Archive for February 8th, 2020

February 8, 2020

Another wine story of Bordeaux!

So yes here I am with another wine story of Bordeaux. I have written some posts on wine one of my passions in my life. And of course, on Bordeaux wines which is a very big area indeed.  There is a smaller area that I like the most call Médoc right in the peninsula between the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers and the Atlantic ocean.

Let me tell you about some of my all time favorite properties as I have found some pictures from my vault and even if personal are dated and will complement rather nicely this post. But first , a bit about the Médoc, just a bit ok

The Médoc is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. There are three parts to it: Bas-Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Landes, and two terroirs, the famous Médoc vineyard along the estuary, and Landes du Médoc towards the ocean. The coast is dotted with small seaside resorts: Soulac, Montalivet, Carcans, Hourtin or Lacanau, which is wonderful and many times with the family here. The wine part of the Médoc mainly corresponds to Haut-Médoc . The Médoc vineyard includes the following appellations: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint -Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc and Margaux. Of course, the best in the world!!!

Here is a sampler ok , hope you enjoy it as we do!

The Château de Lescombes located at 198 avenue du Taillan was called under the Old Regime (monarchy) , the Château de la Plane, name of the rural lordship which surrounded it. The rectangular building is flanked by 4 towers covered in a pepper shaker. It is marked by classic fashion, sobriety of architecture and symmetry. Nearby, the dovecote-well is a cylindrical tower covered with a stone dome where a collection of market gardening tools from the eco-museum are on display. The castle was bought in 1989 by the city of Eysines and has become the Contemporary Art center of Château Lescombes. It is 7 km from Bordeaux. The property has long stop producing wines at least since the 1980’s but was a regular of mine long ago in my beginnings so still have a picture of it. More of it here: https://www.eysines.fr/culture/infos-pratiques-et-acces/centre-dart-contemporain-du-chateau-lescombes/

Bordeaux

The Château Palmer is a wine estate located in Cantenac. In AOC Margaux, it is classified third grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. In the 18C, the castle was already a wine estate recognized for its wines, which were tasted at the court of Versailles. This property belonged to Madame de Gasq and was then called Domaine de Gasq. It was sold in 1814 to British lieutenant-colonel Charles Palmer, who gave it its current name.

It has been one of my house favorite over the years and still do drink it. Margaux is good! More info here:  https://www.chateau-palmer.com/

Bordeaux

It was in 1300, at the initiative of the Commanderie des Templiers, that this vineyard was born. The rectangular dwelling is surrounded by two lateral, square and projecting pavilions. The main elevations, on the road, form a courtyard closed by a portal and a low wall supporting a metal grid. The house is framed by two wings in return, built in the extension of the pavilions. On the street side, the facade of the main building is made up of a projecting fore-body, framed by pilasters, in continuous bossing for the ground floor and smooth for the first floor; the entire fore-body is topped with an attic. The openings are framed by a molded frame; the upstairs window, preceded by a metal railing bearing the initials C and A for Château d´Arcins, is crowned with a circular pediment. The rest of the main building, adorned with a protruding median strip, is pierced with bays in a segmental arch. The wings, whose bays have a protruding frame, are capped with a molded cornice. These wings are extended in return by buildings of outbuildings, whose facades on the street are decorated with a continuous boss. These buildings have 7 spans for the one housing the offices and 9 for the other, corresponding to the old vat room. It is own since 1971 by the Castel group of wineries. It is one of my favorites since 1990 and we enjoy at home a lot ,last the 2015 are superb. The Castel group is one of the biggest distributors of wine in the world and are base in Provence. More on this property here : https://www.chateaux-castel.com/chateaux/chateau-d-arcins/

Bordeaux

The Château Cantenac Brown, is a 48 hectare wine estate located in Cantenac In AOC Margaux, it is classified third grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855.

Jacques Boyd, squire of the King, bought in 1754 some land in the parish of Cantenac, thus creating a wine estate which gave birth to two properties: Boyd-Cantenac and Cantenac Brown. In 1806, John Lewis Brown, a Frenchman of Scottish origin, bought vines which took the name of Cantenac-Brown.  It was there that John-Lewis Brown, future animal painter and grandson of the founder of the property, spent his childhood. The castle was sold in 1843 to a banker named Gromard. The latter was at the head of the estate in 1855, when the property was classified as the third Grand Cru Classé under the name of Boyd. In 1860, the vineyard was sold to Louis Armand Lalande who gave it the final name of Cantenac Brown. At the end of 2019, Cantenac Brown changed hands and came under the control of the Le Lous brothers, a family of French medical entrepreneurs (Urgo group ).

