Last summer, our family enjoyed a vacation around France. After a few days in Paris, we headed to Bordeaux to drink some wine. We stayed at Chateau Camiac in Creon which is located between the "right bank" and the "left bank" of the Gironde. This was the perfect spot so we could tour the Saint-Emilion, Fronsac and Pomerol areas on the right and the Medoc, Saint Estephe and Pauillac regions on the left. The right bank wines are Merlot based and the left bank wines are Cabernet Sauvignon based. Let me start by saying that Chateau Camiac was outstanding. The food was the best we had during our trip and the kids loved the pool. We would definitely stay there again if we were in Bordeaux.
My favorite area was Saint Emilion due to its history, architecture and sites. The cobblestone streets remain and the way in which they carved several of the structures into the limestone hillsides was incredible. The Famous Monolithic Church and towering bell tower was partially built subterranean. There are many underground passages throughout town. Saint Emilion was named after a teenage monk who fled southern France due to religious persecution. His name was Emilion. If you get the chance, be sure to visit Saint Emilion. And of course, let's not forget the phenomenal wines.
We made numerous vineyard tours on both sides of the Gironde but one stood out, the Chateau Beau Sejour Becot in Saint Emilion. We had a private tour of the property, the wine making facilities and the underground caves where all the wines are stored. At the end, we had numerous vintages from 1996 - 2007 shipped home for special occasions. This past weekend, we opened a bottle of the 2007 Premier Grand Cru Classe. Although it is still very young, and we would recommend cellaring this another 5-10 years, it was still an outstanding bottle. As they say, you can't replicate the experience of drinking it in the vineyard, but this certainly brought back a lot of great memories. This medium-full bodied Bordeaux is a blend of 70% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon. There was plenty of juicy red fruit aromas along with some cassis, plum and hints of chocolate and licorice. Like most wines, particularly Bordeaux, the aromas and flavors changed frequently over the evening. On the palate, it was more of dark fruits and black plums along with the stone from the region. The French oak barrels also were identifiable in the flavor. The tannins were very soft but had greater acidity. Overall, a well balanced wine. The wonderful flavors were long lasting. I can't wait to open some of the other vintages. My wife made a beef tenderloin in the oven that melted in our mouths along with a reduction of wine, peppercorns and shallots. The side dishes included orange glazed carrots and parsnips as well as mashed potatoes with creme fraiche and scallions. This was better than you can get in most restaurants!! The Chateau Beau Sejour Becot Bordeaux 2007 was perfect for the meal. This is a hard wine to find in the States but if you do, we highly recommend buying some. It retails for about $50. Neal Martin from erobertparker.com rated this 90-92 points.