The Right Bank rises to the challenge of the Medoc

After an amazing evening courtesy of Chateau d’Yquem we had to gird our loins one last time for a final day of tasting but this time it would be the Merlot grape that dominated our attention. Our first stop was Chateau Clos Fourtet where we were to taste the grands crus of St Emillion. The outstanding wine and one to watch in the future was Troplong Mondot but more about that later. Honourable mentions must also go to Pavie Macquin and Villemaurine who interestingly this year added Cabernet Franc to their blend for the first time which improved the quality noticeably.

Our second stop of the day was at the aforementioned Troplong Mondot where we were welcomed by its charming owner, Xavier Pariente, who allowed us to have an impromptu private tasting in his capacious cellar. We sampled the 2014 again but were then able to compare it against various back vintages, including 1999 and 2006 – 2011, which gave us an amazing insight in to their house style. We could have stayed much longer but duty called.

Our final UGC tasting was at Chateau Petit Village which was hosting the combined tasting for all of Pomerol. We were all excited by the quality of the wines on show and although it was difficult to agree on an outright winner our top 3 were Clinet, Petit Village and Gazin. But there was consensus on the most bizarre label, Chateau La Cabanne, which it seems does not wish to sell its wine to pandas or baseball players! 

Our final port call of call was the legendary Chateau Cheval Blanc. This was a perfect way to finish the trip with a private tasting of their Grand Vin, which we agreed was our candidate for wine of the vintage. That last wine will provide many memories for what has been an educational and enlightening trip. Now fingers crossed that prices are sensible in the coming months.