Excellent wines and a house favorite of ours. Again Margaux! More info here:  http://www.cantenacbrown.com/

Bordeaux

Located in the town of Parempuyre near Bordeaux, the Château Clément-Pichon estate bore the name of “La Motte Caupène” in the 14C. Durand-Dassier will rebuild the castle with an original architecture of the Renaissance type following a fire in 1881. It is finally Clément Fayat, entrepreneur in construction and already owner of the Château La Dominique in Saint Emilion, which acquires it in 1976. He recreates there from the ground up on 25 hectares of a Haut-Médoc vineyard, established on a coarse gravel terroir on the surface, the basement consisting of iron grime. The vines are 25 years old on average with the grape varieties distributed between 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard is operated in a reasoned cultivation mode . A simple property we came upon looong ago and has been our house favorite for years still do. More info here:http://chateau-clementpichon.com/

Bordeaux

The Château Cos d’Estournel, is a wine estate spanning 91 hectares, located in Saint-Estèphe. Cos d’Estournel produces wine under the appellation Saint-Estèphe, classified among the second grands crus in the 1855 classification. The estate was founded by Louis-Gaspard d’Estournel , who inherited vines near the village from Cos in 1811.

He travelled a lot and this allows him distant exports, in particular to India attracting him the nickname of Maharajah. In 1830, to celebrate this, he surmounted his cellars of Chinese pagodas, which would then be the exotic image of Cos, and brought a door from the 17C from Zanzibar. In 1917, Fernand Ginestet, a famous Bordeaux wine merchant and also co-owner of Château Margaux, bought the estate. His grandchildren Yves, Jean-Marie and Bruno Prats inherited the estate in 1970. The estate was sold in 2000 to the passionate industrialist, Michel Reybier. In 2006, a restoration of the buildings allowed the pagodas to regain their original appearance.

One of the curiosity wine castles and very much matching quality, again one of my house favorite for years ! More info here:https://www.estournel.com/fr/

Bordeaux

The Château Lanessan, located in Cussac Fort-Médoc Haut Médoc , has already had the distinction of belonging to one and the same family since 1793. For eight generations, the Bouteiller family has exploited this 80 ha vineyard in one piece, rather rare in the region, surrounded by a 145 ha of forest lands. The wine is 70% sold abroad and available in France among wine merchants and in large retailers: Some of the other properties are Château Sainte-Gemme and Château Lachesnaye, neighboring properties acquired in the 20C by the Bouteiller family. Les Calèches de Lanessan , the second wine named in honor of the Belle Epoque collection of vehicles from the Horse Carriage Museum located in the heart of the estate. And of course Château Lanessan, the flagship of the group, a highly rated Haut Médoc which is not, however, part of the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. You will find 3 grape varieties: 60% cabernet sauvignon, 36% merlot and 4% petit verdot. Thus was born a wine with a complex and elegant nose, a well structured mouth, with fleshy tannins and a persistent finish. Good vintages can be kept for more than 10 years.

Here the curiosity is we came for the horse carriage museum when the boys were little and we love the place as well as the wines. It has been a favorite of the family for about 16 yrs already. More info here: http://www.lanessan.com/

Bordeaux

The Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande is an 85 hectare wine estate located in Pauillac. Located in AOC Pauillac, it is classified second grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855.

In 1850 after the owner’s death, Baron Joseph de Pichon-Longueville, Virginie, one of his daughters, took over the management of the estate and commissioned a castle inspired by the Hôtel de Lalande located in Bordeaux where her husband Henri-Charles Raymond, Count of Lalande had spent his childhood. In 1978, May-Eliane de Lencquesaing in turn received this beautiful estate and devoted herself entirely to it. She gave it an international reputation due to a constant quality and an undeniable dynamic. The Maison de Champagne Louis Roederer, became its owner in 2007,

It is an exception within the Pauillac appellation because 11 hectares are located in the town of Saint-Julien. Its grape varieties are composed of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. One of the classics of Bordeaux and we love the story of Elaine and have followed it ever since! More info here: http://www.pichon-comtesse.com/

Bordeaux

For general info the tourist office of the Médoc is here in English: Official tourist office of the Médoc

Hope you enjoy it like us and do come to visit on site these properties are awesome as it is the whole Médoc peninsula of commonly call Bordeaux! En Vino Veritas!

