Unknown to many, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux lies bang next door to Saint Emilion. Same soil, grapes and climate. Less well known, its clarets are top for value. This is a lovely, supple, Merlot rich 2015 - a top vintage for ripe fruit and structure.
Father and son team Paul and Cédric Valade run this Right Bank estate. It's been in the family now for 40 years and lies in the village of Belvès de Castillon. Its 30 hectares of vineyard are planted on clay and limestone soils, almost identical to those of the higher Saint-Émilion estates. They are very active, too, in promoting biodiversity in the earth – lively soils make for healthy, strong vines. Hand picking the grapes parcel by parcel from their mature vines ensures only the best, ripest berries are used. Yields are kept low as well. Gentle winemaking, gravity flow and ageing in French oak casks are just some of the measures taken to ensure quality. Drinking well now, this claret is classic with roast meats or pasta with a rich ragu.
"Plum preserves and baked blackberries scents plus underlying tobacco, cedar chest and pencil lead"
Wine Advocate For the 2017 vintage
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