Chateau Vieux Chevrol Lalande-de-Pomerol 2016
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Jean-Pierre and Michel Champseix ~ Lalande de Pomerol, 20 hectares
The Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation comprises a thousand hectares of vines in the villages of Lalande-de-Pomerol and Neac. It lies just to the north of Pomerol, separated by the slight Barbanne Stream.
During the eleventh century the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, founded, in the vicinity of the present village of Catusseau, a home and hospital combined for the pilgrims coming to and from Santiago de Compostella and it was they who introduced the cultivation of the vine to the district. The Seigneurs of Barbane, Grailly and Castillon made numerous gifts of land to the Knight-Hospitaliers and these constitute the vineyard areas today. Prior to 1925 the wines were labeled as Pomerol, but decrees were passed at that time separating the vineyards north of the Barbanne Stream and creating two new appellations; Lalande-de-Pomerol and Neac. In 1954 the vineyards of Neac were incorporated into the Lalande-de-Pomerol appellation.
The Champseix family has made wine at Château Vieux Chevrol for many generations and continues to do so in a traditional manner. Michel Champseix is in the process of taking the reins from his father, Jean-Pierre, and has inherited a profound respect and veneration for his land, a relationship that truly guides his work. In recognition of his heritage, Michel has applied for and received certification of organic farming starting with the 2015 vintage. Situated in the “lieu-dit” Chevrol, the Chateau Vieux Chevrol vineyard lies on the Neac plateau overlooking the vineyards of Pomerol, a terroir long considered the most privileged of the appellation. The vines have an average age of 30 years. The soil is clay mixed with gravel and iron-rich sandstone known locally as “crasse de fer”. The vineyard is planted to 80%Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Jean-Pierre says that the acidic clay of his area naturally gives light and fragrant wines. Following the lead of this terroir, plowing is done four times a year to keep a balance in the vineyard and harvesting is done by hand as late as possible to insure full maturity of the grapes. The harvested grapes are not crushed and are fed into the stainless-steel fermenting vats by gravity in order to retain maximum freshness. The wine is aged for 12 months in 600 liter casks during which time it is never touched other than to top up the casks every month and then the wine is aged another 6 months in tank to allow for a natural clarification. The wine is fined with egg whites and bottled unfiltered.