As with my last trip to Champagne, these last few days in Bordeaux were nothing short of absolutely incredible. We started off with a visit to Chateau Guiraud…located in the heart of the commune of Sauternes known for their delicious and impeccably balanced sweet wines. We were welcomed with a vineyard visit followed by an extravagant multi-course Christmas lunch… we were treated like royalty.
We tasted a total of five Sauternes over our coursed meal. After aperitif hour…The first dish of oysters poached in a lemongrass and thai/french infusion dish was an unforgettable plate. I will never forget this meal.
Followed by veal shank melting in your mouth with roasted winter root vegetables, hot fried goat cheese course… and to finish a delicious honey and saffron creme brûlée. Best I have ever had. I would love to work under this french chef of the Chateau …these dishes were so creative. The dessert was paired with a lightly sweetened more acidic sauternes and it went really nicely as the honey made the creme brûlée rather sweet. I will be recreating the honey and saffron with creme. What a brilliant flavor profile.
Next, after this glorious memorable meal… we hopped in our comfy limo bus and were off to the famous Chateau D’Yquem.
We were able to tour all of the barrel rooms, private cellar and walk this exquisite property. Breathtaking.
Nobility that has stood the test of time. Proudly sitting atop a rise overlooking the surrounding countryside, the 16th century Chateau exudes an intrinsic majesty that defies time.
We tasted the 2005 Vintage Chateau D’Yquem. Fabulous. I cannot believe I am able to do such things. After a beautiful history of winemaking by farmer Yquem which started in 1604…Chateau D’Yquem is now owned by LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) acquired in 1999.
Next stop… Smith Haut Lafitte
This property was beautiful and very modern. Every vineyard does everything slightly different and uses certain techniques that they believe make their wines unique. It is fascinating to learn about.
At the end of this lovely day… we sat down to a dinner focused on trying different vintages from Margaux, France. Every vintage offered the palate something different and it was really educational to compare… however truly memorable was the Margaux 1979. This was priced around $800 a bottle. Unbelievable.
Amazing beauty, some of the best meals of my life with my new found group of food and wine lovers from all over the world. Life is pretty spectacular.
The next day may have even topped the first day in Bordeaux.
We visited the following Vineyards over the next two days. Chateau Cos D’Estournel (Saint Estephe), Chateau La Dame Montrose (Saint Estephe) , Chateau Mouton Rothschild ( in the heart of Medoc in Pauillac). Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot (Saint Emilion) Chateau Theyssier (Saint Emilion)
The ending of the vineyard trip to Chateau Rosthchild we had a candle-lit tasting. Standing in this piece of history… limestone cellar, dark and beautiful, which is housing thousands of aging barrels… it sort of took my breath away. I am allowed these experiences that are not shared with tourists whatsoever. We are considered a different level and are treated to some of the best vintages paired with extra touches and access to private cellars. Not to mention meals prepared by the private chefs of the Chateaus.
Price today for acreage of vines in Saint Emilion, France :2.5 acres = 3,000,000 Euros. Most vineyards I visited were composed of 70 acres.
We then spent the day in Saint Emilion… this was very nostalgic for me and brought back beautiful memories of my time spent there in September.
What a fabulous end of the Bordeaux trip meal… at the highly acclaimed restaurant… Logis de la Cadene (Saint Emilion, France)
WOW. I simply had the most fabulous trip… is it a crime that I feel like I am on vacation daily and this is actually considered school? Education… I guess when you adore what you are learning about it just feels exciting!
A truly wonderful unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever and never forget. I am also so saturated with knowledge about Bordeaux and all of the fabulous wine growing regions of both the right and left bank of the river. Many notes taken and tons of technical information about vine growth, aging, techniques and nuances of the wine… this information needs a post in itself for each vineyard.
Some simple facts… the right bank of Bordeaux (Saint Emilion specifically) is more known for heavy percentages of Merlot in the wine blends… while the left bank (Medoc, Saint Estephe, etc.) is known for being heavy in Cabernet Sauvignon in blend mixes. This is mainly due to these varietals growing best in those regions. Also, unlike Burgundy… Bordeaux is known for their blending processes of different grapes. The grapes allowed to be grown in Bordeaux are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.
Back in Paris for a few days…. then off to California. Excited to spend time with my family and welcome Christmas! Many more wine adventures to come in the new year. We will travel to Cognac, France next… plus many more events (in Paris) and an experience I will have to work under a sommelier in a restaurant in Paris.
Au Revoir Everyone!