Château la Gaffelière Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2018, Bordeaux, France

A great wine deep-rooted in the heart of St Emilion. “Refusing to bend to fashion trends, our family claims a vintners’ signature, typically French, inscribed between tradition and modernity. This respect of the terroir is linked to our origins. We are born here in this vineyard with its unique location backing onto the southern hillside of St Emilion.” The grapes are carried into small crates and put straight into a cold storage (8°C) for one night. The next morning, bunches are mechanically de-stemmed and berries are sent to the optical sorting machine (purchased on 2013) by a conveyor belt. The sorted berries fill the vats by natural gravity as they are located below the sorting area. Entirely renovated in 2013, the vat room is composed of 20 temperature controlled tanks, made of purple stainless steel and shaped like an upside down truncated cone. Each plot is worked individually, in order to extract the best expression of its terroir. Gentle pumping over and punching down pace the alcoholic fermentation. Then some lots are barreled for the malolactic fermentation, while the others remain in tanks for this process. As the underground cellar is below the vat room, natural gravity is also used to barrel the wine. 50% new French oak barrel are purchased every year. Under a dome of concrete, with control of temperature and humidity, the wine ages quietly during 14 to 16 months. Currently, the estate extends to over 32 ha including 22ha in 1st Grand Cru Classé. Our plots are located on 3 different areas: The asteriated limestone plateau: clay layers and green marls 3 to 5 meters thick jammed between two limestone bedrocks. The plateau rises 90m above sea level. The hill side, south and south-west facing. The foot of the hillside : made of deep carbonates sands. The vineyard is composed by 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. The 2018 is rich, deep and beautifully resonant, with tremendous depth and tons of stature that builds, all framed by beams of supporting minerality that confer vibrancy. La Gaffelière is distinctive, alluring and arresting right out of the gate. It is another magnificent showing from this reborn estate. The blend is 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc.