Welcome to post number 2 about my trip to Bordeaux. When visiting the most famous wine region in France, it is eminent to indulge in it. Saint Emilion was our wine destination of choice along with two world-famous wineries, Chateau de Sales and Chateau Cote de Baleau. This charming medieval village is located in the very heart of the famous Bordeaux wine region. Saint Emilion is one of the unique places that creates the perfect match of fine wine, beautiful and medieval architecture and breathtaking landscapes. For 10 centuries straight, men mined the soil of the region, for limestone, to create a standardised architecture of the city of Saint Emilion as well as Bordeaux and other in the region. This stone was called limestone. Underground below the village there are 200km of galleries, proving the mining activity.
The diversity of wines from Saint Emilion is exceptional, mostly due to the complex geology (sands, clay, limestone etc.) and a microclimate perfect for winemaking. The wines of the region contain blends of grape varieties which are mostly merlot with cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon or malbec. All these grape varieties give the region the rich wine choice or many aromas and flavours. All the amazing success of the Saint Emilion wines is due to the wine brotherhood established in 1199 by King John of England. This brotherhood nowadays is responsible to promote Saint Emilion wine around the world. Many of the vineyards belong with centuries to the same family which is the case of the two chateaus we visited.
Chateau de Sales
Chateau de Sales has been owned by the same family since 1464, becoming a working Bordeaux vineyard in the late 1700’s. The 47.8 hectare vineyard is mostly planted with Merlot and contains vine that are more than 50 years old. By vintage rating the wines from 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2005 are expected to become better with ageing.
Chateau Cote de Baleau
Chateau Cote de Baleau is a small vineyard that was in the Reiffers family for generations back to the reign of King Louis XiV. However as of 2013 that has changed. The majority of the hectares are also planted with merlot, where the average age of the vines is around 40 years old. Chateau Cote de Baleau wine is best enjoyed in the first 3-10 years of life. Best vintages are from the years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.