I settled into the armchair, lowering myself into place with considerable care. The reason for me approaching the seat in such a gingerly fashion was its appearance; I am no antiques expert for sure, but the floral, pale-gold upholstery and intricately carved frame and arms seemed to me to speak of the 19th century. This was not the Ikea knock-off I was used to sitting it, and sensing it creak and groan beneath me I did not want to be responsible for its untimely demise.
Surveying my surroundings, the chair was not out of place. I was in the lavishly decorated central room at Château Léoville-Las-Cases. On one side was a doorway opening out onto a large courtyard, the buildings on one side part of Château Léoville-Las-Cases, those on the other belonging to Château Léoville-Poyferré. The other side of the room opened out onto a balcony, beyond which lay ornate gardens (pictured above), and beyond those some rough grassy scrub and the waters of the Gironde. I was in the epicentre of St Julien, in the heart of the Médoc. And I was here to assess the 2008 vintage during a week of primeur visits.Please log in to continue reading: