Click here for more information on past and upcoming events held by JJ Buckley.

Bargain Bordeaux Hits Big

Bargain Bordeaux Hits Big

Post by Chuck Hayward | December 14th, 2010

La Folie's Dejah pours for the masses

Earlier this year, an article in the New York Times by wine critic Eric Asmiov created a tidal wave among his fellow critics, members of the trade and consumers when he declared, “For young Americans in particular, Bordeaux has become downright unfashionable.”

Well, those in attendance at JJ Buckley’s 2nd Annual Tuesday Night Bordeaux Tasting would definitely have something to say about that. Many of them appeared to be under 35, just like the wines’ prices.

Last year, JJ Buckley and the Bordeaux Wine Council conceptualized an event to promote affordable Bordeaux, and it was a rousing success as customers and friends sampled wines of all types and from all over the region. Given the positive response to that initial tasting, we decided that one good turn deserved another and therefore kicked it into gear to stage a follow-up event.

Chef Roland Passot models his JJ Buckley tattoo

The popularity of Bordeaux among JJ Buckley’s customers seems to have exploded, as the tasting sold out in record time, weeks before the event. Held at the famous Michelin-starred restaurant La Folie in San Francisco for the second time, all in attendance had the opportunity to sample nearly 30 wines while being treated to delicious food (an array of cheeses, paté, smoked salmon lollipops, addictive truffled popcorn, and more) prepared by Chef Roland Passot who showed his solidarity with JJ Buckley by sporting his own tattoo!! (more…)

Chateau Cos d’Estournel Tasting

Chateau Cos d’Estournel Tasting
Hosted by special guest, Jean-Guillaume Prats

Featuring a vertical of Cos d’Estournel, an array of gorgeous Tokaj Aszú from Hétszőlő and other goodies from the Cos family of wines!


Please join us on Friday, November 12th for a spectacular tasting of Bordeaux’s legendary “Super” Second Growth, Chateau Cos d’Estournel. On hand for the evening will be Cos d’Estournel Directeur Générale, Jean-Guillaume Prats and JJ Buckley wine educator Chuck Hayward, who will lead us through an informal tasting including several vintages of Cos (2003, 2004 and 2005), their second wine the 2007 Pagodes de Cos, as well as a vintage from their Medoc property Goulée—a wine that is eminently familiar to many of our Bordeaux lovers for its exceptional price to value ratio.

In addition to Mr. Prats, Kata Adasz of Tokaj Hétszőlő (now under the same ownership as Cos) will present various wines from this Hungarian estate, including an array of Hungary’s most famous wine export, the heavenly and sweet Tokaj Aszú.

This informal tasting commences at 6pm at Campton Place in San Francisco. Tickets are on sale now. See below for details and we look forward to seeing you there!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chateau Reignac v. The First Growths: A Blind Tasting Challenge

Chateau Reignac v. The First Growths:
A Blind Tasting Challenge

Sometimes Bordeaux Superieur is SUPERIOR!

Join us for a (blind) tasting of 2006 Chateau Reignac, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Haut Brion! This is an exciting opportunity to come taste three of the First Growths and Chateau Reignac with Proprietor Yves Vatelot and Chuck Hayward of JJ Buckley. Together, we’ll put our palates to the test and find out if we can identify each of the wines and discuss the results.

Chateau Reignac proprietor Yves Vatelot will put his artisan wine—a Bordeaux Superieur—up against three of the most hallowed names in Bordeaux. This blind tasting has been conducted among professional wine tasters, critics and members of the trade to stunning results, and now Mr. Vatelot has graciously extended the opportunity to experience this challenge to customers of JJ Buckley!

This extraordinary tasting will begin at 6pm with a reception, followed by a seated tasting from 6.30pm to approximately 8pm. Space is very limited for this event, so please purchase your tickets as soon as possible (details below).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Three Ladies of Bordeaux

JJ Buckley Fine Wines Presents a Tasting and Dinner With “The Three Ladies of Bordeaux” on Monday, May 12th in San Francisco – DINNER SOLD OUT (tickets still available for tasting)

Art, wine, and the women of Bordeaux – this is one event you do not want to miss!

It’s our pleasure to invite you to a wine event unlike any we have hosted before! The “Three Ladies of Bordeaux,” Pauline Vauthier (Chateau Ausone), Coralie de Boüard (Chateau Angelus), and Juliette Bécot (Chateau Beau-Séjour Bécot) are going to be in San Francisco and only with JJ Buckley. They are three of the most talented winemakers in the region and help produce some of the most celebrated wines in all of Bordeaux. Please join us for a tasting of their wines on May 12th at 4:00 pm at the Art Engine Gallery in San Francisco followed by a four course dinner at 7:00 pm at Bacar Restaurant.

Pauline VauthierPauline Vauthier has worked for leading wineries in France and South Africa and now works at the famed Chateau Ausone, which has been owned by her family for more than 400 years. Ausone is one of only two wines to receive the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé. It has received three 100 point ratings from Robert Parker and is one of the most sought after Bordeaux wines thanks to the efforts of Pauline and her father. Other wines produced by the family include Chateau Moulin Saint-Georges and Chateau de Fonbel.

