Arnie’s European Odyssey Day One

We arrived in Paris on Sunday morning, March 27th, at 9:30 a.m. (or 12:30 a.m. our body time). We immediately got our rental car and drove 7 hours to Bordeaux, arriving atMaison Sichel’s offices at nearly 6:00 p.m. Up nearly 23 hours, we tasted through some 20 wines (see picture).

Most, but not all, the wines were Bordeaux from the 2009 vintage. I focused on one wine, Chateau Piochet, and purchased all available stock – it is a terrific value and will arrive at Esquin sometime in June.

From there, we proceeded toChateau Cap Léon Veyrin in Listrac where would have dinner with the owners and spend Sunday and Monday nights at their small inn. We arrived quite late, around 9:00 p.m. Dumped our luggage in our rooms and went right downstairs to dinner with the Meyre family (Alain, Maryse and daughter Natalie). Alain and son Julien tend the vines, Nathalie oversees the winemaking and marketing, wife Maryse does administrative duties. Alain Meyre, whose family owns three estates, is also President of the Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Listrac appellations.

First we went to the cellar and tasted the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Cap Léon Veyrin from barrel. Nice dark fruit with minerality and slight earthiness. They were pretty good, typical Listrac with the 2010 showing good acidity and bigger tannins than the more lush 2009. This was to be the story of our Bordeaux trip; the 2010 vintage has excellent concentration of fruit, possibly from lower yields (down 30-40% from 2009), higher levels of phenolics, especially tannins, and higher levels of acidity than the 2009s. This was true nearly everywhere in Bordeaux. 2010 is a vintage which needs time and which should age well.

After the tasting, we proceeded to dinner with the warm and hospitable family Meyre. Maryse is a locally well-known chef who is famous for an obscure local specialty called Grenier Médocain, which is made from pig parts, including the face. We also enjoyed her homemade pâté, steak, sautéed mushrooms, fresh radishes and white asparagus, which just came into season. We enjoyed a variety of Cap Léon vintages, capped by a surprisingly good 1949 poured from decanter. What a treat!


Our host Nathalie framed by 1949 and 1961 Cap Léon Veyrin







Feeling (and looking!) fuzzy


By the time we got to bed, it was nearly 11:30 p.m. – we had been up nearly 29 hours. We had to be up at 7:00 a.m. and be at our first stop by 8:30 a.m.

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One Response to Arnie’s European Odyssey Day One

  1. Pingback: The Bordeaux Report: 2009 and 2010 | Esquin's Blog

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