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Where is Libourne?
- Confluence of Dordogne and Isle rivers.
- English settlement founded in 1268 by Roger de Leyburn
Who was Saint-Emilion named after?
- Aemilianus (a hermit from Brittany who established a small monastery)
- He was never officially canonized
Why was Sables-Saint-Emilion not incorporated into Saint-Emilion in 1973?
Records proved it was excluded in Medieval times
Describe the borders of Saint-Emilion
- N: Barbanne stream
- S: Dordogne plain
- E: Hills of Castillon
- W: high plain near the town of Libourne
Name the AOCs in the Libourne
- Saint-Emilion and its satellites
- Pomerol and Lalande-de-Pomerol
- Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac
Are the AOCs of the Libourne for red wine only?
What is the size of each Right Bank AOC?
- Saint-Emilion: ?
- Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion: 170 ha
- Montagne-Saint-Emilion: 1565 ha
- Lussac-Saint-Emilion: 530 ha
- Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion: 750 ha
- Pomerol: 790 ha
- Lalande-de-Pomerol: ?
- Fronsac: 850 ha
- Canon-Fronsac: 300 ha
Describe the soils of Saint-Emilion
- Enormous diversity
- Quality is not dictated by a single terroir
- Vineyards vary in elevation, exposure, and aspect
Describe the soils of Saint-Emilion
- Hilltops: clay-limestone, clay-sand
- N/W: sand, gravel, clay, crasse de fer atop Fronsadais molasse and limestone (N) and starfish limestone (W)
- E: clay-limestone, clay-sand atop starfish limestone and molasse
- S: sand, gravel atop ancient alluvium (river deposits)
Who planted the first vines in Lussac-Saint-Emilion?
- Roman era: Luccius/Lucanicus/Lucciacus
- Catholic church: Cistercians abbot (Baron de Lussac)
Describe the wines of Saint-Emilion
- Dordogne plains: Alluvial sands craft fruit-forward, accessible light wines
- NW: high plateau of wind-blow sands craft complex wines with minerality, fruit, polished tannins; pockets of Pomerol soils produce rich aromatic wines
Describe the wines of Pomerol
- Youth: Dumb and tannic
- Mature: Prune and walnuts
Why have Saint-Emilion wines been described as the Burgundies of Bordeaux?
- Cabernet Franc provides structure
- Merlot adds fruit and texture
- Malbec adds color and fruit
What is the Jurade de Saint-Emilion?
- 1199: Council that oversaw business, politics, grape growing and wine making
- Today: Organization that promotes Saint-Emilion wine
Name 4 things that Saint-Emilion refers to
- A hermit whose acolytes carved a church out of a limestone cliff between the 9th-13th C (500 years)
- A town
- AOC (5 hills that run parallel to the Dordogne, a high limestone plateau, 2 sandy plains)
What is Montagne (city within Saint-Emilion) known for?
- Gallo-Roman archeological finds
- Home of Ausonius (Roman poet and pro-counsul)
- Ransacked by barbarians
- Protected by the English during the Middle Ages
Describe the soils of Lussac-Saint-Emilion
- N: clay
- E: limestone
- W: gravel, sandy-gravel plateau
- SE: clay-limestone slopes
- NW: iron-rich sands and clays
Describe the soils of Montagne-Saint-Emilion
Diverse (clay, clay-limestone, starfish limestone, sand-clay, irony sand, clay-alluvium)
Which communes agreed to merge with Montagne-Saint-Emilion in 1973?
- Parsac, Saint-Georges, and Lussac
- 20 years later, Saint-Georges and Lussac were regranted AOC status (but not Parsac)
Describe the soils of Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion
Homogeneous (clay-limestone atop starfish limestone)
Describe the soils of Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion
Where does the name Puisseguin derive from?
- Puy means Mount
- Sequin was one of Charlemagne's lieutenants who built a fortress atop this butte
Where does the name Pomerol derive from?
Pomarium means orchard
Describe Pomerol's viticultural history
- Middle Ages: Hospitaliers of St. John of Jerusalem -- aka Knights of Malta --(built church for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain) maintained vines
- After 100 Years War: vineyards in disrepair but replanted in 15C
- 1562-1598: vineyards laid to waste during Wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots)
- 1936: AOC established (had been considered a part of Saint-Emilion)
- 1956: Frost devastates vineyards; replanted
What is La Confrerie des Hospitaliers?
Wine fraternity that honors the Knights of Malta (robes have a Maltese cross)
Describe the soils of Pomerol
- Wide and flat plateau with terraces that slope down to the Isle River
- Crasse de Fer: underpins all terroirs
- E: deep gravel (both top soil and subsoil)
- Center: clay-gravel atop clay
- W: sand (near Isle)
What is Crasse de Fer?
What are the most prominent grapes in Pomerol?
- Merlot: 80%
- Cabernet Franc: 15%
- Cabernet Sauvignon: 5%
Describe the wines of Pomerol
- Youth: dense, dumb, chocolate tannins
- Mature: Aromas of walnut and prune, Velvet texture
Describe the soils of Lalande-de-Pomerol
- Separated from Pomerol by Barbanne stream
- E: clay, clay-gravel
- N/NE: gravel
- W: sand-gravel (near Isle)
Describe the history of the Lalande-de-Pomerol and Neac communes
- Before 1926: Lalande-de-Pomerol was part of Pomerol and Neac used Neac-Pomerol
- 1926: Lelande-de-Pomerol denied use Pomerol AOC and Neac denied use of Neac-Pomerol name
Describe the wines of Lalande-de-Pomerol
- Needs 10 years to mature
- Aromas of truffles, violets, fallen leaves
What appellations border the Barbanne stream?
- North of Barbanne: Laland-de-Pomerol, Montagne-Saint-Emilion, Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion
- South of Barbanne: Pomerol, Saint-Emilion
What appellations border the Isle river?
- West of Isle: Fronsac
- East of Isle: Pomerol, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Describe the soils of Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac
- Right bank (west side) of Isle River
- Castle on top of the tertre (hill) of Fronsac
- A smaller hill also dominates Canon-Fronsac
- River banks: sand
- Slopes: clay-limestone or clay-sand atop starfish limestone atop Fronsadais molasse (sandy-clay)
Is Canon-Fronsac a subset of Fronsac?
- 6 of 18 Fronsac communes can use either Fronsac AOC or Canon-Fronsac AOC
Describe the wines of Fronsac and Canon-Fronsac
- Powerful tannins and red fruit
- Hints of pepper, spice, and truffle
- Similar to Saint-Emilion and Pomerol but tougher
Describe the history of Fronsac
- 769 AD: Charlemagne built castle to protect region
- 17 C: Seigneur d'Argilemont hanged by King Louis XIII for sinking passing ships
- Until 18 C: Wine from Fronsac more prized than from Saint-Emilion because grand-nephew of Cardinal Richelieu had legendary parties in an Italianate palace
- 1960s: Regained strength after phylloxera, plagues, world wars