Château La Conseillante 1945-2009, 2011

That was a disaster, thought Jean-Michel. He had been coming to the end of a long day, one that had started early as he directed his pruning team in the vineyard, and finished fairly late, a consequence of one-too-many appointments with a series of well-heeled Japanese clients. And then, just as he thought his work was done for the day, just as he first permitted his mind to wander away the outstanding jobs in vineyard and cellar, Bertrand had called him into his office. To say that he had been caught off guard was something of an understatement.

One hundred and forty years“, Bertrand Nicolas, proprietor of Château La Conseillante, had exclaimed. “One hundred and forty years since my ancestors acquired this little estate, complete with its 12 hectares of vines. This is something worth celebrating, Jean-Michel” he said, fixing Laporte with hawkish eyes. Laporte had nodded his head in agreement, not quite seeing where this was going. He was all at sea here. He listened, trying to keep up, but he was overtaken by a feeling that he was losing control. A day of concerted proactivity suddenly seemed irrelevant; he was suddenly reactive, wrong-footed, the words swirling around his ears. Was Nicolas heading where Laporte thought he was heading?

Château La Conseillante

We’ll celebrate during the primeurs“, continued Bertrand, “no expense spared. I want a single purple ribbon on each tank, and at least six balloons“. Not too difficult, thought Jean-Michel, his brain finally in gear. “And we’ll have a tasting of an older vintage too, one from the cellar“. Again Jean-Michel was unphased, now beginning to feel like he was back in the driving seat; there was plenty of 1997 in the cellar, and more than a case or two of the 2002 as well. “Make it the 1990“, snapped Bertrand.


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