Sunday morning meant the sad business of bidding goodbye to Bordeaux - cushioned significantly by the fact we were going to a town famous for its food and then on to Burgundy and Champagne! I had thought I might skip the blogging since there wouldn't be much to report, but after visiting Gregory right next to the historic Place de Bourse, I had to make mention of it.
Gregory works for significant company called GCF (Grans Chais de France) and they are a big player at all levels of the market, responsible for nearly 20% of the annual wine exported from France. While a big part of the business is at the very bottom end of the market, they are also a key figure in the negociant market. Gregory had visited my colleague Chris Williams at Lunn Ave only a few weeks prior so he was keen to meet up and taste a few wines. As it turned out, 'a few' meant 25 - over an hour later, we had a shortlist of excellent wines at a variety of price points. With a bit of luck, many of these will find their way into our 2017 wine program.
He kindly dropped us at the airport where we managed to knock back a bottle of Ayala Champagne (I love travelling with Jeff and Virginia) before heading through security. There things went decidedly pear-shaped when Virginia tried to breeze through with a bottle of Bollinger she'd forgotten about in her carry-on luggage. This went down like a cup of cold sick and there was much hand waving and communication in Frenglish. Having to abandon the bottle of Bolly to the security guards was a bitter pill to swallow (especially since she quickly realised she'd also left a second one in the fridge at Burdigala) but we had soon forgotten about it as Lyon and its superb restaurants beckoned.
Dinner that night was at Leon de Lyons, a formerly Michelin-starred restaurant that has hosted many famous world leaders and has the pictures to prove it. These days it is a delicious brasserie with an extensive wine list and one of the Poole's favourite haunts. Dinner was superb across the board, with not a hint of food envy. After a nice bottle of Bourgogne Blanc, we ventured up the scale to a 1er Cru Les Millandes from Pierre Amiot. The 2009 vintage is a truly great one in Burgundy and it was fantastic to be drinking top quality Pinot Noir again after a week of full-bodied reds.
Our accommodation at the Grand Mercure Lyon Part Dieu was passable if a little less salubrious than we had become accustomed to, selected for its poximity to the train station rather than its facilities. The beds were clean and comfortable though with a generous rain shower so we were well rested for the second portion of our journey.