April 6, 2009

Bordeaux trip day 2: a crazy schedule

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We are doing our first day of primeur tasting today, and will be visiting 10 châteaux. It's a crazy schedule, and I wondered how our big group would be able to keep to it. There were, after all, 11 of us...

First stop is Cos d'Estournel up in St-Estèphe. They are undergoing renovation so it wasn't easy to get around to take pictures of the famed pagodas in front. Jean-Guillaume Prats, the General Manager whose family previously owned the property, took us on a tour of their new cellar. Everything was stainless steel and glass - very modern. These guys took gravity flow to the next level!

Wines tasted:
2008 Goulée - tart, with a minty, New World nose

2008 Les Pagodes de Cos - minty, perfumed nose with concentrated fruit and vanilla

2008 Cos d'Estournel - perfumed nose with coffee, vanilla and a bit of smoke. Much smoother on the palate than the others

We come back to Pauillac and visit Lynch-Bages. Jean-Charles Cazes, who took over from his father Jean-Michel Cazes, gave us a tasting.

2008 Les Ormes de Pez - smoky, minty nose with coffee. Grippy but ripe tannins

2008 Echo de Lynch-Bages - this is the rebranded Haut-Bages Averous, the second wine of Lynch-Bages. Nose of toffee and mint

2008 Lynch-Bages - fragrant nose of mint and red fruits

2008 Blanc de Lynch-Bages - beautiful perfumed nose with white flowers, orange, banana and pineapple notes

Pontet-Canet hosted us for lunch, which will be the subject of a later post.

After lunch we continued to Pichon Baron, one of the most beautiful properties in Bordeaux. I had woken up early in the morning and came to take some pictures. The new tasting room has a beautiful circular bar, and we took our places and enjoyed the wines.

2008 Les Tourelles de Longueville - very sweet and concentrated fruity nose, with vanilla and coconut notes. Body is a bit lighter thanks to the higher percentage of Merlot

2008 Pichon Baron - minty, alcoholic and fruit-forward with vanilla notes

2007 Pichon Baron - much more classic than the 2008, with smoky, vanilla and lead pencil notes

2004 Pichon Baron - farmy and a bit of stewed fruits with very smooth tannins

2008 S de Suduiraut - what a beautiful wine! Pear, honey, green apple, toasty oak, vanilla and mineral notes. I asked to buy some of this wine, but alas there were none for sale...

2008 Suduiraut - nose of honey, apricot and orange marmalade 

Going back up to Saint-Estèphe, we visit Montrose. We were warned about the grippiness of the new wines here, and it was dead on!

2008 Tronquoy de Sainte Anne - sharp nose with ripe fruits. Pretty tannic with a really spicy finish

2008 Tronquoy-Lalande - spicy and peppery nose, with red fruits and vanilla notes. Very tart and tannic

2008 La Dame de Montrose - peppery nose with grippy tannins

2008 Montrose - sooooo tannic! beautiful bouquet with very forward fruit with toasty oak and vanilla

Back to Pauillac on to the famed estate of Lafite-Rothschild, where we see Anthony Hanson MW in the tasting room with General Manager Charles Chevalier.

2008 Carruades de Lafite - vanilla and sweet fruit nose

2008 Duhart-Milon - a bit smoky

2008 Lafite-Rothschild - nose was not very open. A bit of smoke, mint but hard to get to the fruit. Very tannic. I have no doubt that the wine has loads of potential, but an amateur like myself just can't be a good judge right now

We move on to the distant cousins at Mouton-Rothschild, and again run into Anthony Hanson...

2008 d'Armailhac - floral and fruity, where tannins are not too bad

2008 Clerc-Milon - fruity nose with a bit of vanilla

2008 Le Petit Mouton de Mouton-Rothschild - a bit smoky, farmy and sweet fruits

2008 Mouton-Rothschild - there's that trademark soy sauce again...even a bit stinky...smoky, chocolate and a bit violet/floral on the finish

We drop the ladies off back at the hotel, and continue to Pichon-Lalande. Former owner May-Elaine de Lencquesaing has moved off the property after the sale, so the château is now unoccupied.

2008 Bernadotte - fruity and not much tannins

2008 Reserve de la Comtesse - fruity and minty

2008 Pichon Lalande - minty and tannins were relatively round

Going into Saint Julien, we hit our final stop before dinner - Léoville-Las Cases.

2008 La Chapelle de Potensac - red and tropical fruits on the nose. Tannins a little grippy on the finish

2008 Fugue de Nenin - alcoholic and fruity with a bit of smoke. Sweet on the palate

2008 Nenin - minty and alcoholic, with a bit of smoke. Not as forward as the others

2008 Potensac - not very open with only a bit of fruit

2008 Clos du Marquis - vanilla and sweet fruit nose with a bit of mint. A bit acidic

2008 Léoville-Las Cases - inky color showing the concentration, with vanilla, sweet fruit, a bit of smoked meats and a grippy finish

Finally we head to Latour, where we would be rejoined by the ladies for a tasting and dinner.


Lambda said...

This sounds like you are trying to make one season of food & wine for Discovery Travel & Living within 5 days!

Anonymous said...

hey sexy pete, hurry with your write-ups. can't wait to read your adventures in bordeaux. you're my hero!

Stan said...

Excellent piece. Travel, good food and great wine... So this is your new profession now? Time to wrap up your trip and see you in HK soon.


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