The picturesque, historic town of Saint-Emilion, just to the north of the Dordogne River is at the centre of the well-known appellation of the same name in the Libournais region of Bordeaux. Saint-Emilion's wine history goes back to Roman times, and is home to some of the world's longest-lived and most highly regarded red wines. Unlike the vineyards of the Medoc, Merlot is the grape of choice in Saint-Emilion and makes up about two-thirds of plantings. Merlot ripens more consistently in the cooler clay soils of the region, and its principal blending partner, Cabernet Franc, adds seasoning and spice. The rounder, fuller flavours of Merlot make the wines of Saint-Emilion more approachable in their youth, though they can age for extended periods.
Two of the best-known estates, Figeac and Cheval Blanc, lie in the north-east of Saint-Emilion on a broad plateau of gravels, much like the vineyards of Medoc and Graves, allowing them to successfully ripen the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes which dominate their red blends.
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The nose offers a wonderful collage of black fruit with added cherry and bramble fruit fused with subtle oak. Gorgeous black fruit puree with a graceful, silky texture that is integrated with a peppery minerality and wonderful freshness and harmony. Plenty of power, ripe concentrated fruit, pure and long. Exceptional. Drink 2025-2040. JG, April 2017....read more
Chateau Quinault L'Enclos
Classy, vibrant nose of tayberry, cassis, black cherry and currants. Modern style, very smooth with a silky complexity offering bramble, blackcurrant and a touch of liquorice. Plenty of concentration yet with wonderful elegance and purity that gives the wine beautiful harmony. Finely structured and long finish. Drink 2022-2032. Barrel sample. JG, April 2017....read more
Chateau Cap de Mourlin
The Capdemourlin family have been making wine in St Emilion for more than 400 years. In the 1970s Jacques Capdemourlin grouped together over 60 hectares of vineyards to form the current Capdemourlin Wine Estates. The Chateau Cap de Mourlin comes from a small hamlet which takes the name of the family and is the oldest of their wine estates. Located on the northern slopes of St Emilion, the 14 hectares of vines are ideally placed. Aged in barrels for 15-18 months, the 2004 has a lovely deep garnet colour and exudes aromas of red fruit, fresh mint and mocha. Crisp but fruity to taste, it has tight tannins, with a rich, full flavoured finish....read more
While it is not the 2000 or 1990, the 2008 is the finest Gruaud Larose I have tasted in eight years. Not a blockbuster, it is more beefy and dense than other recent vintages, revealing notes of pine forest, smoke, herbs, licorice, black currants, and cedar. With high but ripe tannins, medium to full body, and a strong finish, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and should keep for 20 years thereafter. 89-91 points. Robert Parker, robertparker.com, April 2009...read more
The 2012 boasts an inky/blue/purple color as well as a stunning perfume of spring flowers, blueberries and black raspberries, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, and surprising density and richness. The final blend was 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from a vineyard planted in clay and sandy soils at the bottom of the hillsides surrounding St.-Emilion. This long, rich, potential sleeper of the vintage should drink well for a decade. This wine showed very well, so I was not surprised to find out that the consultant is Hubert de Bouard, the proprietor of La Fleur in Lalande de Pomerol and Angelus in St.-Emilion. 88-91 points. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate 206 Apr 2013...read more
Chateau Larcis Ducasse
Chateau Croix de Rambeau
One of the best examples from the often overlooked Lussac-Saint-Emilion appellation. Bags of fruit and great character and personality made from grapes taken from 45-year-old vines on a six-hectare plot. Typically 90 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. 2010. Very deep colour, very dark. Rich black fruit and blackcurrant aromas with spicy notes of pepper and leather. Fine tannin coats the palate with lovely fruit and spice. Great length....read more