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Château de Pressac
by
Kathy Sullivan

Chateau de PressacSummary: Château de Pressac is a family owned winery in Bordeaux with vineyards of red grape varieties. The large aged facility has parts dating to the 15th century. Views of the chateau and the vineyards are photogenic.

In 1453 the Battle of Castillon took place here bringing to a close the Hundred Years’ War. The castle was rebuilt in 1870. In the early 1900s the property was sold to a Bordeaux family. By the 1950s the property had fallen into disrepair. The current owner, Jean Francois Quenin, purchased the property in 1997. Today Château de Pressac has been restored and offers wonderful views of a “fairy tale castle” with views of the vineyards across the landscape.

Château de PressacVineyards

Chateau de Pressac has 85 hectares (210 acres) of grapevines. They are authorized to grow five varieties including Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Malbec. Seven to eight thousand grapevines are planted per hectare. Jean Francois noted that the “weather is very important and that is why the vintage is important.”

Chateau de PressacThe vineyards have three different terroirs. The first terroir is the plateau which is very rocky and where the grapevine roots grow into the rock. Minerality is associated with the wines from this area. The second terroir is the slope that is composed of limestone and clay. Previously it was cultivated with oxen but now terraces are on the slopes and small tractors are used. The third terroir is at the bottom of the slopes where the soil is limestone and clay.

The vineyards are very photogenic. Take time to view them from the vantage point of the chateau on high ground.

Chateau de PressacWinery

Today Chateau de Pressac produces 150,000 bottles. Cement vats with an epoxy coating on the inside are used in the winery. Other tanks without the epoxy coating are also in use. The wine in each vat is based on a vineyard plot. The winery also has a sorting table for destemming and a second optical sorting table. The winery uses pump over and punch down during fermentation to mix the wine with the skins.

Today the winery does small pressings so they can press barrel by barrel. Now they can use more pressed wine for first quality.

Each year 70 percent of the oak barrels are replaced. Seventy percent of the wine is in new French oak. Jean Francois experimented with putting the same wine in three different oak barrels. Eventually Jean Francois started his own barrel company.

Chateau de PressacWines

We tasted the wines in a large rectangular room with large windows providing views of the courtyard. White walls and windows with beige drapes provide a sophisticated look. Two large white chandeliers provide light while three large paintings provide ambiance.

La Rosé 2012 was a bright red color. The wine was on the skins for four days. It is called a claret and is a blend of all the estate grapes. The aroma and taste were of cherries and berries. The finish was crisp.

Chateau de PressacChâteau Tour de Pressac St. Emilion Grand Cru 2010 (2nd quality) was a dark ruby to black with a ruby rim. The aroma was of dark fruit and leather. The taste was of black cherry with a touch of plum and leather. Tannins were on the finish. Château de Pressac St. Emilion Grand Cru 2008 was a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It was a very dark ruby to black color. The aroma and taste were of black cherries. The finish was silky with tannins and fruit yielding to leather.

Château de Pressac is a sophisticated winery facility offering scenic views. Enjoy views of the château and the vineyards cascading down the hillside.

Château de Pressac
33330 SAINT ETIENNE DE LISSE, France
0033 557 401 802

GPS: N 44,8833 W 0,0864

Article written July 2013

 


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