Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Monday 4th - En Primeur Begins

Bordeaux is the place to be in the wine world this week as the En Primeur campaign kick starts Spring into gear. And right on cue is the warm sunshine and, of course, bud burst!

Lots of places to visit for tasting this week and the Salle des Dominicains in the heart of Saint Emilion is always a good place to start. This beautifully restored building holds the annual Union des Syndicates tasting of Saint Emilion, Lussac, Puisseguin, Montagne, Saint Georges, Fronsac and Canon Fronsac. The wines are laid out in long lines and you can serve yourself and get into the tasting groove at your own pace. It’s a bit like a warm up for the rest of the week!

What I like most about the tasting is that it gives you the chance to taste the lesser-known appellations which, after tasting the excellent wines, always leaves me wondering why they are lesser known? Lots of good wines with Haut Carles (Fronsac), Cap d’Or (Montagne), Chateau Sansonnet and Mangot (St.Emilion GC) and Clos Jacobins (St.Emilion GCC) standing out today.

Everybody is out and about and as regular as clockwork 11:30 am my phone started to ring with endless Frenchmen organising lunch! I opted for lunch with Jose and Philippe Nunes of Chateau Angelus who arrived with a film crew from I-TELE; a leading French news channel who were making a report to be broadcasted tonight. For lunch we headed out of busy St.Emilion and up to the more peaceful Montagne Saint Emilion, where we were joined by Stephan a wine merchant from Dinan. Much to my amusement, but no one else’s, we tried 2010 Chateau Munch with lunch!

A lovely 2007 Clos Bertineau from Philippe’s own tiny property in Montagne went well with the entrecote.

After lunch, I went back to the tasting room to get stuck into the Cru Classe but every time I pulled my nose from the glass somebody I knew was standing next to me. All in all it took me about two hours (consisting of one-and-a-half hours’ intense ‘bonjouring’) to taste ten wines.

Back at the Chai the 2009 Vent de Folie red tastes superb. JMS here tomorrow so looking forward to tasting at Chateau La Couspaude, Chateau La Pointe (Pomerol), Thunevin and Chateau Le Grand Barrail.


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