Stéphane Derenoncourt’s Window on the World of Wine in Saint-Émilion
August 27, 2011, by: Lisa Duff Khajavi
During En Primeurs this April in Bordeaux we had the pleasure of attending the exclusive preview of Stéphane’s new wine shop in Saint-Émilion, aptly named “ Terres Millésimées”. Terres means land, which can also mean terroir, and Millésimées means vintage or year. He had been wanting to do this for years, an idea that grew out of constantly being asked by friends, colleagues and fellow wine lovers how to find the wines of his eclectic consultancies, as well as other wines he loves and recommends.
As inspired projects go, ones that involve great passion, Terres Millésimées grew into an ambition to be more than a wine shop, a place where wine lovers can gather, both locals and tourists alike, to experience selections from “d’ici et d’ailleurs”—meaning “from here and elsewhere”—wines “des terroirs et des hommes” or “wines of the land and of man”.
The official opening was June 9 with another gathering to celebrate, complete with a sumptuous buffet which included fresh oysters and other delights, served with the perfect match—Dehours Champagne from magnums.
This venture is really quite a novelty, with over 700 different selections across a multitude of vintages, and is the first of its kind in the area offering wines not only from Bordeaux but from all over the world. Selections from France include wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Alsace, the Rhône and the Loire Valley among others, as well as selections from Spain, Italy, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and of course California, featuring Derenoncourt California wines prominently.
One of France’s most revered palates, Emmanuel Emonot (known as Manu), former sommelier at Bernard Loiseau’s eponymous Michelin 3-star restaurant, is a partner and on hand offering advice as well as hosting regular wine tasting courses. We have had the pleasure during our regular trips to Bordeaux to share fine meals and wines together with Stéphane and Manu, including those at Lard Et Bouchon in Saint-Émilion, Manu’s former wine bar and restaurant now under new ownership.
The location in Saint-Émilion is fitting, as it holds a special place in Stéphane‘s heart. It is here he had his first love affair with terroir at Château Pavie-Macquin, and many of his early consultancies are in Bordeaux, as well as his nearby home estate of Domaine de l’A in the Côtes de Castillon.
The shop itself is an aesthetic beauty with great character, right in the heart of the ancient village with its cobblestone streets and limestone buildings. The décor is an exquisite blend of classic and contemporary, with antique and modern furnishings complementing the space.
As Stéphane is one of the world’s foremost experts on terroir, it wasn’t surprising to see examples in the shop of soils and rocks representing various regions. Seeing all the wines in Terres Millésimée from amazingly diverse regions—many which Stéphane had a direct hand in making—was a reminder how fortunate we are to have him as an integral part of our team assisting to make and source Montesquieu wines. His vast experience, the scope and passionate, sensitive application of his expertise is truly impressive!
If you are planning a trip to Bordeaux, we highly recommend not to miss this gem. Congratulations Stéphane, and cheers to you and Christine on your new venture!