On Tuesday evening, at Otto’s, Paul Marus and I hosted a Chateau Picque Caillou dinner with the Proprietor Paulin Calvet.
Picque Caillou itself is in Pessac-Leognan and is an estate we have worked with consistently since the 1960’s. Paulin spoke very well on the evening, he has an almost unique position in that he has a view as a producer and owner but also, having worked with Ets J-P.Moueix, a view as a Merchant and Negoce. This gives a very real and balanced view of the wines and trade in Bordeaux.
The venue, Otto’s, has been open since November 2011 and is going from strength to strength with traditional French cooking the backbone of all that goes on. A visit is strongly recommended.
The format of the evening was a relaxed one, a few words (and some very amusing anecdotes) from Paulin with each wine and vintage and then lots of good conversation.
Was what Paulin said by way of a general comment that applied well to this 2010. The vintage was almost ignored until it was picked such was the obsession with how good 2009 looked. It was then a little embarrassing when producers had to say the 2010 was another “once in a lifetime experience”.
The 2009 vs 2010 question reared it’s head and when asked for a comparison between 2009 and 2010 Paulin used a new (to me) but very good analogy…”some people prefer a soft bed that is easy and a little decadent (2009) and others prefer a harder, stricter bed (2010)”.
Picque Caillou 2000 – There is a seriousness and mineral intensity about this wine, still quite tight it is more “strict” that “flirty”…a savoury wine for serious conversation. A very fine effort, drink from now on but no rush at all.
Cheese then followed and with it a vintage where the high percentage of Merlot in Pessac really made a difference – 1998. You had to pick early and once that was done the later ripening Cabernets got rained on, rather heavily. The resulting wine is really lovely…
We did add in one other wine to finish things off –Chateau Briatte 2007, Sauternes. It showed very well and the freshness belied the high Semillon content.
It had been a cracking evening. The next morning the first thing I did was buy a case each of the 2011 and 2012 (not tasted but good Merlot you see!). I am hoping to go and see Paulin in August whilst on holiday, I’ll report back more afterwards!