Doing Time in Bordeaux
I am sitting at the roadside in the appellation of Margaux; through the slightly misted-up windscreen of my hire car I can see Château Palmer, Château Durfort-Vivens, Château Marojallia, Château Rauzan-Gassies, its neighbour Château Rauzan-Ségla and, if I crane my neck a little, through the mist I can see the slowly materialising silhouette of Château Cantenac-Brown (pictured below).
I have an appointment at Château Margaux in thirty minutes; having allowed extra time to get around the Rocade this morning, always slow in rush hour, often gridlocked when it rains (and it has rained a lot here in Bordeaux this week), I have found myself with some precious free time. And this time has now been officially allocated to breakfast; I am munching on some unidentified pastry filled with egg and bacon lardons which I picked up along the way. It’s pretty good, and should see me through my morning appointments, which also include Château Palmer, Château d’Issan and Château Léoville-Las-Cases.
So it goes without saying I am in Bordeaux, here to check out the 2020 vintage once more, my first opportunity to do so since the primeurs. Which, in case you had forgotten, were cancelled through Covid-19. All my reports were based on samples sent to my home in Scotland. So it is good to come and taste the wines here in Bordeaux for the first time.
As a consequence I won’t be adding any reports or updates to Winedoctor over the next couple of weeks; the days here are far too long, and I can’t combine driving, tasting and note-keeping with the updating of the site. I hit the road at some unearthly hour. My day finished at Château Pichon-Baron (pictured above as I arrived, and no that is not my room for the night) at about 7pm. That’s fairly typical as I try to squeeze everything into the trip.
This means I have a lot to do on my return. A Bordeaux 2020 report, but also a Bordeaux 2012 Ten Years On report, an extensive report on ninety Cru Bourgeois wines, a tasting report on over fifty St Emilion grand cru classé wines, as well as visit reports in the Loire, including Bernard Baudry, Clos L’Ecotard, Clos Rougeard, Domaine de Bablut, Clos des Capucins, Domaine de Bellivière, more in my current informal series of Vouvray reports, and look back at some older Loire wines, from 2007 and 2012.
Better get to it; can’t keep the team at Château Margaux waiting.