One that you might not have heard of: Clos des Quatre Vents in Margaux. Together with Chateau des Quatre Soeurs. It is two properties owned (and run) by Luc Thienpont (part of the famous Belgian family, various branches of which run several chateaux in Bordeaux). He used to run Chateau Labegorce Zede, but the family decided to sell it in the early 2000s. Tiny, tiny property, only two and a half hectares, but on prime Margaux territory. From the LZ era he has retained a branded wine called Z. Good wines each in its own category. Thienpont opened a wine shop in the Margaux village last year. Good source for wine if you’re driving along the Route des Chateaux.
We’ll soon be publishing a video interview with Luc.
Second stop: far north: turn right at the 40 million euro Cos d’Estournel cellar renovation and you’ll come to Chateau Phelan Segur. Not a classed growth but run like one. Owned by the ardinier family who used to own Lanson and Pommery in Champagne. Really excellent lunch made by the chateau chef. Well, it should be since the chef trained at the Michel two star restaurant Les Crayeres in Reims, Champagne, which is also port of the Gardinier empire. Nice tasting (good 08, quite austere ut very promising) and some really good “older” (in relative terms – but still very unusal to be treated to inn Bordeaux!) vintages for lunch. A lunch to linger over, but we could not.
We had to rush (again, in relative terms) to our next rendez-vous: Chateau Lafite. I was particularly keen on it since I have not seen their new cellar, reputed to be spectacular. But before going there we passed through the barrel cellar where they were racking and sulphuring barrles. Stings in the nose. Good priming for the tasting in the circular Ricardo Bofill cellar… We had some respite though before tasting as we passed through the private bottle cellar with old, old vintages. We tasted a mystery vintage, no one guessed… it was Chateau Lafite 1995. Certainly still very young with lots of tanning, in spite of being double decanted at 11 in the morning.
Next stop, Chateau Reysson, in Haut Medoc, a property that Dourthe runs for the Japanese owners since the early 00s. It has certainily improved immensly since, and is now a very ambitious Haut-Medoc. Lots of investments in vineyards (replanting…) and in the cellar. A scoop, tasting the vintage (2005 I think it was, have to check the notes) that will be released on the Swedish market in October. Very nice, well made, modern & classic (can you say that?) Bordeaux.
But the day is not finished. Dinner is scheduled at Chateau Belgrave, also a Haut Medoc, but one that was classified Grand Cru Classe (one of the few that is not in one of the sub-appellations). Before dinner though we make a pit stop in the vineyard with the chef de culture. Passionate about vines and vine growing. Nice to have the vines explained by someone who really, really knows what he talks about. But he has 450,000 of them to take care of so he should know!
Finishing a very long day with another delicous dinner, with a few of Belgrave’s own wines of course and then a long drive (by the driver) back to the bed at Chateau Pey Latour.