| Greetings. Whew! A lot has gone on since I last chimed in stateside on a Saturday night. A fortnight ago, I did so from my hotel room in Bordeaux. This year’s En Primeurs trip was a little unusual (really, who could have predicted a sunny week with highs over 85 F?), but was full of golden memories. I tasted a lot of 2010 barrel samples … and plenty of other wines from Bordeaux and its environs. That being said, I’ll be updating you all on the 2010 vintage itself and some other discoveries I made very soon.
So yeah, here I was back in central Bordeaux Saturday morning, the crazy Primeurs week behind me, so what to do? Watch football, of course. No wait, this was a work trip. In fact, I actually missed watching Chelsea in a Champions’ League match for the first time in I don’t know how long due to a dinner with business associates! So yes, it was a work trip indeed. Therefore, instead of hanging out within sight of a flat screen, I jumped in my Renault Clio and headed over the Garonne. No easy drive was this one. I rolled past St. Emilion out to Sainte-Foy-la-Grande to meet Daniel Hecquet at his Domaine Puy Servain. I tasted a wide array of his wines, and I’m happy to say, we’ve ordered a bunch, and they’re coming later this year! My visit out to the extreme right bank was two-pronged, as my next appointment was dinner with longtime friends of TWH, Christophe and Benedicte Piat of Chateau Couronneau!
|I arrived promptly at 7 PM (in fact, I made all of my appointments on time this year), and was greeted by Christophe as I parked the car. We could barely get past our second sentence of niceties before we were discussing the 2010 vintage (more on that in another email). I was introduced to their children, and with the nice weather, was led to a table outdoors (and a glass of 2010 Couronneau Blanc). Benedicte joined us and we tasted through several wines before and during dinner. The 2010 l’Ecuyer de Couronneau Rose was something new, fresh, and exciting. Look for that one sometime in June! As one would imagine, the dinner was fantastic, and the wines were sensational. The wine that stuck out for me? The 2009 Chateau Couronneau Bordeaux Superieur.|
| After I tasted the 2009 vintage out of barrel last year, I felt I was sitting on a big secret. Sure, we can all read the various synopses from those who tasted the wines, but it’s nothing like tasting them yourself! I had high expectations for the 2009 Couronneau, it showed amazing fruit, freshness, and structure out of barrel. Bottled in February, Christophe popped the cork on one, checked it out himself, and with a wry smile, poured me a taste. The aromas were sensational; I got an abundance of freshness with deep, pure dark raspberry fruit and earth. On the palate, the wine was, again, very fresh and pure in the fruit department. The clincher: It had that unmistakable 2009 structure. Dark, ripe fruit, fine tannins, and fresh acidity. These components join forces and fire home a long, harmonious finish. The 2009 Cru Classe Bordeaux are still over a year away from their expected arrival, but if you want to get a peek at what the fuss is about (not to mention, treat yourself to some downright sensational wine), the 2009 Chateau Couronneau Bordeaux Superieur is the ticket. In fact, I would love to find a couple bottles of this in the cellar 5 or so years from now!
I did mention that this was a work trip, right? So yeah, with the long drive ahead, there was a lot of spitting. Sadly, even with the 2009 Couronneau. But now that this baby is here in the shop, available now, I can take a bottle over to friends’ houses and share the joy! All good things must come to an end, and in spite of a wonderful, heartfelt visit with the Piats, and their great food and wine, I had to hit the road for my long drive back to Bordeaux. I made it back around 11:30 PM, watched some footy highlights, and fought off sleep as I typed up that Saturday night’s email. All good things must come to an end indeed. S’Prazdnikom! – Peter Zavialoff