|Chateau Cap de Merle is a delicious St-Emilion that represents excellent value. The owners and winemakers — brothers Alain and Jean-Marie Bel — use no wood in vinifying Cap de Merle so its pure, rich and savory Merlot fruit comes through directly upon tasting. The winery’s excellent plateau vineyard on sandstone soil assures optimal ripeness of fruit and supple tannins.|
The Bels have been committed to sustainable agriculture for more than 20 years. Each vine has a fifty-year lifespan, and thus it is of utmost importance to protect its health for the long term. The vineyard is continuously monitored to ensure that enemies of the vine, such as parasites or fungi, are kept to a level below which they become dangerous. For example, natural predators are encouraged to check the presence of larva from moths (cochylis and eudemis) whose eggs form tiny ruts on grape skins and thus enable the onset of grey rot. As a result of this practice, known in French as la lutte raisonnée, more intensive treatments are unnecessary.
|Chateau Cap de Merle Website|
|Lussac St Emilion|
|80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc.|
Location: In the commune of Lussac St-Emilion, 5 miles north-east of the town of St-Emilion.
Climate: Atlantic climate – humid in winter and warm and dry in Spring and Summer.
Soil: the vineyard is a plateau on a silt and sand soil. The subsoil has traces of iron-oxide, mixed with clay.
Altitude: 30 meters.
Average age of vines: 25 years.
Vineyard size: 20 hectares
Density of plantation: 6000 vines per hectare.
Pruning: simple Guyot.
Yield: 55 hectoliters per hectare.
Vineyard practice: “lutte-raisonnee” for over 20 years.
Harvest dates: 15-20 September for the Merlot, 21-25 September for the Cabernets.
Yeasts: only indigenous, to preserve the typicity of the wine
Maceration period: 15 to 20 days, depending on the harvest.
Maturation: 2 days of cold maceration for 10% of the volume, and then 3 weeks of maceration and fermentation. Maturation in stainless steel tanks for 18 months, under a blanket of inert gas.
Assemblage: In February after the harvest. Bottled in January.
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