Bordeaux 2022 Primeurs: St Julien

The primeurs is a hectic period for everybody in Bordeaux, the châteaux inundated with prospective tasters, from individuals who fly solo such as yours truly, through to the merchants who send entire teams who tour the region in large, open-topped charabancs. Or at least that’s what they should do; in truth many seem to prefer air-conditioned luxury coaches, no doubt with fully stocked drinks cabinets.

Parking can therefore be an issue, and I am accustomed to the presence of parking attendants. You wind down the window, listen to their instructions on where to park, delivered in machine-gun French, nod as if you have understood, and then park in the first space you can find, and hope they weren’t watching to ensure you haven’t deviated from their instructions.

So I wasn’t surprised, turning up at Château Léoville-Las-Cases, to be so greeted. What did surprise me was when the parking attendant promptly helped me from behind the wheel, took the keys from my hand, slipped into my still-warm seat, and drove off.

Had I just been car-jacked?

No. Seemingly keen to set a new standard for service this year, Château Léoville-Las-Cases had instituted valet parking.

It left me feeling like I had just walked into a scene from Beverly Hills Cop. I was Axel Foley. Would Jean-Guillaume Prats, the recently installed Vice President of Domaines Delon, who was waiting for me inside, be up to scratch as Victor Maitland? There was only one way to find out. Taking my 9mm Browning from its holster, I kicked in the door….

No of course I didn’t. The bit about the valet parking was true though.

St Julien 2022

One bit of trivia I have omitted to mention is that the tasting was not even held at Château Léoville-Las-Cases. Due to renovation work the Domaines Delon tastings were held at Château Nenin, so having started my tour of the region on the right bank I made this visit long before many of my other left-bank tastings. Inside, I tasted with Jean-Guillaume Prats and technical director Michael Georges.

Please log in to continue reading:

Subscribe Here / Lost Password