JC in France May - June 2018 | Day 6

Date: 05-06-2018

Full on day today with lots of tastings and a dinner in St-Emilion. We started the day by a short drive towards the village of Neac in the Appellation of Lalande de Pomerol (a satellite of Pomerol). As we arrived there it was a little bit of emotional as I have not seen Julien for eight years! If you have been a client of Maison Vauron you might have met the wonderful Julien Noel while he was working at Maison Vauron). Julien is a young, intelligent and passionate man who has done extremely well since he left New Zealand eight years ago. He is now pretty much in charge (with a colleague of his) on these three different properties – Château La Bastide, Crus Corbières(Montagne St Emilion), Château de Chambrun - Château Moncets AOC Lalande de Pomerol (Lalande de Pomerol) and Chateau Chambruns (lalande de Pomerol). The Chateaux owned by a Frenchman living in Paris has given them 'carte blanche' to run these well situated (very close to Chateau Petrus) properties. Julien and his team had prepared the most amazing lunch in the 16th century Chateau (still 'brut' at this stage!) and cooked for us a huge 'entrecôte' on the barbecue.
Of course we left late (there is no short lunch in France!) and had to drive quite a distance West to reach Château Carbonneau. From the shores of New Zealand to the Southwest of France, the Franc de Ferrière family has renovated over the years this beautiful wine property situated on the Dordogne river (about 45 mins drive West of St-Emilion). We had the full tour and tasting. The wines (Merlot and Cabernets for the reds and Sauvignon Blanc /Semillon for the whites) are extremely well made - clean, with plenty of ripe, honest fruit characters and a soft structure. 
Our last visit of the day was at a brand new property in the Pomerol Appellation – Chateau Seraphine. You might have met its owner (Martin Krajewski) during one of his multiple visits in NZ promoting his other property in St-Emilion - Clos Cantenac. His daughter Charlotte who spent over six years in NZ making wines at Trinity Hills and more recently Elephant Hill, is in France to look after the two properties (big job!). Martin has spent 'zillions' to rejuvenate this small property and it looks really smart. The 2017 vintage (which was the first) for this Domaine was catastrophically small (they made only four barrels while they should do at least 12 in a normal year!) following the frost of April. However the quality is 'au rendez-vous' - the wine offers ripe and chunky dark fruit characters with spiciness and suppleness on the palate. We are offering this wine (we have only 18 bottles available!) as 'En Primeur' at the moment please check out our website for more details. www.mvauron.co.nz/tag/14-en-primeur/value/2904-en-primeur
We stayed close by for dinner and went to 'L'Envers du Décor' restaurant in St-Emilion. It’s a bit of an institution with plenty of atmosphere and good, tasty food. We celebrated Tim's Birthday with great style! - JC

The beautiful village of St-Emilion