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Saint-Émilion

Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Château Pavie Arômes de Pavie Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009

Arômes de Pavie is the second label of Château Pavie, and is a blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009—a warm, ripe vintage is drinking beautifully now. Tight on opening, but after three hours aromas of earth and dust, and freshly turned soil emerge and subside, followed by Damson plums, mulberries, camphor, and Tandoori spice. Fine, supple tannins lend structure and finesse to this wine's well-balanced acidity and focus, as it glides to a lingering finish of spice and pu-erh tea. Château Pavie 91 Points...

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Château Angélus Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Lovely and accessible, the 1995 Angélus shows off its pedigree and high percentage of Cabernet Franc with only minimal decanting. A slightly woodsy bouquet of black currants, plums, cedar, forest underbrush, spiced orange pomander, dried lavender, and incense. On the palate, poised supple tannins and a fine acid backbone underpin steeped blackberry, crème de cassis, bay leaf, dried herbs and delicate minerality. This legendary Saint-Émilion dances in the glass, and ends triumphantly, in a grand jeté. Château Angélus 9.4 Points ...

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

Scottish Beef Stew Topped with a Phyllo Dough Crust

My take on classic Scottish Beef Stew—the butteriness Phyllo dough crust adds a delicious dimension of flavor and texture. I've also substituted leeks for yellow onions and flat iron steak for beef chuck. The flat iron, while more expensive is ultimately more tender. And for me, this is the perfect sort of dish to serve on a winter evening along with a hearty red. It's pure comfort food. In this case, a bottle of 2000 Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse fit the bill nicely. I had a brief moment, pondering the addition of a tablespoon or two of beef demi-glace. In the end, I decided against it. The liquid develops more than enough flavor to carry the dish, and it felt suitably rich. [amd-yrecipe-recipe:5] [caption id="attachment_9860" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Fill each ramekin with stew, then top it with layers of phyllo dough. Brush each layer with butter.[/caption]...

Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2000

Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 2000

A splendid Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse. Opens with floral aromatics that descend to deeper notes of steeped blackberry, black cherry, charcoal, camphor and dried sage. Structured, powerful fore-to-mid palate tannin with acidity to match, this feels too young at this point, as though it's not yet fully knit together. Medium-plus finish with herbal notes, and subtle minerality. Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarrosse 9.1 Points You'll find my recipe and pairing for Scottish Beef Stew here....

Château Belleuve Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2000

Château Belleuve Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2000

Earlier this year, I was invited to attend a dinner showcasing several vintages of Vieux Château Certan. François Thienpont was on-hand to explain the wines, and I felt lucky indeed to be seated next to him throughout the evening. Château Bellevue is managed by his brother, Nicolas and vigneron, Stephane Derenoncourt. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cab Franc, the 2000 offers up a bouquet of spring flowers, lavender, black currants, and minerals. Finely-hewn, with well-integrated tannins bolstering notes of leather, black fruit and graphite. It's just now entering its prime drinking window, with plenty of acidity to carry it forward. Château Belleuve 9.0 Points...

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion 2000

Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint-Émilion 2000

Ruby-hued and breathtakingly fresh, with a deep perfume of black cherry and cassis, forest notes, cedar, graphite, violets and an unexpected top note of smoke and coal dust. In the mouth, the 2000 Beau-Sejour Becot is silk over sinew, with penetrating black fruit neatly framed by polished tannins and moderate acidity. There are decadent notes too—carmelized sugar and sweet plummy fruit at the center. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot 9.2 Points...

Château Ausone Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2000

Château Ausone Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2000

Where to begin? Château Ausone 2000 recalls some of my top red Burgundies—wines of this caliber have an otherworldly quality, that can only be described as an ethereal, gossamer, and transcendent. Complex, ever-evolving layers of black currants, ripe blueberries, gravelly earth, iron, olives, sweet tobacco, violets, camphor, and even a touch of dried honey. It's as multidimensional on the palate, like some living thing with a precise, delineated core, and intersecting mineral tones wound around fine tannins. It's still quite young and would benefit from further cellaring. Château Ausone 9.7 Points ...

Château Figeac Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Château Figeac Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 1995

Figeac has been on my radar for some time now. News of Michel Rolland replacing the existing team at the estate in early 2013 created ripples amongst fans. Revered for its old-school styling, I'm glad to have had the chance to taste it, courtesy Burgnut. Incredibly fresh, the '95 yields classic notes of black currant, cassis, cigar box, and cedar. Medium-bodied and stylish, with fine tannins and elegant structure. The sort of wine one drinks by the fireside, slowly, in an over-stuffled leather chair. Château Figeac 9.0 Points...