Adjoining the St. Emilion satellite appellations to the east lies the Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux AOC, granted independence in 1989. It lies in the hills to the north of the Dordogne river and totals some 3000Ha of vines. Wines are generally more rustic, and regarded somewhat as St Emilion 'lite', though some estates – including Château Aiguilhe – are making wines which raise the bar on quality. Owned by top producer in the area, Stephan von Neipperg.
Aiguilhe has some 90+Ha under vine on clay-limestone soils with good drainage. The proportions of varietal growth sit at 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Average age of vines circa 2000 was 28 years.
Grapes are hand picked and sorted, and put into vats by gravity method with without crushing. Fermentation in temperature-controlled wooden and concrete vats for 26 days with extraction by punch-down. The 2000 vintage spent 18 months ageing in oak barrels (roughly 50% new) on the fine lees. No fining/filtration. This vintage is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
A deep purple-red in the glass. Complex and delicate nose with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, mint, herbs. On the palette well balanced, with a textured mouthfeel, rich and firm. Harmonious and elegant finish with well integrated tannins.
This wine is ready to drink. Decantation recommended.