Day two of our 2015 Harvest trip started with the morning after the night before with Chateau Angelus, and we prepared ourselves for another big day with the requisite café et croissant…
Suffice it to say, in hindsight, day 2 was one of the best days I have ever had in Bordeaux. We commenced with one of Saint Emilion’s Big 4; Chateau Cheval Blanc where Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Technical Director, made very clear how excited the team is about 2015, with comparisons being made to the superlative 1982 vintage.
Pierre-Olivier explained that the weather conditions have been near perfect with very little rain, a 2.5mm sprinkle every fortnight in the critical stage with only one period earlier in the summer where they received more than they wanted. This would be the key influencing factor on whether 2015 is a very good or great vintage for Cheval Blanc.
The new vats at the chateau allow them to store and taste for each vineyard plot providing even greater quality control in the creation of the vintage Grand Vin.
Pierre Olivier ‘s top tip was that Jancis Robinson had just visited Cheval Blanc where she tasted 2009, 2010 and 2011 and declared the 2011 was showing really well and could be an important vintage. Did the market choose to overlook 2011 off the back of the stellar 2009 and 10? We will be taking a closer look!
We headed from Cheval Blanc to Chateau Troplong Mondot where we were welcomed by charismatic owner; Xavier Pariente. Following a fascinating tour of the chateau, we were treated to a tasting of their remarkable 2004, 2006, 2009 and 1999 vintages, accompanied by a superb lunch on their terrace overlooking the chateau’s vines.
If you have not yet discovered Troplong Mondot’s fantastic Les Belles Perdrix Restaurant, this is a ‘must do’ next time you visit Bordeaux. The chateau has also created exclusive guest rooms within the vineyard from which you can walk through the vines to Saint Emilion town.
The afternoon led us to Sauternes, which was a wonderful contrast again in terms of the style of wine and experience as we joined Laure de Lambert Compeyrot at Château Sigalas Rabaud. Here we toured the vineyard and chateau and enjoyed the simple and yet perfect experience of sitting in the sun on the edge of the vineyard, tasting Grand Cru Classe 2014 Sauternes from a wooden press – it was exquisite and the occasion simply perfectly!
Our Vin-X clients were then escorted to their flight back to the UK, after which I was to join Geoffrey Dean at Domaine de Chevalier for more fine wine and great food – more details to follow!