Passport to Wine - Left Bank, Bordeaux, France at The Statler

Passport to Wine - Left Bank, Bordeaux, France at The Statler

What a delicious and educational event! I attended the first of a nine part series titled Passport to Wine. In this series, The Statler, Sommelier Lisa Ribaudo, and Executive Chef Sean Force take us on a tour of nine different regions in France through food and wine pairings. 

The first stop was Left Bank, Bordeaux. The Left Bank is on the left side of the Gironde Estuary (a body of water) and famous for its cabernet sauvignon red blends and sauvignon blanc white wines. We tasted a sauvignon blanc, cab sauv dominant blend, and merlot dominant blend. The food pairings (in order) were oven roasted oysters, chilled foie gras, and roasted lamb. 

Sommelier Lisa Ribaudo blended education with exploration. She challenged us to pay attention to our senses and verbalize what we smelled, felt, and tasted. We noticed how the wines and food changed depending on the wine pairing. For example, Lisa asked us to tell us which wine we preferred with the foie gras. The merlot dominant blend was my preferred pairing for the savory and salty dish because it elevated the rich, earthy flavors of both the food and wine. But after adding the sweet cherry sauce to the foie gras, I preferred the fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend because it complimented the fruitiness of the sauce. 

I loved learning from Lisa because she was thorough and entertaining. Lisa told us about the soil and the wine making process. She also showed us the winemaking region through images and maps and let us see for ourselves through a guided tasting! 

This tasting was my first experience at The Statler. Kudos to Executive Chef Sean Force - he is a force to be reckoned with indeed. I thought I didn’t like cooked oysters and foie gras until I tasted his. The plating was beautiful (see photos). The flavors were also delicate and balanced. How satisfying it is to enjoy cuisine that both looks and tastes delicious.

Now on to the wines! Each of these wines retails for under $35 and can be purchased by the bottle or case at The Statler.

  1. Chateau Greysac Le Blanc de Greysac 
  • 100% Sauvignon Blanc
  • High alcohol for a white wine at around 12%
  • Minerality, light citrus, light herbacious/grassiness
  • High acid

Drink this wine with food. The oven roasted oysters with anchovy and roasted garlic fonduta were a great pairing. Salinity in the oysters complimented the wine’s high acid and fat in the oysters cut through the wine’s high alcohol.

2. Légende ‘Medoc’ by Domaine Barons de Rothschild

  • 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
  • Fruit forward
  • High acid and tannin

Yes, from the Rothschild. A true cab sauv, Legende ‘Medoc’ is suitable for hearty dishes with fruity sauces. The foie gras and cherry sauce were a great combination. I could also enjoy this wine with grilled ribs and a homemade cherry or apple barbecue sauce with a bit of spice.

3. Chateau Odilon 2018

  • 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Oakiness
  • Full and round
  • Balanced tannin and acid

Merlot dominant in the Left Bank? Why yes. And we are all better because of it. This wine’s grapes are from the Listrac-Medoc appellation which has clay-limestone soil suitable for merlot. If you like your reds big and bold, pick up a Chateau Odilon. Roasted lamb with fresh parsley and saffron was the perfect pairing for this wine. The wine is so balanced and full that it can take flavors such as fresh herbs and saffron without being overpowering or lack luster. 

Which of these wines have you tried? And which will you pick up on your next wine run? Let me know!

This was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait for the next event. We’ll explore Right Bank wines! See you there!


Caitlyn Caroline

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