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The Right Way to Drink in the Wine of Bordeaux

The road leading into the village of Saint-Emilion on Bordeaux's Right Bank
The road leading into the village of Saint-Emilion on Bordeaux's Right Bank
John Blanchette

Taste Wine from the Right Bank of Bordeaux with Le Cercle Rive Droite and LearnAboutWine.Com

This One-Day Tasting Event Will Allow LA Wine Trade and Press a First Sip of the 2009 and 2010 and and an "en-primeur"tasting of the 2012 Before Opening the Doors to the Public in the evening

On Monday, April 22nd, wine industry trade personnel such as sommeliers, wine directors, restaurateurs, importers, distributors, and wine shop owners will have the exclusive opportunity to taste the 2012 “en primeurs” (or future wines) and the newest 2010 vintages from Le Cercle Rive Droite, an organization that has brought together the most prestigious chateaux from “The Right Bank of the Gironde” estuary in the Bordeaux region. Of the 143 vineyards in the organization, 32 will be on hand to show off the crème de la crème of the year’s varietals in addition to top selections from 2009 and years past, plus the first sneak peek at the 2012 vintages before they are even out of the barrels.

The tasting, which will take place at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, is open for trade and media from 2pm – 5pm and for consumers from 6pm – 9pm.

Of the hundreds of wineries on the Right Bank, only chateaux with the most outstanding reputations for excellence are allowed membership into the elite Cercle Rive Droite, which was founded in 2002.

With its diverse clay soil types and maritime climate, the sub-regions of the Right Bank are known to possess the ultimate Merlot-growing terroir. Additionally, Right Bank wine properties are characterized by being small, mostly family-run operations with the average size only 37 acres and it is these intimate properties that produce the “haute couture” varietals in the industry.

Ian Blackburn of LearnAboutWines is helping to organize this tasting and bring these exciting new blends to life for oenophiles here in the USA. “We are thrilled to once again bring Cercle Rive Droite’s exceptional vineyards here for this exclusive tasting,” Blackburn said. “These are some of the most loved wines in the world and we expect people to flock to the event to be some of the first to taste these vintages.”

Both the 2009 and 2010 are legendary vintages of merit. “Thanks to exceptional weather at the end of summer and into autumn, 2010 Merlot and Cabernet grapes had a flavor quality that has rarely been as good,” observed Bordeaux-based oenologist Michel Rolland who was able to take some of the first sips of the vineyard offerings. “The aromatic characteristics are excellent, encouraged by pH levels that bestow firm acidity, accentuating freshness. Here is a vintage we have dreamed of, given to us by nature,” he concluded.

Early reports on the 2012 “en primeur” are saying the year has produced the lowest yield since 1991 and the blends are showing lower alcohol levels than the most recent vintages. But experts, including Le Cercle Rive Droite President Dr. Alain Raynaud, are saying “2012 will be among some of the best Bordeaux we’ve seen thanks to hot weather in August. We expect that these wines will be medium to full body and the prices will be reasonable when the vintage is finally released, making it a great year for consumers,” Raynaud concluded.

During the tasting guests are encouraged not only to taste but to learn from the plethora of experts on-hand, one of which will be Raynaud himself, once called the “Bordeaux Maverick” by Decanter Magazine. Media and trade personnel will have the opportunity to talk all things “Right Bank” with Raynaud and are encouraged to schedule a time to have a formal interview if interested.

Specific appellations (geographic regions) that will be represented at the event include Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, Fronsac, Canon Fronsac, Pomerol, Lalande de Pomerol, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé, Montagne Saint-Emilion, and Lussac Saint-Emilion. A silent auction will be held during the evening portion where consumers have the chance to bid on bottles and magnums of their favorite Right Bank wines. 100% of the proceeds from the silent auction will go to support the TJ Martell Foundation.

Trade and press are invited to attend from 2pm – 5pm and consumers, from connoisseurs to neophytes, are invited to join the tasting from 6pm – 9pm.

The consumer ticket prices are $69 (going to $79 soon) and $99 for the VIP (going to $119 soon) - and tickets are very limited. The consumer tasting will focus only on the available 2009 and 2010 vintages.

For further information and to purchase tickets, www.learnaboutwine.com

Participating wineries:

Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux
Château de Laussac

Fronsac
Château Dalem
Château de la Dauphine
Château Fontenil
Haut Carles
Château Moulin Haut-Laroque
Château La Vieille Cure
Château Villars

Canon Fronsac
Château Cassagne Haut-Canon
Château Gaby

Pomerol
Château Bonalgue
Clos du Clocher
Château Fayat
Château Montviel
Château Le Moulin
Château Vray Croix de Gay

Lalande de Pomerol
Château Jean de Gué
Château Siaurac

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Château Boutisse
Château Croix Cardinale
Château Grand Corbin Manuel
Château Magrez Fombrauge
Château du Parc
Château Patris
Château Rol Valentin

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Château Fleur Cardinale
Château Fombrauge
Château de Pressac
Château Le Prieuré

Montagne Saint-Emilion
Château Messile Aubert

Lussac Saint-Emilion
Château du Courlat Cuvée Jean-Baptiste
Château La Rose Perrière

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