It’s one of those articles where the invite to a tasting is so delightful I just have to lead with it:
On behalf of Hervé Gouin (Château Mouton Rothschild), Christian & Cherise Moueix (Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix), Veronique Sanders (Château Haut-Bailly), Nicholas Glumineau (Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande), Cathleen Burke Visscher (Château Ducru-Beaucaillou), and Jean-Phillippe Lemoine (Château d’Yquem), we are delighted to invite you to join them at an extraordinary tasting of iconic current and museum Bordeaux wines from their estates…Hervé, Christian & Cherise, Veronique, Cathleen, and Jean-Phillippe look forward to hosting you in Los Angeles during their first ever visit together as a group.
Oh dear me. I really had to force myself (LOL) to drive to Christie’s Beverly Hills, mid day instead of rush hour, to spend two hours tasting from six amazing Bordeaux producers.
I was stoked for days before. I had some of these Bordeaux before, in fact I had recently reviewed a 2000 vintage of Ducru-Beaucaillou. But never had so much time devoted to a small party of six pouring stations. So let’s get on with it! (If you just want to see photos go here.)
Once I arrived at Christie’s I took a look around and made my way to the tables with the smallest group clamored around it. I knew I would hit them all and taste them all, but I also didn’t want to waste precious minutes standing behind groups of people that wanted to linger. I would take my sample, back up or go to the side to allow others in, then I would smell, swirl, smell again, taste, spit and pour out. (Two gentlemen thanked me for being so gracious.) Granted a tasting like this one makes it very hard to pour out! Here’s what I found remarkable in terroir (barnyard!), spice and/or fruit:
Château Mouton Rothschild, 2010 Chateau d’Armailhac and the Le Petit stood out for me among the many vintages shared.
Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix (Chateau Lafleur-Gazin table) I enjoyed a 2009 Chateau Pay Blanquet, 2006 Chateau Magdelaine, 2009 Chateau de Sales (another grand chateau we visited once), 2009 Chateau Bourgneuf and the 2009 and 2014 from Chateau Hosanna.
Every vintage – 2010, 2011 and 2015 – was outstanding from Château Haut-Bailly.
2011 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande was wonderful to taste having visited the Chateau a few years back. Also enjoyed a 2009 Chateau de Pez they poured as well.
1989 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou was a big hit for many at the event. One peer explained to me that in the 1980s the Chateau had an issue with cork taint and had to re-cork all bottles. He was curious as to how the wine had fared. Seemed to me that the re-corking had worked perfectly! Also enjoyed the 2015 and 2014 Chateau Lalande-Borie at the same table.
Château d’Yquem 2005 and 2016, especially nice to see the coloring darken on the 2005, and the opportunity to taste both of these classic Sauternes. Superb.
What a great finish…but oh wait…there was one Champagne, a 2009 Louis Roederer et Philippe Stark collaboration Brut Nature, that ended my day perfectly.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.