Showing posts from August, 2011

Visit to Château Guiraud, Sauternes

On our way from Château de Pressac (previous posting) to Château Guiraud we stop for lunch in the ancient village of Castillon-de-Bataille. We’re always looking for that certain place, and our nose to find that certain place is getting better all the time.

And there it is, no doubt. We see the sign saying “andouillette” and it is as if the car parks automatically. There’s no discussion. Once inside it is crystal clear that we made the right choice: half of Castillon is having lunch here.

When the waiter hears us say “three times andouillette” his face changes. “Wow, you’re sure?” From that moment he is our friend. We have to come and see the sausages being grilled on an open charcoal fire.

And at the table something happens that I have not seen before: with a sharp knife the waiter makes a perfect incision over the length of the andouillette (in Holland we do that with a frikandel to stuff it with curry, mayonnaise and onions, and call it “an open leg”). Next he scatters freshly cut o…

Visit to Château de Pressac, Saint-Emilion

At the east end of Saint-Emilion, perched at the top of an impressive limestone hill, we find Château de Pressac. An unknown little gem on great terroir: steep limestone slopes all around, reminiscent of those from the premier grand cru classés that we find on the famous hill a bit to the west, indeed the one with the town of Saint-Emilion on top. It is early August.

The view from Château de Pressac down towards the Dordogne valley

While looking down over the terraced slopes, and overlooking the Dordogne valley – what an impressive view! – owner Jean-François Quenin elaborates on De Pressac’s unique location, and it doesn’t take much to convince us. He tells about the connection between the limestone around the town of Saint-Emilion, and the limestone here at De Pressac. Later Quenin shows us Kees van Leeuwen’s map with the Saint-Emilion soil types, and yes, that map serves as a sort of proof: the De Pressac hill is like a limestone bulge at the right side of Saint-Emilion.

Kees van Le…

Visit to Paul Mas, Part 2

Dwayne Perreault — To continue from my last posting, on visiting Domaine Paul Mas near Pézénas in the Languedoc, the red wines were presented by Cédric Deniset, European Sales Manager.

We first tasted the Vignes de Nicole Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2009 (€8.50). A very fragrant, ruby red wine with cherries and some strawberry jam in the nose. Tart red fruits, also some black currants, quite full bodied and very pleasant to drink.

Château de Conas, seated within the Domaine Paul Mas

The Vignes de Nicole Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah 2009 (€8.50) is much darker, both in its colour and bouquet, but the taste is still predominantly red fruits, with very strong tannins backing it up. This is a solid wine.

The next two wines were both Languedoc grand crus. Many people may still be unaware that the Languedoc has grand crus; there are now ten. According to Rosemary George MW, the complete list is:

- Minervois la Livinière
- Corbières Boutenac
- Saint Chinian Roquebrun
- Saint Chinian Berlou
- Terras…