The appellations of St Emilion
— Saint-Emilion, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion and Lussac Saint-Emilion — display a diverse palette of characteristics. In some part, this is due to the varying terroir and style of winemaking. Across appellations, St Emilion is a product of Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes, giving the wine its soft texture and richness, with the higher alcohol content typical of Merlot-based wines. Well-rounded and fruity, this wine requires very little oxygenation and is opened just an hour before being served. However, plateau-grown appellations usually require more than an hour to attain a full expression. On the other hand, gravel terroir wine, such as the classic Saint-Emilion, is far more distinct with notes of truffle, tobacco, tar, spice, and fresh herbs to offset the generous St Emilion Right Bank flavours and aromas of cherry, plum, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, and floral bouquets. As St Emilion wines age, they develop earthy and deep forest characteristics with hints of mint and tobacco.