I love the smell of Merlot in the morning!
I knew we were in trouble as we left our wonderful hotel, “˜La Maison Bord’eaux’, when Thierry (who runs it quite brilliantly) handed me a sandwich. I checked the itinerary and saw that no lunch was planned. Nevertheless, with a (slightly reduced) spring in our step, we headed to Pomerol and St Emilion to have a look at how the Merlots (and the other Right Bank grape varieties) had fared in 2010, having already established that it’s a great vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon on the Left Bank.
We started off with Denis Durantou and tasted some quite tannic offerings rounded off with a great L’Eglise Clinet. We popped into Petrus, which is unsurprisingly brilliant in this great vintage and then down to the offices of Jean Pierre Moeuix to taste a range of wines including Certan de May, La Fleur Petrus and Trotanoy. We then headed to La Pointe for the Pomerol UGC tasting (never the largest gathering of wines) of which Beauregard, Gazin, Petit Village and La Conseillante caught the selector’s eye. Then off to Vieux Château Certan, which quickly established itself as (and then became) the team’s wine of the day.
We then looked in at Cheval Blanc, which was all about reserve with poise, and also tasted Yquem as they are owned by the same people which had a lovely purity and freshness.
We continued to slum it, and headed down to see Jacques Thienpont at Le Pin, where we tried his brilliant and exotic 2010 (Mark’s wine of the day) and the exceptionally pretty 2008. It was then that I realised why we had been given a sandwich as we headed at great pace to Ausone. The 7 min drive between the two was our intended lunch break. Very pleased the Chairman is not on this trip!
Then we were off to the UGC in St Emilion where the Goedhuis team played the shrivelled grape impersonation game. The reason for this frivolity was that some of the early offerings appeared to have been made from grapes that were possibly on the small side by the time they were harvested. Nevertheless we liked La Tour Figeac and Figeac.
Next stop was to see Nicolas Thienpont, where Puygueraud, Larcis Ducasse, Beausejour Duffau Lagarosse and Pavie Maquin all showed extremely well. Finally, Tertre Roteboeuf, where we tasted Domaine de Cambes, Roc des Combes and Tertre Roteboeuf 2009 and 2010 – all three wines in both vintages showed really brilliantly – and just as Mark Robertson asked Mr Mitjavile how the wines aged, he was passed a glass of the excellent 1989. Quite lovely.