"A historic terroir"
It is undeniable, the illustrious owner of the place appreciated the wines, in particular those produced on his vines of Montaigne. The fresco of a bunch of white grapes still visible in the study of the Tower thus attests to the long history which links the vineyard and the terroir of Montaigne.
""From the famous tower of his Castle, he could see the Lidoire valley, a small tributary of the Dordogne on its right bank, which today delimits administratively and stupidly the wines of one and the other. edge. In fact, the entire coastline stretching from Fleix to Saint-Michel de Montaigne is in obvious continuity with the slopes of Saint-Emilion and Castillon bordering the lower valley of the Dordogne.»(Le Grand Bernard des Vins de France, 1987)
The Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne plateau, the heart of our Montaigne terroir, is indeed in the geological and climatological continuity of the famous limestone terroirs from which most of the great wines of these prestigious appellations come.
Since the acquisition of the Château and its vines in 1860, our family has therefore endeavored to produce wines that express the qualities of this great terroir. Thus, the famous Bordeaux author and publisher Edouard Féret wrote in 1903: "Thanks to the clay-limestone nature of its soil, to an excellent choice of grape varieties and to the most perfect care taken in the cultivation as in the vinification, this cru produces red and white wines placed among the best in the region. "
Over the past decades, we have wanted to preserve the diversity of expression of the Montaigne vineyard. Our production of red wines is thus supplemented by those of dry white wine and sweet white wine.Because we know that it is the latter which, for a long time, has built the reputation of our region!
Our vines extend over 19.10 ha around the Château . They are spread over two terroirs:
THE "PLATEAU" (12.50 HA)
Located near the Château and our cellars, it is made up of relatively deep clay-limestone soils (1.50 meters) which rest on the limestone bedrock (Castillon limestone). This configuration guarantees good water regulation in the vineyard, without excess in a wet year, or water stress in a dry year.
The dominant and open position of this great terroir guarantees very good ventilation and excellent sunshine, which promotes the maturity and concentration of our red and white grape varieties.
"PIDOU"AND" FAGNIARD "(6.50 HA)
Located below the Château, it is a typical terroir at the foot of the hillside of the region, made up of shallow clay-limestone soils (around 80 cm) on molasses from Fronsadais.
This fresher terroir allows us to produce sauvignons that perfectly complement those, richer, produced on the Plateau. It is also an interesting terroir for Merlot, a grape variety sensitive to excess heat.
In order to preserve the diversity that makes the reputation of our terroir, our grape variety is made up of red and white grapes:
RED GRAPES (74%)
These are the traditional red grape varieties of the region: Merlot (6.80 ha), Cabernet-Franc (4.40 ha) and Cabernet-Sauvignon (3 ha). The vines have more than 40 years of average age, a pledge of a deep rootedness which allows us to express the potential of our terroir.
It is from these grapes that we produce our two red Bergerac ""Tradition"" and ""Les Essais"", and our wine ""Rosé"".
WHITE GRAPES (26%)
Our grape variety is traditionally dominated by Sauvignon Blanc (3.90 ha). Blended with Sauvignon Gris (1 ha), it forms the backbone of our Bergerac Blanc Sec. Harvested at higher maturity, and completed with a touch of Sauvignon Gris, it gives our Côtes-de-Bergerac Blanc Moelleux.
NB: Our cellars are not open to visitors.
Our red wines
Our destemmed harvest is vinified in vats. In order to extract the aromas, the color and the tannins which will ensure the style and the aging potential of our wines, regular pumping over is carried out for 8 to 10 days.
Depending on the vintage, the vatting (alcoholic fermentation and maceration) lasts 2 to 3 weeks. For each vat, we carry out a light bleeding which allows the development of our Rosé Wine.
Then, we rack the free-run wines and set up batches for each grape variety (Merlot, Cabernet-Franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon), also taking into account their origin (Plateau or Pied de Coteau) and the age of the vines. Press wines are blended and stored in another separate vat: later they will bring the ""grain of salt"" which will give relief to our blends.
The aging begins in vats, where each batch carries out its malolactic fermentation before spring.
At the end of the spring following the harvest, and after numerous tastings, we proceed to the assemblies of our two vintages:
TRADITION: "STRUCTURE AND FRESHNESS OF THE TERROIR DE MONTAIGNE"
The lots are assembled and constitute our Tradition cuvée. It is still aged for a good year in vats.The blend of this cuvée is like the red grape encépagement of our estate: 45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet-Franc and 25% Cabernet-Sauvignon.
The Tradition cuvée can be enjoyed young thanks to a good decanting or ideally after 8 to 10 years. In the most favorable vintages, it can keep for up to 20 years.
To see the tasting notes for each vintage and the food and wine pairing ideas for our Tradition cuvée, click here.
THE TESTS: "THE STRENGTH OF OUR TERROIR WITH A SUPPLEMENT OF FINESSE AND COMPLEXITY"
Some of our best lots are selected for our great Les Essais cuvée. After assembly, this selection benefits from an additional aging of 10 to 12 months in recent 300-liter barrels, which refine the structure of the wine and bring more aromatic complexity.To preserve the style of this vintage, we make sure to maintain a blend of around 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc / Cabernet-Sauvignon each year.
The Les Essais cuvée is delicious young but it will gain in complexity and smoothness with 8 to 10 years of conservation in a good cellar.
Our white wines
To keep all the freshness of the fruit, we harvest our white grape varieties early in the morning.
For our dry white wine, we harvest Sauvignon Blancs and Semillons while they retain good acidity and reach 12 to 12.5 degrees of potential alcohol.
After about 3 hours of pressing, the juices are settled in vats for 24 to 48 hours in order to keep only the fine lees.Depending on the vintage, alcoholic fermentation lasts from 1 to 3 weeks.
We obtain a dry and silky wine, with fresh and fruity notes (mainly citrus). In order to preserve all these qualities, our dry white wine is bottled in the spring following the harvest. It is consumed over the following 5 years.
The reputation of sweet wines from Montaigne goes back a long way. To perpetuate this noble tradition, we later harvest Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris so that their sugar concentration reaches a potential of 14 to 15 degrees of potential alcohol.
After about 3 hours of pressing, the juices are settled in vats for 24 to 48 hours in order to keep only the fine lees. Depending on the vintage, alcoholic fermentation lasts from 1 to 3 weeks.
We obtain a smooth wine, with a fresh and delicious balance (12 degrees of alcohol and 45 g / L of residual sugars), with delicate notes of exotic fruits. It is bottled in the spring following the harvest. It can be consumed "on its fruit" in its youth and a few years in the cellar will allow it to develop its aromatic complexity.
The musts of the bleeding carried out during the vinification of our red wines ferment in vats for 1 to 3 weeks depending on the vintage.
We obtain a ""claret"" style wine with a dark rosé color, a mouth with a light structure and intense aromas of red fruits. We bottle it in the spring following the harvest, with a hint of carbon dioxide (light pearling) which reinforces the sensation of freshness brought by this companion of summer meals.
Find our wines in the shop