Château Mouton Rothschild | Embracing Change and Leading The Way
It appeared nothing could possibly be out of sorts upon arriving at the beautifully set table in the private dining room of Château Mouton Rothschild. Me and my fellow Millésima blog award winners were in for a very special afternoon, as we were about to enjoy lunch with not one, but three members of the prominent Rothschild family: Camille Sereys de Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild.
After carefully examining the table for our seat assignments, we were about to sit down for what was sure to be one of, if not the most memorable lunch of our lives when Philippe intervened – announcing that a great deal of thought had been given to each seat assignment. He then effortlessly rearranged several assignments, seating me next to him. (My fellow writers were also strategically seated so as to have a chance to comfortably converse with a member of the family.)
Feeling humbled and frankly a bit surprised, I mentioned to Philippe that I was honored to sit with him. His fantastic response set the tone for the remainder of our afternoon, when he jokingly quipped: “Let me know if you feel the same way after lunch.” As one of France’s noblest families, the Rothschilds possessed an unexpected humility and sense of humor, somehow managing to make us feel right at home at their table.
During lunch, we sampled Aile d’ Argent 2015, Château d’ Armailhac 2009, Mouton Rothschild 2005 and Château Coutet 2001
Bordeaux 2017 | Impressions From A Challenged Vintage
While my affinity for the wines from picturesque Northern California has been well-documented, it was actually Bordeaux that first stirred the soul of the budding oenophile within me. I devoured the pages of books like Noble Rot and Billionaires Vinegar, which shed a glimmer of light on this prominent yet mysterious region that’s been cloaked in tradition for hundreds of years.
Despite being a geographic challenge for a young wine lover, it was one of the first wine regions I visited. When my spouse and I took the opportunity to tour Europe, Bordeaux was an absolute must – and our short stay there, consisting of just a few days, was one of the highlights of our trip.
We explored the unexpectedly cosmopolitan city center and booked a tour which afforded us visits to Château Lynch-Bages, Château Ferrière and a stellar lunch at Château Camensac, paired with beautiful, mature wines from their cellar. I quickly realized we should have budgeted more time, but the visit still managed to cement my appreciation for Bordeaux’s compelling, age-worthy wines.
And so after ten long years, I write this having just returned from attending en primeur in Bordeaux as the recipient of the Millésima Wine Reporting Award for 2018. I am deeply grateful to Millesima for the nomination, and to my incredible readers who rallied behind it in support of me. It was incredible to get back to this region that I love so much, and I want to share some impressions from the challenging 2017 vintage.
Tasting through Marguax at Chateau Siran | Photo Credit: Frederic Lot
Chateau Cantenac Brown | Making It’s Mark in Margaux
A Grand Tasting in The Big Apple
Recently I had the incredible honor of being invited to attend the Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux 2012 vintage release tasting at Cipriani’s in New York. The weather outside was frightful – they were calling for 3 feet of snow on that 26th day of January, and it was quickly accumulating outside.
But inside members of the wine media, restauranteurs and wine buyers from all over were warm with excitement. Why? Over 100 of the most prestigious Chateau in Bordeaux were on site to showcase their newly released 2012 vintage wines, either represented by their Chateau owners themselves or their representatives. Amongst the representatives in attendance was Mr. Jose Sanfins, the accomplished and passionate Technical Director of Chateau Cantenac Brown.
I’m surprised I’m just now trying the Chateau Hanteillan 2010. Considering it received a solid 92 point score from Wine Enthusiast and is frequently touted by one of my favorite wine wholesalers: Wines Til Sold Out. They offer it for half of it’s $30 retail and have marketed it as a ‘very impressive “stock your cellar” wine.’ But when I happened upon the Chateau Hanteillan 2010 in the Costco Wine section at under $12, I couldn’t resist any further!
In this edition of “Great Wines with Great Friends” we take a look at a nice mature Bordeaux from an interesting Right Bank producer. With 40 hectares of vineyards, Chateau Figeac is the largest producer in Saint-Émilion and one of the most well known estates. It is not to be confused with the other 151 Chateau throughout France whose name includes “Figeac”. It’s wine carries the Premier Grand Cru Classé (Class B) classification within the Saint-Émilion ranking system.