Chateau Gueyrosse

Domaine Chante-Alouette-Cormeil

 Yves and Samuelle Delol

Saint Emilion Grand Cru

 

 

Chateau Gueyrosse, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, 5 hectares

 Chateau Gueyrosse dates from around 1750 and the Delol family obtained the property in 1850.  Samuelle, who has recently taken over from her father, is the sixth generation to make wine at Gueyrosse. The vineyard is in the southwestern corner of Saint Emilion, on the outskirts of Libourne and has a soil of “graves rouge”, a soil type similar to that found in the southern corner of Pomerol. Until 1973 this small area had a separate appellation called Sables-Saint Emilion. The Delols cultivate slightly under 5 hectares at Gueyrosse and do so without any chemicals. The vineyard is planted to 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. The average age of the vines is 40 years. Through severe pruning in the spring, yields are kept exceptionally low, between 35 and 42hl/h, and no green harvesting is necessary. Harvesting is done manually by parcel to allow for full maturation. Fermentations are carried out with only indigenous yeasts and macerations last between 3 and 5 weeks. After vinification, the wine is aged in tank for 1 to 3 months for clarification and then in barrel (2 and 3 year old barrels) for up to 18 months.The wine is racked every 2 or 3 weeks, fined but not filtered. The average production is 2,000 cases.

 

Domaine Chante-Alouette-Cormeil, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

 

Saint-Emilion is one of the most beautiful wine producing villages in the world. It is nestled into the same limestone hills that provide the unique ground for the illustrious vineyards that surround it. The local architecture is built from the quarried limestone and features roofs of earth toned tiles giving the town an historic charm that is “postcard perfect.” The Domaine Chante-Alouette-Cormeil has been owned by the Delol family since 1818. It takes its name from the two parcels of land that it combines; Cormeil and Chante-Alouette, “the song of the skylark”. It is located in the northwest quandrant of the appellation near Figeac and Pomerol. The Delol’s also own Chateau Gueyrosse in Saint-Emilion. Since 1995 the wine has been made by Samuelle Delol who took over from her father Yves. Perhaps it is the 200 years of farming their land or perhaps it is the personal philosophy of Samuelle and Yves, but the viticultural and winemaking practices are old enough to be new again, literally. The farming is organic and the wine making non-interventional. As a way of celebrating 200 years of organic farming, Samuelle has decided to apply for official certification. There is nothing flamboyant or out of balance with Samuelle’s wines. In their youth, they are discreet and Samuelle says that it is not until after 10 years that the wines start to reveal themselves. The wine is cellared in 2 and 3-year-old barrels for 24 months before bottling. The wine is not filtered and therefore will throw a deposit. The vintage 2004 falls in between the incredibly warm 2003 which caused hundreds of deaths and scandalized the French government and the 2005 whose very dry summer produced wines of concentration and severe tannins. The 2004, called “neo-classic” by the leading French wine journal, La Revue du Vin de France, is by contrast a vintage that was marked by beautiful weather at the beginning and end of the growing cycle but by wet and cool weather in between. These “slow cooking” vintages have proven to be some of my favorites. The Chante-Alouette-Cormeil offers the hallmark qualities of this vintage; lively fruit, a delicate texture and refreshing acidity. It is drinking very well now in 2018, preferably with a half hour of air and decantation to avoid any sediment. The optimal moment for drinking is probably 2-5 years from now. It is very fortunate and rare to have families such as the Delol’s who are willing to keep stock in their cellar for more than a decade before releasing wines to the market. The Delols are admired by many of the old guard aristocracy of Saint-Emilion vignerons for their refined aesthetic and commitment to craft at the highest level but they have largely escaped the notice of the press. For the experienced Bordeaux drinker or someone interested in discovering the style of wine that made Bordeaux internationally recognized centuries ago, this is a rare treat.  

 

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