Saint Emilion was our destination for Friday and a glorious day of sunshine invited us to enjoy the delights of the Right Bank just as harvest was about to begin. Our first stop was at the classed growth Chateau Beau Séjour Bécot. The sorting table and crusher/destemmer was in full flow as we arrived and this gave everyone a great opportunity to witness at first hand the attention to quality detail even before the fermentation starts.
Loric showed us round the ancient limestone cellars that used to connect the church to the village and a number of other growers via a labyrinthine network of tunnels before we emerged into the beautiful tasting room.
We tasted four wines that showed the variety of Saint Emilion style culminating in La Gomerie 2001 – an amazing 100% Merlot from a tiny single vineyard. Utterly delicious.
From Beausejour Becot it was a short drive to – another magnificent property that was elevated to Cru Classe status in 2012. The Bich family own the property – famous for the Bic pens – and they have lavished money on to the estate.
We were hosted by Adrien – a sommelier – who was hugely entertaining and not only gave us a fabulous insight into the history of the area and the domaine but was very instructive in wine tasting technique.
We then settled into a tasting of six wines – four of which were paired with two starters and mains that were utterly superb. We were also tasked with working out which was the appropriate wine with each dish – which created a lot of head scratching and amusement over the course of the lunch. A delightful visit but the day was not yet over….
Dinner at the appropriately named Le Glouton was our final dinner together. Convivial, relaxed and with great food, we celebrated our achievements and understanding of Bordeaux.