Travelers to Saint Émilion, a Romanesque village in Bordeaux’s right bank 20 miles from Bordeaux’s center, fall in love with its ancient, medieval charm, including its limestone buildings and a famous almond macaroon. Even the vineyards are UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Grapes grown here are mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. Only four wines from this region are classified as "Premiers grands crus classes A": Château Cheval Blanc, Château Ausone, Château Angelus, and Château Pavie. In addition, there are quite a few Grand Cru vineyards, which date back as early as the 2nd century.
Despite being left out of the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, and instead classified in 1955, wines from this region have been strong for decades, if not centuries, and do well at auction. Among the producers are Troplong Mondot, Château Cheval, and Château Ausone; the latter two can sell at auction for around $1,500-$2,000 a bottle.
- In terms of aging, many Saint Émilion are ready to drink now yet will also evolve after 10 years, some as little as three or four years
- Saint Émilion was once referred to as Libourne, which was destroyed in the Hundred Years War
- There continues to be tension in this appellation as many wineries remain angry about being demoted during the 1955 classification