(La)Tour de force

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Another glorious morning and we have left the vineyards of Margaux behind en route to St Emilion and Pomerol.

Yesterday we finished the day’s tasting (13 chateaux) by relaxing on a terrace in the sun, a welcome cleansing ale in hand, reflecting on the wines.

The team at Beychevelle2008 for us is all about value and our main purpose during this week is to find the 10 wines that will represent the best value for money in this vintage. Yesterday we added three more chateaux to the list of contenders: Chx. Beychevelle (see left), Lagrange and Grand-Puy-Lacoste. These three had all made very impressive wines with bags of fruit, fine tannins and excellent structure – great achievements.

One of the most interesting things about this vintage so far is that the wines show very little evidence of green tannins or unripe fruit. Because of the widely reported bad weather over last summer, the chateaux waited a long time before starting to pick to allow the grapes more time to fully ripen. Virtually every producer we have visited talks about 2008 being their latest vintage ever for Cabernet and this ripeness of fruit really shines through on the good wines. Our top ten list is already looking very positive.

A review of yesterday’s tasting would not be complete without mentioning Ch. Latour (and on such a┬ábeautiful day too – Tasting at Latoursee the picture we took below left). This was quite clearly THE wine of the vintage so far (with Mouton in 2nd place). We all unhesitatingly gave it 19.5/20 (see the picture of us tasting, right). Quite incredible – but the price will undoubtedly reflect this. If you are going to splash out in ’08 then this could well be the one to go for.

The tour at LatourWe’ve just crossed the Pont d’Aquitaine and are now in Right Bank mode. Ausone, Angelus and Cheval Blanc await us. We’ve heard that Merlot in 2008 is as good on the Right Bank as Cabernet seems to have been on the Left – by the end of today we’ll know for ourselves if this is the case. Once more unto the breach, dear friends…

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