On the side of a limestone hillock in deepest, leafiest Bordeaux, the sun is shining. Vines stretch out across the rolling hills to Saint-Émilion, and the extraordinary terroir is working hard to imbue each and every grape with rich, elegant sweetness.
At the pinnacle of the estate, a scaly bronze statue of a great serpent stands rampant and watchful. This is Château Quintus — and here be both dragons and fine wines.
The south of France has long been welcoming travellers to its triumphant vineyards. Peeks stolen into cellars, strolls around the grapevines and generous late afternoon tastings all swirl together to create the intoxicating business of wine tourism. And there are few estates more worthy of a visit than Quintus, where a diversity of soils and slopes create wines like no other.
A 2011 acquisition of Domaine Clarence Dillon, this Dordorgne destination is full of red-striped barrels, oenological know-how and French passion. And, sitting atop a 62-metre-high natural promontory, the views are as impressive as the three Grands Crus: Chateau Quintus, Saint-Émilion De Quintus and the cold-blooded Le Dragon de Quintus.
This latter wine, subtly tannic with floral overtones, has a wonderfully fresh taste — a clear result of the estate’s unique ecosystem and biodiversity. Benefitting from the influence of various gravels, sands and clays, each of Château Quintus’s wines boasts a distinct character, from Saint-Émilion De Quintus’ oaky overtones to the grand vin’s aromatic hints of black fruit and cocoa.
And there is no place better to uncork these notes than on the Château Quintus estate itself — high above the grapevines, under an azure sky and the clawed gaze of a great bronze dragon.
2012 Château Quintus, St-Emilion
2014 Le Dragon de Quintus
2014 St Emilion De Quintus
For more of Domaine Clarence Dillon’s finest wines, why not explore the Clarendelle range, inspired by Haut-Brion…