First introduced by the Romans, viticulture in Saint-Emilion started to expand from the 13th century onwards. Today, Saint-Emilion is one of the most celebrated wine regions in the world and in December 1999, was entered in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru has more stringent conditions of production than basic St.Emilion, i.e., lower yields, minimum ageing of 17 months and bottling must take place within the Château.
Grand Cru Classé and Premier Grand Cru Classé result from an official classification based on regular tastings, and not only on price and reputation. The Merlot grape finds centre place in Saint-Emilion with later ripeners such as Cabernet Franc, and especially Cabernet Sauvignon, planted in warmer sites.
Prices shown are wholesale, per bottle ex vat
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
€18.75 also Magnum €34.50 (vintage 2014)
Medium bodied, a lovely texture with classy fruit. Maturity is spot on. Keeps very well in the glass and unfolds further if you give it a chance. Excellent quality price ratio.
Château de Fonbel 2010
Drinks well now but will improve further. Full bodied with good depth. Classy and satisfying. Long finish and superb value.
A smooth, polished classy style with typical Saint-Emilion fruitiness. Should improve further.
Château Moulin Saint-Georges 2008
Quite voluptuous and need to unfold its fruit. To decant.
Château Rol Valentin 2004
Usually full but the vintage gives a medium bodied style. Fine tannins and good ripe black cherries flavour hints of black pepper on the finish. Nice balance.
Château Saint Domingue 2000
Typical right bank Merlot reminiscent of cherries and dark chocolate with oak aged spiciness from a big, full bodied, rich and concentrated 2000 vintage. Good grip with thick and ripe tannins and fruit gallore. Decent finish.
Clos de Sarpe 2006
Elevated to Grand Cru classé in 2012. Mature and meaty maturity notes. Savoury style, sweet spices and black pepper. This wine happily unfolds in the glass. Velvety texture, full bodied with black red berry fruits and black cherries. Solid and modern in style. Decent finish.
Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Château Fombrauge 2015
Elevated to Grand Cru Classé in 2012. Deep and complex on nose and palate: red fruits, sweet spices, toasted mocha, tobacco, and hints of mint and eucalyptus. The quality price ratio is very good.
Château Franc Mayne 2006
Finesse on the nose with subtle crushed strawberries and black cherries with oak vanillin. Medium to full bodied although not a heavy or caricatural Merlot based wine. Quite fruity in mid palate with still with a lot of tannin and a fresh acidity. A purist style without any overripe character. Classy. The terroir, its intrinsic character, comes through clearly.
Elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé B in 2012. Powerful, medium bodied. Quite well balanced with a solid structure. Youthful so finishes a bit dry and needs more time. Its toasty fruity character is ripe for the vintage. The Merlot is reminiscent of ripe cherries and shows well within a mild tannic frame.
Elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé B in 2012. Expect youthful aromatics and oak vanillin at this stage. The oak not overwhelming subdued by a rich vibrant mid palate with a good weight. An impressive wine, that will improve with time. Long, lovely finish with a good persistence of flavour.
Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B
Château Canon 2001
Some truffle, fruit kernel, black pepper. Elegant overall feel from entry to finish. Will mature further however drinks beautifully now. Onctuous red fruit complexity. Medium bodied with complex dusty silky tannins and good balancing acidity. Long, lingering finish. Made with 75% Merlot and, unusually high, 25% Cabernet Franc. Great classic.
Lots of oak vanillin and ripe fruits. Quite warm and extremely dense and full. Huge and chewy like food. Gigantic waves of ultra ripe fruits and unbelievably thick tannins. It carries its 16% abv shockingly well. Deeply complex and wonderfully balanced.
Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé A
Château Figeac 2009
Figeac has quite a warm gravel soil and this allows for a wider grape variety mix with only 30% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. The wine profile is quite atypical for a Saint-Emilion, less full, leaner, but its unusual grape assemblage doesn’t make Figeac a “Médoc” in style. As with Cheval Blanc, Figeac offers a distinct character all of its own.
The 2009 is still youthful with fruit and oak vanillin gallore. Shows a vibrant massive frame of thick tannins that makes this terrific, deeply fruity and complex Figeac built for the very long term. Will improve.
Château Cheval Blanc 2008
Deep gravel in subsoil allows Cheval Blanc to make wine with at least 60% Cabernet Franc planted in the vineyard and 40% with Merlot. Racy, exotic, precise and bouncy; even textural on the nose: fur and glossy leather. Shows hints of sweet spices toasted bread and follow through with a palate evolution that is smooth, gently driven and framed by a finely grained, firm tannin. Popular tasting adjectives that translate well Cheval Blanc often are: fragrant; voluptuous; harmonious; elegant.
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