Saint-Emilion's limestone plateau produces some of the appellations's most illustrious wines, and Clos Fourtet has an enviable location there. The 20 hectares of vines are situauted around a stately manor house built just before the French Revolution. This is on the very outskirts of the medieval town of Saint-Emilion. The château's underground cellars are perfect for aging wine.
Clos Fourtet owes its fame to the Rulleau and Carles families. The latter were lords of Figeac. They were the first to grow vines on this barely arable land, which nevertheless has outstanding natural drainage. Clos Fourtet's old vines, perfectly balanced grape varieties, traditional winemaking methods backed up by the most modern techniques, and aging in new oak barrels in underground cellars complement all the gifts that nature has bestowed on this château.
Learn More About Bordeaux Red Blends
Bordeaux Blends The Fab Five With so much history under its belt, it's no wonder that Bordeaux has figured out the recipe to produce amazing wines. Centuries of making (and drinking) wine led to the blend that has become synonomous with Bordeaux. Winemakers in the New World replicate this formula to create successful blends in their respective regions - you may see Bordeaux blends from the US labeled Meritage (rhymes with heritage). The name defines American wines made from Bordeaux grapes.
Notable Facts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. These five red grapes are the components of a classic Bordeaux blend. Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot usually play the lead role, while Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot act as the supporting cast. These three grapes help to add color, structure and body in varying amounts. A Bordeaux blend typically, but not exclusively, uses at least three of the five grapes to be labeled as such, but many wines in Bordeaux and else where stick to just two. The beauty of the blend? Each year the percentage of each grape in the blend can vary and the winemaker can include more of the variety that excelled in that particular vintage.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Bordeaux, California, Australia, Washington
Learn More About St-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Medieval Village, Modern Wine
A region named after the charming, quaint historical town in Bordeaux, St-Émilion is situated on the right bank of Bordeaux. It's grapes of choice are Merlot and Cabernet Franc (called Bouchet on the right bank). The region has its own classification system, updated and revised every few years. Two of the hottest chateaux of the area (and the only Premier Grand Cru Classé A) are Chateau Ausone and Chateau Cheval Blanc.
St.-Émilion produces the most wine on the right bank of Bordeaux. As most of its wine is based primarily on Merlot, St-Emilion wines are described as having finesse and elegance. The best wine of the region can last upward of 10-20 years, like a good left-banker, but many find that the wines here matuer earlier than those based on Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils in the area differ greatly, from gravel to limestone to clay and sand. As a result, the wines of this region are diverse. Quality wines display silky tannins and ripe, soft fruit – the higher quality wine showing full-bodied texture and layers of complexity.