Cabernet based wines, but WOW, Evangile really is a fantastic wine in its own right. It is exotic, opulent, luscious with creamy fruit yet retains all the freshness- KEY. Its mouthfeel is so delicious. It’s only 10am and half the sample never made it into the spitoon. Oh well.

Next, we arrived at Ch. Latour. There were three wines- Pauillac, Forts and the Grand Vin. One thing is certain: the sheer class of all three is noted at the first sniff of each glass. The Pauillac is rich, vibrant and has fabulous elegance. You can taste the terroir. These 3 wines are tighter and more obviously powerful than those tasted at Lafite. The Forts is the best he has ever made and yes, it is quite brilliant. Such a harmonious wine; very grown up. Ch. Latour is quite hard to put into words. Brilliant springs to mind. It was very dark and very concentrated; silky with a solid core of fruit; very masculine; very big; fresh; with layers of flavour- it is SO delicious. There was perfect harmony between the tannin, acid and fruit. Perfect. The finish is rammed with classy, classy fruit. This is for the very long term!! Corr, I feel good!

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Just arrived at Leoville Barton; quick pause; sun is shining; spirits are high. “˜Very different to 2009, these 2010s are much more terroir driven and it is the Cabernet Sauvignon based wines that have really excelled,’ noted from Paul Pontellier at Ch Margaux.

Langoa has a creamy vibrant redder fruit. As always, it exudes finesse, cool fruit- a pretty wine. Leoville is darker with a touch of the exotic. It is pure velvet in the mouth, it dances, it’s a fun wine; an interesting wine. This will be glorious.

Lunch in Lillian Barton’s house with her family was more than a triumph. It was such an honour to be there and talk about fine wine, home grown asparagus, wine making and … we drank a fantastic Chinon from the Loire made by Lillian’s daughter, Melanie’s boyfriend, followed by a “˜99 Leoville and “˜98 Langoa. It was one of those lunches that you don’t want to end.

Next we hit Leoville Poyferre. They make a wine called Le Crock, a St Estephe. Tthis is one of the great value wines of the 2010 vintage. An excellent wine, one that should be bought in large formats and drunk in spades. Leoville Poyferre is my wine of the day, keeping some sort of value in mind. It’s 5 pm and am quite tired but am poised with a very black mouth!!

Mouton Rothschild was a pleasure. We tasted Petit Mouton, Armailhac, Clerc Milon and the grand Vin Mouton at the Château. D’Armailhac is fabulous- beautiful, cool, vibrant fruit. The wine is profound. It is sexy and importantly, it is exciting- really exciting. Mouton is polished- very perfect- Mouton lovers will adore this wine. There is so much intensity and puissance… But my mind can’t quite get over the tour de force that is Ch Margaux…
We arrived at Pichon Lalande at 5.45. I don’t always love Pichon Lalande En Primeur, but I loved the 2010- it’s so seductive, it’s fresh and the fruit is cool. This is a proper Bordeaux vintage and some Châteaux, not all, have made wines that will become magnificent bottles.

Now I am enjoying a freezing pression.

Mouth still black.

J