Having conquered the Co-ops we have time to look for more Cru Bourgeois wines. These are wines that have made it into the classification ranks and can be excellent wines. Bill (Mr. Research) has been combing through all the wines in the Medoc to find ones that do not export to the United States and he has several that we are potentials for us. We spent the morning at Wayne’s shop – Cave L’Avant Garde in Margaux – making plans for the blind tasting and asking him for recommendations from the list Bill has put together. Wayne has identified two that he thinks are worth visiting and we call and make appointments to go see them.
By now it is time for …you guessed it…lunch. We can’t resist the omlet at the Relais de Margaux so we return and take our time with a relaxed lunch before heading out to the vineyards.
Our first stop for the afternoon is a small family run winery that has been in the family for three generations. The wife of the owner proudly poured their wines and gave us a tour of the facility. These are beautifully made wines with good structure and balance. We particullarly like the 2009 and Bill likes the 2008 – so we put both in the blind tasting.
We travel up the Medoc north of Pauillac and past Mouton Rothschild to visit Domaines Fabre. We have an appointment here and are met by a very nice and engaging representitive who gives us a wonderful guided tour of the facility and offers some great insight into the wine business. We taste five of their wines – including an ’06 and ’04 – and are very impressed by the quality of the wines and the value. Toward the end of our tastinng we are joined by Vincent Fabre (the owner) who is also engaging and tells us the key to great wine. He says, “if you don’t have great fruit out there in the vineyard, you can’t make a great wine in here.” He knows that the hard work of winemaking is in the vineyard and they are focusing on making sure the vineyard is great. Their efforts are reflected in their wines as we love five of the six and will put them in the blind tasting. This is what we are looking for: dedicated winemakers who have a passion for what they do and are making a commitment to producing great wine at a reasonable price.
We are done for the day. We dropped off our samples at Waynes and headed back to the Relais de Margaux. Again we decided to skip the big dinner and have wine and cheese on the balcony of our rooms instead. Unfortunately we have picked two more mediocre wines to have with our cheese so it’s not all perfect. We have had beautiful weather and it is a delight to simply relax on the balcony and take it all in. We are very fortunate to be able to do this, and we are soaking it up.
Tomorrow we head across the river to St Emilion. I can’t wait to see Dave in photo heaven when he gets to St Emilion. Until then.