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Things were both tough and easy this month. But either way, voici a brand new Slurp!, fresh off the farm. Seatbelts off!

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In this Slurp!
Vintage 2015
Wine tears
Gort à la Carte

Vintage 2015


'C'est un bong année,' it'll be a great year, the winemakers tell us here in Bordeaux. Of course all winemakers say that every year, but this year it is being confirmed by the international wine buyers.


A sunny spring, followed by a long warm summer have made for a Bordeaux harvest that is predicted by expertologists as 'comparable to 2005', and that was a year of the sweetest winegrower dreams.


Anyway, over here at Château la Tulipe everything went smoothly: all two million grapes simultaneously changed their colour from bright green to a deep velvety purple, at the exact moment desired by us.


Because life is what you make it, we thought we might put up some decorations. Besides, we had a party on the way.


Unfortunately our seating arrangements weren't quite up to a big crowd of rowdy party goers. Luckily mayor and friend Alain helped us out and lent us some chairs from the Salle de Fêtes.


A few days later we received a group of wine lovers from the distant Netherlands. After a tour of the premises and a lip smacking slurp fest, the winegrower's lover lovingly photographed them with their own cameras.


Yet another group of Dutch visitors enjoyed a lovely lunch in the Salles de Vendangeurs, the spot where we usually serve breakfast.


Although we occasionally receive guests who prefer a brunch by the piscine.


Either way, August was a month chock full of heartwarming festivity and conviviality.

Wine tears

Five years ago we bought a piece of extraordinary land. Located at the bottom of our hill and composed of a unique terroir, ideal for the production of high quality white wines. With our winemakers Michel Rolland and Bruno Lacoste we spent three years perfecting this wine.


This year saw the birth of the first millésime La Tulipe Cuvée Blanc Réserve. To our great relief the wine received much high praise and shortly after the first bottles had been shipped off to the Dutch supermarkets a new collection truck showed up at the gate.


The winegrower recoils in horror. Merde! Heavy boxes! Physical exertion! Getting tired! Quickly he calls his son.


'You could always park your vehicle a little closer to the wine cellar', the work-shy grape pusher coaxes the truck driver, whilst shrinking back into the shadows.


When the job is done and the fully loaded truck is ready for the return journey to Holland, the winegrower appears. With a Ceasarian gesture he is about to cast his blessing over the imminent departure, when he suddenly freezes up. He stares at the just loaded cargo in disbelief.
'Son!, his mighty baritone booms over the pastures, 'it says two thousand and TWELF on these boxes!'


The winegrower's son is a man of few words. Silently he takes out one of the bottles from the truck. The label unambiguously displays the year 2013.


Then the ancient adage 'Never trust a French printer' is proven right. The front label has the correct year 2013, but the label on the back of the bottles announces 2012 as the year of harvest.
The winegrower crumples and hangs his grief-stricken head. 'All things of value are defenseless', he croaks hoarsely.


'Don't make a fuss, old man', the winegrower's son grunts. 'This is nothing. We'll fix it.'
Without a hint of hesitation the young entrepreneur sets about the removal of the erroneous year on the 13.987 bottles of La Tulipe Cuvée Blanc Réserve.


'But boy', the enfeebled grapesnorter sighs, '13.987 bottles! Manually! That's impossible!'


'A bit of positive thinking please old man,' smiles his offspring. 'Why don't you get in that white toy car of yours and see if you can score a couple more of these Tipp-Ex pens?'


Three weeks later and all the back labels have been stripped of the incorrect year.
Wrapped in cling film they are eagerly awaiting the bus to Holland.


Days later the postman rang the castle bell, not once, not twice but three times: he notifies us that the departed wine has won a silver medal at one of the most important wine fairs in the world.
'Merde!' the winegrower cries in desperation.
'NOW they tell me! Just after all the wine is gone!'


Fortunately the winegrower's lover blasted away all dark clouds with a mouthwateringly tasty lunch.

Gort à la Carte

For a new series of Gort à la Carte, to be broadcast in the Netherlands later this year, we travelled to Provence. There we visited Michelin starred chef Benoît Witz, who had agreed to prepare his renowned Ratatouille Provencale for us. The first scene was set in the vegetable patch of Benoît's organic vegetable grower Didier.


Since the winegrower is not a man of large stature, he has made sure there is a clause in his contract that states he may only be filmed from a reclining position.


Soundguy Mike, well aware of this weak spot, takes great pleasure in challenging the TV star to a game of 'Who's got the biggest'.


'Woah! More courgettes!' Our culinary expert exclaims enthusiastically.
'No,' director Richard explains to his charge: 'these are tomatoes. Together with the courgette they form the main ingredient of the Ratatouille. Do you think you'll be able to tell them apart?'


'And how about that yellow football there?' asks our superstar.
'Another tomato. Only it's yellow. And big.'
'Can I try it?'
Before anyone can stop him, the grapesquasher pulls out his winegrower's knife and chops a big chunk off the juicy summer fruit.


But Didier takes the assault on his produce in his stride. He receives the praise from the lipsmacking tomato-slicer with pride.


Back in the kitchen, the world famous chef demonstrates how one prepares a three star-ratatouille.
The presenter however, doesn't make things easy for the culinary artist. Time after time he interrupts the expert's account with irrelevant questions and bad jokes.
Eventually the cuisinier throws in the tea towel: 'Can we please get rid of this man?'


The winegrower is put at a separate table and given a strict instruction to keep his mouth shut. 'Silence on set! Action!' orders director Richard.


But the camera has only just started rolling or the headstrong grape pusher starts interfering: 'Aren't you putting too much salt in that sauce?'


Director Richard has been one of the kindest and most patient television makers of the country for the last 42 years. But even he has his limits. In order to be able to complete the shoot in an atmosphere of calm, he decides on a simple yet effective measure.



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

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