I went to the Apple Store yesterday at the Grove in Los Angeles with my children – Jack, 13, and Isabel, 9. They just arrived from England for their annual holiday visit with their grandparents and great-grandmother.
I had to laugh at myself yesterday as I sat down to Christmas lunch in Palm Springs, Calif., with my 99-year-old grandmother, mother, stepfather, sister, brother-in-law and nephew. We had a beautiful turkey with all the trimmings, but there wasn't a good bottle of wine to be found in the house! My nephew, who works for Wally’s wine shop in Westwood, said that he was bringing wine for Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
I have to say that I am glad it is over. I finished tasting all my samples of 2005 Bordeaux last Friday and spent the weekend in Paris not thinking about Bordeaux. In fact, I drank mostly Beaujolais during my free time with friends in restaurants and at parties.
Château Pipeau is like many small chateaus now in Bordeaux. Until a few years ago, it was producing pretty ordinary wines and paying very little attention to what it was doing in its vineyards or cellar.
I had dinner last night at Table du Lavoir, which is the relaxed restaurant at the hotel where I am staying to taste the 2005s – Les Sources de Caudalie. I invited some hipster winemakers from the Right Bank, whom I consider some of the best in the business, including Denis Durantou of Pomerol’s Église-Clinet, Alexandre Thienpont of Pomerol’s Le Pin and Vieux-Château-Certan (VCC), and consulting enologist Stephane Derenoncourt, who works at Canon-La-Gaffelière, La Mondotte, Petit-Village and many others.
I was thinking this morning as I was getting into my first few 2005s in the tasting room of Les Sources de Caudalie that I probably won’t be tasting 1,000 reds in a couple of years when the 2007 Bordeaux are coming into the market in bottle.
I wrote this first thing this morning when I started tasting a range of wine, before going to a tasting and lunch at Léoville Las Cases , the second growth St. Julien: "It’s always a bit difficult for me to get started in the morning.
I had dinner last night at what might be considered a Fort Knox of old Bordeaux, the wine merchants of Mahler-Besse in city of Bordeaux. The small firm has become the torchbearer for fine old bottles from the region.
I just had lunch with Fabien Teitgen, who is the technical director of Smith Haut-Lafitte , the well-known white and red wine producer in Pessac-Léognan. Fabien is a hip dude and a very good vineyard guy and winemaker.
Looking at close to 1,000 samples of 2005 Bordeaux that you have to taste in about two weeks is a daunting experience. I had to take a deep breath when I arrived on Saturday at the hotel Les Sources de Caudalie , just outside of Bordeaux, and walked into my tasting room.
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