Less than an hour out of the city of Bordeaux and we’re stopped in a little lane in the middle of a farm. “The GPS says it’s here,” the driver offers, looking around at what is obviously not the château we’re looking for. He calls headquarters. Frankly, I can’t understand how anyone finds their way around the famed regions of Sauternes and Barsac in the southern part of Bordeaux.
In the evening, we drove into the center of Bordeaux, which takes about an hour, just to taste one wine: Château d’Yquem. This year, château director Pierre Lurton had decided to take over the beautiful Bordeaux opera house in the center of town.
We arrived at the Château Figeac where the Manoncourt family has resided for centuries. A housemaid in an aproned uniform brought water, then we were left entirely alone for the better part of an hour. Until, strolling the grounds, we spied another housemaid cleaning outside, and asked her to find out what was up. It turned out our host was over at Château Cheval Blanc, having a great tasting. He arrived a few minutes later.
Fresh fields of flowers in the aroma, almost sauvignon blanc-like. A big wine, big flavors with both light fruit and maturity in the body. Light acid in a finish that ends buttery and lemony. 13% alcohol.
Almost deceptively light at first in its aromas and flavors. Very elegant wine, benefits from being opened for a while to round out the flavors. Moderate alcohol (13.5%). Later, it remains ethereal: a suggestion of smoke in the aroma, then a hint of a memory of tropical fruit wafts by your palate.
An aroma of fresh fields, herbs and wildflowers. A light-medium body, smooth on the tongue, with a touch of spice. Nicely balanced with a sizeable finish. And only 13% alcohol.
Having visited Burgundy in the summer of this “difficult year”–rainy and cold; wore all my sweaters plus raincoat every day–I was curious to see what had been produced in Chablis. This wine has a sweet, fruity nose with a hint of tropical fruits, barely ripened. A light but pleasant body, and medium lemony acid in the finish. It took some time to settle down in the glass; better the next day. Bonus: only 12:5% alcohol.