A Bordeaux château is offering the chance to visit and, alongside the usual tour of the vineyards and walk round the cellars, to blend your own bottle of Bordeaux.
Château Lavergne Dulong sits close to Montussan, on the strip of land that lies between the Garonne and the Dordogne as they wind their way towards their convergence, when they become the Gironde. I guess that puts Lavergne Dulong at the heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation. Looking at their website they bottle a red AC Bordeaux, and a Bordeaux rosé.
The proprietor Sylvie Dulong, once she has taken you on your tour, leads a tutored tasting of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot components of your possible blend, before you decide on your own personal assemblage. This you can then blend (making enough for one bottle!), and once corked and dressed with capsule and your own personal label you take your unique bottle home with you.
The bottle may well be unique, but the same isn’t true of the concept. Nevertheless it certainly makes a change from the usual ‘rent a row’ and other ‘get involved’ schemes; it is more akin to becoming an oenologue for a day than a château proprietor or viticulturalist. Perhaps the next step will be a day out with Michel Rolland, when you visit minor right-bank estates and tell them to micro-oxygenate and use more toasty oak?
OK, joking aside, this blending day is a concept I like very much; it would make for a good ‘corporate’ day out, perhaps? I can just see the current batch of candidates on The Apprentice being sent on a day like this having won their task. And it’s good to see estates in Bordeaux brushing off the region’s fusty-dusty image and welcoming potential customers in this way. Lavergne Dulong has a good track record in this respect, as Sylvie Dulong also offers straightforward visits and tastings, cycle hire, bed and breakfast and day-long guided tours of the right bank appellations.
Having said that, one bottle of AC Bordeaux does not come cheap here, the cost being €55 per person, minimum four people. But you are paying for the day out, and Sylvie’s time of course. Sylvie’s guided tours of the region are €350 for two people.
More information available here: Château Lavergne Dulong website