Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Fête du Bordeaux of Calvert and Woodley in Washington DC, 2012, USA
US Wine Retailer of the Year 2012, Ed Sands and his son Michael Sands put on again a fantastic evening with an amazing selection of ultra-premium Bordeaux wines and the food of Blue Duck Tavern Chef Sebastian Archambault at the Fete du Bordeaux Dinner.
For more on Ed Sands: Calvert and Woodley’s Ed Sands 2012 Wine Retailer of the Year in the USA
As usual, the Fête du Bordeaux of Calvert and Woodley took place at the Park Hyatt in Washington DC - this year with Anthony Barton, Jean-Charles and Cazes Hervé Berland as special guests.
This posting provides an overview of the evening. More specific postings on the three special guests and the wines they brought will follow.
Anthony Barton (Owner)
The Barton family, the current owners of Château Léoville-Barton and Château Langoa Barton, are able to trace their Bordeaux roots all the way back to 1722. That was the year that Thomas Barton left Ireland for Bordeaux. Like many successful owners, Barton started out as a Bordeaux negociant.
The first foray into ownership for the Barton family was in St. Estephe, with Chateau Le Boscq in 1745, which was awarded Cru Bourgeois status in 1932. In 1995, the Barton family sold it to Dourthe.
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Also in 1745, the Barton family partnered with another powerful Bordeaux family to form a Bordeaux wine negociant company, Barton and Guestier. It was controlled by the Barton family until the Seagram Group got control in 1986. Today, Barton and Guestier is part of the international wine and spirit company Diageo.
The next major purchase for the Barton family took place in 1821. That was the year they bought Chateau Langoa Barton. Following the purchase of Langoa Barton, they bought a second St. Julien estate: Culled from the vineyards of Château Leoville Las Cases, that estate became Chateau Leoville Barton, a deuxième cru en 1855. Interestingly, because no wine making facilities came with the purchase, they were forced to make the wines at Château Langoa Barton. Until today, production of both wines takes place at Langoa Barton.
When Ronald Barton, who had inherited the family’s property from his father, who was tragically killed in a hunting accident in the 1920's, died without an heir in 1986, his nephew Anthony took control of the family properties. Anthony had already moved from Ireland - where the family maintains a home - to Bordeaux in 1951.
Château Léoville-Barton is a Deuxième Cru en 1855 in the Saint-Julien appellation.
There are now 47 hectares of vineyards at Château Léoville-Barton, planted with 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Franc. Vinification is performed in the cellar at Langoa-Barton, as there is in fact no château at Léoville-Barton.
The grand vin is Château Léoville-Barton, the second wine is La Reserve de Léoville-Barton. Total production is 20.000 cases.
Château Langoa-Barton is a Troisième Cru en 1855 in the Saint-Julien appellation.
Located along the banks of the Gironde river, Langoa-Barton has 15 hectares under vine: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.
About 7,000 cases of Château Langoa-Barton are produced.
Château Mauvesin in Moulis (new, not on the tasting list)
In September, 2011, the Barton family purchased an additional Bordeaux estate, Château Mauvesin in Moulis.
Les Vins Fins Anthony Barton ( not on the tasting list)
A négociant company now run by Lillian Barton-Sartorius, Anthony’s daughter.
Anthony Barton was born and grew up in Ireland. After he got his educated in England, he headed to Uncle Ronald in Bordeaux in 1951. There, he started off in his family’s merchant firm of Barton and Guestier and met his future wife Eva, with whom he has 2 children. Athony and Eva Barton live at Chateau Langoa-Barton.
Anthony Barton has already transferred ownership to his daughter Lillian, who is married to Michel Sartorius.
I had bit of a chance to talk to Anthony Barton at the event. In his finely tailored suit, he came across as the prototype of an English gentleman.
Jean-Charles Cazes (Owner)
Jean-Charles Cazes, the grandfather of the Jean-Charles I met, purchased Château Lynch Bages and Château Ormes de Pez in St. Estèphe on the eve of the Second World War. Lynch Bages and Ormes de Pez have been run by the Cazes family ever since.
