Philippe Riviere, with his brother Jean-Pierre, co-owns the Clos des Menuts, one of our favourite Saint-Emilions. They also individually own chateaux in Saint-Emilion’s satellite appellations. Jean-Pierre has Chateau Picampeau (aka Chateau Haut-Piquat) and Philippe owns Chateau de Lavagnac, a 15th century fort, down the hill from the picturesque town of Saint-Emilion, so close to the Saint Emilion line that it’s still north of the Dordogne but just inside the Bordeaux Superieur zone.
Lavagnac is a classic Right Bank Bordeaux blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, punching well above its modest, basic Bordeaux status.
As is common in Bordeaux, Philippe, with the help of his son Nicolas, also runs a negociant business. They offer a spread of Chateaux, many exclusive, including the fabulous, grassy Sauvignon Blanc led Chateau Larmevaille Entre-Deux-Mers. We also regularly trawl their stock of Chateau de Callac Graves in older vintages.