A Merlot-dominated Bordeaux from a microclimate very similar to that of St. Emilion, this remarkable value is ripe and balanced.
|The chateau buildings date from 1892, and resemble a cross between an 18th century English country house and a luxury mediterranean villa - all whitewashed and topped with a red-tiled roof. The vineyards originally belonged to another estate, and were purchased by the Avril family some years later. Recently, Bernard Avril has invested considerable time and effort in improving both vineyard practices and winemaking, with the result that this is now a respected source of quality Bordeaux at remarkably affordable prices.
The secret here is location. The wines are labelled Bordeaux Superieur, but the grapes are grown close to, and in some cases, over the border into better known Fronsac. The clay and limestone slopes and microclimatic influences are very similar to the terroir found in nearby Saint Emilion. Not surprisingly, Merlot works very well here.