This past September, we hosted US wine bloggers from across the country for our annual Bordeaux Blogger Trip. On the itinerary? A full week of immersion including wine tastings, Chateau visits, dining excursions and a unique opportunity to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the Bordeaux harvest. (As we like to say around the Bordeaux HQ, it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.) During their stay, we asked our Bordeaux adventurers to keep a short travel diary of their experience.
This week, our favorite Aussie Bordeaux Wine Buff and Chief Wine Officer, Tamara Gibb, takes us back to Bordeaux:
TAMARA’S BORDEAUX TRAVEL DIARY
What a truly spectacular start to our Bordeaux trip! The day commenced with a walking tour of Bordeaux, meandering through the streets and alleys, past countless magnificent monuments, and pristine wine stores. Then onto the bus bound for Cap Ferret. A delicious lunch of foie gras and goat’s cheese washed down with Chateau Landereau, Entre-deux-Mers White and Rosé. We continued with a boat trip through Cap Ferret basin finishing with a tasting of exquisite oysters in the most sublime setting, overlooking the basin, in a little fishing hut. A perfect day. Looking forward to our wine class tomorrow at the CIVB with Maxine.
An early start today with a masterclass at the CIVB given by the wonderful Maxine Colas. We tasted some fantastic examples of very affordable, everyday drinking wines. It was then off to Chateau Biac in Cadillac. What a wonderful property and the Asseily family couldn’t be more dedicated and passionate about making great wines. We had a lovely lunch on their terrace overlooking the Garonne enjoying the Chateau Biac 2011, matured for 14 months, elegant and powerful plus the luscious Secret de Biac made in a 500ml bottle. I loved being back in the area, it brought back fond memories of my time spent there during the 1999 harvest at Chateau Lezongars.
Today was spent in the Medoc, an easy drive from the center of Bordeaux. We were eager and poised to help Martine Cazeneuve kick off the harvest by picking the Merlot at Chateau Paloumey. On arrival we were told that the Merlot wasn’t quite ready so we had to settle for a walk through the vineyards and a tasting instead. We enjoyed wines from Chateau Paloumey and their other property Chateau La Garricq from Moulis. It was then onto Chateau Mongravey in Margaux for a tour and tasting with the magnificent Karin Bernaleau, a fabulous ambassador for Margaux and Cru Bourgeois. Our last stop for the day was at Lynch-Bages where we got to become blenders for the afternoon. We split into 2 teams, girls versus the boys – good effort boys but of course the girls prevailed!
One of my favorite places to visit, Saint Emilion, a medieval town an hour from Bordeaux, the land of macaroons and Merlot! After a tour of the town, and a chance to walk off the foie gras and confit from the night before, it was off to visit Nicolas at Chateau Maison Blanche. An interesting tour and tasting of some terrific bio-dynamic wines. I loved the 2011 vintage, well balanced with ripe, juicy blackberry fruit and a soft, elegant finish. I hope we see them soon in the US market! It was then off to visit Chateau Coutet, before heading to Chateau du Tailhas in Pomerol where they had already started harvesting. I just pray that the rains (and especially hail) hold off over the next week so all that lovely Merlot, & Cabernet Franc can reach optimal ripeness.