Bordeaux 2019 at Two Years: Pauillac
The commune and appellation of Pauillac is home to a handful of châteaux that declined to send samples during the 2019 vintage ‘pandemic’ primeurs, so it was good to come back to this corner of Bordeaux now that the wines have been bottled. In the majority of cases my trip to the region gave me an opportunity to revisit the wines and see how they have developed during the élevage, but at one or two châteaux it was a first chance to try wines which I did not encounter when I first reviewed the vintage back in 2020.
The tastings were also a first opportunity to meet Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy in the flesh. Jean-Emmanuel is the new technical director of Château Mouton-Rothschild, appointed following the retirement of Philippe Dhalluin in 2020. Of course I have ‘met’ Jean-Emmanuel before, during the 2020-vintage primeur tastings in early 2021, but it was via the medium of Zoom (or some other app, I don’t recall), and thus he appeared as a tiny figure flickering on a screen, just two inches tall. Meeting him at Château Mouton-Rothschild I was relieved to see he was in fact of rather greater stature, and he did not flicker once during the entire tasting. All of which was conducted in accordance with the usual protocols, including masks, hand sanitisation and the biggest Perspex screen I have ever encountered. The table in the tasting room is huge, so I suppose the protective screen placed down the middle has to be too; it certainly put the cashier screens at my local Lidl to shame.
Having tasted fairly widely in the appellation, more so than I have in the past (to be honest, this is a guesstimate – it’s not as if I have gone back and counted up the number of Pauillacs I have tasted in every vintage), in this report I am able to report on one or two of the commune’s less familiar crus.
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