The Château (managed by WECM)
Even in the world famous wine region of Bordeaux, remarkable terroir potential can remain sleeping and undiscovered for many years. A new ambitious team is exploiting this historic vineyard facing south, south-west and overlooking the Dordogne since several years now.
The vineyards are on a Southern slope of le tertre de Fronsac, one of two highest hills in the region. On this hill, the Romans had built their first settlement in the Bordeaux region and they also introduced the European Vine (Vitis Vinifera) to the now world famous wine region. They must have planted the 1st vines on the southern slope of their camp, which is now the vineyard of Château Richelieu.
More than a thousand years later in 1632, the most powerful man in France, Cardinal Richelieu and his family were looking for the best terroir in Bordeaux and took possession of the vineyards of today’s Château Richelieu. He knew then, we know now. According to the legend, the favorite mistress of the Cardinal lived in the Château. A special cuvee is now called, La Favorite de Richelieu, which is considered as the Petrus of the wine region Fronsac.
Star wine consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt was also attracted by the terroir potential and has been supporting the team with his advice since 2003. Significant investments have been made and after he harvest 2006 five luxurious Bed and Breakfast apartments in the 17th century chartreuse are opened.
The terroir of Château Richelieu is blue clay and calcareous mixed with fossilized shell banks. 70% of the vineyard is planted with Merlot, 28% with Cabernet Franc and 2% with Malbec with a density of 6000 vines/ha. The total size of the vineyard is 17ha. Very intensive vineyard work (from optimal preparation of the soil with a bio strategy to a labour-intensive green harvest) is the basis for the healthiest grapes of the appellation and the basis for a great wine. During the harvest, all grapes are carefully selected and sorted. Every individual lot is harvested at its perfect ripeness and is fermented separately.
According the press:
2004 Château Richelieu. Very dark crimson. A rather green herbaceous note on the nose. Gently sweet on the palate then quite tight tannins. Very ambitious, and that gentleness on the palate suggests this may be the best Fronsac 2004. 16 points
2005 Château Richelieu. A sleeper of the vintage. This blend of 69% Merlot and 31% cabernet Franc possesses superb intensity, sweet supple tannin, loads of blueberry, raspberry and black currant fruit, and hints of minerals and fruit. This impressively pure, well endowed Fronsac should drink well for 10-12 years. NEW: re-tasted and upgraded to 90-93 points.
ONLY 3% of the wine estates in the world are capable of achieving 93 Parker Points
Decanter World Wine Awards, October 2007
Château Richelieu, La Favorite 2004: Almost smoked black notes with cassis and a touch of mint. Rich, earthy and cassis notes with lovely minerality and freshness. Long, fresh elegant finish
Decanter, special Bordeaux edition 2007.
Château Richelieu 2003. Best value of red fine Bordeaux wines. Rich, warm, generous style but harmonious for the vintage with Cabernet Franc adding aromatic freshness. On the palate it’s ripe, round, full and suave. Up to 2010.
Château Richelieu chartreuse