Château Joanin Bécot
The vineyards that jostle for position around the peripheries of the St Emilion appellation provide very fine hunting grounds for those looking for more realistically priced Bordeaux. And some of these vineyards, particularly those around Montagne-St-Emilion and parts of Castillon, boast some really quite remarkable limestone-loaded soils. Many who work in the region recognise not only the quality of the terroir in these ‘lesser’ appellations, they are also drawn here by the lower land prices; a hectare of vines in Castillon, for example, costs a fraction of what it would require to purchase a hectare of the same in the more prestigious St Emilion appellation.
For these reasons numerous proprietors, including some famous names from St Emilion and Pomerol, have set up shop in Castillon. The roll call of names includes Stephan von Neipperg at Château d’Aiguilhe, Stéphane Derenoncourt at Domaine de L’A, Denis Durantou at Château Montlandrie and the Mitjavile family at L’Aurage. And we should not, of course, overlook the work of the Bécot family, at Château Joanin Bécot.
Joanin is a small hamlet, in truth little more than a row of roadside residential properties, in the commune of St-Philippe-d’Aiguilhe. It has a long history of viticulture, one embodied by the aforementioned Château d’Aiguilhe, one of Château Joanin Bécot’s most significant neighbours, sitting just a kilometre to the south. Various editions of Cocks et Féret published during the 19th century describe the presence of vineyards at Jouanin [sic] and later Joanin.