Château Cos D'Estournel
Château Latour Barrels
Bordeaux ‘en Primeur’
11 - 15 June 2012
In the company of the multiple award winning wine writer Andrew Jefford one of the world’s most highly regarded wine experts, this is an unmissable chance to taste the 2011 vintage ‘En Primeur’ on a luxury wine tour staying at top chateaux. Shortly after the trade tastings in the spring, you will be able to assess the 2011 vintage well ahead of the rest of the claret drinking public and hear how he compares this to 2010 and other years.
You will have the unique opportunity of tastings and superb invitations to lunch or dine as private guests in some of France’s most beautiful and prestigious properties such as Château Lafite. You will meet the owners and winemakers who will always be pleased to meet Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours clients in Andrew’s company. Over the meals, of course, we’ll taste some older wines to add to your appreciation, enjoyment and overall understanding of the wines. Adding all this together gives you an experience that is absolutely not available to the general public nor on any other wine tours.
Our first night is at a 4* chateau-hotel in the vineyards of St Emilion so that we can also conveniently have a comprehensive look at what is happening on the Right Bank too.
This luxury tour with Andrew Jefford’s choice of great chateaux will give us another superb Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours Reserve Collection Bordeaux Tour (see details on our Bordeaux wine notes of what we achieved on a similar tour in May 2011!).
After meeting at Bordeaux airport from the morning BA flight, we will head out immediately to Pomerol where we will be visiting one Chateau Troplong Mondot in St Emilion for a tasting and lunch. This evening we dine at Château Canon-la-Gaffelière (formerly La Gaffelière-Boitard), which has been recognised for centuries as one of the finest growths in Saint-Emilion, where the owner always does their best to host Arblaster & Clarke visits.
Next morning, Andrew will take us to his personal choice of a top performing St Emilion chateau. From here we move on to the Graves for a special lunchtime appointment at Domaine de Chevalier in Pessac-Léognan and then continue to the Medoc for the next three nights. Our base here is a beautifully renovated Chateau in Margaux, with 9 comfortably appointed rooms, elegant salons and a swimming pool.
Here highlights of our stay will include visits and tastings at a few of the First Growth Chateaux and some of the “Super Seconds” too. We’ll discover the appellation of Margaux. Margaux wines are considered to make the Médoc’s most polished and fragrant wine. The soil of Margaux is the thinnest and most gravelly in the Médoc. In good years there is delicacy to the wines, with a deep perfume that can make it the most exquisite claret of all.
The next day, we’ll visit a couple of Margaux chateaux on foot; this will not involve any great distance – around 2 miles or so throughout the course of the day but when the appellation is small enough to stroll around this gives us a far more interesting way to learn about the vines and the soils and to really appreciate being in the countryside. (Anyone who would rather be driven around should let us know in advance and we will quote on transport for you).
We’ll also include visits to the beautiful Chateaux in Paulliac, including Pichon Longueville Baron and Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, who have both been producing monumental wines for generations.
We are warmly welcomed at Château Beychevelle, Cru Classé, St Julien for dinner. This is one of the most beautiful châteaux in the Médoc. When it belonged to the Duc d’Epernon, who was an admiral of France at the end of the 16th century, ships passing by on the Gironde were required to lower their sails as a salute. At its best Beychevelle is a glorious example of everything that makes wines of St Julien so attractive: a bouquet of great elegance and immediate impact together with a ripe, fresh flavour.
On our final morning we’ll have a tasting at Château Malartic Lagraviere, Grand Cru Classe. We then visit Château Lafite-Rothschild, 1er Cru Classé, Pauillac, where we taste these first class wines rated amongst the best for quality in the world and rated top in the 1855 Classification in the immaculate setting of the picture postcard chateau.
We continue to Bordeaux for free time for lunch, where the tour ends.
You can choose to stay on for the weekend to enjoy the elegant shopping, museums and superb restaurants of this vibrant wine capital – we will be pleased to book you into the 5* Hotel Le Grand, (see below) or you can fly home that evening.
Adding all this together gives you an experience that is absolutely not available elsewhere to the general public nor on any other wine tours (where more often than not names are bandied about without checking that the chateau can receive you). This is the genuine ultimate wine tour to Bordeaux, arranged by the world’s leading wine tours specialist with the assistance of one of the world’s most renowned wine consultants.