Our plans to taste the latest releases from Chateau Margaux face to face (at a safe distance!) with the team from the Chateau were thwarted last week by complications with travel for the Bordeaux contingent. We had been heading into London to the Mentzelopoulos family's Marylebone outpost - Clarette (the wine bar owned by Alexandra Petit Mentzelopoulos).
There have been a fair number of ‘ifs’ about the 2019 Bordeaux En Primeur. The first and perhaps biggest was the ‘if it would happen’. With most of the world in various states of lockdown, Primeur week cancelled and critics unable to taste, the situation in April looked pretty bleak.
Is there anything that beats a good Dinner Party? Coming together to share delicious food, exciting wines, and lively conversation with friends now seems more essential than ever before – but how to have that experience now? In recent weeks, technology has really stepped up to the plate, changing the way we work, play, and socialise.
On Wednesday we published our immediate thoughts on the wines of the Right Bank (see 2018 Bordeaux En Primeur: Right Bank Roundup). Here are our first impressions from the other side of the river and a list of wines we felt were outstanding within their quality level or commune.
We will touch down at Mérignac airport early on Sunday morning and fly straight into the 2018 Bordeaux en primeur tastings. Judgement will be reserved until all the barrels have been sampled but here are some early impressions of the vintage and thoughts on the upcoming campaign.
Yesterday we held our 'Annual Tasting' - the biggest showcase event for our wines each year. As we closed the doors of the beautiful Trinity House at just after 8.30 last night the whole team were 'abuzz' after a fabulous, exhilarating day of tasting, chatting to the 20 winemakers who came to present their wines and catching up with so many customers and journalists too.
With eager anticipation we gathered. On the day that marked Back to the Future Day, we were jouneying back before Marty McFly to a time when the height of sophistication was a cheese and wine party. But there were to be no cubes of supermarket cheddar and pineapple on cocktail sticks for us, we were going to do cheese properly.
This afternoon we have the release of Bruno Borie’s much praised Ducru Beaucaillou 2014 (£750/12). Like Léoville las Cases (£895/12, released on Friday) Ducru has been said by critics to be close to, or even equal to the quality of the First Growths, but at less than half the price.
Allow us to tempt you with a perfect selection to see you over the Easter break. Of course, you'll be chomping away on a joint of Spring lamb with the family on Sunday, something that'll be washed down luxuriantly by the Château Paloumey 2009 Haut-Médoc - classic Bordeaux, superb vintage, great balance, ripe fruit and class.
This is a very limited offering of a very few of our drinking Bordeaux wines, all of which will let your guests know you are spoiling them without ruining you. Free delivery included.
A recent article by Victoria Moore in the Telegraph spoke of the ancient vines belonging to Stéphane Dief of Clos Manou – and pointed to his 2009 CLOS MANOU Médoc as a top value ‘under the radar’ wine.