Castillon: A Viable Alternate to Expensive Bordeaux

By May 21, 2012Winemakers

Today was the last day of Bordeaux 101 and it ended on a fitting note: 2 visits to alternative wineries that are definite alternatives to big buck bordeaux, and a redux lunch visit after a 20 year hiatus.

The first winery was Chateau Pitray (87 Wine Advocate) where we were welcomed by father and son team of Pierre and Jean de Boigne. Their newest releases of  Madame at

Chateau Pitray Castillon

about 20 euros is an wonderful blend of merlot with 30% cabernet franc, a classic St Emilion blend. We learned that this area nowadays called Castillon was part of St Emilion as recently as 1930. The limestone terroir and exposure is very similar to its more famous neighbor so both Pitray and our 2nd winery visit to Clos Puy Arnaud (92 Wine Advocate) with its top wine at 27 euros are worthy alternates to more expensive St. Emilion wines.

We ended with another superb lunch at Le Belvedere near Juillac where Chef Michel Pestel outdid himself with foie gras, lamb, 4 cheeses and a sinful chocolate cake. Our last visit there was 20 years ago and the quality/value relationship warranted this visit and future lunches. It’s worth the detour.

Tomorrow starts Bordeaux 201, or Bootcamp Bordeaux as some may call it; a winelovers’ delight. Here is the 201 itinerary:


Vin Marottoli’s Wine Lovers Tours

Bordeaux 201    2012

Tuesday May 22   9:30am Tour & tasting Chateau Rauzan-Ségla

11:00am Tour, tasting & lunch at Chateau Lalagune

3:30pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Duhart Milon

Wednesday May 23     9:30am Visit & tasting at Chateau Branaire Ducru

11:00am Tour & tasting at Chateau Pichon Baron

12:30pm Lunch at Cordeillan Bages

3:00pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Haut Marbuzet

5:00pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Lynch Bages

Thursday May 24     9:30am Tour & tasting at Chateau Phelan Ségur

11:00am Tour and lunch at Chateau Loudenne

3:00pm Tour & tasting at Chateau La Cardonne

5:00pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Vieux Robin

Friday May 25            9:30am Tour & tasting at Chateau Léoville Poyferré

11:00am Tour,  tasting & lunch at Chateau Lagrange

2:30pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Beychevelle

4:00pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Beaumont

Saturday May 26          9:30am Tour & tasting at Chateau Lanessan

11:00am Tour, tasting & lunch at Chateau Maucaillou

2:30pm Tour & tasting at Chateau Rauzan Gassies

Sunday May 27               Depart for Bordeaux airport

* Dinner every evening is at our hotel

lunch at Le Belvedere Juillac

Pierre de Boigne Chateau Pitray

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