Horeau-Beylot (Libourne)

Our neighbour from the Art world Charles Asprey put us in touch with friends of the family the de Lavaux in Libourne. They co-own several Chateaux on the Right Bank including Martinet (St Emilion), Clos des Galavesses (Lalande de Pomerol), St Pierre, Renaissance (Pomerol). Sounds very grand, what with offices on the Quai in Libourne. What we found was a very down-to-earth family with wines which were a welcome relief after days of tasting St Emilions that were so oaky it was like licking timber. Gentle, classic, round. A lunch at daughter Inez and her husband Stanislas’ saw us walk out with a massive jar of Lamprey a la Bordelaise. River Lamprey is certainly one of the ugliest creatures on the planet, like some razor-teethed monster from Alien, the stuff of nightmares. In fact, the Romans would often feed their least popular prisoners to pools filled with Lamprey. Nice. They may look horrific, but they certainly have the sweetest flesh of any eel, particularly cooked in red Bordeaux with Leeks. Who says you shouldn’t have red wine with fish?
There have been some new developments over the past half decade. Inez and her brother Axel have taken over from their father and more recently the dashing Axel has installed himself at, and concentrated on, Chateau Martinet.