Juliette BecotJuliette Bécot was born and raised at Chateau Beau-Séjour Bécot, the property of her father and grandfather. Later, she purchased a parcel of land in the Côtes de Castillon appellation in order to fulfill her dream of making wine. This solo project, called Joanin Bécot, has turned into one of the best estates in the Côtes de Castillon district. Also produced by the family is the garagiste effort Chateau La Gomerie.

Coralie BouardAnd last but not least, also in attendance will be Coralie de Boüard, part owner of Chateau Angelus and assistant winemaker at La Fleur de Boüard. Born and raised in Saint-Émilion at Chateau Angelus, she studied winemaking at the Institute of Oenology in Bordeaux and she now uses her expertise to aid her father Hubert in the winemaking process. Chateau Angelus is one of the finest estates in the region, consistently garnering high scores from critics across the board, and according to Robert Parker, La Fleur de Boüard is “the undisputed reference point for high quality in Lalande de Pomerol.”

The tasting will take place in the Art Engine Gallery featuring the work of Kathrine Worel, whose multilayered drawings challenge traditional narratives by juxtaposing sunny, childlike innocence against darker undercurrents. Working with graphite and acrylic over old book pages, she purposefully dissolves the distinctions between ground and surface to reveal language at odds with the superficial preciousness her work – at first glance – presents.

For those who would like to attend the tasting portion only, tickets are $20 per person.

To attend the dinner portion only, the cost is $175 per person, all inclusive. Space at the dinner is limited to only 25 guests, so please reserve early to guarantee a spot. If you’d like to attend both the tasting and dinner, the total ticket price is $185. (DINNER SOLD OUT)

Wines For the Tasting
Fleur de Bouard 2005
Angelus 2005
Beau-Séjour Bécot 2004
La Gomerie 2004
Fonbel 2002
Moulin Saint Georges 2002
Wines For the Dinner
Fleur de Bouard 2004
Angelus 2003
Beau-Séjour Bécot 1990
La Gomerie 2001
Joanin Bécot 2002
Fonbel 2002
Ausone 1998

To place your reservations, please call us at 888-859-4637, email with the names of attendees along with address and contact info, or click here to print out a reservation form and fax it to us completed C/O Denise at (510) 632-5400.

Three Ladies Tasting and Dinner
Art Engine Gallery 1035 Mission St., San Francisco, California
Bacar Restaurant 448 Brannan St., San Francisco, California
Monday, May 12th, 2008,
Tasting at 4:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 pm
$20 per person for tasting, $175 per person for dinner, $185 per person for both

An Evening with Chateaux Pichon Baron, Suduiraut and Durforts-Vivens

January 19th, 2008 at Bacar in San Francisco

Chateau Pichon Longueville BaronJJ Buckley Fine Wines is excited to be kicking off the New Year with an evening of great wine and food at Bacar Restaurant in San Francisco featuring special guests Jean-Rene Matignon, winemaker at Chateau Pichon Baron, Pierre Montegut, winemaker at Chateau Suduiraut, and Gonzague Lurton, proprietor at Chateau Durforts-Vivens.

We know that it can sometimes be difficult to uphold your New Year’s resolutions, but resolving to experience the food and atmosphere of Bacar, one of San Francisco’s hottest restaurants, should be an easy one. Executive chef Robbie Lewis has crafted a beautiful menu to match the evening’s wines. The pairings are as follows:

Scallop Crudo, Tsar Nicholai Caviar, Champagne Vinaigrette
1st Course:
Wild Salmon, Winter Citrus Ragout, and Buttery Leeks
2005 “S” Chateau Suduiraut
2nd Course:
Roasted Squab, Creamy Polenta, Fennel and Foie Gras Sauce
2004 Chateau Durforts-Vivens
2004 Chateau Pibran
3rd Course (please choose one with seat reservation):
Braised Beef Shortribs or Roasted Rack of Lamb, Celery Salsa Verde and White Alba Truffles with Sauce Bordelaise
2004 Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron
Cheese Course:
One Blue, One Triple Cream, One Wash Rind
1995 Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron
Meyer Lemon Chiboust Pain de Genes, Almond Praline, Citrus Emulsion
2002 Chateau Suduiraut
1975 Chateau Suduiraut

Space is limited to 50 guests. $150 per person. This event will sell out quickly so please RSVP at your earliest convenience to reserve your seats.

For more information and to place your reservations, please call us at 888-859-4637, email with the names of attendees along with address and contact info, or click here to print out a reservation form and fax it to us completed C/O Philip at (510) 632-5400.

Pichon Baron and Suduiraut Dinner at Bacar
448 Brannan Street, San Francisco, California 94107
Saturday, January 19th, 2008, 6:00 p.m.
$150 per person.

