with a lovely little garden in the centre... much like the cloisters in and around Provence.
I have to confess to not feeling very motivated today.... I would gladly have curled up with the sunday papers, even out in the garden as it was another scorcher! Instead, I had a little dander round the town... and I should add here that while Saint-Émilion is a gorgeous and picturesque destination, it is set on a hill and paved with cobbles which over time have worn to the point of being like glass... i.e super slippy! Even in my sensible Birkenstocks, I was struggling, so eventually I just took them off and descended in bare feet... A few funny looks, but then I saw other girls following suit... I've started a trend!
I took a long lunch and then took the car out for a little hunt... A wine I am very fond of is a Saint-Émilion, called Château Magdelaine, so after one or two dead-ends, I eventually found it. I know for most of you, this will seem silly, but for me, it was a real triumph:
So, having found the house and vineyard, I took myself back into town to find a bottle, which was duly purchased.
I headed back to my lodgings as I had been promised a tasting of the wine:
- AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru - Château Monlot "Cuvée Prestige" 2008 - An 85/15 Merlot/Cabernet Franc Blend, aged for 16 months in oak barrels. On the nose blueberries, cherries and vanilla; and to taste raspberries and blueberries and smokey wood. The wine had loads of potential, but was just too young... the tannins were astringent... This needed to be kept for another 3-5 years, with the possibility of keeping for 15!
- AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru - Château Monlot "Cuvée Prestige" 2007 - An 85/15 Merlot/Cabernet Franc Blend, aged for 14 months in oak barrels. Very fruity aromas of raspberries, cherries, blueberries and then vanilla. On the palate, a finer rounder wine than the 2008 - the tannins had already mellowed on this cherry fruity wine with notes of tobacco. It could be drunk now or kept for a little while.
- AOC Saint-Émilion Grand Cru - L'Excellence du Château Monlot 2006 - A 95/5 Merlot/Cabernet Franc Blend, aged for 18 months in new oak barrels. A little more time and care has been taken over this wine and while drinkable now, can be kept for another 15-20 years. On the nose, cherries, vanilla, raspberries and wild strawberries. The flavours were those of cherry and raspberry. A slight remaining astringency to the tannins, but nothing a little time wouldn't fix. Velvety smooth.