The 2018 Vieux Château Saint André is owned by the Berrouet family, of course, synonymous with Petrus. It has a lovely nose of lilting red berry fruit and a light saline influence, with hints of orange blossom emerging with continued aeration.
The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannins and very well-judged acidity. This Montagne Saint-Émilion has a bit of a bite, especially on the tensile finish. Berrouet’s magic touch shows here.
Drink 2023 - 2035
Neal Martin, Vinous.com (January 2021)
Medium to deep garnet-purple coloured, the 2018 Vieux Château Saint André reveals a subtle, very pretty nose of kirsch, Black Forest cake and black raspberries with hints of red roses, fragrant earth and ground cloves.
The medium to full-bodied palate is softly textured, understated and refreshing, finishing with a lively mineral skip in its step. This beautifully crafted Montagne Saint-Émilion will appeal to those who adore soft-spoken wines of restraint and a quiet kind of intensity.
Drink 2021 - 2036
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (April 2021)
Juice and freshness are on display here, and the wine opens in the glass effortlessly without trying too hard. The floral side of the fruit also comes out after a minute or two, adding a sense of lightness to the clear power and concentration in the mid-palate. It’s enjoyable and one to look out for. From the home estate of Jean Claude Berrouet and vinified by his son Jeff.
Drink 2022 - 2033
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (April 2019)
About this WINE
Vieux Ch. Saint André
North-east of St Emilion proper in the Montagne appellation, Jeff Berrouet lives and makes wine at Vieux Ch. Saint André. The 12-hectare property, in his family since 1978, is dubbed “a true insider’s wine” by Jane Anson in Inside Bordeaux.
If the family estate flies a little under the radar, the family names rings out loud and clear. A Berrouet has been the winemaker at Petrus since 1964; Jeff’s brother, Olivier, succeeded their father, Jean-Claude, there in 2008. Petrus – as with all the wines of Pomerol – is also unclassified, so Vieux Ch. Saint André is in good company. “My father has had a big influence on my philosophy,” says Jeff. “He likes to make a wine which can tell the story of its soil and its year. That’s important for us.”
Though Jeff uses modern techniques and equipment, he has learned from one of the best in Bordeaux and seems quite content to carry on the family tradition.
Montagne-St Emilion is a red-wine appellation on the Right Bank of Bordeaux.
It is the largest of St Emilion’s so-called “satellite” appellations, the others being Lussac, Puisseguin and St Georges. The commune sits to the north of St Emilion proper; the vineyards of Pomerol lie to the west.
Among the leading producers here are Vieux Château Saint André – the home estate of the Berrouet family, best known for making the wine at Petrus – and Château Teyssier, led by straight-talking Antoine Darquey.
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.