Château de Sales Château de Sales
The Wine Advocate
February 21, 2018
“The 2015 De Sales is medium garnet-purple in color with a restrained nose with subtle red currants and plums with hints of underbrush and cinnamon stick plus a waft of herbs. It’s medium-bodied and refreshing with a chewy frame and just enough fruit.”
Château de Sales is the largest estate in the Pomerol appellation and has been owned by the same family for more than five hundred years. Located 35 km east of Bordeaux, the vineyard of Château de Sales is situated in the northwestern part of the Pomerol appellation.
The soils of Château de Sales are comprised of fine gravel and sand, with clay in some areas and an omnipresence of iron oxide, known locally as "crasse de fer".
The vineyard of Château de Sales has a surface area of over 200 acres, with vines covering 116 acres. The vines are an average of more than 30 years old. The grape varieties planted here are typical of this appellation: 71.5% Merlot, 13.5% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. The soils of Château de Sales are comprised of fine gravel and sand, with clay in some areas and an omnipresence of iron oxide. Traditional growing methods are applied, as well as supervised control in order to reduce vine treatments (gender confusion, for instance, to avoid using insecticides) and ensure a harvest of healthy, ripe grapes. After de-stemming and crushing, alcoholic fermentation takes place in concrete tanks equipped with temperature regulation. The wine is then aged for 12-18 months in French oak barrels, of which only one third are new, in order to avoid any aggressive wood flavors and to preserve the brightness of the fruit.
The winter of 2014-2015 was quite cool and rainy. The spring, mild and dry, allowed for a quick and even flowering. The first part of the summer was marked by a very hot and dry period, followed by a slight drop in temperatures and a few welcome showers. The heat returned at the end of August and in early September, assuring the quality of the vintage. The weather conditions of the 2015 vintage - heat and drought - led to an early halt to vine growth. After veraison, the juice of the berries concentrated rapidly, the acidity receding with the decline of malic acid during the very hot periods. By the first days of September, the grapes had reached an excellent level of technological maturity. The summer, marked by high temperatures, announced a sun-soaked vintage similar to 1990 or 2003, but the month of September, cooler and with a little rainfall, allowed for an ideal phenological maturation.
Varietals: 82% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 12-18 months in French oak barrels (1/3 new)