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Until Jean-Charles Cazes took over in 2006, his father, Jean Michel Cazes, was at the helm of the family empire. He was a very influential personality in Bordeaux. Before returning to Pauillac in 1973 to take over the family's insurance and wine interests, Jean-Charles was for 10 years a manager, based in Paris.
In addition to the Cazes family wine interests, from 1987 to 2000, Jean-Michel Cazes developed AXA Millésimes, the wine properties department of the insurance company AXA. French insurance companies are required to invest in French property. Their assets in Bordeaux include Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Château Suduiraut, Cantenac Brown (recently sold) and Chateau Petit Village Abroad they own Quinta do Noval, a Port producer in the Douro Valley in Portugal, and the Tokay producing Disznókő estate in Hungary.
In 2003 Jean-Michel Cazes was chosen the "Man of the Year" by the wine magazine Decanter.
In 2006, after 33 years in charge of the Cazes family interests, he stepped down, handing over management of the family interests to his son Jean-Charles Cazes. Born in 1974, Jean Charles grew up at Lynch Bages, the last of four children, and the only son.
Jean-Charles Cazes assumed overall responsibility for management of the renowned Cazes family estates and winemaking operations, extending from Bordeaux to southern France and including joint ventures in Portugal and Australia, including the Bordeaux chateaux of Lynch-Bages, Ormes de Pez and Villa Bel-Air; the Michel Lynch brand of Bordeaux varietals; L'Ostal Cazes and the Circus line of wines from the Languedoc; a distribution company, JM Cazes-Selection; Xisto, a joint venture with the Roquette family in Portugal's Douro Valley; and Tapanappa, a joint venture in South Australia undertaken with the Bollinger family of Champagne fame and pioneering Australian winemaker, Brian Croser.
Jean-Michel Cazes continues to lead the wine and tourism division of the family’s activities, notably Château Cordeillan-Bages in Pauillac converted into a hotel and a restaurant of two Michelin stars.
Sylvie Cazes, Jean-Michel Cazes’ sister, is now President of the family group’s Board of Directors, Managing Director of Chateau Pichon Lalande and President of the Union des Grand Cru Classes de Bordeaux (UGCB) in charge of public relations.
Chateau Lynch Bages
Chateau Lynch Bages is a Fifth Growth in the village of Bages, just southwest of Pauillac. Jean-Charles Cazes was able to purchase Lynch Bages in 1939.
The vineyards total 90 hectares, with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. The white wine vineyard, planted on 6 hectares, is located to the west, with vines 20 years old on average, it’s composed of 53% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Semillon and 15% Muscadelle.
Lynch Bages produces 3 wines.
Chateau Lynch Bages, AOC Pauillac, 5th Grand Cru Classe, 25,000 cases.
Echo de Lynch Bages, AOC Pauillac, 10,000 cases, often a blend of 50 to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25 to 30% Merlot and 15 to 20% Cabernet Franc.
Blanc de Lynch Bages, AOC Bordeaux Blanc 4,000 cases. They begun making white wine in 1990.
Château Les Ormes-de-Pez is in the Saint-Estèphe appellation. In the 2003 listing that was later annulled, Château Les Ormes-de-Pez was classified as one of 9 Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels. It belongs to the group of six former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel (Château Chasse Spleen, Château Les Ormes de Pez, Château de Pez, Château Potensac, Château Poujeaux and Château Siran) that have decided to remain outside the Cru Bourgeois Classification.
The vineyard area, divided into two blocks north and south of the village of Saint-Estèphe, extends over 33 hectares, with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. The annual production is 15,000 cases.
Ormes de Pez was purchased by Jean Charles Cazes in 1927.
Hervé Berland (Managing Director)
Hervé Berland was 30 years with Château Mouton Rothschild, before retiring there and moving over to Château Montrose and Château Tronquoy Lalande in April 2012, just a few kilometers from Mouton in Saint-Estèphe. Since 2006, Hervé Berland had been Managing Director of Mouton Rothschild and with the Rothschild family since 1977.
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Montrose and Tronquoy Lalande were bought by Martin and Olivier Bouygues, owner of the construction firm Bouygues in 2006. Shortly after the purchase, the Bouygues brothers brought one of the more popular and revered figures in Bordeaux out of retirement to manage both Chateau Montrose and Chateau Tronquoy Lalande, Jean Bernard Delmas. He was director of Chateau Haut Brion for decades. Earlier this year, Hervé Berland took over from Jean Bernard Delmas.
