Château Tour Saint Christophe

Beautiful estate, excellent price/quality ratio

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

18 April 2021

I just arrived in Bordeaux, where I will be tasting the 2020 vintage from barrel over the next two weeks with dear friend Jane Anson. Much of the vintage buzz has been rather positive, although too early to pronounce a modern trilogy of fine vintages in 18, 19, 20. From what I have heard, there is greater freshness to the vintage as compared to the two preceding years, but that is not sure yet. In any case, it could be the best trilogy in a while for Bordeaux.

Vineyard terraces

Over the next few days, I am staying at a lovely estate in Saint Emilion called Château Tour Saint Christophe, located in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes at the frontiers of Saint-Émilion.

While I look forward to tasting more famous brands like Château Figeac, Cheval Blanc, Canon and other illustrious Saint Emilion estates, lower cost wines crafted with quality in mind  especially interest consumers.

Vineyard close up

And this estate is just such an example.

Part of Peter Kwok’s “Vignobles K” group since 2012, the vineyard is partly planted on narrow terraces, where vines are tended in tight rows, facing south / southwest starting from an elevation of about 280 feet above sea leave. The scenery is lovely and includes a small forest, into which I saw a deer entering while taking an evening walk.

Terroir detail (courtesy of Vignobles K)

It is a beautifully cascading landscape that unfolds on the hillside of Cassevert overlooking the Saint Laurent valley. The terroir of Château Tour Saint Christophe is clay-limestone: red clay soil, Astéries limestone with carbonated limestone characteristics, so you end up with wines of freshness and depth, with a price point of about $30 a bottle. Director Jean-Christophe Meyrou told me that a merchant from Zachys was very enthusiastic about it in 2020, so I look forward to tasting later this week. I have enjoyed recent vintages in the 2018 and 2019 and, for the price, you get fine quality from a veritable Saint Emilion Grand Cru wine. You can read my notes on the 2018 for example:

The nose is lovely with fruit driven expressions and a bit floral. The palate is very pure and elegant, with smooth tannin, and the wine beckons drinking. 14.5% alcohol. The pH, at 3.55, helps to balance the alcohol. 28 euro. 93+

Gorgeous landscape close up at the estate

Since 2015, when cellars were renovated and redesigned to reflect parcel by parcel harvesting, the wine has gained in precision: the main winery is fitted with advanced, varietal sized, and thermal-regulated concrete vats into which harvesters separate the different vineyard plots and can be more precise about extractions according to plot selection. Two additional cellars are used for barrel vinification and more carefully monitored malolactic fermentation.

 

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