Friday, April 1st: The Right Bank
9 a.m. – Ausone
I have only been to Ausone a few times. It is hard not to be “star stuck” when you are here, though. We tasted several wines. My favorites included:
’09 Moulin Saint Georges: Perfume aromas, fleshy ripe nose, very expressive for being so young; I thought this wine was delicious.
’09 Ausone: – Concentrated flavors of red fruits, minerals, cedar and earth; this wine showed a bit tight, maybe due to the weather. It was not my favorite of the trip but I think I may be in the minority on this one.
9:45 a.m. – Moueix Tasting in Libourne
A fair number of wines were poured here. Highlights for me included the La Serre, Latour Pomerol, Bourgneuf and La Fleur Pétrus. They were all solid wines but nothing really jumped up and knocked me out. I was a bit disappointed in the Trotanoy—for me is was not easy to taste at this stage.
11 a.m. – Pétrus
’09 Pétrus: I think this will end up being my favorite wine of the trip. It was loaded with fresh crushed berries, spice, licorice, a velvety texture, pure ripe fruit and had a fresh, lively finish; an amazing balance between power and finesse.
11:30 a.m. – Lafleur
The Lafleur tasting included the 2009 Grand Village, which they also make. It is reasonably priced and really a good value. 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. This wine was fresh, clean and showed clean, mineral-driven fruit.
’09 Lafleur: Big, tight and intense, this wine is deep and powerful and showed firm tannins. I think the middle was a bit closed. Tough to taste so young.
12 p.m. – Tasting and lunch at Le Gay
Our tasting included some really excellent wines before a light lunch.
’09 La Graviere: Spicy, sweet nose, fleshy fruit, very ripe mid palate and a velvety soft texture; could almost drink this wine now.
’09 Violette, Pomerol: Dark cherry fruit, sweet aromas, chewy dark chocolate texture and a lush, lush finish. Very good balance for such an extracted wine; I liked this.
’09 Le Gay, Pomerol: Loads of coffee, cola and sweet black cherries, spice, velvety texture and a long ripe finish, This is one for me to buy.
2 p.m. – Clos l’Eglise
A quick tasting of several wines, including Haut Bergey, Barde Haut, Branon and Clos l’Eglise. The two that stood out for me were the Haut Bergey and the Clos l’Eglise.
2:30pm – Angélus
What I thought would be a quick tasting ended up being a room full of all the wines that Hubert de Boüard is involved in. We didn’t have time to taste all of them, so I focused on the wines that I knew we would buy. My favorites included:
’09 La Fleur de Boüard: Flashy, new wave style. This wine was intense, juicy and extracted without being out of balance. This is a wine I will buy if the price is reasonable.
’09 Angélus: Big and dense with a thick mid palate, chewy tannins and a firm structure. Seemed a bit disjointed, but that could be the sample.
3 p.m. – Pomerol UGC tasting at Gazin
We had a few standouts here, including a second tasting of the Petit Village, which again showed excellent. It is easily the best one I have tasted out of barrel. I was also impressed with the Gazin and La Croix de Gay. Both are solid efforts. The other real standout, next to the Petit Village, was the Clinet. One to buy if the price is reasonable!
4 p.m. – St-Emilion UGC tasting a Beauséjour-Becot
I think all of us were extremely impressed with the quality of the wines from St- Emilion. In recent vintages these wines have not been our favorites, as we found them to be a bit over-extracted and harsh. I think the combination of the vintage and, maybe, the owners not trying to do too much with the wines, helped make some of the more successful wines of 2009. Our highlights from here included the killer Troplong Mondot, Larcis Ducasse, Beauséjour-Becot and Canon. These were some of my favorite wines of the day.
5 p.m. – Canon-La Gaffelière
The last big tasting of the day is always difficult. Still the ’09 d’Aigulilhe showed well along with the La Mondotte. Both are in that flashy extracted style but I thought they showed well.
7 p.m. – Tasting and dinner at Château La Gatte
Sure we were at Pétrus, Ausone and Angélus today, but the most fun we had was at Château La Gatte with owners Hélène and Michael Affatato. We did some barrel tastings and had a terrific meal of grilled duck. The evening was very enjoyable and relaxed, just what we needed! We currently have their Blanc and Rosé in stock. Both are screaming deals at around $10.