The Vin-X tasting team caught the red eye bright and early this morning heading for Bordeaux and the 2014 En primeur tastings. We were met at the airport by Renaud Ruer, who runs our new office in Bordeaux, and who is to guide us through the rigours and intricacies of three hard days of tasting the newest vintage. There was to be no respite from either the elements or the wine. The rain had followed us from the UK but did not dampen our spirits as we hastened in to our first tasting at Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte. The shelter of the beautiful chateau and the array of wines quickly reminded us as to our purpose as we set about dissecting the vintage. After a couple of hours the common consent was that Domaine de Chevalier and Pape Clement were definitely the outstanding wines of the Graves and Pessac Leognan in 2014.
Our next stop in the afternoon took us back to the edge of Bordeaux and the legendary Chateau Haut-Brion, which was also showing the wines of its sister chateau, La Mission Haut-Brion. Renaud had arranged a private tasting for us which was much appreciated after the En primeur crowds of the morning. It was difficult to separate these two mighty chateaux with a score draw agreed after much discussion. However the major surprise of the afternoon were the white wines which all agreed were amazing so it looks like we could be in for some very pleasant surprises in the next couple of days. Off to the Medoc tomorrow to taste at Pontet-Canet and Leoville Poyferre amongst others.