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Showing posts from 2009

Chateau Dassault

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After Laurence had insisted we visit her at Chateau Dassault we didn't need any more encouragement and organised a visit towards the end of our stay with Mary joining us. We drove through the vineyards of Pomerol and St Emilion on a beautiful summers evening, past chateaux, farmhouses, villages and roman ruins. And for miles there was a carpet of vines, all meticulously trimmed and trained upright. Green fields like we haven’t seen for 10 years. We were greeted by Laurence, who by chance had just hosted the buyers from Fortnum and Maison, and so just happened to have opened some great bottles, 2006, 2001, 1999, 1995, 1994. First we had a tour of the winery and like every French winery we had visited in the region we were impressed with how meticulous and high tech it was.She spoke passionately about the terroir, canopy/vineyard management, hand picking, hand sorting and using concrete tanks in preference to stainless steel and the use of technology to control of fermentation.There…

Le Week-end des Grands Amateurs

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The Weekend des Grands Amateurs was a fantastic weekend of wine events. Not so sure about the elitism implicit in the name but it was a great opportunity to try some amazing wines. On the Saturday tasting of many of the best wines in the region was held in a renovated warehouse on the Quai des Chatrons, overlooking the Garonne, under the auspices of the L’Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux. More than 100 Grand Cru classe chateaux offered a taste of their 2006 vintage plus an older vintage. The major headache was choosing which ones to try!Armed with Oz Clarkes eminently readable wine tome “Bordeaux” I did some research the night before and decided to only try the “best of the best” according to the classification system (why bother with Grand Cru St Emilion when one could try Premier Grand Cru for example) as it would be impossible to try everything. A few lesser classified wines with big reputations were added to the list (for example Chateau Chasse-Spleen, cru bourgeois on the classi…