ETALON ROUGE is a “Vin de Bordeaux” (although the vineyard is situated within the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux appellation) as it has a single varietal production.
The soil is of very old origin (75 to 60 million years). In the middle Eocene period, however (about 50 million years ago), a marine transgression of the Atlantic Ocean immersed the lands of Blaye and deposited in this southwestern part of the Blayais, several layers of marine sediments that brought shell limestone called “Blaye limestone” with them. These layers are now interspersed with small deposits of clay. Well marked by erosion, this limestone is purer and more visible at the top of the plot.
The total surface of the vineyard is 1,46 ha of which 1.26 ha are planted with red and 20 acres with white.
Average age of the vines
South facing the Gironde Estuary, hilly, exposed to the sun and protected to the north by trees, the vineyard benefits from an exceptional micro-climate.
For the reds 100% Cabernet Sauvignon of a late 2nd-century grape variety, known for its tannic and well aging wines, with an aromatic richness that grows with age, bouquet, fine, colorful, complex likes calcareous soils, it makes great wines with low yields.
For the whites 100% Sauvignon Blanc, a 2nd-period varietal, that makes fine, aromatic wines, with notes of boxwood, buds, black currant. This fragile grape is very sensitive to soil and climate, it likes limestone soils that give it mineral notes.
By monitoring the evolution of the maturity over a month before the harvest, the grapes get picked at their optimum maturity, with the perfect balance between the potential alcohol and the different acids.
The grapes are harvested by hand, sorted to obtain a perfect sanitary condition and put in small crates, to avoid them crushing when being transferred to the wine making facilities in Blaye. The grapes are then de-stemmed, crushed and put into 500 liter barrels made of French oak where they ferment with the help of their own natural yeasts. During this process they go through the malo-lactic fermentation and macerate for an extensive time extracting a complement of richness, creaminess and balance, which is contained in the skins. After pressing, the juice gets filled into French oak barrels for aging. The bottling will be dependent on the lunar phases and the vintage, under the permanent and attentive control of the “Maître du chai”.
5,000 to 6,500 bottles depending on the vintage.
The white grapes are hand-harvested when mature, allowing for an optimum acidity, sufficient to keep a good freshness. After sorting the grapes they are placed into crates, and once in the cool cellar, before being pressed they remain for a few hours for the process of the pellicular maceration. Then the juice is decanted and finally filled into French oak barrels, where the slow fermentation creates an interesting complexity. This process is completed by appropriate stirring during the fermentation and aging on the lees. Bottling of the whites takes place before the summer heat sets in.
700 to 900 bottles depending on the vintage
The whites have a yellow slightly golden color, limpid, with a discreet bouquet. Full-bodied, bold, fresh, complex and with a pleasant touch of vanilla and lemon, the finish is on more mineral notes and with a great potential for evolution. Beautiful “Haute Couture” wine
As a red wine, Etalon Rouge presents itself with the depth of its robe of a dark garnet with purple highlights as well as the power of its bouquet with notes of coffee and dark chocolate. The palate pursues in the same register associating silky tannins, with spicy flavors that combine elegance and complexity, a perfect balance showing maturity as well as the harmony of an excellent wine. The tannins in the wine are nicely settled, and with a surprisingly long finish ETALON ROUGE is a worthy ambassador of its excellent “terroir”.