Welcome to WineBoy! Lately I’ve come to notice something about French wineries in the Bordeaux region... there’s a lot of them! And to be perfectly honest, not all of them are great. Quality of wines changes with every year and new wineries arise. But I decided I’m going to stick to the good ones, the ones that really stand out to me. Today, it just so happens, I stumbled upon one of these unique wineries.
We were driving along a dirt road, for about ten minutes, before we arrived at the winery. It was a tall, white building. I recall the way one wall served as a canvas for the golden sign that read, Château Beau-Séjour Bécot. We walked in and were immediately greeted by a man named Michael, who introduced himself to be our tour guide. After reviewing the Bécot family history and once again spelling out the wine making process, it was time for the tour. From the vineyard I could see the bell-tower of the St. Emilion Church, as well as the neighboring Chateau Canon. We took our time walking the grounds, as Michael explained to us about the limestone terroir, the eighteen hectare property, and the varietals of grapes grown (70% - Merlot / 24% - Cabernet Franc 6% / Cabernet Sauvignon). But none of it compared to the wine cellar.
Michael led us back inside and then down a stairwell. The light grew dimmer and the air crisp, and moist. It occurred to me I wasn’t just entering a cellar, it was a cave! I looked up and could see the vine roots digging down through the ceiling and I could hear the echo of my own footsteps resounding through the caverns. Just then my eyes were drawn to a magnum bottle, set just beside a lamp. Next to the bottle, four skulls. It just so happened that back in the day, these caves served as limestone quarries. After that, they were used as dumping grounds for bodies. We made our rounds through the twists and turns of the cave and then, finally, came up for air.
Our next and last stop was their tasting room, and all the while we were drinking, I couldn’t stop thinking about that wine cellar. I rarely see caves that feel so undisturbed. Still, there is something to be said for the wine. We only tried one; it was a 2007 Premier Grand Cru. I recall it was a bit tannins forward and if I had to divide the flavors into two parts, I would say cherries and almonds. Delicious.
I’d say that sums up the highlights of Château Beau-Séjour Bécot. Hopefully I’ve even inspired some of you to take a deeper interest in French wine and Chateaux.
Thanks for Reading!