Bordeaux area: Worth it?

Jul 27th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,136
If your father was stationed in Pauillac (which is in the Haut Medoc, about a hiccup away from Chateaux Latour, Lafite and all the rest), why are you thinking about St Emillion, which is miles away, and a real shlep round the Bordeaux rocade, which is always near-gridlocked?

The Medoc/Haut Medoc peninsula is fun (you can drive round the Latour vineyards, and pop their grapes into your car for free when no-one's looking). The Pauillac information centre has reasonably well-informed staff, occasional tastings, and a facscinating leaflet on the history of Pauillac.

One terrific day out is to do the tour of the Saintonge churches (the area round Saintes), get the car ferry across from Royan to Verdon sur Mer in the Medoc, stop by Soulac (allegedly the starting-off point for English pilgrims on the road to Compostella, though the map they proudly display in the Soulac Basilica of ND de la
Fin de Terres to prove it dates from 1648, when the English weren't going anywhere on pilgrimage), then through the Haut Medoc back to Bordeaux.

Well worth anything.
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Original Poster
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Some worthy ideas here. Thanks, and more please.
tomboy is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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<<pop their grapes into your car for free when no-one's looking)>>

flanneruk - you mean that was you???
robjame is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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<it'd be our only chance ever to taste Grand Crus wine for a merely expensive price.>

If you actually get an appointment with one of the grand chateaus for a wine tasting/facility tour, then you'll get to drink the wine for FREE. Unlike Napa. they don't charge anything for tasting, and many will open 3-4 bottles for you for free. The key is making the appointment in advanced (by email/phone).

If you really are not into Bordeaux wine, I would recommend just going to Pauillac for your dad and perhaps have a lunch stop on the way at Lion d'Or. A well known local restaurant serving very good dishes at reasonable prices along highway D2 in Medoc halfway towards Pauillac. The friendly chef usually comes out to hug all his guests even Germans and Americans.
St Emillion is an attractive touristy town with remarkable medieval atmosphere, definitely worth a visit even if you're not into wine, however it's far from Pauillac.

PalenQ: FYI Costco prices on Bordeaux is not less than those at the proper wine stores. Often times they are actually a bit higher. They can do that because most costco buyers are not aware of the true market price of Bordeaux so why cut their profit, that's the costco wine director's logic.

DAX is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 12:42 PM
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Actually Paulliac is the home of some of the best known Bordeaux producers - Chateaux Latour, Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild. One would think that there would be a wine-tasting in the area.
robjame is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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DAX - that makes perfect sense to me. I jumped to conclusions that Cotsco, said to be the largest buyer of the vaunted 2005 Bordeauxs would thus have the best price.

But yes business motto is whatever the traffic will bear. Thanks for that insight
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 27th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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I agree with Robjame, those chateaus are really must sees and must taste (at no charge) if you can just get an appointment with them. The best way to get it is through the help of your local wineshop (besides Aldi). I just thought of a 4th reason to go: Visiting the wine chateaus may give you more information to appreciate of how/why a wine can taste better than the single dimensional Aldi merlot. It'll change your perspective at the very least.

PalenQ: It's a natural assumption that Costco is banking on. They have the clever image of a volume discounter which is true for some products, but not for all. That said, I still buy considerable amount of Bordeaux from them just out of convenience.
DAX is offline  

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