Thursday, June 27, 2013

John & Lynne's French Odyssey: The Médoc

At Vinexpo, John met the Directeur Développement Communication from Château Kirwan in Margaux. She was handing out press packs about the Château in the Press Centre. She invited him to visit. As she was going to Monaco at the weekend, she sent an email to a colleague, Philippe, asking him to look after us when we visited. So, we rose early and off we went for our appointment in the Médoc on Saturday. 
Passing through the village of Margaux,

we found a market. As we had some time in hand, we had a look

This man sold cheeses, charcuterie, patés and his own apéritifs, which he gave us to taste

The Château Kirwan tasting room and offices

Vineyards in gravelly soil

At the appointed time, we arrived at Château Kirwan
and went to the tasting room

where we discovered that Philippe had decided to take the weekend off because he was too tired after Vinexpo. 
 The young lady in the tasting room phoned the Directeur, 
who told her to give us a tasting and we tasted two reds
A tour group arrived, so she gave us a bottle of sauvignon semillon to take away and excused herself to take them on a tour. We were not invited. Great marketing and service. We've been in similar situations and, usually, a group like that has no problem adding two more people to a tour of a farm

but it's very beautiful

Famous names wherever you look

a newly planted vineyard
Paint salesmen have a hard time in France

This travelling butcher takes his wares from farm to farm

Then on to Pauillac in time for lunch

at a bistro called La Salamandre
where we ate on the verandah
one of the worst meals we have had in a long time
A trilogy of meats, a blood sausage, beef and lamb done on the grill. We like lamb rare, John's was barely singed, the  chips tasted like mielies and were flabby, the wine acceptable for the price (about R315 for 1 course and a glass of wine each)

The service was as ordinary as the food, so we left no tip
and went back to Bordeaux, after a day which was good in parts
© John & Lynne Ford. Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

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