Pascal bit for tastings (not used)
We thought we would use a little space here to tell you a bit more about our friend and excellent wine consultant Pascal Wagner.
Pascal lives in the heart of Puligny Montrachet and indeed used to be the Sommelier and Chef of wine tastings at Olivier Leflaive. This is where we met him, quite a few years ago now.
His brother in law (who he has helped in many aspects of his wine production from cep to bottle) is one of the rising stars of Meursault and makes the most delicious wines.
And Pascal knows everyone (we will not drop names, but think of anyone and he knows them well!).
Pascal is able to talk knowledgably and enthusiastically about wine at every level. He will not make you feel stupid if you know nothing (he will always tell you it is up to you what you like and what you do not, he would not presume to dictate). And yet, if you know a lot about wine, he will soar and add even to that knowledge.
His whole philosophy is that the quality of a holiday rests with the memories “souvenirs” that you go away with. And he sees his task as helping to provide those souvenirs… little bits of magic that allow you to say in years to come “do you remember when…”.
He will sit down with you (either metaphorically via email or phone, or at the start of your visit) and find out what you are interested in (mind you, if you want to visit hard to get to places, the more notice you give him the better). He will then create for you some ideas of what might be possible during your stay.
Some of the things he has done with our guests include:
- One couple wanted to research red and white wines to use for their son’s wedding in August this year. The challenge was to find excellent wines within a budget of €8 per bottle. In the event, they were spoilt for choice.
- One group were tasked by Pascal to shop for superb local ingredients for a tasting evening at home. They then strolled together through the vineyards where the wines they were going to be drinking start out, finishing up at the local fine-wine bar to buy the wines for the tasting. Pascal was also given a budget for a few surprise additions to the evening.
- Another group asked him to select and accompany them to a couple of restaurants (one very fine and one bistrot type but really excellent) where he helped to select the wines on the basis of what is drinking well now and conducted an informal tasting. Please note, in this case, it is the clients who would pay for Pascal’s meals.
- Pascal knows every wine maker in the immediate vicinity and many beyond. He can facilitate visits to not-so-famous (ie less expensive) but every bit as excellent winemakers as the makers whose names you will know. This is completely different from a “touristic” visit.
- He can also pull some very special things out of his hat. But this depends on timing, what his friends and contacts have got on at the time etc etc and so we will not set out any examples here.
Olivier Leflaive’s tasting lunch is a bit of an institution in Puligny Montrachet. And again it affords a great opportunity to taste some very fine wines and be able to stagger the 400 steps or so straight back to the house for a snooze!
They serve a light lunch with compliments the wines and you can choose to taste just the whites or both the whites and the reds.
Last time we went it was a bit touristic (ie scripted, now that Pascal does not run them), but still good value.
In Santenay we have , our dear friend and magical wine maker Christiane Bachey Legros (and, of course her two sons Lenaic and Samuel).
Christiane and her sons are relatively rare in Burgundy as they make absolutely delicious red and white wines (it’s more normal to specialise in one of the other, but they have perfected both).
Constantly winning Coups de Coeur in Guide Hachette and other accolades, Domaine Bachey Legros is easily on a par with the best we have tasted here.
You can find their wines at Glyndebourne in the UK as well as at other top class restaurants. But here you can find them at more modest prices.
If you would like to visit Domaine Bachey Legros (they are not geared up to touristic visits and a lot will depend on how busy the time of year is), just let us know and we will put you in touch. Or we can arrange for you to have a couple of bottles to taste at 10pm at their prices.
And finally, we must mention the Caveau at Puligny. Not just a wine bar, but a fine-wine bar! Blimey!!
You can sit in the sunshine and have a taste of whatever Julien has discovered/negotiated and then wander back to the house in three minutes. What a life!
In the early evening it is here that the vignerons congregate for a glass of something – possibly cremant, possibly something else. It’s magic!
Julien has said that, if you mention you are at 10 Grande Rue, he will treat you extra specially (we have no idea what this means however…).