Saint-Émilion is one of the most important wine areas of Bordeaux. The region is located alongside Pomerol and is famous for its red wine. The primary grape varieties grown are the Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon. Saint Émilion wines were not included in the 1855 Bordeaux classification. However, the region had its first formal classification in 1955.
St Emilion is well-known for Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc which are the only two producers currently classified as First Great Growths category A. Below this the appellation has 13 Premiers grands crus classés B and over 50 grands crus classés. In addition, a number of producers are classified as Grand Cru.
Pomerol is a small appellation located alongside St Emilion. Producers in the region are mostly small-scale and focus primarily on red wines. Like Saint-Émilion, the predominant grape variety is Merlot, with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Pomerol has no official wine ranking or classification. However, producers like Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin are priced as high as the classified first growths of other appellations in Bordeaux.
Below are some photos taken in October 2014 which include both St Emilion and Pomerol.
Chateau Petrus (pictured below) is a famous wine estate located in the Pomerol appellation near to Saint-Émilion. The Chateau produces a small production of red wine which is mainly Merlot grapes with small amounts of Cabernet Franc. The Chateau belongs to the family of the Libourne wine merchant JP Moueix. Petrus is widely regarded as the top wine of the appellation.
Below are some tasting notes taken during the trip.
Chateau Galeteau 2009 St Emilion
I picked this wine up while touring the St Emilion appellation in Bordeaux. It's a great expression of the region, showing fragrant notes of black cherry, pepper, chocolate, berries, sweet vanilla and mature plums on the nose. The palate is dense and velvety with great balance and length. Flavours of dark forest chocolate, vanilla, blackberry and spices. A wine that will bring a smile to any Bordeaux enthusiast.
As the producer is small production, obtaining the wine can be tricky. The best way to get your hands on one of these is to visit the region and take a few bottles home in the car.
Chateau Martet Reserve de la Famille, Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux 2011
This wine is one of the secret gems of Bordeaux. It is rated as one of the best Sainte-Foy-Bordeaux wines and the winner of countless prizes. The 2009 vintage was awarded Or from the Concours de Bordeaux Vins d'Aquitaine and the 2005 vintage was awarded Or from the Concours de Bordeaux Vins d'Aquitaine.
The wine is very precise and expressive with wonderful notes of blackberry, plum, pepper and elegant oak nuances. Its a wine that makes you consider the brilliance of the Merlot grape. I tasted it alongside some of the best from Pomerol and St Emilion, and was surprised to see that it was holding its place proudly.