And remember, happy travel, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

February 8, 2020

Gan, and the wines of Jurançon!!!

And once in a while I come back to you with one of my main hobbies love passion quietly done in my family for generations. I have written plenty and told you about my background plenty so let’s tell you about another wonderful region of the south west of France we love and do go and eat  and drink from it over the years.

Let me tell you about the wonderful  Caves des Jurançon a wine cooperative of Gan founded in 1949, and its delicious Jurançon wines. To find it is real easy as there are right on the National road N134 at Gan just south of Pau. Just follow direction Centre Ville Gan and you will hit the cellars or Caves! This is wine drank it many times but never at the spot so took a ride here and spend the day great folks, great location, and great wines.

Gan

We arrive early but enough to have them all set up and ready to go. Ample free parking as the Caves occupies spaces on both sides of  Avenue Henri IV in Gan. We went to the main tent right in front of the receiving of grapes store. There was music groups playing French and Basque/Béarnaise music, a beret throwing contest (beret is the hat of the basque) , the store was fully open and staff ready to go.

Gan

Gan

We went Inside with a guide name Julien , who was fantastic, we exchange lots of questions and he was right on right away no hesitation real pro.  The building is where they have the process of receiving grapes from the coopératives that are members of the cave, 660 hectares are own by them and about 40 is own direct by the Cave.  The grapes are separated along the two main grapes gros manseng and petit manseng for the whites dry and moelloux or sweet sort of they go from dry to late vendage very sweet, they also do rosé and red wines from coopératives in other regions of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. They are blend it base on the master winemaker decision base on quality.

Gan

We then, took the ride on a petit train or little train into the back of the building where huge aluminum tanks stored the juice for fermetation and treatment. And we ran across with the little train to see the building across the street where they do the filling, labeling ,and packaging of the wines with special computised machines including a robot that does 6000 bottles per hour. The place hold about 80 full time employees and the automation has not decrease the number. They ship 10% international and 30% to individuals another 30% to small stores mom and pop places and 30% to big distribution. We are glad to be part of the 30% to individual buyers!!!

Gan

Gan

The process is very computerized and very clean, all the personnel spoked with us very nicely, and very willing to explain their processes. Once the trip was done we headed back to the main Platform where grapes are received for a free tastings of all their lineup of wines!! Of course, we tasted them all!!! It was great the lady was very nice and we were serve sausages,and cheese to eat along the way.  You were given a list with prices and another pamphlet with the wines and matching suggestions.

Gan

Gan

After all this process and wandering about the place we headed for the boutique store for purchases. We already had our price list completed with the wines we wanted, handed it over and they do all the packaging for you. We purchase two cases of different wines for my cellar ::) and we did said goodbye to all, a wonderful day , and very friendly folks;  makes you come back for more….And we had!!!

Gan

For lunch we stay there, one of the bottles we purchase we ask to be open and they did for us, went across to a bakery pastry store Boulangerie Chuchi, wonderful regional products like ham and chorizos yummy with great tarte of fruits, etc there is a bench outside by the road and had our picnic sort of right on the spot with a bottle of Oh Biarnesa rosé cold from their store at the Caves des Jurançon!!!

Gan

The official webpage for them is here: Official Caves des Jurancon

And here is the tourist office of Pau on them :Tourist office of Pau-Pyrenees on the Caves des Jurançon

In all a wonderful time we had here with funny moments, great company, excellent guide and plenty of bottles home to continue the tradition!!! En vino veritas!!! and I hope you enjoy the post and do visit here at Gan in the Caves des Jurançon!

And remember, happy travel, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

February 8, 2020

Going back to Maison Jadot!

So let me bring you back to something written already a bunch in my blog and plenty of proof of where I am coming from on wines. I feel a bit nostalgic today so will dwell into the past of my wine tasting/drinking/traveling days. The photos are from 1995!!! so dare to post them lol!!!

Let me take you a wonderful house in the Côte d’Or dept 21, region of Bourgogne-Franch-Comte today in my belle France and  the town of Beaune of the house of Maison Jadot!

