On the Trail

Bordeaux Day One-ish

Ryan Moses

We’ve been traveling and tasting for about 30 hours with little sleep, but every moment has been worth it.  Landing in Bordeaux on time was a blessing - not only was all of the running through terminals to catch our connection a success, but we also were on one of the few flights that wasn’t cancelled by Air France’s strike.  All in all, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate.

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We had a whole twelve and a half minutes to unpack on arrival and off we went.  First up we’re the wines of Vignobles Kwok. Usually tasted at Tour St Christophe, they instead hosted us at their newly acquired Belfont Belcier.  Considering what they’ve done with recent additions to the portfolio we’re expecting great things from this property going forward. Our best-selling favorite, Tour St Christophe, was once again immensely delicious and accessible in ‘17 - an incredibly young but balanced barrel sample that seems almost ready for the market already.

Pavie was our other visit of the day.  One of the most impressive new estates in Bordeaux, the wines showed well across the range.  Some of the tasters that lean a bit more classical were floored by the mineral drive of the limestone influenced ‘17 Pavie Decesse.  2017 Pavie, on the other hand, is a towering wine — one of those that shows tons of depth but the potential will take years to show. Those looking for a bit more value, but have a few years to wait should take a look at Monbousquet — production was down 50%, but what remained showed tons of promise.

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But the Pavie story doesn’t end there. They surprised us with a decadent dinner at the transcendent La Plaisance. Our ambassador at Pavie (along with the fine folks at Joanne) brought some remarkable wines, but it was just a coincidence that our Bordeaux buyer Clyde Beffa nearly stole the show with a wine he poured blind. Recently checked as baggage, but still remarkable, was the 1989 Pavie.  Not only did it beautifully evolve over the course of the night, but it caught the attention of none other than Pavie’s owners Gerard and Chantal Perse, who came to share a glass.  Gerard purchased the property without the library, so pre-1998 Pavie is a bit of a rarity.

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Speaking of Pavie, the inaugural 1998 made a showing alongside the highly-acclaimed 2010.  Each decade that was represented was brilliant in its own way. The gorgeous meal, impeccably crafted by the team at La Plaisance, seemed to have endless courses  — it was hard not to feel that there could be no better way to start off our trip. The real tastings start on Monday, so we’ll get a lot busier and in depth going forward, but for now thanks for one more indulgence in sharing a truly great evening.

- Ryan Moses