Bordeaux is Merlot’s birthplace and produces some hedonistic 100% Merlots that are at the pinnacle of their game. Chateaux Petrus, Le Pin and Clinet are famous names that roll of connoisseurs tongues and they are all incredible wines made from Merlot. They have incredible price tags too. However smaller chateaux with lesser profiles also produce superb Merlots and it is here that true bargains can be found. Chateau Moulin de Curat is owned by the Robin family in Puisseguin de Saint Emilion. The Robins are a long established Saint Emilion family with several holdings in and around this region. Their ancestral base is Chateau de Puisseguin Curat which once belonged to Jeanne d’Albret, mother of King Henry IV.
Chateau Moulin de Curat has been in their hands since the early 1900s and has benefited from strong growth and restructuring of its vineyards. The chateau is formed from the remains of an old windmill that was used to grind wheat centuries ago. The vineyards here span Puisseguin Saint Emilion and the Cotes de Castillon. Moulin de Curat’s Merlot comes from the Cotes de Castillon vines which are hidden away on the rocky hillsides and plateau behind Saint Emilion. The wines here are smoother but less powerful than their cousins and in recent years the Cotes de Castillon has become a serious competitor of the main appellations of the Right Bank.
Merlot is dominant here; the chalky clays and limestones bring out its best characteristics. A good Merlot shouldn’t burn out. Fruit bombs tend to suffer from fatigue; one quick burst of power and then they are exhausted. This is where Moulin de Curat really comes into its own, producing velvety Merlots with good structure and layers of fruit to enjoy is one of the region’s strengths.
Being a luscious, smooth wine, Chateau Moulin de Curat pairs well with a whole range of foods. It marries beautifully with lamb, beef and duck. It’s also good with Mediterranean pastas; meaty stuffed bell peppers, moussaka and lasagne, glazed roast pork and ham.