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The Decanter Bordeaux Reader weekend: Chateau d’Yquem and Chateau Cheval Blanc

At Decanter we've always worked on the principle that we wouldn't ask our readers to attend anything we wouldn't jump at the chance to attend ourselves.

So for our inaugural Decanter Reader trip we put together the weekend of our dreams, an exclusive trip for 12 to Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau d’Yquem.

Our guests for the weekend came from as far afield as Florida and Finland.

From CEOs to art consultants, caterers to investment bankers, these Decanter readers were united by one thing, an overwhelming love of fine wine and food.

Decanter’s base was Les Sources de Caudalie, the stylish and deeply comfortable hotel which is surrounded by the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte.

On the first night we walked across the narrow path for a guided tour of the Chateau’s cellars and were thrilled to discover that the proprietor Florence Cathiard had decided to take us round herself.

Only the prospect of her wines at dinner back at Caudalie made us finally depart.

The next day we were joined by Decanter’s Bordeaux-based contributing editor James Lawther MW, and headed off to Chateau Cheval Blanc for a private tour with technical director Pierre Olivier Clouet.

By the time we left, after an aperitif of Dom Ruinart 1998 and a four-course lunch, there was hardly one aspect of Cheval Blanc which hadn’t been discussed.

The highlight of the weekend was dinner at Chateau d’Yquem, hosted by its CEO Pierre Lurton. The heady mixture of Chateau d’Yquem 1996 and 1998, 2007 Y, Saint-Jacques aux Truffes, Pierre Lurton on sparkling form, the candlelit dining room adorned with vases of white amaryllis left one lasting thought – it doesn’t get better than this.

The only problem now, where to go next?

Written by Sarah Kemp

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