The Medoc, an introduction.
These collections are being transferred to a new ‘niche’ web site, www.artfrickers.com specially built to introduce this project and the landscapes of Gordon Frickers, artist.
The Medoc, 3 of the finest wines, a landscape producing many of the finest wines in the world many very affordable is easily dismissed, more than most the Medoc, a region much developed by the Dutch, Hollanders,
The Medoc invites you, take your time slow down for a moment, take time to appreciate, to understand, to enjoy the Medoc’s rewards.
Besides which were else can anyone find so many delicious varied young wines that mature to very refined, powerful and elegant vintages?
You can follow this Medoc project on Twitter, Facebook and most informative, our blog, welcome.
The Medoc, so distinguished, the Medoc has pioneered fine wines since at least the 17 th century.
Today the Medoc has three of the ten finest quality chateaux the in the world, listed as Premier Cru by Imperial decree 1855.
The Medoc includes the Chateaux Margeaux and both the Rothschild Chateaux, Chateaux Lafite and Chateaux Mouton.
Chateaux Margeaux, Chateaux Lafite and Chateaux Mouton are the most renowned in the Medoc department which hostes numerous smaller estates and villages, many of which are picturesque and well worth a visit.
The Medoc is sited to the west of Bordeaux, where most historians claim the wine trade was started by the English during the reign of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The Medoc is bordered to the north by the the deep water and shifting sand banks of the navigable Gironde estuary.
The Gironde is formed from the meeting of the two powerful rivers, Dorgogne and Garonne.
After their having created Entre Deux Mers the Dorgogne and Garonne rivers join create this broad estuary upon which the fortunes of Bordeaux passed and were made.
To the south is Aquitaine which includes the remarkable Bassin d’Arcachon and the largest sand dune in Europe the Dune de Pyla and the surfer’s paradise, the Cote de Landais.
Pauillac basks on the banks of tidal river the Gironde.
The town boasts a number of 19th century houses and shops of the “charentais” type.
There is also a charming museum of automated animals.
The painting Pauillac from Club Nautique captures the quintessential nature of the boulevard.
We see the brick red roofs contrasting with the slightly overcast sky providing us with a view that is familiar to anyone who loves the palate of Gordon Frickers.
The waters of the Gironde lap gently on the granite boulders that serve to support the breakwater.
Bages village in the commune is close by.
This entire village has been restored from a state of total dereliction in the mid 20th century to a flourishing collection of shops and galleries that are dedicated to the wine and art of the area.
Chateaux Margaux – There has been an estate Chateaux Margaux since the 12th century when it was a fortified castle known as La Mothe ( the mound).
Chateaux Margaux has been responsible for some major developments in the story of wine and continues to this day to be an innovative pace setter, world leader.
The renowned château Margaux lies in the commune of Margaux in the Médoc region in the département of Gironde.
Chateaux Margaux is sited on a rise, fundamental to its subsequent role as a premier vineyard, the finest wines always come from sloping land.
A rarity in this area.
The first evidence of wine from the area comes as early as the 15th century however it is with the arrival of the Lestonnac family that we see the wine become firmly established.
The property was handed down through the female line which afforded many opportunities to make useful alliances with the other wine families.
By the 18th century we see the emergence of the red wine that is today so admired.
At that point a dramatic change occured with the work of a estate manager Berlon who introduced a high level of control into the harvesting processes.
For example grapes were not collected in in the early morning because the dew would be responsible for the dilution of the final product.
The estate hit a more turbulent period during the 18th century with one of its owners (Elie du Barry) being sent to the guillotine thus falling into disrepair at the hands of citizen Miquaue.
The current chateaux dates to 1812 completed by the notable architect Guy-Louis Combes.
From there the chateaux passed through the hands of a number of owners until the restablishment of its earlier reputation by Andre Mentzelpoukas who died in 1980.
The vintages of 1978 and 1979 were considered to be truly exceptional.
St Estephe another favourite village of mine stands at the Northern most point of the four major wine growers in the Medoc and it stands closest to the Gironde.
The heavy robust soil there drains slowly meaning that it is traditionally the birthplace of heavy robust wines that take time to mature.
However, in recent years the softer Merlot grape has been planted which means that a number of the vintages can be drunk young.
The clock tower immediatly draws the eye to the village which sits surrounded by rolling plains covered with vineyards that spread out from its feet.
The painting shows us one of the glorious sunsets that you can hope to see when visiting St.Estephe. The 2013 collecting of St Estephe paintings are not to be missed, coming soon on a new dedicted web site.
The stunning colours and wide vistas convey something of the subtle ambiance of the area.
This low lying landscape has a maritime feel.
I’m going to show you some of the tiny ports and docks, a few still active, just, with glimpses of the forests and marshlands originaly drained by the Dutch engineer Jan Adriaasz Leeghwater (1575-1650) who was placed in charge of creating the plan to drain Bordeaux’s swamps which changed the Bordeaux landscape forever.
The soil, a mixture of gravel, pebbles and sand is ideal for the Cabernet Sauvignon grape of Medoc.
Young Medoc wine is often inexpensive, is a delightful ruby red colour with a floral bouquet and fine fruity flavours and aged in oak barrels acquires tannin aromas and can greatly improve in the bottle given time, at least 5, often 10 years to mature , will keep for 30 and becomes a very refined, powerful and elegant wine of powerful and elegant vintages.
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Gordon Frickers © 09.05.2007 updated 28,03,16,
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