After quite a late night at Chateau de Sours where the very generous owner Martin Krajewski opened some fine bottles including imperiales of Leoville Las Cases 1982, the team descended to Le Union des Grands Crus to taste the wines of the Graves.
The tasting this year took place Chateau Malarctic-Lagraviere. The dry whites are excellent in 2010 and amongst those that caught the selector’s eye were Pape Clément, Domaine de Chevalier, Fieuzal, Larrivet Haut Brion, Carbonnieux and Smith Haut Lafitte. Of the reds Pape Clément, Les Carmes Haut Brion, Domaine de Chevalier (more later) and Haut Bailly (more later) look to be the stars.
One of the great tastings one can do in Bordeaux is to visit Haut Brion where you can taste with the owner, in peace and quiet, without the chaos of this tasting week. 2010 is a great vintage of this property and the team were divided between the beguiling La Mission Haut Brion and slightly more structured Haut Brion. The whites are fantastic here this year and Mark Robertson announced Haut Brion Blanc to be his wine of the vintage.
Off to Domaine de Chevalier for lunch where we tasted 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007. At the moment 2009 slightly surpasses 2010 but with élévage this could easily change. We had a lovely lunch and as is Oliver Bernard’s way he likes to taste in decades so as its 2010 we had 2000, 1990 and a lovely 1970 with lunch. This was preceded by the Domaine de Chevalier Blanc 2000 which he bottled in a special 17 litre bottle which would have been impossible to guess vintage-wise if tasted blind … fresh as a daisy!
Last visit of the day was Haut Bailly where the lovely Veronique Saunders took us through the impressive 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2005 Haut Bailly. Of the 4 vintages the 2 that stood out for me were 2009 and 2005 but as with Domaine de Chevalier 2010 still has plenty of élévage to go and does look very, very good indeed.
Now off to Merignac Airport to join the BA flight back to London so that as they say is that.