I am fortunate because, although I have now visited Bordeaux many times, I am not yet at that stage where I know every châteaux, every road and every vineyard. As there are many thousands of châteaux here I think I will never be at that stage, and happily so, because one of the joys of wine is making new discoveries. To encounter a back road I have never met before, and to find halfway along its length an unfamiliar château (or perhaps one where the wines are familiar, but the location of the vineyard that produced them is not), an ancient citadel surrounded by regiments of ancient vines, their dark forms silhouetted against the verdant green of spring, can sometimes be one of the most memorable moments of any trip.
The patchwork quilt of vineyards that makes up St Emilion is so broad that, in truth, I don’t always need to head down a back road in order to make such a discovery. Sometimes I just need to pay a little more attention when zipping along from one appointment to the next, to look up from the white lines of the road and to scan the landscape around me. So it was on a recent visit, when I was heading east out of St Emilion on the road that snakes along between the railway line and the edge of the limestone plateau, that I noticed an imposing and clearly ancient château set back from the roadside. It was entirely unfamiliar to me. How had I not noticed it before? I decided I would have to investigate, and it wasn’t long before I was knocking on the door, tasting the wine, and making one of the most memorable wine discoveries of the trip. I had just discovered Château Lassègue.
It seemed likely to me when I caught sight of Château Lassègue that it has ancient origins, and it seemed plausible that viticulture has been ongoing here for many, many centuries. Indeed, in my research I have managed to trace the story of this estate as far back as the mid-17th century.Please log in to continue reading: