A sub-soil very similar to Saint-Emilion’s one
Courteillac benefits from a privileged location, 20 minutes south-east of Saint-Emilion and 14 km south of Castillon la Bataille, in the commune of Ruch, one of the highest plateau of the Entre 2 Mers. The soil is limestone and clay over a limestone sub-soil. A geology that isn’t without connection to the plateau of Saint-Emilion, since they share the same origin.
Just as a Cru Classé, nothing is left to chance
In the vineyard
- - double Guyot pruning, leaving a maximum of 10 buds.
- - successive grassing over to limit the vines’ vigour.
- - selective manual de-budding, according to the parcel and bud-burst.
- - regular leaf thinning, in all cases on one side, sometimes on two sides.
- - green harvesting on over-charged vines.
- - all treatments and operations necessary for the proper cultivation and protection of the plants and their fruit.
From pruning to harvesting, if you count all the tasks, each vine is visited more than 15 times per year.
Arriving in the cellar
the grapes are de-stalked to remove the biggest impurities the moment they arrive in the cellar. Remaining petioles and other undesirable matter are then removed with a mechanical sorter. The grapes are then transfered by gravity into vats of different sizes to allow for separate parcels and individual varieties to be vinified apart. Fermentation takes place at 28/30°C for the reds and 16/18°C for the rosé. Macerations do not exceed 3 weeks, in order to avoid hyper-extraction, with several small pumping-over operations, the frequency of which depending on the vintage and the progress of the fermentation (4 or 5 pumping-over operations of 15 to 20 minutes per day). At run-off time, the marcs are pressed using a hydraulic wooden vertical press, which proceeds gently in order to avoid ‘’traumatising’’ the wine. Malo-lactic fermentation partly takes place in new barrels.
Final blending and ageing
With fermentations concluded, Dominique Mèneret and his team begin the multiple tastings and the isolation of several separate lots. Then the maturing proper begins, with regular tasting and racking, which lasts 16 to 18 months, 25% in new French oak barrels, 25% in one-year-old barrels, and 50% in vats. Blending takes place several months before bottling in order to guarantee the style and quality of Domaine de Courteillac wines. The part of the harvest not selected for the final blending is used to make a second wine. Bottling generally takes place in the Spring, more or less early depending on the vintage, after fining and a light filtering.
The 28 hectares of Domaine de Courteillac produce a Bordeaux Supérieur very much on the fruit, with a lot of character and an excellent balance, which from vintage to vintage confirm its high quality, with the help of Stéphane Derenoncourt one of the actual most famous wine consultants.