Tuesday, 8 May 2012
His En Primeur showing always seems to be the first in Oxford, so when you get there, you are desperate to get your teeth into the new vintage. Etiquette dictates that you must wade through the "interesting" pink and dry white Bordeaux wines.
I look at them as practise wines, like a warm up before a bike ride. They are an obstacle that needs clearing.
If you do plum straight for the new reds, you get guided back to the beginning by one of the growers. The growers are on hand to answer questions about their wines, but also act as unofficial ushers, for people who have not yet earned the right to the prize.
2009 & 2010 were such great Bordeaux vintages that this year could only result in a "filler year".
A filler year is one that fills the space while you wait for the good years to come of age.
Without going in to too much detail, Pomerol stood out particularly well.
The left bank's were very jammy with plenty of cherry and little blackcurrant fruit.
Sauternes and Barsac were very good too, with the prices being held or lowered this year.
The roast beef lunch and 2006 claret were a great finish to a thoroughly enjoyable day.