Château Montrose is a Deuxième Cru en 1855 in Saint-Estèphe. La Dame de Montrose is the second wine.
The land of Château Montrose was originally part of the Calon-Ségur estate and owned by Alexandre de Ségur, who also owned other properties such as Chateau Mouton, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour. He gave the land to his son, Nicolas Alexandre, who sold it in 1778 to Etienne Theodore Dumoulin. Under the direction of her son, Theodore, the land was cleared and the first vineyards were planted. Eventually, the area was split from the greater Calon-Ségur estate and was renamed as Montrose-Ségur. By 1855 it had expanded to 50 hectares, was known simply as Montrose and classified as a Deuxième Cru.
The vineyards cover 95 hectares, with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
Chateau Tronquoy Lalande
Chateau Tronquoy Lalande takes its name from the family that owned the chateau in its formative years, the Tronquoy de Lalande family. After they sold the estate, it passed through several owners before becoming part of the well-known Casteja family holdings. Eventually, Tronquoy Lalande was purchased by the Bouygues brothers in 2006.
The wines of Chateau Tronquoy Lalande are produced by the same team that is responsible for the Bordeaux wine being made by Chateau Montrose. The 30 hectares St. Estephe vineyard of Chateau Tronquoy Lalande is planted to 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot. Chateau Tronquoy Lalande property produces 7,500 cases of St. Estephe wine per year. There is a second wine, Tronquoy de Sainte Anne.
Chateau Tronquoy Lalande was a Cru Bourgeois in the initial classifications and a Cru Bourgeois Superieur in the 2003 classification, which has been annulled.
Chef Sebastien Archambault
Chef Sebastien Archambault of the Park Hyatt Hotel and its signature restaurant Blue Duck Tavern prepared a fantastic dinner for us. I had a bit of time to talk with him before the tasting dinner.
Despite his French accent, Sebastien Archambault is a native, born in Texas, where his parents operated a small restaurant called Crepe Suzette. He returned to France with his family, cooking under the direction of Guy Savoy, Alain Ducasse and others. He later enjoyed a stint in Los Angeles' Andaz West Hollywood hotel and its RH restaurant. When Chef McBride decided to leave Blue Duck after about 20 years with the Park Hyatt Washington earlier this year, he called Sebastien Archambault his "ideal choice for my successor" in a release.
Named one of the finest restaurants in Washington, DC by Zagat, The Washington Post, and Washingtonian, Blue Duck Tavern features creative American cuisine crafted from the region’s seasonal ingredients. The centerpiece of the open restaurant is a wood-burning. Touches of dark oak, blue burlap, handcrafted furnishings and rustic wood tables create a warm atmosphere. The restaurant also features a private Chef’s Ttable seating up to 18 guests.
The wine maker dinner was attanded by about 160 people. It was quite an event - superb food, outstanding wines and very interesting people.
Chef's Selection of Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne
Foie Gras and Chicken Breast Chaud-Froid Mache, Balsamic Vinegar
Blanc de Lynch-Bages 2011
12-Hour Braised Goat Tomato Labneh Lemon Confit, Goat Consommé, Flat Bread
Château Tronquoy Lalande 2010
Château Ormes de Pez 2010
Château Langoa-Barton 2010
Château Lynch-Bages 2010
Château Léoville-Barton 2010
Château Montrose 2010
Veal Medallion with sautéed mushrooms and pee wee potatoes with garlic and parsley
Château Langoa-Barton 2005
Château Lynch-Bages 2003
Château Montrose 2000
Juniper Bread Coated Venison Loin, Poached Pears and Quince
Green Mango Chutney, Poivrade Sauce
Château Léoville-Barton 1999
Château Lynch-Bages 1995
Château Montrose 1995
Rhum Baba Exotic Fruit Minestrone, Crème Chantilly
Château Suduiraut 1997
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What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France
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A Glass of Bordeaux – What Else? – With Wine Journalist Panos Kakaviatos
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