A Taste For Life 2007

WineCommune and JJ Buckley Fine Wines

proudly present

Seventh Annual

Fine Wine Tasting, Dinner and Auction

B.Y.O.B. – one bottle per person

Saturday, December 1st, 2007
5:30 p.m.
$495 per person ($295 tax deductible)

Casual Affair
Acquerello Restaurant
1722 Sacramento Street, San Francisco
For Tickets, please call (510) 632-5300, email,
or fill out this form and fax it to us at (510) 632-5400

We are pleased to invite you to ‘A Taste for Life 2007′ – a ‘Taste’ of a different flavor.

Now in its seventh year, ‘A Taste For Life’ has always been a great success. To commemorate this milestone, we have decided that it’s time to change it up a bit with an informal, end of year affair. We will still be faithful to our coveted wines, but our hearts will stray from the format.

This year we ask that each of you bring one of your best bottles to share with 49 other guests. This intimate affair for 50 guests will be held at Acquerello Restaurant in San Francisco, recently awarded a 27 rating by Zagat and a coveted Michelin star. We think it’s one of the City’s best. And we thought we’d relieve one more itch for you – that of which fancy outfit to wear. Please come casual.

One thing we will not compromise is the caliber of wines we will be drinking. In keeping with our mission of “the most coveted wines” this must be a B.Y.O.B. of a higher caliber. No cooking sherry or Grandpa Sven’s Beet Wine. We are asking for first growths, grand crus and cults du monde. In prior ‘Taste’ events, your table served 8 world class wines. This year, you will sample 50. So, please honor the tradition by bringing your best.

We hope to see you on December 1st to help us scratch the itch and celebrate seven years with ‘Taste’. We expect the seats to fill up rather quickly, so reserve yours as soon as you can.

For tickets, please call (510) 632-5300, email, or fill out this form and fax it to us at (510) 632-5400.

The Bay Area Chapter of the American Diabetes Association
CORA, serving victims of domestic violence in San Mateo County

If you cannot make it, but would still like to contribute in some way, we would graciously accept a donation. Please fill out this form and fax it to us at (510) 632-5400.

Brought to you by

Dinner and Tasting with Pierre Lurton of Cheval Blanc and Yquem

by Mike Supple

(from L to R): Philippe Tapie (negociant), Pierre Lurton, Mike Supple

On Tuesday, Nov 6, JJ Buckley hosted a dinner with special guest Pierre Lurton, the director of Chateaux d’Yquem and Cheval Blanc. The dinner was held in Victor’s Room on the 32nd Floor of the Westin St. Francis Hotel, looking out over the entire city of San Francisco. The food was prepared by renowned chef Michael Mina.

The evening began with hors d’oeuvres and NV Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle Champagne. Once all the guests had arrived, we moved to Victor’s room where Pierre Lurton introduced himself and spoke about the history of both Cheval Blanc and Yquem. (A brief side-note: Chateau d’Yquem literally means the Castle of Yquem. When referring to it without the word “Chateau”, the correct form is to just say “Yquem”, not “d’Yquem”. This holds true for other Chateaux, such as Chateau d’Armailhac.)

The meal consisted of the following food and wine pairings:

2002 Yquem
Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine
Quince Puree, Mache Salad, Toasted Brioche

2001 Le Petite Cheval and 2001 Cheval Blanc
Roasted Squab
Huckleberries, Turnip Greens, Squab Jus

1999 Cheval Blanc
American Kobe Beef
Forest Mushrooms, Twice Baked Potato, Creamed Spinach

1995 Cheval Blanc
Pyrenees Brebis
Candied Walnut, Pomegranate Syrup, Arugula

1997 Yquem
Muscat Poached Yali Pear
Maple Custard, Caramelized Pecans

As we went through the courses, Monsieur Lurton discussed each of the wines, vintage conditions, styles, etc. Both the 2002 and 1997 Yquem were fantastic, though very young. The 2002 was bright and fresh, still showing mostly the primary fruit aromas and flavors. The 1997 was beginning to develop some secondary aromas, and had fantastic depth of fruit with hints of carmelized dried apricots along with a hint of hazelnut qualities.

All of the red wines were fantastic, and quite different. The consensus at my table seemed to be that the 1999 Cheval Blanc was showing the best during the evening. It was very aromatic, with rich red fruits and a touch of black truffle. The tannins had begun to soften and integrate very well, giving a rich, full-bodied, nicely balanced wine. The 2001 Cheval Blanc definitely showed the most aging potential of any of the wines, and while it paired nicely with the squab, I would recommend a couple more years of bottle age before drinking this one. The 2001 Petit Cheval was clearly a younger sibling of the great Cheval Blanc, and was showing very well during the dinner. A little brighter and more fruit forward, without as much of the hard tannic backbone of the ’01 Cheval. The nose on the 1995 Cheval Blanc was fantastic – rich earth, white and black truffle, light floral aromatics, and bold blackberry and cassis. On the palate though it was showing a bit more closed this evening.

This was a fantastic event, and a great time was had by all. A special thanks goes out to our guest Pierre Lurton for taking the time to share his wines and knowledge with us.

We will be doing monthly dinners, so if you did not have a chance to make this one, stay tuned for more!