I think I did a silly thing yesterday.  I picked up a couple of bottle of wine without having the Oz book with me.  I figured that I’d probably read enough to be able to pick something decent off the shelf all on my own; discarding the crutch of Oz and his chateaux write-ups.  Michelle and I had just popped into Super-U in Saujon to grab some bits and bobs and I obviously now find it impossible to spend less than 15 minutes perusing the wine section (even though this particular one was pretty small).

I wanted to buy a decent St-Émilion as I’d not really tried one since starting this little wine adventure, but have been reading the “Right Bank” section of the Oz book, which clearly covers St-Émilion in some detail.  I went for a Château Yon-Figeac 2001.  It seemed like a reasonable choice – 2001 was a good vintage and Ch. Yon-Figeac is a Grand Cru Classé (OK, so the classification system in St-Émilion is different to that in the Médoc, but that still means decent quality).  I was slightly suspicious that the château might have been playing on the name of the great Château Figeac, a St-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé, but this aside, everything pointed to this being a good wine – including the price at 22,05 euros. 

I also grabbed a bottle from Château Sirene, a Cru Bourgeois from St-Julien.  Crus Bourgeois was a Médoc classification established in1932 by producers who didn’t feature in the 1855 classification of the (supposedly) 61 best chateaux in the region.  It’s a bit of a messy classification and has been revised a few times over the years – there are now Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels and Cru Bourgeois Supériors as well as standard Crus Bourgeois – so in many ways it’s a little meaningless.  Anyway, it’s worth a try and at 11,61 euros wasn’t going to break the bank.  I also picked up a bottle of Chateau Lacaussande St-Martin 2005, a white Premières Côtes de Blaye at just 7,65 euros. 

I was slightly concerned upon returning home not to find anything but the most basic mention of the Château Yon-Figeac in the Oz book!  I thought it might warrant one of his extended entries, but no.  Oh dear.  We decided to try it last night – at 2001 it was a decent age so should have given us a very good impression.  The nose was fine – a good blast of fruit with subtle tobacco and oak aromas – but I wasn’t convinced about its taste at all.  It seemed very thin to me, and quite bitter.  A bit disappointing.  Still finished it off, mind. 

I decided to do some online research this morning and, slightly confusingly, it seems to get almost exclusively positive write-ups.  I say slightly confusingly, of course, as I’m still very aware that I’m not expert and could well be missing the subtleties of the wine.  It’s obviously got a good reputation, and seems to be priced (depending on vintage) at anywhere between £20-30 in the UK.  So perhaps I am missing something?

The only solution, I’ve decided, is to try some others for comparison purposes.