Last night we were lucky enough to be united with Alan Moses for an extremely glamorous dinner and drinks party. We were very spoilt with two perfect clarets – 2009 Pontet Canet- still very youthful but so concentrated and slipped down very easily with boeuf aux shallottes (posh meat on a stick) and 2000 Cheval Blanc – a first for all of us – exceptional and very generous helpings.
Delicious canapé followed delicious canapé – impeccable hosting by Monsieur Moses and the twins. Although we were promised some skinny dipping in the pool, we very sensibly returned to the hotel, to rise bright and early. Chateau Latour beckoned – a great start to a day of Union des Grand Cru (UGC) En Primeur tasting.
Frankly, the wines were outstanding, if only we had some for the EP campaign. 2013 is the first year that Chateau Latour won’t release their wines, like its neighbours. It was very interesting to taste the “˜09 Pauillac de Latour, the new releases of “˜05 Forts des Latour and “˜95 Ch Latour, alongside the newer 2012’s, which were all very elegant and fresh.
Chateau Latour was followed by a very smart tasting at Chateau Pichon Lalande with winemaker Philippe Moreau. We also tasted Chateau Haut Beausejour and Pez, which were typically St Estephe with their strong grainy tannins. Both Pichon Lalande and La Reserve de la Comtesse were very nice and showed well.
Then it was on to the UGC tasting at Chateau Phelan Segur for St Estephe, Pauillac and St Julian. Highlights for us included Grand Puy Lacoste, Batailley, Lagrange, Leoville Poyferre, Leoville Barton and Lynch Bages. Lunch at the Chateau was by a 2 Michelin star chef, Taillevent, with one of the patriarchs, Pierre Dubos, washed down with a very good but youthful 2006 Phelan Segur, courtesy of the Gardinier family.
We then moved on to taste the Margaux Appellation at Chateau Labergorce. Those Chateau that stood out for us were Rauzan Segla, Giscours and Labegorce.
Finally, with finished the day’s tasting with a sugar hit at a Sauternes and Barsac tasting at Ch La Lagune. This year’s vintage is a lighter sauternes style, softer and more attractive. The selection was decidedly mixed, with no uniformity amongst producers; the most striking being Doisy Vedrines, which was the clear favourite. Good stuff!
We’re off to Pichon Lalande, again, this evening for dinner with Mark Bingley MW.
We will report back tomorrow!