Castillon, Côtes de Bordeaux
The Côtes de Castillon became a recognized AOC in 1989 and in 2008 became part of the new Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. Located east of St. Emilion with many of the best estates located on an extension of the limestone plateau of St. Emilion, the Côtes de Castillon has attracted many young, talented winemakers over the recent years and the owners of famous estates in St. Emilion and Pomerol have been also drawn here for its untapped potential and better-priced vineyards.
The principle grape varieties here are Merlot and Cabernet Franc and the vineyards stretch over almost 3,000 hectares covering nine different communes. There are around 300 or so grape growers; although one hundred or so sell their wines to the local cooperative.
The region takes its name from the historic Battle of Castillon that pitted English against the French in the decisive conflict at the end of the Hundred Years War (the battle is reenacted each year during the summer months). It is a beautiful region of rolling hills, historic castles and ambitious vineyards.
The wines produced here are rich and earthy, round and complex with full, quite tannic flavours. They can be enjoyed quite young and aged for a decade or so. These wines offer great value for money and are becoming increasingly well known. They match well with country dishes such as meat stews, roasted chicken and game and hard cheeses.