The spirit in the bottle

Chateau Maucaillou

A lovely pastime of ours since moving to the country is simply to get in the car and drive through the countless villages and vineyards that grace the eastern side of Médoc. It’s a wonderful maze of charming roads and invariably we get a little lost, chasing a beautiful Chateau we see on a distant hill or exploring a small road that seems all too inviting. Ranging from tiny operations, where the wine is literally made in the garage, to splendorous castles filled with rich family histories, Médoc has it all. Many of the villages are high on the authenticity list, not a souvenir shop in sight and sometimes, less conveniently, not even a loaf of bread. But that’s just the way we like it.

Bordeaux wines are a blend of the robust Cabernet Sauvignon and the smoother Merlot, usually with a dash of other varieties. In Médoc the blend favours Cabernet and this is why its wines are considered more earthy and powerful than wines from the “Right bank” such as St. Emilion and Pomerol. This is an oversimplification, of course, and there are different tendencies within Médoc itself. A wine from St. Estephe (the most Northern of the famous villages) are more earthy than wines from the southern Margaux, which have a reputation for silkiness. Read the rest of this entry »