cave.JPGI thought I’d do a bit of organisation in my cave this weekend.  Obviously I’m using cave in this context as the French word for cellar, rather than having you thinking that I live in a hole in a mountainside (therefore phonetically it’s more like “carve” than “kayve”).  Anyway, I digress.  The cave here at Les Chapelles was built by the previous owner.  It’s basically a room constructed of breeze blocks within a large barn.  It works pretty well – doesn’t get too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter.  And it’s a good size.  By my reckoning, if all the walls were filled with racking, I could get perhaps 1,200 bottles in there!  Currently, however, there’s only enough racking for about 250 (which still isn’t bad, I guess) and the rest of the space is taken up by golf clubs and other assorted junk.  So, I tidied the place up and re-carpeted with some artificial grass we had.  In fact, it now looks like the bastard child of a greengrocer’s, an off-licence and a golf shop. 

I managed to do a little stock check while I was in there and this is the current line-up of Bordeaux red (which forms the vast majority of the stock – there are a few assorted bottles of fizz and white wine in there): 

  • Château Aillan 2003, St-Estèphe

  • Château de Reignac 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, Bordeaux Supérior

  • Château de Reignac Vendages 2002, Bordeaux Supérior

  • Fugue de Nenin 2001, Pomerol

  • Connétable Talbot 2000, St-Julien

  • L’Oratoire de Chasse-Spleen 2003, Moulis

  • Canon de Brem 2002, Canon-Fronsac

  • Clos Floridène 2003, Graves

  • Château Belgrave 2003, Haut-Médoc

  • Château Plincette, 2002, Pomerol

  • Château La Bienfaisance2003, St-Émilion

  • Château Lynch-Moussas 2003, Pauillac

  • Château du Tertre 2004, Margaux

  • Château Haut-Bages-Libéral 2004, Pauillac


In all, I was surprised to find that this lot amounted to 92 bottles – rather more than I thought.  There’s also a good mix of ones ready for drinking now and over the next few years and those that will benefit from up to another 10-15 years’ in the cave.  So that’s reassuring. 

I’m hoping that, over the coming months and years, I’ll be able to build on this start and create a cave that allows us to drink some decent, well-aged wine well, all the time!  It should (he tells himself) also become slightly more efficient, as in theory “buying” age obviously costs more than buying young and keeping.  However, I suspect that the 2005 vintage might put that theory to the test.