Saint-Émilion Grand Cru: Château Alverne 2018
With vines situated both on the limestone-clay plateau of Saint-Emilion and the sandy-clay soils of the southern part of the appellation, winemaker Lionel Wojcik has a broad palette of fruit with which to work. Blended from a majority of Merlot, it is finessed with 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
The spring of 2018 in Bordeaux was particularly wet with numerous episodes of violent hail. Summer was hot and particularly dry and sunny from mid-July to the end of October, allowing grapes to ripen well.
From vines averaging 20 years old that are worked by hand, fruit is picked manually and sorted before the winemaking begins. Advised by the Mitjavile family (Tertre Roteboeuf, Roc de Cambes), their signature 'Radoux' new oak barrels show their quality in the wine in flavour terms, but the wine's red fruit flavours are enhanced rather than dominated by the oak. Mostly Merlot, the Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon add wonderful floral notes of roses which lift to the nose, with dried red cherry, prune and cassis fruit flavours, sweet spice and a little cedary oak underlined by supple, fine-grained tannins. It finishes elegantly with bright red fruit and lovely complexity.
If drinking young, decant for a couple of hours to allow the wine to reach its full potential. Like all Mitjavile-styled wines, this will drink early but has the bones to age.
|Style||Red Wine, Sec, Full-bodied, Non Sparkling|
|Grape Variety (Cépage)||Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot|
|Food & Wine Matching||Beef, Chicken and Turkey, Mushrooms, Pork|
|Cellarage||Drink up to 15 to 17 years after vintage.|
|Vinification||Vinified in temperature-controlled concrete tanks before malolactic fermentation and maturation in new Radoux oak barriques for 18 months. The new barrels are designed to underline the fruit flavours and to promote supple tannins via gentle microoxygenation.|
|Alcohol By Volume (%)||15|
Comprising 3.6ha of vines planted mostly to Merlot (83%) with around 12% Cabernet Franc and a dash (3%) of Cabernet Sauvignon, Lionel Wojcik heads up the family domaine in Saint-Émilion as well as their Corsican vineholdings of Domaine Paradella. Having trained as an Oenologue at the University of Bordeaux, he's advised by Louis Mitjavile (Tertre Roteboeuf, Roc de Cambes, Domaine de l'Aurage).
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