On that next to last day of the week, we eased into the tasting with some lovely wines from the middle of the Médoc region, a fairly long, narrow rustic peninsula just north of Bordeaux, where small farms are interspersed with vineyards and very small villages.
Before we began the day with our formal tasting, we all trooped over to Château Cheval Blanc. It was, as usual, a media circus with the top wine critics from around the world shooting interviews with each other and with dapper, sophisticated winery manager Pierre Lurton -- who we would later also see at the Château d’Yquem tasting – the other property he manages.
On the second day of the quest for 2010 bordeaux, we all headed over to taste the wines of Graves. This is an area south of the city of Bordeaux where they produce very nice dry white wines (made from sauvignon blanc and sémillon) which are not all that well known outside of France. And dry red wines (mainly from merlot and cabernet franc) that are even less well known—except of course, for Château Haut-Brion whose reds have had a following since the time of Samuel Pepys.
Becky Sue Epstein is back in Bordeaux, for the annual en primeur tastings. She continues her live coverage from France here. It has begun. The criss-crossing of Bordeaux by hundreds of journalists and thousands of buyers, swirling, sniffing, sipping and spitting hundreds of samples of the new wines, the vintage 2010 wines from the great châteaux of Bordeaux, the Unions des Grands Crus (UGC).
Becky Sue Epstein is back in Bordeaux, for the annual en primeur tastings. Before the Union des Grands Crus tastings started on Monday, she put in a hefty amount of time amongst the other red wines of Bordeaux. Here’s what she learned in her first 24 hours on the ground.