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The Magic Number at Malescot St. Exupery

by Chuck Hayward

A handful of truly mythical numbers for Bordeaux lovers—1945, 1959, 1982, and, possibly most of all, 1961—are widely considered the greatest vintages of all time. These are legendary years that all Bordeaux lovers know but few have actually had the opportunity to experience. I’d certainly never had the chance to taste any of them…until recently.

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A Man with a Plan: Bernard Magrez at Pape Clement

by Chuck Hayward

After spending most of Tuesday tasting the 2010s of Pessac-Leognan, we headed to Chateau Pape Clément for a tasting, tour, and dinner. The chateau and vineyards of Pape Clement are unique in Bordeaux in that they are basically just outside the city limits, surrounded by suburbs and sitting right next to the small village of Pessac.

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Cos d'Estournel: I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore

by Chuck Hayward

During En Primeurs, Bordeaux is extremely busy (picture restaurants with people spilling out the doors and cars bumper to bumper on the roads), and appointments are an absolute must. In fact, as many as a thousand or more visit requests may have to be denied by a prominent chateau, as Cos d’Estournel director Jean-Guillaume Prats told us on Monday. Luckily, we made the cut.

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Taking it from the Top: Day 1 starts at Lafite

by Chuck Hayward

On Monday Team JJB dove head first into in EP 2010. Racing up and down the D2, the main drag which runs the length of the Left Bank, gravel flew as our caravan tore in and out of parking lots. Like a Brooks Brothers-clad A-Team, we jumped out of vans, sprinted across impeccably manicured lawns, took steps two at a time in our suits and ties to make our appointments.

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Under Pressure

by Chuck Hayward

When I heard that we would be visiting Jeffrey Davies this week to taste through a slew of 2010 Right Bank wines, I was thrilled at the opportunity to reconnect. Two years ago, just before I left for France to work the 2009 harvest at La Confession, I met him in San Francisco. After dinner he told me I would have fun and learn a lot and then offered me a taste of 1928 d’Yquem. What an introduction!

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