We’re staying near St Emilion so had to go and have a look at this famous wine growing area. The wines from this small area of Bordeaux are really worth trying. They are expensive but when you try them you can taste why. Full bodied, earthy, spicy, chocolaty, plummy. We bought a few bottles for Christmas and as presents, not Grand Cru but from 2010 vintage. The taste….the smell…ummm
St Emilion is a beautiful town, set on a hill, with a backdrop of chateaux, limestone cliffs and vineyards as far as the eye can see. Most of the Grand Cru St Emilion wine is grown in the area immediately surrounding the town on the limestone cliffs.
What makes a good Bordeaux wine? It’s a mixture of grapes, terroir, climate, minerals in the soil… nobody can really say exactly what is the ‘Bordeaux factor’ that makes it superior to other wines. The grapes used in St Emilion wine are Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
If you want to eat something unusual and from the classical French menu you could try lampreys cooked in red wine for example, or confit de canard. The whole food experience is there from very haute cuisine at the top of the town to a range of inexpensive and sometimes quirky restaurants down the hillside.
If it’s a nice day and you don’t want to sit inside you could have a picnic from the bakery at the bottom of the hill, good variety of quiches (tomato and feta, quiche lorraine) and they also sell little bottles of wine.
There’s a marked walk around the edge of the vineyards taking in views of St Emilion and some of the grand Chateaux. The path starts to the left of the bakery….
Here are some descriptions of the St Emilion wine:
The Merlot in St. Emilion offers tasters lush, soft textures, richness and concentration with flavours of plums, blackberry, licorice, chocolate and black cherry. The Cabernet Franc adds aromatic qualities like flowers and spice as well as tannin and structure. St. Emilion can also be earthy, spicy and deliver notes of tobacco and truffle, as well as fresh cherries when it ages.