The other day to accompany our evening meal, I opened my last bottle of Pichon Lalande 1995 Reserve de la Comtesse. As the wine sat in my glass and began to open up I was struck by how floral and feminine it smelled. Mingling with the usual secondary and tertiary soft earthy scents and aromas of leather, spice box, etc. I found sweeter herbal scents of lavender and rosemary – and flowers such as lilac. The nose was very feminine! I clearly remember setting my glass of wine down on the dining table and realizing my mind had wandered far a field. Who was this woman in my glass – this Comtesse? What might she look like? Where might she live?
Little did I know where my speculation would take me…
I pictured her as older – blessed with grace and charm and complete peace with herself. She was educated, loved art and music. She was in complete command of here world, but she did not flaunt it. She had an air of easy approachability. The kind of person who when you spoke with her, gave you her undivided attention.
Her home would have been and estate or chateau – in the country. Fresh air, flowers, gardens, etc. Grounds not overly formal. Maybe slightly romantic. Her homes interior would have had an air of quiet grace and charm, her hand clearly evident in the décor. Some might have called it spare. For me, the words balance and harmony come to mind. It would have been a home you felt immediately at ease in upon entering, as though being welcomed by an old friend.
And so, with this mental picture in my head, I set about to learn more about my seductress. This is what I found out. My lady’s name was Virginie de Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande, who lived in the French region of Médoc in the 1700s.
Her dream and eventually her life work was to make an “unforgettable wine”. She presided over what would become one of Bordeaux’s greatest vineyards and gave it the name it retains to this day, Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Since Virginie, the vineyard has been run by a number of remarkable women throughout its entire history, including today.
No wonder my bottle of wine possessed such wonderful perfume and balance! The wine has had several hundred years of a woman’s touch!
While finding pictures of the chateau’s exterior was straight forward, the interior was another matter. I was able to find only two. A little help here???? I’d love to see more.
First was this interior shot of the old Lalande Hotel, which was the inspration for Pichon Lalande.
Iwish it had better resolution because the detail is exquisite!
And this detail shot of a corner of a room showing some spectacular hand painted wallpaper.
Undeterred, I let my imagination reign free as I poked through my design books creating a vision of my fantasy interior.
I could keep on going and going… Since this wonderful evening of fantasy, I’ve found myself speculating about other people and interiors as I sipped a glass of wine. I look forward to sharing more wine inspired interiors with you in the near future. Hope you enjoyed this one.