Château Grand Corbin-Despagne
A few hundred yards counts for a lot when it comes to Bordeaux. One moment you could be standing on the banks of a babbling brook, with sandy soils underfoot. The wine made here is good, but ordinary; it is matched by countless other wines, not just from this appellation but many others in the region. Walk for a few minutes in the right direction though (more often than not, uphill), and you could soon find yourself atop a button of famous blue clay, looking out over a carpet of emerald green vines the fruit from which is of such exquisite quality that the wine it becomes is coveted the world over.
A walk though any appellation, indeed any one vineyard, often reveals an array of different terroirs. This is true not only for Pomerol (as hinted at above) but for St Emilion too. It is perhaps more true here than anywhere else, as there is no other appellation in Bordeaux so large, or so significant, which has such varied terroir. There is the famous limestone and clay in St Emilion, and some very useful gravel too. But there is also a lot of sand, of various origins.
Step down from that blue button of clay and start walking in a southeasterly direction. Almost immediately you will pass by the hamlet of Maillet, where Château Vieux Maillet and Château Franc Maillet are to be found, less well known but no less Pomerol than Petrus. Keep heading in this direction and you soon pass into the St Emilion appellation, into the Corbin sector. To the southwest are Château Cheval Blanc and Château Figeac, sitting comfortably on their shared throne of gravel. But all around the soils are much more sandy in nature. It is here that we will find the vineyards of Château Grand Corbin-Despagne.