The forecast said rain, but it was sunny and pretty warm as the day progressed: a perfect day in St. Emilion. We started with a train ride through the vineyards around St. Emilion.
Our winery visit was to a grand cru, Chateau Rochebelle. Today was Ascension Thursday and most of the premier cru St Emilion estates were closed. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality and value of this grand cru. A wonderful visit through their cellars housed in former quarries was followed by a tasting of 3 of Rochebelle vintages: ’07’ ,’00 and ’95. Many of us bought wines here: who wouldn’t when you could buy a 17 year old St. Emilion for under $50!
Then we followed with lunch at the Palais Cardinal: foie gras, filet mignon, crème brulée, accompanied by the ’97 Sarpe produced by the winery owned by the restauranteur. We had 2 hours to wander around this gorgeous town; 10 of us went to the Cave des Cordeliers, a producer of Crémant de Bordeaux. We had their brut, rosé and semi-dry crémant- delightful sparkling wines made from semillon brought in from Entre-deux-Mers.
We ended our stay with a short trip to Fronsac and the stunning Chateau La Rivière, with over 12 miles of underground tunnels! We enjoyed a very nice rosé and their beautifully aged ’95 Fronsac made primarily from merlot. A wonderful day for wine lovers.