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Tasting notes

The Côtes de Castillon share the same limestone slopes and grow the same grapes as the grands châteaux of Saint Emilion next door. Tony Laithwaite was savvy to this fact when he purchased his first property in Castillon’s Sainte Colombe in 1984, certain this appellation could produce wines to match and surpass those of neighbouring pricier estates. Since then some of Bordeaux’s biggest names (Derenoncourt, von Neipperg and Thunevin) have followed his lead, and also eldest son Henry, who in 2004 established Château Verniotte. Henry was immersed in Bordeaux from an early age, then spent time in Australia. Hugh Johnson describes Verniotte as “a young man’s take on an ancient classic”. Henry suggests decanting the wine and serving with lamb.