It took us a little longer than anticipated to make our way into Bordeaux this morning, but that was OK since Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (in St. Julien), where we had our first appointment, had decided to cancel all of its tastings this week. This left us with plenty of time to meander around Pauillac and have a leisurely lunch on the banks of the river Gironde before our afternoon appointment at Chateau Lynch-Bages.
The Lynch-Bages tour was very nice; it was just for us and the guide was very knowledgeable. The estate has saved its original winemaking equipment in a sort of museum, which made comparisons with its modern equipment very easy. Lynch-Bages produces 500k bottles each year--I had no idea they were that large--and we tasted the 2004 vintage of its first (rated 89 by the Wine Spectator) and second (unrated) labels.
Dinner was lovely. John and Natalye had us over to their house, also in St. Sauvent, and cooked us some fresh, local fare. They bought an old farmhouse 20 years ago and restored it to habitability. As with the hotel, I really love the juxtaposition of antiquity and modernity. I'll have to keep these ideas in mind for when I have my castle some day! Good food, good wine, and good company in the French countryside--this was exactly the kind of vacation I needed!
Pictures are in my facebook album.