Here in the wine lands of Bordeaux you’ll soon learn that “dégustation” means tasting because it appears almost everywhere with many chateaux and wine merchants offering wine tasting.
First Growth chateaux understandably do not offer visitors the opportunity to taste their premium wines. Aside of cost, these would only peak many years after bottling. You will taste a second wine of young vintage to discover its potential.
To taste and buy interesting wines to drink now, look for lesser known chateaux or better known wine merchants.
Just North of the Citadel (a 2km walk from Chez Simon) is Chateau Marquis de Vauban; also known as Chateau Le Cone.
The Chateau is managed by owners Patrick and Maryse Lepage, originally from the Champagne district of France. Here in Blaye they are now making state of the art wine and constantly lifting their standards ever higher. Do take advantage now of their modest prices – they are unlikely to stay that way for long. Enjoy their warm welcome.
We also recommend Chateau Rousselle and Chateau Cantinot. Find their contact information on their websites and arrange a visit. There are so many producers in Bordeaux and you can drop in wherever you see the dégustation sign.
A short walk from Chez Simon you will find a number of wine merchants and we especially recommend Maison des Vin – Find it at 11, cours Vauban – opposite the Citadel on Blaye’s main road.
They offer exclusively wines from the Côtes de Blaye region and have a full tasting facility at the back of the store, even a scent kit for aroma comparisons. Join them at 11am on Tuesdays or Thursdays for their twice-weekly dégustation – a great way to get to know the locals and their wines. Their prices range from €4 to €40 a bottle.
If you are looking for First, Second and other high-end Growth wines, we recommend these merchants –
25 rue Guadet 33330 Saint-Emilion
+33 (0) 5 57 74 43 44
Vignobles & Châteaux
4 rue de Clocher 33330 Saint-Emilion
+33 (0) 5 57 24 61 01
La Cave d’Ulysse
2 rue de la Tremoille 33 460 MARGAUX, Medoc
+33 (0) 5 57 88 79 94
Whether you are a wine connoisseur intent only on the famous or a fearless wine explorer in search of hidden jewels, there are over 10,000 chateaux in the Bordeaux appellation and Blaye is the perfect base from which to reach them all.