Tuesday, July 2, 2019

France Wine Regions - St Emillion

May 2019 - St. Emillion France

Tom hosts Tuesday's Treasures.
Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday

Another guest post from John, on the wines we sampled on our recent tour.

On Friday May 19th, we left Lourdes around 10:30 am heading for St Emillion on our way north to Bordeaux.

History of St Emillion
Saint Emilion could be the oldest active wine producing appellation in the Bordeaux region with a history that dates back to the times of the ancient Romans. Numerous Roman ruins are scattered all over the St. Emilion appellation.

St. Emilion was a much smaller appellation in its formative years. Today, that is no longer the case. St. Emilion is one of the largest wine producing regions in Bordeaux with 5,565 hectares under vine.

This is divided into Grand Cru classified vineyards, which occupy 3,739 hectares and 1,826 hectares of non classified regions.

In total, close to 2.4 million cases of wine are produced in Saint Emilion each year! This is divided into both St. Emilion appellations. 1,500,000 cases of wine come from St. Emilion Grand Cru vineyards each year. 900,000 cases of wine are produced from Saint Emilion non classified vineyards, every vintage.
The region and soil varies quite a bit from property to property for the numerous, St. Emilion chateaux. You can basically divide the appellation of Saint Emilion into 3 distinct regions, the limestone plateau, the slopes closest to the plateau and the flats.

The elevations in St. Emilion varies from 3 meters in the flats up to 100 meters on the plateau. Chateau Troplong Mondot could have the highest peak elevation on the Saint Emilion plateau at 100 meters, (328 feet).

The taste, character and style of St. Emilion wine: Due to its massive size and large, diverse, array of growers, St. Emilion produces the widest range of wines and styles found in Bordeaux. It’s easy to go from chateau to chateau and discover one producer making a modern style of wine, while their neighbor prefers a more traditional approach.

Wine styles are dictated by a combination of the region and the choices made by the wine maker. Wine from the sandy soils in Saint Emilion are lighter, offering more of a red fruit character, while the wines from clay and limestone soils are often richer, deeper and longer lasting.
The grapes used to produce St. Emilion: Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the dominant grapes that make St. Emilion wine. However, other grape varieties are used to produce St. Emilion wine including, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot (variety of red wine grape, principally used in classic Bordeaux blends. It ripens much later than the other varieties in Bordeaux, often too late, so it fell out of favour in its home region. When it does ripen it adds tannin, colour and flavour, in small amounts, to the blend).


Image result for Léon GALHAUD

Here we are at  Maison Galhaud for a wine tasting of their Bordeaux wines and Grand Cru. The Manoir ts  a noble and ancestral home built in the 12th century on the old fortified city of Saint-Émilion.

Built on top of an old stone quarry those ancestral and monolithic limestone caves are the perfect temperature controlled environment for ageing our wines which mature slowly in those ideal conditions.

History of Maison Gahlaud (images source)

Léon GALHAUD, who founded MAISON GALHAUD in 1901, was a student and assistant Professor RAVAZ (1863-1937) (University of Montpellier) Professor Ravaz was instrumental in implementing the grafting process which renewed the European and African vineyards after the phylloxera outbreak . As President of the nursery union for 30 years, Léon Galhaud developed the “greffes-soudes” vines, which were developed from the finest clone selections. He was an integral part of improving the quality and longevity of French wines.

Jean-Jacques GALHAUD

His son, Jean-Jacques GALHAUD, sold wines from the family’s vineyards, as well as other wines from the South-West, all over the world. His main goal was to promote the AOC wines.

As a pioneer of wine marketing, he created ads, personalized bottles and received international awards and acclaim for his efforts. As owner of several domains in Saint Emilion, such as Chateau Tertre-Daugay, Chateau le Couvent (Grand Crus Classes), he was instrumental in developing the reputation of the appellation all over the world.

Jean-François GALHAUD

Jean-Francois GALHAUD, the third generation, has inherited his passion for wine from his family. He studied oenology in Bordeaux and Montpellier and has focused his efforts on being a negotiator and, through Scodex Wines and Promocom, dramatically expanding the family’s export business. In 1996, he redeveloped the family estate with the help of his wife, Martine and created the GALHAUD family wines:
Château la ROSE BRISSON Saint Emilion Grand Cru
MOULIN GALHAUD Grand Vin Saint Emilion Grand Cru
MANOIR GALHAUD Grand Vin – Bordeaux
Léon GALHAUD – Crémant de Bordeaux

Our first tasting was a great Manoir Gahlaud Bordeaux red, vintage 2012.

 This wine is a ruby colour deploys powerful aromas of red fruit , with some oak and toasted bread notes.A ripe red fruits and toasted oak combination
dominate the nose. Merlot brings its roundness and full body.

Our second tasting was a Chateau La Rose Brisson, Saint Emillion Grand Cru, vintage 2014.

The original blending of this wine gives it an original taste (85% Merlot and 15% of Cabernet Sauvignon) and makes you appreciate the aromas of red fruit ripened, seasoned with toasty and vanilla notes. Has a  very pleasant femininity, revealed by a full flavored and generous structure in your mouth, gives you opportunities to share a meal or a relaxing time with charm and elegance.
This wine can be savored with white or grilled red meat or it would be lovely with sweet and soft cheese.


  1. ...a beautiful historic area where they take wine seriously. Which did you enjoy best? Thanks Jackie for sharing, I hope that you are enjoying your week. Neat header!

  2. It's so interesting that wine from one region can be so different, and that the soil/sand/clay that the grapes are grown in makes so much of a difference to the overall taste of the finished product. #WanderfulWednesday

  3. Sounds like a fun visit. Those caves look amazing! #WanderfulWednesday


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