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Bordeaux 2022 Primeurs: St Emilion Grand Cru Classé

Bordeaux 2022 Primeurs: St Emilion Grand Cru Classé

It was something of a relief, after my experiences at Château Troplong-Mondot, that none of the St Emilion Grand Cru Classé properties I visited during the course of my two weeks darting around Bordeaux, tasting the 2022 barrel samples, presented me with another mini Land Rover racing circuit.

I turned up at Château Croix de Labrie half-expecting a climbing wall or some sort of Gladiators-style activity, but instead received a lesson on the history of the estate from Pierre Courdurié, a quick guide to their preferred methods of pruning, and then a taste of the 2022 vintage. At Couvent des Jacobins I was wondering if I might be challenged to a wrestling match, but instead I spent half an hour chewing the 2022 Bordeaux cud with proprietor Xavier Jean and manager Denis Pomarède (to be frank I hardly think two against one would have been fair, but I reckon I could have taken them), while tasting their 2022 barrel samples, both Couvent des Jacobins and their other project, Calicem.

St Emilion 2022

At Château Lassègue I was wondering if there might be a ball-pit, or maybe a trampolining activity, but instead I tasted the wine with Pierre Seillan who gave me an instructive lesson on the sourcing and manufacture of his oak barrels (it turns out he owns the tonnellerie) before he then recounted a story about his time in the Loire Valley when he worked with Édouard Pisani-Ferry of Château de Targé. As the words tumbled from Pierre’s lips I was thinking I might reproduce the story here, but at the point the local gendarmes got involved (in the story, not in policing Winedoctor content) I realised it would have to remain entirely confidential. By the time I arrived at Château Laroque all race-driving aspirations had faded, and instead I took advantage of an informative and open discussion with David Suire, while tasting his 2022 barrel sample.

My hopes and dreams of Land Rover racing stardom had been cast aside, extinguished. Like the flame of an anti-frost candle the desire had burned brightly for a moment, but ultimately it stood no chance against the cold light of day.

It would perhaps be more wise to pour my meagre energies into wine, and for the moment that means St Emilion.

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