The 2016 Clos Cantenac is a 100% Merlot picked from 21 September to 7 October, aged in 45% new oak barrels for 12 months. It has a concentrated bouquet with blackberry and cassis notes, just a hint of raisin, the oak neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with black cherries, blueberry and loganberry. I appreciated the tannin structure here and the acidic drive that reins in the finish and keeps it on track. This should be well worth investigating once in bottle. Drink 2021-2035
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.