Wine tasting in Bordeaux
Bordeaux Wine & City
14 - 17 November 2013
Bordeaux is a complex subject and the region’s charms are discreet. It can be very rewarding to tour here, but you need introductions, a good wine guide and someone to do the driving! Join us for a long weekend wine tour lead by a Wine Guide with good visits and tastings, with lunches at two chateaux.
On the first evening, the Wine Guide will meet you to host an informative introductory tasting, just as we do on our ‘Champagne Weekends’. This is an enjoyable way to set the scene wine-wise so that you get the very best out of the next few days, it also gives you a chance to meet the Wine Guide and the other participants.
Next day, you’ll spend a full day wine touring in the Médoc, or what is known as the ‘Left Bank’, where we will arrange a total of three chateaux visits and tastings, and a private invitation to lunch at one of them. Typically this includes a selection of chateaux in the Médoc communes of St Estèphe, Margaux, Pauillac and Listrac such as Châteaux Lynch-Bages, Beychevelle, Pichon-Longueville, Rauzan-Sègla, Rauzan-Gassies, Talbot, Palmer, Angludet and a range of others that we have been visiting since 1989.
The wine-makers, managers and owners of the great chateaux are not just waiting in their chateau for people to drop by for in-depth visits with a vertical tasting followed by lunch! However that is what a real wine tour of Bordeaux is about, and that is what you will do on our tour. Because of the complex négociant system, most of the chateaux would normally only have the most recent vintage for you to taste. This is all very well if you are a professional wine taster, but young claret can be difficult to appreciate. So the tastings include at least one older vintage to give you an idea of how the wines develop and we may also select a slightly lesser-known chateau with good value wines and the opportunity to buy direct.
On your second day of wine touring, our Wine Guide takes you to several more Bordeaux sub-regions. Our chateaux visits and tastings today may include a visit in the Graves or to Sauternes then we’ll travel across to the ‘Right Bank’ to St Emilion or Pomerol, or one of their ‘satellites’ where the wines are more based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc rather than the Cabernet Sauvignon that is dominant in the Médoc. We plan to spend lunch in the Right Bank too, with friends of ours from Champagne who have a property in the Côtes de Castillon. Here, the welcome starts with a glass of Champagne and then generous tasting of their good value wines over a private, home-prepared lunch. Our final visit of the day is to be another personal welcome from a leading ‘right bank’ chateau in St-Emilion, St-Georges-St-Emilion or Pomerol.
Visitors are often surprised that Bordeaux is a lovely city with elegant boulevards, classic 18th century buildings and an attractive riverfront. Bordeaux’s wealth was based as much on the sugar trade as on wine. Nevertheless, the warehouses of the wine merchants on the Quai des Chartons are impressive and the vineyards of Graves Pessac-Léognan start inside the city. There are chic shops and many bars, bistros and Michelin starred restaurants that you can explore in the evenings. You might also attend a concert at the magnificent theatre. We stay right in the centre of the city, in a charming, family-run hotel.