Wednesday, January 27, 2010


One of our good accounts, the French retail chain Vin et Bière, organized a trip for a group of 20 employees and franchises of the company.

They arrived at L’Essentiel at 10 am and tasted a few wines including Sabines 2006 and Clos du Beau Père 2006. It’s an old story between these crus and I: V&B’s boss knew everything about this property, long before Murielle and I bought it in 2006.

Following, visit of Valandraud in Saint Etienne de Lisse and for me the opportunity to present Fleur Cardinale, Rol Valentin, Pressac and Faugères.
Quick visit of the cellar and vineyards, then lunch with couscous prepared at the château when receiving a large group, otherwise, Murielle would prepare the meal at home in Saint Emilion. A great couscous I enjoyed selfishly as I am pied-noir (born in Algeria). I bring up every time I can my origins and being Garagist in the world of wine in Saint Emilion.

Dentelles 2004, which worked well with this spicy dish, Clos Badon 2004 which was opening up and especially Bad Boy 2007 which was remarkably soft. This gave me the opportunity to talk about Bad Boy 2005 and 2006 which are powerful and massive, made to cellar. I noticed that clients drank this wine young and therefore, I had to adapt and make a Bad Boy for consumers in a hurry.
So, 2007 is soft, sexy, tempting, made to please. In my book, it is not a bad word; it reminds me this TV program where the successful writer Marc Lévy (born in 1961 !) said, with humor, his way of looking at life, his success, critics of the French intelligentsia (especially left field) and his desire to be a successful author today instead of waiting, as his mother would say, for pigeons to poop on his statue.

And Valandraud 1999 marked the event.

After this meal at Valandraud, we went to Château La Dominique. The construction done at Cheval Blanc, the neighbor of Château La Dominique, is starting to show. It so nice to be so close.
Visit of our cellar and tasting of Commanderie de Mazeyres 2001 and 2007, then La Dominique 2007 and for the first time, 2 samples of La Dominique 2009, one still in the vat, the other from the barrel. 2009 is, as I already wrote, unquestionably the best wine of all time at this chateau and will surpass the remarkable 1989. Even our enologist consultant finds it great, goes to say!

After this young and friendly group, tasting at the house in Saint Emilion of Blancs de Valandraud : vertical from 2003 to 2009, already 7 vintages produced and still plenty of questions. I’ll wait for Philippe’s report to develop.

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