The 2014 de Ferrand is bold, powerful and juicy. There is not much subtlety here. Even so, the 2014 packs a real punch and offers plenty of intensity in a bold, rustic style. Black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, cloves, menthol and a generous slathering of oak build into the opulent finish. This is in a powerful, extracted style, but there is enough balance to make the wine well worth seeking out. It would be interesting to see what the wine might taste like with less oak and a gentler approach to vinification. Tasted two times. Drink 2019-2026
South of Pomerol lies the medieval, perched village of St Emilion. Surrounding St Emilion are vines that produce round, rich and often hedonistic wines. Despite a myriad of soil types, two main ones dominate - the gravelly, limestone slopes that delve down to the valley from the plateau and the valley itself which is comprised of limestone, gravel, clay and sand. Despite St Emilion's popularity today, it was not until the 1980s to early 1990s that attention was brought to this region. Robert Parker, the famous wine critic, began reviewing their Merlot-dominated wines and giving them hefty scores. The rest is history as they say. Similar to the Médoc, there is a classification system in place which dates from 1955 and outlines several levels of quality. These include its regional appellation of St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, which is further divided into "A" (Ausone and Cheval Blanc) and "B" (including Angélus, Canon, Figeac and a handful of others). To ensure better accuracy, the classification is redone every 10 years enabling certain châteaux to be upgraded or downgraded depending on on the quality of their more recent vintages.