30 June 2015

Tasting wines at Chateau Teyssier with Tom Harrow

I was recently lucky enough to be invited to an 40th birthday party staying at Chateau Rigaud near Saint Emilion in the Bordeaux region of France. 

Me tasting Le Dome 2009 at Chateau Tessier
One of the fabulous excursions that was organised (as well as a helicopter ride over Saint Emilion!!) was a wine tasting trip to a nearby Chateau, Chateau Teyssier. This was hosted by wine expert Tom Harrow from Honest Grapes who had also done a vertical wine tasting for us at our Chateau the previous night.

Although we were in the heart of Bordeaux, we had been drinking Tuscan reds for most of the week, thanks to the birthday boy's love of Italian wines. So it was organised that the wine tasting should be a comparison of a couple Italian 2009 reds vs a couple of the Grand Crus produced in 2009 by JCP Maltus wines.

The Chateau itself is hugely opulent, modern and immaculate. We were fortunate enough to be greeted by Lyn Maltus, one of the owners and a pair of gorgeous Gordon Setter dogs. After a brief tour of the production, we were led through to the tasting area, which was cool despite it being a 30 degree day in France, which overlooked a beautiful swimming pool with relaxed outside eating areas. Overall, it had a very decadent feel.

The wines we tasted at Chateau Teyssier
Now, anyone who reads my blog knows that I love wine. But I really wouldn't class myself as an expert. I suspect like a lot of wine fans, I drink a lot of it and I know what I like, but that is about it. One day, I hope to take my WSET and become more of an expert, but for now I am content being a happy novice. 

So, some of the talk about terroirs and South Bank and Left Bank wines went a bit over my head. But I have to admit, all of the wines we tasted were absolutely delicious and the whole atmosphere was amazing. And it was good to compare wines with similar grape composites from different countries from the same year.

Outside Chateau Teyssier
Having got married in Tuscany in 2013, I obviously absolutely love Italian wines. But probably my favourite wine of the day was Le Dome 2009. Apparently JCP Maltus only produced around 1,000 cases of this so it weighs in at a hefty £131 a bottle. But when you taste it, you can see why it has such a glamorous price tag. It is smooth, fruity and velvety and was given 99 points by Robert Parker who said the Dome was Johnathon Maltus' finest wine to date.

My next favourite was probably Le Macchiole Paleo 2009 from Tuscany. This has a more affordable price point of £45. Made with 100% Cabernet Franc, it smells of plums and cherries and tastes of spice and tobacco.

We also tried the Vieux Chateau Mazerat 2009 vs the Castello di Ama L'apparita 2009. Both of which were great, but the Bordeaux probably had the edge with its Cranberry and white chocolate flavours.

I've done lots of wine tastings around the world. But even in Sonoma in California, I've never been somewhere as elegant as Chateau Teyssier or tried such fine wines. An absolute once in a lifetime experience and thanks to everyone who made it happen.

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