Those in the trade will know Jean Garandeau, Sales & Marketing Director of Chateau Latour, Domaine d’Eugenie & Chateau Grillet. Not a bad job if you ask me. I’ve written about Latour HERE and refer to it frequently. It’s the King, the Silverback. D’Eugenie HERE and HERE. Chateau Grillet is yet to come, though if the pattern of success at Latour and d’Eugenie is followed then expect some stunning Condrieu in the next few years. All Mr Pinault, owner of this triumvirate, needs to add is a domaine in Chassagne, Puligny or Meursault and I would happily drink his wines, and nothing else, for the rest of my days.
I thank Jean for his answers.
1) What was the first wine/bottle that got you into the whole wine thing?
I was born in Burgundy (Burgundian mother and father from Charentes/Bordeaux) so you can imagine wine has always been a rather serious thing at home! I was 16 at the beginning of Summer 1998 and I had just passed my French literature exam. To celebrate this, my father decided to open for me a Richebourg 1990 Gros Frères et Sœurs. At that time I was often tasting wine with my parents but this very one was a pure delight and it really revealed the complexity, charm and unique poetry of great bottles to me. I still remember the richness and subtlety of this ethereal wine. The kind of magic moment which gives you the motivation to pass all your exams!
2) What was the first wine/bottle that took you closer to your maker?
Latour 1961 at the Château. Certainly not very objective on this one but this is an experience I won’t forget for sure! From the start to the finish, everything was sensational about this monumental – almost eternal – nectar which let me totally speechless. Even more moving wine when you read our archives and realize that the growing season (especially flowering) had been very difficult and crop very limited!!
3) What was the best wine/bottle you have had this year?
Too difficult to pick only one so I am choosing two!
Hermitage 1983, JL Chave, tasted in NYC with two very close friends and a great porterhouse steak. What a finesse and depth ! I loved the precision of its tannins and its incredible unctuous texture. “Du velours!“
Krug Clos du Mesnil 1988. Amazed by the magic combination of minerality, tension and vinosity of this great bottle. Certainly a very long runner wine which I hope to taste again in 15 years or so to see what story its very very fine bubbles will tell!
Thank you again, Mr Garandeau.