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Bordeaux En Primeur

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Ban du Millesime de la Commanderie Du Bontemps April 2, 2014

It was so much fun to see my friend Aline Baly of Chateau Coutet all decked out in a yellow robe for the Ban du Millesime de Commanderie Du Bontemps on April 2, 2014 in Bordeaux. This celebration, first held in 2000, is the Vintage Proclamation and the newest event of the Commaderie du Bontemps. […]



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En Primeur: Checking in With Smith Haut Lafitte

It was great to see SHL Technical director Fabien Teitgen, and owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard at Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte last Wednesday at the Chateau for the tasting of wines from Graves and Pessac-Leognan. I always taste “blind” (meaning that this group does not know what they are tasting until a sheet of wine, […]



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Professor Dubourdieu & Olivier Bernard Discuss the 2013 Vintage

On April 1st, 2013 Professor Denis Dubourdieu from the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of Bordeaux University (Oenological Research Unit) gave a presentation to journalists who have gathered to taste the wine of En Primeur about the challenging 2013 vintage. The talk began with a recap of the five prerequisites for a great red […]



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En Primeur: Experiencing Chateau Fourcas Hosten

“Welcome!” is the greeting from the charming Mommeja brothers, Renaud and Laurent, as they welcome me into their incredibly restored chateau that dates from the 18th century, and is designed to replicate the period … yet the original owners, I am sure, never had such incredible luxuries! If you have ever been in the Louvre […]



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Tasting the 2013 Vintage at Cheval Blanc

  The tasting at Cheval Blanc on April 1st was extremely well-attended, drawing journalists from all over the world as well as key figures in Bordeaux such as Kees Van Leeuwn, a celebrated author and professor at Bordeaux Agro. What was different this year, however, was the headline in the little red information book which […]



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En Primeur Welcoming dinner at Chateau Pavie Saint Emilion

Fabulous evening at Chateau Pavie on March 31, 2014, as journalists from all over the world gathered to embark on a week of tasting the 2013 vintage. After a gorgeous outdoor reeption overlooking the vines (including neighbors Chateau Pavie-Macquin and Chateau Troplong=Mondot) guests ventured to their tables. I was lucky to be seated with some […]



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Bordeaux En Primeur 2013: Experiencing Chateau LaFaurie-Peyraguey

“Welcome!” says amiable, dark-haired Eric Larramona, appearing beside the magical gate of Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey. M. Larramona oversees the vineyards at this magical first growth Sauternes estate with its varietal of terroirs. It is my third visit to this historic estate, and my first time with a room that has a bathtub overlooking the vineyards. The […]



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Bordeaux 2013: Tasting Listrac, Moulis, Medoc, and Margaux

So here I am on April 3, 2014 at Chateau Labegorce tasting the 2013 vintage of wines from Listrac, Moulis. Medoc, and Margaux. The good news is this: the majority of your favorite wines, despite the challenging vintage, are showing very well at the moment. Though extremely young at this point in time, the majority […]



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En Primeur 2014: Visiting Chateau Carbonnieux

  On Tuesday night I spent a pleasant evening with Madame Perrin and her daughter Christine at Chateau Carbonnieux, a large castle-like wine estate that dates back to the 13th century.  As one arrives it looks like a medieval fortress, with a large gate and several buildings surrounding a beautifully manicured courtyard. I had met […]



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Interview with Veronique Sanders of Chateau Haut-Bailly

In a challenging vintage, chateaux with the most resources and the willingness to deploy them are able to make quality wine. That point was brought home to me in the tasting room of Chateau Haut-Bailly during En Primeur 2012. Unlike some other chateaux, the Haut-Bailly Grand Vin was very vibrant and well concentrated, with firm […]



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En Primeur 2013: Professor Denis Dubourdieu speaks on the 2012 Vintage

    A celebrity in Bordeaux and throughout the wine world, Professor Denis Dubourdieu has been Professor of Oenology at the University of Bordeaux since 1987. He owns five wineires (Château Doisy-Daëne, Clos Floridene, Château Reynon, Château Cantegril and Château Haura) and is a widely respected consultant to some of the best Chateau in Bordeaux, […]



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En Primeur 2013: Tasting at Chateau Kirwan

Chateau Kirwan was generous enough to host a fabulous tasting of the wines from Moulis-en-Medoc, Listrac-Medoc, Margaux and the Medoc.  Co-Owner  and publicist Sophie Schyler-Thierry – always stunningly dressed – met us at the door and escorted us into the tasting. As you can imagine, this tasting offered some of the best wines in Bordeaux […]



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En Primeur 2013: Tasting at Chateau Lagrange

It was a delightful treat to blind taste the 2012 vintage of Saint Julien, Pauillac, Saint Estephe and Haut Medoc at 3rd Growth Chateau Lagrange.  Head winemaker Bruno Eynard welcomed journalists to the Chateau in a charming fashion, and made everyone feel comfortable. Given the four regions to be tasted, it was a rather challenging […]



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En Primeur 2013: Tasting of Graves and Pessac-Leognan at Chateau Latour Martillac

I love all the wines of Bordeaux, yet there is something so unique about Graves and Pessac-Leognan. This blind En Primeur tasting was very exciting for exactly that reason! Latour-Martillac were excellent hosts, and as I wrote before, the hosting chateaux all scored very well so they must have known early on they had a […]



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En Primeur 2013: Tasting of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol at Chateau Beauregard

Fabulous tasting of wines from Chateau Beauregard for En Primeur on April 10 … What was most interesting the entire week, the Chateau hosting the tasting often had the highest rated scores! In earlier posts, I explained that two groups of journalists (including myself) taste “blind” in that we make our notes before we get […]



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En Primeur 2013: Tasting at Chateau Cheval Blanc

Always such a pleasure to visit Chateau Cheval Blanc!   The 2012 vintage was challenging … buds broke later than usual, and the vines grew very unevenly in April as a result of the difficult weather conditions.  The harvest began on September 27th for Merlot and October 6th for Cabernet Franc. Despite this, the composition […]



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En Primeur 2013: Sunday Sauternes Dinner at Chateau LaFaurie-Peyraguey

How curious an entire year has passed since I last sipped various vintages of Chateau La Faurie Peyraguey with fellow journalists, under the delightful care of technical manager Eric Larramona, an attractive man in his thirties who looks a bit like a very handsome Clark Kent (you know, Superman) with dark hair, sleek designer glasses, […]



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En Primeur 2013: Welcoming Dinner at Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere in Saint-Emilion

Every year, the Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB) organizes a welcoming dinner for journalists and members of the trade. This year, the event was generously hosted at Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere on the outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion, at the southern foot of the slope. The 19.5 hectare vineyard has a complex, outstanding […]



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En Primeur 2013: Sauternes and Barsac Tasting at Chateau La Tour Blanche

So the Tasting of Sauternes and Barsac this year was at La Tour Blanche — very generous of them to host the tasting this year! As always, I am in one of the two “blind” tasting groups which means that we all taste the wines and write our notes without knowing the winery. The other […]



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Meeting Jose SanFins of Chateau Cantenac Brown

“Oh, you’re coming to our Chateau Wednesday night!,” says Jose Sanfins, technical director of Chateau Cantenac-Brown in Margaux. We have just exchanged cards, and are sitting together at a festive Diner d’accueil at Chateau Canon la Gaffeliere in Saint-Emilion.  It is Monday night – the kickoff night for En Primeur 2013 – and over a […]