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LIVE from Bordeaux, France Press Tour 2023
Left and Right Bank Wines, La Cité du Vin Museum, Ranked Chateaus, Wine Bars
It’s beautiful today in sunny Bordeaux, France. Our train from Champagne included a change of train stations (from Gare d’Est to Gare Montparnasse) in Paris, but the journey was easy. If you want to do a day or two trip from Paris to Bordeaux, it is easy taking a TGV fast train for two hours between the cities. I am now looking across the street from the Intercontinental Hotel at architecturally beautiful Bordeaux Opera House. In the distance is the modern and distinct distant architecture of the famous wine museum, La Cité du Vin. Bordeaux is both an ancient and modern city. We are anticipating a wonderful press tour of this premier French wine region.
The itinerary takes me and my fellow certified wine professionals to several sub-regions, eight wineries, tours of some historic UNESCO World Heritage sites, wine bars, a famous shopping district, and several museums. I’m excited to taste a range of wines and especially the highly rated 2021 and 2022 White Bordeaux and 2015-2019 Pomerol red blends. For a Guide to Bordeaux Classifications by Sub-Region, please download the document below.
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“Jancis Robinson further revealed that Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon were picked earlier than ever before since Bordeaux University records began [due to climate change]. Domaine de Chevalier Blanc stood out among the dry whites, while Château Suduiraut received the highest score of 18+ points among the Sauternes.”– Jancis Robinson, Spring 2023, Purple Pages
Press Tour Details
Here is a quick summary of the week’s press tour itinerary:
· Private Bordeaux City Tour
· Pomerol, Right Bank Winery: Château Les Annereaux, Lalande de Pomerol organic wine
· Family-owned winery Vignobles Bourdillas in Lansac.
· La Cité du Vin Wine Museum press tour offers us a fresh view of the museum and Via Sensory Experience to be described in a subsequent Wine Wanderings newsletter.
· Les Bassins de Lumières, the largest art digital center in the world, resides inside a former submarine bunker from WWII, and is featuring current exhibitions of Gaudí and Dalí.
· Wine bars with views: Our Rooftop wine bar quest continues including The Rooftop of the Intercontinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel
· The exceptional wine shops in Bordeaux, including ETS Martin, St. Émilion.
· Shopping on Rue Sainte-Catherine- Europe’s longest pedestrian shopping street.
3 Tips for Traveling to Bordeaux
1. Travel during the off-seasons. Travel to Bordeaux in April-early May or October-November. You will miss the barrage of European tourists of summer. Traffic will be lighter. We should have visited in the Spring!
2. Add a Foodie Tour or Slow Food Movement activity to your agenda. Wine and food are natural pairings. The food in Bordeaux is inspiring. Try L’entrecôte Bordelaise (Bordeaux-style steak) with a bottle of grand vin Château Laffitte Carcasset.
3. Add a “value” appellation to your itinerary. You will be surprised at some of the bargain wines in many areas of the Medoc region, if you go outside the large Chateaux. Chateau Paloumey is an example of a great Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.
----Pascale Bernasse, Co-Founder, French Wine Explorers
Shopping in Bordeaux: Rue Sainte-Catherine, The Longest Shopping Street in Europe
Do you like to shop? Rue Sainte-Catherine is a pedestrian-only street, and is full of boutiques of all kinds and some big brands like Mango, Zara, and Stradivarius. Located in the heart of Bordeaux between Place de la Comédie and Place de la Victorie, it is the longest shopping street in Europe at 1,250 km. Admire the front of the Galeries Lafayette with its magnificent clock and the women in carved in stone.Try to avoid Saturdays!
Join me in the next few weeks as I continue the summer France tour in the Loire Valley and Paris with WSET certified wine experts and photographers, Wendy and Brian Hatfield.
Recommended White Bordeaux (many 2021 are not yet available)
2019 Château Picque-Caillou Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, $41,
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points
2018 Domaine De Chevalier Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux, France, $100
James Suckling, 99 Points. A red Bordeaux blend, and could be one of your best winery visits.
2020 Chateau Paloumey, Haut Medoc, Bordeaux France, $33
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points – they are wonderful to visit.
Download a “Guide to Bordeaux Classifications by Sub-Region”
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