After our hours-long cooking class, we were wishing we could’ve stayed in St. Emilion for the night, but it would’ve put us even farther from the airport bright and early the next morning. So instead, we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping in town until a driving rain forced us into the hotel lounge two hours before dinner, where we happily played backgammon, drank cocktails and soaked up the beautiful atmosphere of the hotel (we have a running score tally on backgammon that goes back years!).
At one point, we thought we might have dinner on the spectacular terrace of the hotel in the evening, but the on-again, off-again rain that day pretty much nixed that option. The main dining room of the hotel was quite a sumptuous and posh affair. From our vantage point, we admit, we also had a great people-watching view.
But the best views were probably of the waitstaff. Clearly, this establishment takes its service seriously – you could tell by the level of attentiveness and attention to detail. We went easy on the wine that night – all the activities of the day and the long drive back to our hotel made that an easy decision, though somewhat bittersweet, as it was our last night of the trip.
The food was meticulously prepared and delicious, though we do have to say, it was as expected, but nothing we had that evening seemed to elevate our dining experience in any transcendent way. We had three different wines from their pairing menu with dinner:
2012 Chateau Turcaud Bordeaux Blanc – Very bright lemony white fruit that is very clean and fresh. This is a nice dry wine with a long stony white fruit finish and brisk acidity keeping everything lively in the mouth.
2007 Chateau Milens, St. Emilion – Dark blackberries, dark chocolate and subtle minerality. Good acidity but slightly drying tannins in the mouth. Medium bodied and a medium length black fruit finish. This is a good inexpensive red Bordeaux wine with a lively finish, but it just lacks the polish of the better classified Chateaux.
2009 Chateau Lyonnat, St. Emilion – Black in color with a red rim. Deep rich dark blackberries and black currants, with a little minerality coming through. Medium bodied and good acidity, with noticeable but very fine tannins. Silky smooth in the mouth, with a medium-long black fruit finish and a snap of acid and tannins at the end. This is a very nice wine that is lively in the mouth and still just a baby. I would imagine that you could find it for a bargain of a price, especially compared to the other 2009 classified Bordeaux wines.
Turns out there were two table-side experiences offered here in a way we hadn’t seen presented before. In addition to the ubiquitous cheese trolley, this restaurant also had the most fanciful dessert trolley with enormous lollipops and glass cylinders full of candies in every color of the rainbow – our kids would have swooned over it. My wife wound up falling in love with the tea trolley, however. I can honestly say that I have never seen a tea trolley to this extent before – you could have used the trolley as a duck blind. They offered a variety of fresh herbs, which they picked from pots on the trolley and brewed at the table. Her lemongrass tea was pretty fantastic, I admit.
All good things must come to an end, I suppose. So, for now, this is the end of our Bordeaux travel tales. But of course, we have another adventure close at hand – we look forward to telling you more about it very soon! In the meantime, there’s plenty of wine to drink and fun experiences to share here at home…