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Allô, allô, Bonjour!

Voilà, a brand new Slurp with more news about the 2014 wine harvest and leaked footage from the upcoming installment of Gort à la Carte.

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In this Slurp!
Vintage 2014
Alien matter threatens wine castle
The secret of the Croissant

Vintage 2014


Happy winemaker faces all around the Bordeaux region this year. 'C'est un bonne année!' is what we keep hearing around us, 'this has been the best harvest in four years!'
I couldn't agree more; for us too it has been the best harvest since 2009. The quality is rich and the volume is impressive. Get your corkscrews ready!

Alien matter threatens wine castle


Alarm! A blob of indeterminate alien protoplasm has landed in our vineyards and is gathering round to invade our castle!


Well, actually it is not that bad, it's only 'Lie': after the grapes have been picked, they are transferred in their entirety to stainless steel tanks, without being pressed first.


In six weeks time the grape juice becomes wine, which is then siphoned into 'barriques', oak barrels.


The exanimate grape skins stay behind in the tanks.


Wine giant Régis rakes all the skins from the cuves and it is only then, long after the harvest is finished, that the well-worn trademark of wine picking comes onto the scene: the wine press.


The skins are the biggest supplier of tannins, which are needed to add strength and longevity to the wine. However, if we were to squeeze them too rigorously, this acrid substance would dominate the flavour.
Fortunately this digital winepress allows us to press the grape skins with a care and tenderness as if they were delicate rose petals. The wine seeps through the staves of the press into the reservoir after which the so-called Vin de Presse is stored in barriques where it can ripen for eleven months and become yummy.


In spite of this meticulous treatment, the Vin de Presse is still very high in tannins, therefore we keep it separately from the main body of wine.
It won't be until next year, when we assemble the wine, that we will add a carefully regulated amount to Château la Tulipe 2014.


When, after a week or two all the grape skins have been squeezed, the press is cleaned and sent back into hibernation until harvest 2015.


But where do those squeezed out skins go then? Cliquez ici for the answer.

'The secret of the Croissant'


My ultimate breakfast consists of a newspaper, a cup of coffee, a crispy croissant and a sunny outdoor table.
Of these four parameters- paper, coffee, café, croissant- the latter is the hardest to find. Surprising because a whopping 65 million croissants are baked in France every day.
But the confusing fact is that those 65 million croissants appear to be completely different every day.


One day our local boulangerie for example has beautiful curvaceous crescent moons on offer, while that same baker the very next day shoves a baking tray full of dead straight white doughbombs into the display case.
And that's not just an aberration of our tiny little winemaker's hamlet, no: I have witnessed this phenomenon all over the country, from Paris to Perpignan. It is as if no one in the whole of France knows how to bake a consistently decent croissant.

Just a few examples


The weak willed grease ball croissant


The uninspired wet rag croissant


The ostentatious look-at-me croissant


The bashful Napoleon-complex croissant


The shapeless who-am-I croissant


The lardy I'm-gonna-clog-up-your-arteries-croissant


The creepy I-am-going-to-eat-YOU!-croissant


The charred you-really-shouldn't-eat-me-croissant


The fearful I-am-not-really-a-croissant-croissant


The straightlaced barren-box-croissant


The unimaginative, conventional I've-got-no-knob-croissant


The glib, look-at-me-with-my-knob-croissant

All in all a bite-sized topic for an episode of Gort à la Carte.


In the Méhari we inspected the breadbasket of France, La Normandie.


We enjoyed the croissants made by a lady baker who was so contagiously cheerful that we hung around her for a week.


We personally analyzed the salt content of the grass for the Beurre d'Isigny, a special butter that gets it salty flavour because the cows eat grass that is swept by the sea breeze.


Eventually Cristophe Cressent, the best baker in the country, teaches our winegrower how to bake the perfect croissant.


After which the first ever winemaker-baked croissants are revealed to the general public!



You can find Château la Tulipe de la Garde Bordeaux Superieur exclusively at Sainsbury's supermarkets.
Cliquez ici for more information.

  Allez, wholeharted Sante!

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