The Cool Cars of Bordeaux

Authored by Christina Watt

As we drove along in the “mystery beast” throughout Bordeaux (more on that in a minute), Bob couldn’t help but notice a couple of spectacular cars that we had to stop and admire.  His dad used to race cars like these when he was growing up, so he can never resist taking a good look.  I suspect you’ll admire them too.

In the village of Bages:

In the village of Bages, a perfect
A mint condition Triumph roadster.
Another view.
Another view.

In the town of St. Emillion:

A beautiful
A beautiful vintage Porsche.
A closer look.
A closer look.
Just gorgeous.
Just gorgeous.

At Les Sources de Caudalie:

A nice Maybach.  Wish the photo showed you the interior - believe me, it wouldn't suck to tour in this ride.
A nice Maybach. Wish the photo showed you the interior – believe me, it wouldn’t suck to tour in this ride.

Even these guys made us smile in Sauternes:

A fun little fleet.
A fun little fleet at Chateau Suduiraut.

But what didn’t make us smile?  Our rental car.  We had reserved a Mercedes, since we figured we’d be spending a lot of time in the car (and an automatic, so I could also drive it if need be), but missed the fine, fine print (Mercedes “or like model”). When we arrived, of course, there was no Mercedes to be found at Europecar, and more disturbingly, no automatics either.  (Yup, I’m mentioning them by name.)  Instead, we got the closest possible thing they could find for us.  A manual BMW, which in theory, would have been just fine.  IF it hadn’t been missing the emblems on both the front AND the back of the car, and had been an automatic.

The mystery beast.
The mystery beast.

Yup, you have to be pretty cool to drive the mystery beast – they don’t let just anyone behind the wheel of this baby…!

Day Two Dinner: Restaurant Cordeillan Bages – 2 Michelin *

Somehow, after our day of touring, we managed to grab a little time before dinner at the hotel.  But first, we wandered into the little town near the hotel that was constructed as an idyllic village – the little town of Bages.

The darling boulangerie in the town of Bages.
The beautiful boulangerie in the town of Bages.
We loved this clever doorway in Bages.
We loved this clever window in Bages.

The boulangerie there held a delightful assortment of cheeses, wines, pastries and nibbles.  But none so amazing (in my wife’s opinion), as the Foie Gras Chips.  If they weren’t so fragile, she would’ve smuggled them home in our bags.

Christina still dreams of these chips.
Christina still dreams of these chips.

We also forgot to mention the great Cafe Lavinal bistro in the heart of the town – we actually ate there the first night we arrived, but truth be told, we were so tired that Christina had to keep waking me up during dinner.

Cafe Lavinal - a classic french bistro.
Cafe Lavinal – a classic french bistro.
Another view of the Cafe.
Another view of the Cafe.
Even the gift shop was idyllic - and well stocked.
Even the gift shop was idyllic – and well stocked.
The front of our hotel, a very short walk from the center of town.
The front of our hotel, a very short walk from the center of town.
A view of the courtyard from our window.
A view of the courtyard from our window.

So, technically, on our second full day, but three dinners later, we found ourselves back at our hotel, the Cordeillan Bages, for dinner at their renowned restaurant, run by Chef Jean-Luc Rocha.  The moment you entered, you knew it was going to be a serious white-tablecloth dining experience.

Bob reading his favorite book - the restaurant wine list!
Bob reading his favorite book – the restaurant wine list!

We each had a different glass of champagne to start the evening, and then enjoyed a bottle of red from the Barton estates – we thought it fitting, since we had been there that morning.

The 2003 Languoa Barton.
The 2003 Langoa Barton.

2003 Langoa Barton – Sweet dark red/black fruit combined with baking spices and just enough good acidity to keep it all lively.  The tannins are mostly resolved and the wine has a nice long spicy fruit filled finish.  This is drinking very well right now and over the next decade.

Honestly, at this point, the food all runs together.  We had a fixed-course meal, and Christina declared my dish choices the winners, though they were all truly amazing, and the service was impeccable.

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The food was not only beautiful – like art on a plate, it tasted just as good as it looked.  I’m not ashamed to admit that after the cheese course, we had to call it a night and head straight to bed!  Too much to do the next day…!