I had a very busy (hence no blog) but great week last week, taking Grace Chen from Araujo Winery in Napa ( www.araujoestatewines.com )around various estates in Bordeaux.

We started on the Left Bank (Haut Bailly, Malartic Lagraviere, Yquem, Raymond Lafon, Margaux, Mouton and Lynch Bages) before crossing over the river and visiting Vieux Chateau Certan, Le Pin, Angelus, Ausone and Petrus.

I don't normally take a whole week out to visit properties, and I did have some stressful moments trying to cover both the hail and the en primeurs for Decanter, but it was really an amazing week to visit so many great properties back to back (although have to admit that we finished off having lunch at the lovely Cafe du Port back in Bordeaux, and what would normally have been a delicious glass of Provence white wine tasted decidedly uninteresting).

There were a number of new projects going on; new cellars and/or vinification equipment planned at Lynch Bages, Margaux, Le Pin and Petrus, plus new reception rooms at Ausone (talking of which, Ausone came out today at almost 30% under the 2007 price, 360 euros per bottle. Of course very expensive, but tiny quantities as ever, and I finally got to taste the 2008 while at the chateau and just a stunning wine).

I have so far put up a profile on the website on Le Pin ( http://www.newbordeaux.com/documents/lepin.html ), and updated Haut Bailly ( http://www.newbordeaux.com/documents/chateau_haut_bailly.html ) and am going to do my best to get Ausone up in the next few days.