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Lead by example (Bordeaux, France – Day Four)

If you don’t work in the wine industry then Bordeaux can be one of the best wine experiences you can have. For one thing the old part of the city of Bordeaux is quite beautiful and offers many epicurean delights (although wine lists are very inconsistent and of course parochial). There are plenty of places to stay providing your budget isn’t too small, and it is quite easy to get around thanks to the buses and trams. Getting out to the wineries means renting a car or joining a tour which by all accounts are great with some tour being allowed to visit some of the top producers. There are thousands of producers to choose from and they are all relatively close to the city. The chateaus are often beautiful and the cellars are filled with flashy fancy equipment and plenty of new barrels. Speaking personally I find Bordeaux to be one of the most boring regions to visit, in no way impressing me and making very little attempt to impress me. For one the thing they have a very homogeneous and flat landscape offering one less influence on the terroir. As I have mentioned in the past fancy wineries and modern equipment don’t offer anything if you aren’t understanding and expressing your terroir well, which in most cases they are not (partly because in my opinion the terroir isn’t that good to begin with). I also feel they aren’t making respectful wines when they are doing pretty heavy maceration and new oak maturation, resulting in wines that don’t begin to drink until many years after they are released. The system of selling also is completely out of touch and arrogant in my opinion. There is a good reason why other regions in France and Europe get frustrated with Bordeaux, but at the same time their influence has been so strong on other producers around the world.
A lamp shade in the shape of the mouton of Mouton-Rothschild

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