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Bordeaux 2022 Primeurs: The Rest of the Left

Bordeaux 2022 Primeurs: The Rest of the Left

“This woman looks so sad. What’s going on?”

When you first visit Bordeaux you are naturally drawn to the most famous names of the Médoc peninsula, from Château Margaux in Margaux (I’m not sure I really needed to add that clarification, but it’s done now) all the way up to Château Calon-Ségur in St Estèphe, and every classed growth (and one or two unclassified) in-between. Who wouldn’t point their buzzing lawnmower-engined hire car north up the D2, with the intention of calling in to taste the latest vintages at Château Palmer, Château Latour or Château Léoville-Las-Cases?

I know I did. And, indeed, I still do.

In more recent times, however, I have also enjoyed meeting and getting to know the proprietors of some less dreamy towering spires. And, of course, getting acquainted with their wines. This is how I come to find myself standing in the hallway of Château Saransot-Dupré in the heart of the Listrac-Médoc appellation with proprietor Yves Raymond, who has decided to quiz me on one of the paintings hanging here. Twingo – who for all I know could have a formidable knowledge of 19th-century French art – is parked outside, so I’m on my own.

Rest of the Left 2022

I inspect the painting close up, wishing I had paid more attention when watching The Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune. It depicts a young woman standing in the vineyard, and she does indeed look sad. But either I’m tired after a long day of tasting, or I haven’t been keeping my art knowledge up to date, because I’m scratching my head hoping for inspiration.

“Look at the vines, there are no leaves,” he adds. This is clearly intended to be a helpful hint, but as vines drop their leaves every year I’m not sure how it can be a clue. The one thing I do spot is that there are still bunches to be picked on the vines, and she is carrying a basket. Is it a depiction of a very late harvest? But why the obvious dejection in the woman’s face and posture?

Yves decides to put me out of my misery.

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