On the 1250 Ha of vines, the only red grape varieties of Saint-Estèphe are
The Cabernet Sauvignon , the Merlot , the Cabernet Franc , the Petit Verdot
and very little Côt and Carmenère .
49.35% of Cabernet Sauvignon or 617 Ha
43.20% of Merlot or 540 Ha
4% of Cabernet Franc or 50 Ha
3.20% of Petit Verdot or 40 Ha
2.50 Ha of Cot and 0.50 Ha of Carmenère
The wine of Saint-Estèphe is the result of a precise blend. Each grape variety has its own typicity and is expressed differently depending on the soil and climatic conditions. The whole art of blending is to marry the grape varieties in the best possible proportions.
Blending and grape varieties are not subject to absolute rules. Each plot is unique and the grapes can express their own character. In some cases Cabernet Sauvignon can give excellent results on clay soils. And the opposite exists with Merlots planted on gravelly and warm soils that reach a perfect maturity and give the grapes beautiful aromatic notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the majority grape variety. It pleases on warm soils with deep and draining gravel soils. Thanks to deep rooting in gravelly soils, it is very resistant to drought.
Merlot earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon, loves clay-limestone soils. It adapts well to moisture. The proximity of the limestone base is a quality factor because it offers better water regulation. The clay-gravel soils are quite important in Saint-Estèphe which explains the high proportion of Merlot.
Cabernet Franc is the earliest and more demanding than Cabernet Sauvignon, it is suitable for clay-gravelly soils but also likes clay soils on limestone.
Petit verdot is a minority grape variety. It is rather planted on soils of deep gravel with a little clay that brings the necessary moisture.
This is the traditional grape variety from the Médoc vineyard.
Vigorous and producer, it brings structure to the wine and its capacity for aging.
Its profile: late and optimal maturity thanks to the warmth of the gravelly soils.
Her dress is a beautiful purplish color.
Colorful and aromatic, we find notes of black fruits, blackcurrant, liquorice and mint.
Its red color "Carminium" in Latin would be the origin of its name.
Another characteristic: this old Bordeaux grape is a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
The earliest grape variety, it is suitable for clay and limestone soils.
Deep in color, its profile is supple and round.
It adds mellowness to the blend and develops aromas of fleshy red fruits as well as plum, fig and often toasted notes after a few years.
Its secret: on cool, damp soils it will be able to express its full potential.
Its name comes from its resemblance to the blackbird's plumage (blue-black color).
Made from a cross between Cabernet Franc and Madeleine Noire des Charentes, Merlot was formerly called Merlau, Plant Médoc, Sémillon Rouge, Béguey, Picard, Alicante, Crabutet Noir.
It is the complementary grape par excellence.
Its character gives it early maturity and elegant tannins. Moderately colored, it brings freshness and aromatic complexity with notes of raspberry and violet.
Although its color is lighter, it has a lot of sparkle.
A fairly late variety, it is also suitable for clay-limestone soils.
Its small berries produce wines rich in polyphenols whose aging ability and finesse are appreciated.
It is the oldest of the Bordeaux grape varieties, originating in the Spanish Basque country.
Grape variety with late maturity, fertile and productive, it is typical of the Médoc.
Adapted to gravelly soils, it gives a very colorful wine that develops aromas of black fruits.
A variety of Pyrenean origin, it is chosen for its intense color, its tannic richness and its aromatic power characterized by violet.
Ce sont deux cépages minoritaires sur Saint-Estèphe, utilisés en infimes proportions.
Le Malbec est également connu sous le nom de Côt.
Originaire du Quercy, il est le descendant du prunelard et de la
magdeleine noire des Charentes. Il se développe dans le Bordelais à
partir du XVIIe siècle.
Il apporte couleur et moelleux lors de l’assemblage et donne des vins très fruités, colorés et riches en tannins.
D’origine bordelaise, métissage entre cabernet franc et gros cabernet, le Carménère permet d’obtenir un vin riche, coloré et tannique (avec parfois une légère amertume) et des arômes fruités et épicés.