You are using an old browser that may not function as expected.
For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member

Yes, summer has returned for a few days. We use the cosy warmth to start up the old, crooked wooden barbecue in the garden. On the table is a bottle of "La Tour du Pin Figeac", 1997, with an orange price tag still stuck on it: "Denner 25.90" (17.80 ). Denner is a Swiss super-discounter that occasionally offers good wines at good prices. "What, I have a La Tour du Pin Figeac' in the cellar, from a château I hardly know," I wonder. My interest is aroused!

Summer evening in front of the house

I fetch the computer, open my cellar file. Indeed: on 27 November 1999, almost seven years ago, I bought three bottles, at the discount store in Wetzikon. One bottle has already been drunk. With whom? On 30 January 2005, at the "General Assembly of the Bordeaux Club: Theme: 1997." I can't remember the wine. As the host, I didn't take notes either. So tonight, this is my first "La Tour du Pin Figeac" that I consciously consume.

Original label of "Tour du Pin Figeac
What I usually never do happens without me noticing: "Eye: somewhat dull but deep colour, no trace of orange tones. Nose: berry-fruity, some herbs, liquorice.... Palate: little acidity, soft, too lean body, medium finish". While drinking, I usually never assign characteristics to a wine, certainly not in the form of notes. This always happens later, often the next day, freely from memory. Evaluating and rating should not interfere with the enjoyment and reduce it to the level of objective facts.

But, what can I say about the château? It is located in Saint-Emilion, between the famous "Figeac" and the even more famous "Cheval blanc". That's all I know. So I reach for the almost all-knowing Féret: "Bordeaux et ses Vins". There are two wineries with exactly the same name: The smaller one belongs to Jean-Michel Moueix, from the Bordeaux family that also owns "Pétrus".

The other, somewhat larger château - 11 hectares - belongs to the Giraud-Béllivier family. So this is the wine we are talking about. In my search for a rating, I discover a mistake in Parker. In his Bordeaux guide, he only describes the Moueix estate, but illustrates it with the Giraud-Béllivier label. Even Parker is not perfect!

Mistake in "Parker Bordeaux

Since I'm already looking it up, I'm interested in the prices. Did I buy well or badly at that time? But there the confusion and confusion of the two wineries is even greater. The Moueix wine costs around 35, the Giraud wine around 20. In most cases, it is not even indicated which of the two wines it is. You can often only tell by the price.

Thoughtfully, I shake my head: did I also confuse the two wineries at the time and not buy as cheaply as I thought at the discounter? It is to be assumed! I am not perfect either.

Domain du Mas Rous 1993
My wife has other worries: "Tomorrow we are invited to Meiers'. What will we bring? Wine again? Can we bring another bottle of Bordeaux? I'm going to the flower shop tomorrow! They're sure to enjoy a nice bouquet." I think of the expense and insist on wine - Bordeaux, just go to the cellar.... We find a compromise: "Doisy-Védrines", 1999, we have never brought a Sauternes before.

Actually, it is still much too young, just on the threshold of its first maturity. It could easily mature for another twenty years. We giggle when we think of the invitation: our friends always want to do it so well, they cook excellently, but find it difficult to put a wine in front of us. What will it be this time?

Graduated Grand Cru Classé
Then the phone rings: Max, my wine friend from Bielefeld, is on the line. Our little pensioners' trip is about to begin. Where are we going? When should we leave? It's not easy to commit three pensioners to a programme. But we agree on the Moselle - two three days before the big meeting in Bonn. That way we only have to travel once. We still chat about wine and culture, about everyday life and special events. Nothing can be squeezed out of the bottle of "Tour du Pin Figeac". As a precaution, I have provided a second bottle beforehand: This time something from the "Sammelsurium", a shelf containing all the unregistered wines.

There, then, where every now and then something is left for too long. Indeed, there is a 1993 from Roussillon, where the sun shines 325 days a year: "Domaine du Mas Rous". It should have been drunk long ago. Best maturity - writes the Languedoc specialist Reichmuth - until 1999. And seven years later? Indeed, long gone is that brilliant ruby red, those fine tones of honey and resin, of cherries and a hint of vanilla. No, at that age it was rather a harmless, though not unrefined wine.

In the meantime, my wife has crept away. I hear soft dialogue from the TV room: "Probably that Saxon clinic again!"

I enjoy the warm summer evening for a short while. Then I put the glasses away. Tomorrow I will write in my wine day book: "Three hours worked in the garden" Unfortunately, you can't see much of this work, so I can't rest on laurels. Instead, we spend a beautiful, warm summer evening. Of course we didn't talk about wine!



Peter (Züllig)

Meiers' the other day there
was a "
Domina" in a boxed bag; a wine I once wrote about in the forum: "Lost labour of love!"

woe! Now I just see that both "La Tour Pin Figeac" have been "downgraded" (in the reassessment that takes place every 10 years) and are no longer "Grand Cru classé". Yes, both the Moueix and the Giraud-Bélivier!

Related Magazine Articles

View All