Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Saint- Émilion Grand Crus 2015 vintage helps to boost interest in the region

Published:  16 June, 2016

At yesterday's Association de Grand Crus Classés de Saint-Emilion held in London, the 2015 vintages drew a crowd, further demonstrating the relatively small appellation can compete with many of its larger neighbouring appellations.

"Since we opened the doors it has been really busy, which is what we are looking for.  We have had really great quality people coming in as well," said Virginie Larramona, the directrice of the association.

Sylvie Cazes, the owner of Chateau Chauvin, as well as the president behind the foundation that just opened La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, agreed that the tasting drew a good crowd, but she believes some of the draw was the opportunity for buyers to explore the 2015 vintage.

"Today was a real success.  There were lots of people here today from the on-trade and the off-trade and the quality of the people has been much better this year than last year. There is renewed interest in St. Émilion because of the vintage. A lot of people could not make in April to taste the wines, so with a great vintage people are very excited," said Cazes.

Building a strong export business for producers is becoming increasingly important and the UK is a key market.

"The UK is our most important export market.  It is the market that sets the trends. It also sells to every part of the world. For us it is a premium market," said Cazes. 

Despite being a sought after region, building export business for producers can be challenging because many of the smaller sized Chateaux cannot always produce large enough allocations.

Chateau ChauvinChateau Chauvin Vineyards

"St. Émilion is quite difficult because the properties are often smaller and some can't make huge volumes. We call St. Émilion the 'Land of 1000 Chateaux'.  They are just very small properties. Some properties are only a single hectare.  This can make it difficult to supply more traditional markets.  In front of us the Médoc and they have much higher volumes," said Larramona.

Also because the re-classification of producers for Grand Crus is done every ten years, some retailers can get nervous in making investments as a producer may be in one year, but out the next. However, it can also be a strength for the region as it ensure that producers are continuously looking at making the best possible wines.

"The new classification was completed in 2012. It is courageous that we are willing to re-classify every ten years. It keeps the producers producing the best wines and keeps them focused. For retailers it is not always easy, but it prevents people from getting too comfortable," said Larramona.

For Cazes it is exactly the attitude of producers in the region, the willingness to keep improving and adapting that made her want to invest in the appellation.  She bought Chateau Chauvin two years ago.

"St. Emilion is so dynamic that is why I choose to buy a property there. The wines are good, but things are getting better properties are gathering strength. There are also younger people coming into the business a swell," she said.