JC in France May - June 2018 | Day 3
An early start again as I had to drive on the outskirt of Bordeaux township for a meeting with one of our Bordeaux agent/brokers. In Bordeaux the top Chateaux do not sell direct, and us as an importer have to deal with this 'middle man' to secure our allocations but to also guide us in our selections. It is also for us a good time to catch up with the fresh news of what's happening in the Bordeaux wine world and to have better handling. We do have half a dozen brokers with whom we have a very close relationship and been dealing with them for many years - they are the best in the business!
My next meeting was right in the centre of Bordeaux to meet up with another agent of ours (maybe the biggest and most exclusive one!). After a good catch up and a big tasting – the most important thing is LUNCH! France is still big on their lunches and the restaurants are packed with business people.
Unfortunately I could not have a four hour lunch as I was expected with another agent in the village of St Emilion. My meeting was at Château Canon which is probably the superstar of Bordeaux at the moment! This property is owned by the group Chanel and it’s just magnificent, beside making top wines. We went down to the private cellars and I've spotted some 1869, 1904, 1917, 1920 and many many more. And non! I was not invited to choose one!
My last visit of the day was way further South in the Appellation of Sauternes to meet up with our very good friends at Château Villefranche. The very first vintage I have personally bought was the 2010 vintage. Here we tasted the full range (Benoit, the owner does also produce, beside his Sauternes, an honest and great value Graves rouge). But the highlight was his Sauternes 2016 – it’s still in barrel at this stage but will be bottled soon, as a wonderful texture, balance and mineralogy to finish with. We had dinner together at their place with lots of laughs. Another late night for me! - JC
Small tasting to start the day!