• Image of The Bordeaux Club front cover
  • Image of The Bordeaux Club front cover

The Bordeaux Club

The Seventy-Year Story of Great Wines and the Friends Who Shared Them

The Bordeaux Club

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Gourmand Awards Winner 2023 — Best of the Best, Book of the Year UK 

‘Associations and societies such as the Bordeaux Club are the very acme of civilization. Botticelli and Bach were engaged in the eternal quest for truth and beauty in painting and music, and the Bordeaux Club did the same for viniculture.’
Andrew Roberts

‘From a historical point of view, the book is fascinating… From a literary point of view, it’s eloquent … If you’re a bordeaux wine collector with deep pockets and a large cellar, it’s invaluable.’
Tamlyn Currin, JancisRobinson.com

‘… a great source of information on rare vintages, and a pleasant window into a world that is, alas, harder and harder to find.’
Journal of Wine Economics

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The story of twelve friends who gathered to share and celebrate the extraordinary wines of Bordeaux. Like-minded in their love of wine,
they differed wildly (often alarmingly!) in their personal wealth, life and circumstances. Their opinions, always voiced, had the power to ignite anger and divide friendships just as easily as they bound them together.

Neil McKendrick, member and minute-taker for fifty-seven of the Club’s seventy extraordinary years, weaves the tale of this convivial group with the rigour of a Cambridge academic (he is ex-Master of Gonville and Caius) and the humour of a born raconteur. He celebrates the beauty of top-class Bordeaux and the splendour of each setting – from glorious country houses to rickety Dickensian boardrooms – in which these men were lucky enough to dine, serving up memories of vintages the like of which we will never see again.

  • ‘Well over 1,000 bottles consumed...’: Bordeaux’ top wines described by the brilliant Hugh Johnson, Michael Broadbent and Steven Spurrier
  • Verdicts and opinions from the historian Sir John Plumb, ‘the rudest man in Cambridge’
  • 1865, 1929, 1945, 1961, 1985, 1990... the highlights of these six famous Bordeaux vintages are revealed
  • Haut-Brion, Lafite, Mouton-Rothschild, Margaux and Latour – the Médoc’s first growths appraised by the finest palates
  • From the grandeur of Saling Hall (Essex) to the extensively portraited Master’s Lodge at Caius College, Cambridge: 16 perfect settings for wine enjoyment
  • Keeper of the deepest cellar (and partner to most notorious wife), Lord Harry Walston’s irresistibly scandalous lifestyle explored
  • Notes of the author’s extraordinary £1 purchases from the Caius College Cellar (Latour 1928, Lafite 1945) – for sale at this low price because the dons couldn’t drink them with pineapple...
  • Abominations and anomalies, the wines that courted controversy: white burgundy, Moscato d’Asti and the contentious clarets of 1927

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Additional information

  • Weight1.089 kg
  • Dimensions170 x 240 mm
One of four children brought up by a young widow – his father having been killed in World War II – Neil McKendrick came from a home in which there was no alcohol. His conversion to wine came via ‘a series of separate moments enjoyed on a single staircase of a Cambridge college’. He continued at Cambridge, becoming the 40th Master of Gonville & Caius, at which he is now a life fellow. Neil’s love of wine also continued; he was member and minute-taker of the Bordeaux Club for fifty-seven of the Club’s seventy extraordinary years.