JJ Buckley Fine Wines Blog

Learn what makes wine more meaningful and memorable. We explore the people, places and stories behind some of the world's finest and unique wines. Join us!

First Growths First: Harbingers of the Vintage

by Chuck Hayward

Let the madness begin! Save for the elite critics who arrived in Bordeaux one or two weeks ahead, en primeur week officially opened on Monday. We arrive early enough to get acclimated and rested up, as that first day offers an important opportunity get a sense of the vintage before later diving into the really big tastings hosted by negociants and the Union des Grand Crus (UGC).

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Bottomless Pours at Chateau Margaux

by Chuck Hayward

Here in Bordeaux, two words inspire more reverence than any others: First Growth. Thanks to the 1855 classification system, there are only five First Growths (Lafite, Latour, Haut Brion, and Margaux, with Mouton added to the group in 1973), and they are widely considered to produce the finest wines from the Left Bank.

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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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Chateau Reignac v. The First Growths: A Blind Tasting Challenge

by Chuck Hayward

Join us for a (blind) tasting of 2006 Chateau Reignac, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Haut Brion! This is an exciting opportunity to come taste three of the First Growths and Chateau Reignac with Proprietor Yves Vatelot and Chuck Hayward of JJ Buckley.

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First Impressions of the Big Five

by Chuck Hayward

They are called the Premier Grand Crus, the First Growths— a Bordeaux Best of the Best, designated as such by the famed Classification of 1855 (with a certain exception made in 1973). These five revered wineries— Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild— produce some of the most sought after and coveted wines by enthusiasts and collectors from across the globe. And I was about to taste them all!

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