Château de Sales Château de Sales
August 1, 2020, Roger Voss
“Rich and full in the mouth, ripe Merlot sings in this black-fruited wine. Young tannins give the wine weight and bring out the juicy, ripe fruits. The wine is just coming into balance, but wait until 2023.”
April 11, 2018, Jancis Robison
“Mid intensity of crimson. Scented and sweet. Low tannin level and relatively low acid. You could almost drink this alcoholic fruit juice today! Not intense, but then de Sales rarely is. Polished and easy with a slight suggestion of rusty nails on the end that worries me for the potential long term. Relatively light for a Pomerol but should give early pleasure, although it could be more refreshing.”
Built in the 17th century, Château de Sales is largest estate in the Pomerol appellation on the Right Bank. The château possesses exceptional beauty and elegance, and the same is true for its wines as they are the true expression of the Pomerol terroir from which they orginate. Located in the northwest corner of Pomerol, it is the only true château building in the appellation and has been owned by the same family for more than five hundred years.
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.
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.
A radiant garnet red, the wine has a complex, precise nose on black fruit, spice and vanilla aromas. From a clean, fresh attack, the full-bodied mid-palate reveals ripe fruit flavo rs and well-integrated oak on fine, silky tannins, leading into a long and elegant finish.
2017 started with a dry and mild winter, with 146 mm of rainfall between December 2016 and February 2017. March was mild, with an average temperature of 11.5°C. Budbreak took place from 3 to 10 April for Merlot and ended on 17 April for Cabernet Sauvignon, the sign of an early vintage. Three days of frost on 27, 28 and 29 April hit part of the Château de Sales vineyard. Flowering took place from 20 May to 3 July depending on whether parcels were frost-affected or not. June was very warm, with an average temperature of 21.5° C and a heatwave between 22 and 26 June, while July and August were cooler, with little rainfall (46 mm over the two months). Veraison took place from 21 July to 18 August depending on the parcels and grape varieties, showing a considerable reduction of the difference in the vine cycle between frost-affected and unaffected parcels. Picking took place over 11 days from 13 September to 5 October. Meticulous zoning was performed in the vineyard to ensure that each parcel and grape variety was picked at optimum maturity.
Varietals: 78.5 % Merlot, 12.5 % Cabernet Sauvignon, 9 % Cabernet Franc
Harvest Start Date: September 13, 2017
Harvest End Date: October 5, 2017
Aging: 12-18 months in French oak barrels (1/3 new)