25th anniversary MW Bordeaux trip
Whilst the lucky group of Masters of Wine who were attended the 2023 Bordeaux trip wished to avoid rain, the growers of the region welcomed the oncoming forecast. Last week’s trip (12 March 2023) marked the 25th anniversary since Le Conseil des Grands Crus Classes 1855 began organising the MW visit to Bordeaux, so heavy downpour was not enough to ruin the occasion.
10 MWs attended the trip from around the world. Michael Doodan MW noted not only the “wonderful wines” but also the gratification of “being able to renew acquaintances with a number of MWs.”
To celebrate the landmark, the MWs were met with the generous hospitality of Chateau Giscours, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de la Lalande, and Sauternes chateaus: Chateau D’Arche and Chateau D’Yquem. Each visit included exclusive and wide-ranging tastings from a number of vintages, each showing the versatility of the region, and the pragmatism of winemakers who are required to adapt to changing climates.
The trip was not without its highlights, and each Chateau went to extraordinary lengths for their guests. Rod Smith MW said: “Our brief trip to Bordeaux was a line up of stellar wines, convivial hosts, and exquisite food. The two days ended on the most magnificent high when Pierre Lurton raided the cellar for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to taste the 1934 d’Yquem in situ (and for 50 people!). No-one lucky enough to have been in the room will ever forget that evening.”
Sustainability was also key topic of conversation between members and the hosts of various Chateaus: how are they adapting to the changing climate, what are their predictions for this year’s harvest? Each representative of every Chateau answered with sheer honesty and transparency, which was greatly appreciated by the MWs.
Harriet Tindal MW reflected: “What struck me was the confidence that the Chateaux have going into the future. The renewed respect for their varieties, specifically older stocks of Merlot, overcoming the extremes of climate change and still producing exceptional wines. Attention to detail through research and development, as well as increasing sustainability goals is driving the region into the future in a positive and exciting way.”
The Institute of Masters of Wine would like to thank the Le Conseil des Grands Crus Classes 1855 for organising the Bordeaux visit and importantly their continued support of the Institute and the study programme.