Surprisingly enough, this Saint-Emilion shows a striking kinship with the Brunello above. The aromatics are typical of Merlot grown in illustrious Bordeaux soils, of course, but on the palate it presents a delicate, rose-petal touch and ultra-fine grain that put it in the same family as the Sesti. Crafted from less than two hectares of organic grapes and vinified in a cramped garage, this is silky Saint-Emilion at its most seductive. Both wines may develop a bouquet of truffles as they age.
Eric Jeanneteau spent his childhood following his grandparents around their vineyard and cellar, just outside St-Émilion on the Right Bank of the Dordogne River in the Bordelais. School was of little interest to him; he says all he wanted to do was run free among the vines alongside his grandfather. His enchantment with the métier began at the age of six. By the time he turned eight, he was already assisting his grandfather in the vines and in the cellar. It was only natural that he completed three degrees in viticulture—he was born to be a vigneron. In 1995, after managing various châteaux throughout the region, Eric returned home to take his place at the helm of the family domaine in St-Émilion, Tertre de la Mouleyre.
Often considered the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux and its wines have captured the minds, hearts, and wallets of wine drinkers for centuries. For many, the wines provide an inalienable benchmark against which all other wines are measured.
Bordeaux is divided into three winegrowing regions with the city that gives the region its name in the near geographical center. The “right bank,” or the area located east of the Dordogne River, produces wines that are predominantly Merlot with small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The “left bank” is located to the west of the Garonne River and produces wines dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The third region, Entre-Deux-Mers, lies between both rivers and produces white wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Though technically in the left bank, it is worth noting the appellation of Sauternes, which produces arguably the world’s most famous sweet wines from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle as well.
Though many top Bordeaux wines are sold en primeur (in advance of their bottling) and often through a middleman known as a negoçiant, Kermit has always preferred to purchase directly from the winemaker. For more than three decades he has sought out small producers, who make classic Bordeaux wines and are willing to play outside the negoçiant system. This ethic has led to longstanding relationships, excellent prices, and perhaps most important—wines of great value and longevity.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa