August has been busy and it’s always more fun having family to stay when the weather’s good. Just as importantly, it has been lovely and sunny for the vines, other than some rain yesterday and a storm last Sunday. (Some poor growers over the river Garonne at Podensac in the Graves were treated to a very localised, half-hour hailstorm.)
The whites are already being brought in this week by leading Bordeaux estates, like Château Haut Brion and Château Margaux, and by some ’petits châteaux’ that are closer to home, like Château Reynon. It’s an early vintage, as we’ve said before, and we’ll be kicking off soon at Bauduc. We will keep you posted as you might imagine. It’s all very exciting, what with three new parcels of red vines coming into production for the first time this year. Meanwhile we’re still trying to work out the logistics of how to harvest the frost-damaged blocks which have so few bunches. Onwards and upwards.
When Bordeaux sneezes, France catches a cold. As the white harvest begins at leading châteaux this week, and before a red grape has even been picked, here’s an update to the one statistic that the 2017 vintage will be remembered for: it’s a shockingly small crop, which in Bordeaux is down to that sharp frost in late April. Keep reading
We were delighted that our Bauduc blanc was selected by Victoria Moore for her white Wine of the Week in her Saturday column for The Telegraph (12 August 2017).
“Chateau Bauduc Sauvignon Blanc 2016. 12%. www.bauduc.com. £11.
Englishman Gavin Quinney makes this sauvignon blanc at his estate 15 miles from Bordeaux and it’s lovely – no wonder it’s been the house white at Rick Stein’s for years. Bright but gentle, crisp and modern but not pithy, just fresh with a lemon, elderflower and yellow nectarine taste. Class act.”
We made the trip to Ypres for the ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the death of Noel Chavasse, of the Royal Army Medical Corps and a double VC, on 4 August. I also wrote a number of fairly long posts about cousin Noel just before we made the journey, and on the way up (it’s 1000kms from Bordeaux), and soon after we returned. Once again, many thanks to the scores of people who got in touch. Here is a list of the articles and links in one place, as much for my reference as anyone else’s. Keep reading
The service and the ceremony to commemorate the centenary of Noel’s death was held on 4 August at the Chapel of Brandhoek, and afterwards at Noel’s grave in the cemetery nearby. It was beautifully arranged by the Friends of the Flanders Field Museum, the City of Ypres and the Belgian authorities. The British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium paid tribute to Noel and laid one of the many wreaths.