(l-r) - Julian, Gregory, BE, GG, GS, Thomas
On the Tuesday morning at an ungodly 10am we met up with Gregory, Julian and Thomas (all probably spelled wrong) from Maison Malet Roquefort in the lovely town of St Pay D'Armens on the picturesque D936 on the eastern side of the St Emilion region.
We were taken to Chateau D'Armens where we were given a tour of the facility and then we stared the tasting at about 10-30. Much as I love wine I really didn't feel like knocking back a load of wine on an empty, queasy stomach, all of us including our two brave drivers (GG & GS) elected to spit, some with more accuracy than others, (sorry guys).
Anyway we tried three whites:
Chapelle Maracan 2007
Chapelle d'Alienor 2003
Chapelle d'Alienor 2005
We settled on the d'Alienor 2005 as it was lovely, the 2003 was nice and the Maracan was very acidic and tart.
We tried several reds (for the wedding initially):
Chapelle Maracan Red 2005 - Bordeaux - was OK, a bit tannic for my taste
Chateau De Clotte 2005 - Cotes de Castillon - liked this a lot
Chateau Guillou 2005 - Montagne Saint-Emilion - winner of the famous blind tasting, between this and the Clotte as my choice for the wedding.
Chateau Roland La Garde 2005 - Premier Cotes de Blaye - liked it - not as much as previous 2
La Fleur d'Armens - 2006- Saint Emilion Grand Cru - second wine of Chateau Armens - I felt this didn't have the subtlety or the complexity of the Guillou, as did GS, but we were overruled by "the boys". In fairness they are the groom and brides sister so they had the casting vote.
Other reds we tried:
Chateau Armens - 2005- Saint Emilion Grand Cru -Liked this but at €16 was not as good value as some above.
Chateau Tertre-Daugay - 2003 - Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classe - the star of the tasting for me, a divine red, complex, balanced and a huge finish. BE liked it so much he bought the vineyard (not really but he did go a little loco). I loved it but I'm not sure how much I'd buy at €18-50 a pop, given the credit crunch's ongoing direct impact on me.
Myself and GS decide to split a case each of the Guillou and the de Clotte between us, as at €7 and €6 respectively there were a steal.
Before we left, Thomas brought us into where they keep the barrels (I should know what this room is properly called) and gave us a taste of the 2008 Chateau Armens direct from the cask. This was a new experience for me and I suspect the guys also. The 2008 was young ,obviously, but was fresh and fruity and in my limited experience had some good potential.
Thanks again to Gregory, Julian and Thomas for the help and expertise, although BE & GG did regret their inadequately translated choice of main course in the local Relais. Described as Saucisson but actually Andouillete, definitely an acquired taste.
Thanks again to the two drivers, GG & GS for their selflessness.
Next: Lots of rain necessitates purchases of more wine...