CHÂTEAU QUINTUS SAINT-EMILION
We woke up at 8:30 a.m. and drove to Saint Emilion to visit Chateau Quintus. On our way there we stopped at a small local pastry shop to try the “Caneles,” which are famous French pastries in the Bordeaux region. They are eaten for breakfast, with tea, or for dessert. They are soft with custard in the middle and a caramelized crust. You can get eight smaller ones for 4.50€, or larger ones with six pieces for 4.80€. What a wonderful start to our day!
The drive through Saint Emilion was amazing! There are so many famous wineries. The land is picturesque and it’s wonderful to simply drive through it. Saint Emilion is on the right bank in the Bordeaux region, so the wines are primarily Merlot.
Mr. François is the Estate Manager at Chateau Quintus, and he graciously gave us a private tour around a breathtaking hill, which provides a breathtaking 360 degree view of the property. A family by the name of Domaine Clarence Dillon owns the winery and Prince Robert de Luxembourg presides. He also owns four other chateaus: Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, to name the more famous ones. François manages this estate, which they purchased in 2011.
There are five grapes that are commonly used in Bordeaux blends, and this winery uses three: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. The land they use for growing is 23 hectares large. The grapes are harvested traditionally and they are stripped in June to promote sunshine. They are also thinned in July so that the harvest is optimal each year. The grapes are then manually harvested. The manager predicts that soon the wines from this property will be as famous as those in Haut Brion.
One of the best parts of the tour was seeing where the VIPs stay when they come and visit. We saw where they eat and drink wine—I would like to be invited to one of their dinners! Everything was beautifully decorated in a vintage European style. Once the tour was done, we got to the best part—wine tasting!
We tasted the wines in the tasting room. We tried two: the Chateau Quintus of the 2012 vintage, and Le Dragon de Quintus, also of the 2012 vintage. Chateau Quintus has ripe, tight tannins and the flavor lingers in your mouth for a long time. I really enjoyed the fruit and spice. The Dragon is very well balanced with lots of red fruit and blueberries. Both wines pair beautifully with red meat and for romantic dinners.
We wanted to buy the wines, but they do not sell them on the property. If you want to buy them you have to go through a wine merchant. We thanked François for spending time with us and for giving us a wonderful tour. So far, we have enjoyed this winery the best. The wines were outstanding and we hope to be able to find them and buy them soon. We have looked for them in the villages around Saint Emilion, but no luck yet.
The best Chateau visits so far.