My short story on this is that many years back in the early 90’s I met the recently name President of the house in person of Pierre-Henry Gagey in Florida USA at a wine tasting in Crown Wine & Liquors of South Miami. I was already well versed on wines and recent graduate of the wine connaisseur course of SOPEXA or Food and Wine from France export arm of the French government; I still have my diploma!

In a pleasant concersation of his wines, I told him that I was married to a French lady and was visiting France shortly. He suggested i visit his house and gave me his business card to show it at Beaune and be given a personal wine tasting tour. This of course I did. It was done by the Europe Sales Manager  Marc Dupin and it was wonderful. We were picked up at our hotel and brought over to the property in Beaune. The tour gave me the chance to taste some of their top wines that even my income at the time would not have allowed!!! A lasting impression that took me to buy ,drink their wines for years.  Later thus, I admit I have gone away from Burgundy wines a bit….

beaune

And this is the story of the Maison Jadot wines. Hope you enjoy it.

The Maison Louis Jadot is a wine producer-trader based in Beaune. The company now controls 220 hectares (2.2 km2) in Côte d’Or, in the Mâconnais and in the Beaujolais, within the Burgundy vineyards. Its products bear a single label for its entire range. This label, characterized by a frieze, the head of Bacchus and its pale yellow color, remains unchanged.

The history of Maison Louis Jadot began in 1826 with the acquisition of the Beaune premier cru Clos des Ursules by the Jadot family. Louis Henry Denis Jadot founded the Maison Louis Jadot in 1859.

Rudy Kopf, founder of the wine department of Macy’s and then of his own distribution company Kobrand Corp, in 1945 became the importer of Jadot wines in the United States. In 1985, Mrs. Jadot decided to sell the business to the Kopf family to ensure the sustainability of the House. In 1992, Pierre-Henry Gagey became president of the Maison Louis Jadot.

In 1996, Maison Louis Jadot acquired Château des Jacques in Beaujolais, in 2008 Domaine Ferret in Fuissé. In 2013, it bought an estate in the United States in Oregon with 13 hectares. The 80 hectares of vineyards of Château des Jacques are spread over 6 appellations located in beautiful climates such as Moulin-à-Vent, Morgon, Chénas and Fleurie. The Domaine Ferret is a wine estate located in Fuissé. The vines owned represent a total of 18 hectares in the heart of the Pouilly-Fuissé appellation.

The task that the men and women of Maison Jadot set for themselves is to express a true Burgundy, turned towards the future and proud of its origins. For this, the vines are in a reasoned struggle, the manual harvesting and the precise and not very interventionist vinification. There is also the quality of the farms, which are made in all possible containers. 86% of production represents the percentage of export sales

Beaune

The wines are beautifully crafted whites with better and better balanced aging, even if I would like nothing more density and depth in the major vintages. The reds are of high quality, with less severity than in the past thanks to the extractions which seem more measured. The Santenay Clos de Malte smells like vanilla from the farm. The mouth displays density, but the finish is a bit short. Meursault Narvaux is a taut, muscular, energetic wine. The Clos Blanc stands out with a sweet, but consistent fruit. Les Combettes clearly transcribes the finesse of its place of birth but lacks density for a premier cru of this caliber. The Corton-Charlemagne is juicy and sapid: nice length on a delicious, elegant and nuanced fruit. In red, the marsannay is slightly folded. Clos des Guettes can be drunk now or expected, with its supple texture and juicy fruit. Clos des Ursules shows a slight wood grip; there is no shortage of volume. The Gevrey-Chambertin respects the fruit and its mouth transcribes the refined power of this beautiful terroir. The finely wooded Clos-Vougeot offers fruit of great purity. After a fine attack, the telluric power of the soil resumes its rights in the final, straight, solid, which recalls that the wine is built for very long aging.

Beaune

Their official webpage in English: Official Maison Louis Jadot

Tourist office of Beaune: Tourist office of Beaune on the Maison Jadot

You can buy direct without the tour which needs reservation ahead ; the Cuverie is the boutique store at 62, route de Savigny in Beaune.  The contact for reservation is found here: Louis Jadot contact for reservation and purchases direct in Beaune

Hope you enjoy the post, love to write about wines but do it sparingly …..the house of Louis Jadot can be an exception for me when buying Burgundy wines; you try it.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

 

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