Showing posts with label Pauillac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pauillac. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Three Lovely Presents! More Like These Please!

Three Lovely Presents!
More Like These Please!

Christmas and a birthday came in fairly quick succession. At least it seemed like that. These three wines were among the most appreciated presents! Thank you - you know who you are!

Chateau Batailley Grand Cru Classé Pauillac (AC) 2008, 13%.

The chateau name comes from an important battle fought here during the 100 war while the Grand Cru dates to the 1855 classification created by Napoleon 111. Batailley is regarded as a typical Pauillac with cassis flavours and good structure. Pauillac wines are generally expensive so I was very happy to get this as a Christmas present! The 2008 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

It is indeed a high quality wine with plum colour. Blackcurrants and cherry are prominent in the aromas. It is amazingly smooth and elegant, superbly rounded fruit with a little spice, a rich texture, tannins integrated, and well balanced  (a streak of acidity playing its part all through) and there is a persistent savoury finish. Very Highly Recommended.

The Wine Advocate reckoned it could last 15+ years. Not around here!

Vincent Giradin Les Gravieres, 1er Cru Santenay (AC) 2011, 13.5%, Le Caveau

Light red is the colour of this Pinot Noir. The aromas have dark berries and spices, floral elements too. Fruit (blackberry) and spice on the palate, rich and silky with tannins at play; it is light-bodied and throughly delicious with a long and dry finish to boot. No shortage of finesse here and it is Very Highly Recommended.

Importers Le Caveau report that, over the past decade, the focus for Vincent Giradin in his Meursault vineyard has shifted from the cellar to “trying to obtain the fullest expression possible from his vineyard”. The Les Gravieres plot, by the way, is regarded as the best in the area.

Ageing includes 14 months on fine lees and the lunar calendar (“fruit day”) is followed for the bottling, without fining and filtering. Match with red meats, game, various cheeses.

AGE Marques del Romeral, Rioja (DO) Reserva 2010, 13.5%, Marks & Spencer
Vineyards in Rioja

This is a Marks & Spencer wine and it does have the official Reserva stamp firmly attached. It is a blend of Tempranillo (mainly), Graciano and Mazuela and has been aged for two years in oak (American and French) and one year in bottle.

It is a glossy medium red colour. Ripe red fruits on the nose, spice and vanilla too. Well rounded fruit flavours follow in the smooth medium bodied wine. There is spice too, tannins close to fine. It is easy-drinking, a good example of the grape, the reserva designation of the area and is Highly Recommended. Try it with roasts and cheese.

Tempranillo is not ranked as “international” by World Atlas of Wine. Instead it is on a select list of “regional” grapes. They confirm though that  it is “Spain’s most famous grape….valued internationally for fine wine”.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lunch in Bages.

Lunch in Bages
Day 8 9th June

If we took it easy yesterday, the French did so today, virtually nothing stirring this holiday Monday as we drove through the countryside from Arcachon to the village of Bages on the outskirts of Pauillac in the Medoc.

Indeed, we were wondering if we would even get lunch anywhere. On the way back, we had a different worry: where would we get petrol? In any event, both “problems” were solved.

It seems that more outlets close on a French National Holiday than close on a Sunday. We were originally heading for Moulis, one of the smallest appellations in the Medoc. In particular we were looking for the Maison du Vin in the village.

The thought struck us as we neared that it could be closed and a quick look at our Michelin Wine Regions of France confirmed the sinking feeling. Since we were so close, we said we’d take a look as the book was published a few years ago. The Sat-Nav found the correct street but we couldn't see any sight of the Maison. A mystery.
Carried on further up the road, with the village of Bages, at the gates of the Lynch Bages chateau, our next target. The run-down village has been reconstructed and revitalised by the winery and has some thriving food and drink related shops, adding value to the chateau’s core business. Luckily for us, the restaurant was one of the few premises open and we called in and asked for a table.

It is popular restaurant and we had to wait a spell for a table (inside, none available outside) to be cleared. It was well worth the short wait and we enjoyed a three course lunch for 28 euro each. Started with the Chef’s own Galantine of duck and foie gras, very flavoursome and quite substantial for a starter.
Iced Nougat.
The main event saw CL go for the Pan-seared Hake, Lemon Beurre blanc and ratatouille. She was delighted with that and I was very happy indeed with my Traditional Chicken Fricassee and Dauphinoise Potatoes. Hardly earth-shattering dishes but the produce was top notch and was really properly cooked and presented. Service all round was friendly and excellent.

Desserts were Iced Nougat with caramelised almonds for me and a Mango Passionfruit Cheesecake for her. An excellent finish and the apres digestif was a walk around the village, the chateau (walls!), and the the nearby vineyards.
The petrol gauge dipped lower and lower on the way back but again the villages were sleepy, action only evident as we approached the major roads, though even here a large Leclerc station was shuttered. Eventually, relief came in the  shape of an very busy Auchan Supermarket close to Arcachon. Here, I stuck in the credit card, followed the instructions (not too difficult) and filled her up, all ready for Chateau Bauduc in the morning.

Grand Puy Lacoste
One of the oldest properties in the Médoc.
Now, if only that thunderstorm outside would move away. The one in the morning did and gave us a lovely day again with temperatures up around the thirty mark.