Whoever decided to put 550 wine producers in the same room and charge people very little to sip as often and as much as they want- deserves a MEDAL!!!
The Salon des Vine des Vignerons Indépendants comes to Lyon once and year – 4 days, 550 producers and thousands upon thousands of bottles of wine. It’s like heaven to wine lovers everywhere, but still French. My meaning being that 90% of the salon seemed to come from wine producers within the area – the other 10% coming from all over France. Now, I have an issue with France not wanting to import any wine from around the globe, but you would think that at a wine exposition at the very least ALL of France would be equally represented… Again, I am not stupid so I understand that in Lyon people only drink what comes from Lyon, but I think it is a bummer. There is SO much good wine, different wine, to at least taste. When I go to these events I know there is no way I can make it through the entire salon – I can drink, don’t get me wrong, but 550 in 4 days. No thanks. I carefully mark my map with wine producers that interest me and the regions I don’t get to drink often enough.
Bordeaux, in my opinion, has the ultimate love – hate relationship with French people. You have to be careful who you talk to about your love for Bordeaux. They are know, outside of Bordeaux, for being more arrogant, more expensive and too much in terms of taste. While, within Bordeaux they are super friendly towards others and really work to make a great wine. It is this weird paradox to enter into. Yesterday, I took my chances and braved going to Bordeaux.
Here’s what I drank…
Chateau les Tuileries Médoc – Sometimes Bordeaux is hard to drink because they have to be held for at least 5 years before drinking, so in a tasting of the ‘new’ vintage you really have to taste for potential. This stand had verticals. They were pouring 2009-2011 to give people an idea of how the wine improves and ages. My preferred bottle was their 2010 Prestige des Tuileries. A young wine with strong fruit forward notes and yet tickles the back of my throat. The tannins were mild enough without being too aggressive. It has aging potential, but easy drinking right now.
Château Cluzet and Château de Côme Saint – Estèphe – This little gem I wish I could buy cases of – Saint Estèphe is the northern most appellation on the left bank of the Gironde river. Médoc technically is north of Saint Estèphe, but also everywhere on the left bank, so we will say that Saint Estèphe is the most north. It is the masculine counterpart to the feminine Saint Julien, with Pauillac in the middle as the perfect balance of the two. This stand was also giving verticals to show how their wines develop- two bottles from 2007 and then the new 2011 vintage. The Château Clauzet 2010 had that masculine, round, tannic taste I love in a Saint Estèphe. Makes you want steak right away.
Château la Fon du Berger Pauillac – So, this was kind of a bummer. This producer did not have a lot of wine left – I think my friend had acutally bought most of it the day before! So, we did not get to taste their whole range of wines, but it was okay… Once you put your nose into the first glass you were home in Pauillac. I love Pauillac, it is probably my favorite region in France. It is a great blend of tannins and fruit, oak and juice, terrior and grape. It smells dirty and drinks smooth.
Château Mongravey Margaux – So much fun tasting at this stand. The people were friendly, lively and answered all my questions!!! Even knew their producers in the states! Anyway, my preferred wine was the Mongravey 2002. We tasted it in comparison with the Mongravey 2011. The 2011 for my palate was lacking that certain pazzaz that comes with Margaux, it was elegant and round, but missed the finish, missed the tickle at the back of my throat that makes me what to buy it and hold it for 10 years. The 2002 was excellent however. Round, spicey, light in tannins, with a structure that made my heart happy. The finish was long and velvety- what I think a Margaux should be after 9 years.
Chateau Pontac-Lynch Margaux – Came upon this stand just after visiting Chateau Mongravey, honestly we went there to compare the two since they were the only stands representing Margaux. Chateau Pontac-Lynch is a smaller family owned and operated winery that adds some Petit Verdot to their Margaux wines. I am constantly amazed at how the terrior can change the wine so much. The two where similar, yet completely different. The Cru Bourgeois 2011 was young, but tickled my throat. Man- a good throat tickle and I am a happy girl! The soft tannins made this a drinkable bottle right now as well as giving it aging ability.
Now, these are all left bank wines, I know. I do appreciate the right bank too, but can’t write anymore! Haha. Tomorrow maybe? or next month? You never know with me!