Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Two of the most featured names in fine wine and to a large extent the basis for the reputation of Bordeaux’s Right Bank Sitting near the Dordogne river that feeds into the Grionde estuary and splits Bordeaux into two sides, these two Appellations date back thousands of years Today they are famed for their incredible Merlot dominant Bordeaux blends, however up until the 20th century Pomerol was in fact primarily known for producing white wines Although these Appellations and neighbours and are often discussed in the same sentence, they actually produce distinctly different wines from year to year What’s the soil like on the right bank? On the right bank you have four main types of soil you have gravel, sand Clay and limestone. All around the village of Saint-Emilion It’s mainly clay limestone and On Pomerol, what we call the plateau of Pomerol It’s mainly gravel those are the terroir of the right bank It is these soil types that characterise Saint-Emilion and Pomerol as predominantly Merlot producing regions With the cooler clay soils found in the best vineyards of these Appellations most conducive for this earlier ripening grape variety The two Appellations also varied largely in size with Saint-Emilion around 16 times the size of its relatively tiny neighbour So what are the big differences then between Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, apart from the soils How does that change the wine? In those region we have an oceanic climate and the weather varies a lot from a year to another year and I think more than the difference between Saint-Emilion and Pomerol It’s more the vintage that is important. You have some good vintage outstanding vintage and Everything can change a lot from a vintage to another one. You’re a producer of both Saint-Emilion and Pomerol Oh, yeah, could you maybe describe what you think makes a great Pomerol? What makes a great Saint-Emilion? It’s kind of difficult to to answer both are great wines Mainly merlot in general terms Pomerol is very silky Very round after Saint-Emilion wine, the wine will be a bit more powerful So speaking specifically about the flavour of the wine if I drink a Pomerol What should I expect it to taste of? In the eyes? It would be dark ruby red, on the nose It will be What is very specific about Pomerol is the blue clay which brings this violet, truffle nose in the taste of the mouth I would say it’s very round, elegant a lot of silkiness So then this is the Saint-Emilion, what should I expect from this? You will have some red fruits, blackberry blueberry. Colour is amazing. So very dark. And in the mouth is very round a lot of fruits Also, it’s like a sweet. How would you recommend I drink this with food? It’s great to drink alone in an aperitif? what’s your recommendation? You can easily drink it with many things even with a barbecue, but yeah, mainly it’s with Cheese, red meats, even you can go on chicken that will deal very well with this With the tannins. Quite a versatile! Versatile and soft tannins that you have on the wine It’s no doubt that Saint-Emilionl and Pomerol produce some of the best red wines in Bordeaux However, notably neither of these Appellations featured in the famed 1855 classification of Bordeaux Exactly 100 years later Saint-Emilion producers took it into their own hands to create their own classification for their chateau In 1955 During the same classification Saint-Emilion was actually split into two different appellations as well With Saint-Emilion and the more prestigious Saint-Emilion Grand Cru being defined This distinction can be found on a Saint-Emilion own wine label with the words Saint-Emilion on Grand Cru distinguishing the superior appellation You may also see Saint-Emilion on Grand Cru-Classe on the label This signifies a wine from the Saint-Emilion on Grand Cru appellation. That is also produced by one of its classified Chateau These classified Chateau are split into three ascending categories Saint-Emilion Grand Cru-Classe, Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classe B and Saint-Emilion premier Grand Cru Classe A Unlike the 1855 classification Saint-Emilion’s classification is amended from time to time with different Chateau being promoted or relegated based on the quality of their flagship wines So then tell me a little bit about that the classifications. How did they work? How should I navigate? It seemed quite complicated Yes, on the left bank, you know the classification in 1855 the same classification since the beginning and On the right bank, we have another classification and they we start in 1955 and We changed every ten years to classification and the last classification on the right bank starting 2012. Bordeaux, Grand Cru Classe, it means a different thing if it’s from the left or from the right. Yes different tips because We have Saint-Emilion Grand Cru-Classe, and we have Medoc Premier, Deuxieme, Troisieme, Quatrieme, Cinqiem, Grand Cru-Classe difference. To try and understand the best way to navigate this slightly complicated system, and say I’m on the the right bank. Saint-Emilion, and you know Saint-Emilion classification Yeah, we have to appellation Saint-Emilion and Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, you know and in Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, We have a Grand Cru-Classe. Classe A and Grand Cru-Classe B I gotta say and Grand Cru-Classe A Angelus, Pavie, Cheval Blanc, Ausone and Grand Cru-Classe B, We have 14 different chateau and then Grand Cru-Classe we have around 60 different chateau. In contrast to Saint-Emilion with its two distinct Appellations and intricate classification system Pomerol has no classification and all chateau are unranked. That being said Pomerol’s reputation for the quality of its wine does not rely on official classification And is instead upheld by the critical acclaim of its most famous producers none are more famous than Chateau Petrus a quaint little chateau that makes some of the greatest and most Renowned red wines in the world with just a single bottle demanding over a thousand pounds My understanding is that Pomerol doesn’t actually have a classification. Is that true? Yes, it’s true because we have Chateau Petrus and the Chateau Petrus, This is a classification when we think about Pomerol We think about Chateau Petrus and we don’t need to have a classification Classified or not Saint-Emilion and Pomerol at the heart of Bordeaux’s right bank and leaders of Merlot dominant wines around the world despite being geographical neighbours There are distinct nuances within this style of these wines from the elegant and silky nature of Pomerol to the richer and more powerful Saint-Emilion, tasting these two side-by-side is the best way to explore these benchmark Bordeaux Appellations.