We were lucky to snag 2 spots in 2015 for The Bordeaux Grand Cru Harvest Tour put on by The Bordeaux Wine Experience. Five great days of tasting and learning about incredible Bordeaux wines. Days 1 and 2 were very informative and included a lot of tasting. Day 3 took a different spin.
Day 3 started with breakfast at the Château Coulon Laurensac, the chateau in which we were staying for the event. We had delicious croissants, yogurt, and fruit with our excellent hosts Margaret and Ronald, and the other 13 participants.
Creon Farmers’ Market
While Ron had led the previous 2 days, today was Margaret’s turn. We boarded our bus to go to the seven-century-old Creon farmers’ market where we lusted over the fruits, vegetables, cheeses, charcuterie, meat, fish, poultry, live chickens that people purchased for egg-laying, live rabbits, prepared foods and more. San Francisco’s Ferry Building has a great farmer’s market, but nothing like this one!
Margaret led the way and picked out the ingredients that we would use in a cooking class where we would all help to make lunch. But what fun is a farmers’ market if you don’t get a chance to sample interesting foods along the way? Margaret pointed out which vendors had the best products and pricing. Many of the people in our group couldn’t resist buying items for eating later as we were on our own for dinner that night.
Making and Enjoying Lunch with Bordeaux Wines
Then came the real “work”. Upon returning to the chateau, Margaret led a cooking class during which we had charcuterie and bread as a working snack while we prepared grilled vegetables, a version of veal saltimbocca for the main course, followed by a cheese course, and then a dessert of sauternes parfait (cream, egg yolks, and sauternes). The food was great (of course, we made it all!) and we were given a great apron and recipes to take home with us.
And of course, no cooking class is complete without wine. That was Ronald’s job. We started with a Rose (Rosé de la Solitude 2013 from Magnum, AOC Bordeaux Rosé) and a white Graves (Voiles de Floridene 2013, AOC Graves) during the preparation. For the main course we had Chateau Marquis d’Alesme 2005, 3e Grand Cru Classé, AOC Margaux, followed by an amazing Chateau Margaux 1998, 1er Grand Cru Classé, AOC Margaux served with cheese, 2015 Chateau Suau 2001, 2e Grand Cru Classé, AOC Sauternes with dessert, and then a Bas-Armagnac Francis Darroze 1999 Domaine Couzard Lassalle (bottled at the estate in 2014), AOC Bas-Armagnac, served from Double Magnum for an after dinner drink. Overall, it was a very pleasant, if not especially distinguished, lunch. It was made even more memorable by the interaction of everyone. Of course, the last two wines and the Armagnac didn’t hurt either.
Afternoon At Leisure
Now we were all filled with wine and food, we had the rest of the day free to roam about on our own. We had the option of heading back into the city for the afternoon and dinner. But we all decided to stay at the Chateau instead where we spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the river (Tom also finished off the meal with a Cohiba cigar that he brought from Paris) and sitting by the garden and the pool.
While most people picked up cheese and charcuterie at the market for dinner in their rooms, we decided to go to a small, casual local restaurant that was a 5-minute walk away (Les Trois Pommes which is now closed) with one of our fellow wine travelers. We each had a good-tasting galette with egg, mushrooms, Emmenthaler cheese, and sausage, along with a pretty good bottle of 2009 Chateau Tour Peyronneaux Saint Emillion Grand Cru Classe.
Today’s wine tastings were:
- Rosé de la Solitude 2013 from Magnum, AOC Bordeaux Rosé
- Voiles de Floridene 2013 (white), AOC Graves
- Clos des Lune d’Argent 2013, AOC Bordeaux
- Castillio de Monjardin El Cerezo 2013, Navarra
- Chateau Marquis d’Alesme 2005, 3e Grand Cru Classé, AOC Margaux
- Chateau Margaux 1998, 1er Grand Cru Classé, AOC Margaux
- 2015 Chateau Suau 2001, 2e Grand Cru Classé, AOC Sauternes
- Bas-Armagnac Francis Darroze 1999 Domaine Couzard Lassalle, AOC Bas-Armagnac