Château de Sales Château de Sales
March 29, 2023, Jeb Dunnuck
“I loved the 2020 Château De Sales from barrel, and it's showing beautifully from bottle. Sporting a deep purple hue as well as a ripe, sexy, medium to full-bodied style, it has ripe, supple tannins, a layered, balanced mouthfeel, and classic aromatics of ripe black cherries, plums, licorice, spring flowers, and damp earth. It's another beautiful, layered, elegant Pomerol in the vintage that will benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and drink brilliantly through 2040.”
January 1, 2023, Georgina Hindle
“A juicy intensity with bright red fruits, delicate and alive in the glass - friendly but with a salty liquorice kick that gives it some seriousness. Lean and direct but polished and clean on the finish. A touch of lingering heat at the end but this has vibrancy and is well structured with clear bite and power.”
December 2022, James Suckling
“A full and juicy red with blackberry, black olive, dark chocolate, and hazelnut aromas and flavors. Creamy, round and deliciously textured. Not a big and powerful wine but very attractive now and for the future. Seductive in so many way. Merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. Best after 2026.”
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 beautiful glittering crimson, the wine has a complex and seductive nose on aromas of black fruit, especially black cherry, violet and vanilla. Richly flavored and remarkably well-balanced, it opens with notes of black fruit and subtle spice which fill out on an ample and complex mid-palate sustained by the caress of refined, silky tannins, leading into a long and elegant finish.
The winter was wet, with heavy rain in November 2019 (224 mm). An unusually warm February, with average temperatures 3°C higher than the average for the last 15 years, caused early budbreak, which lasted from March 11 to 31 depending on the grape variety. Flowering also took place earlier than usual, between May 10 and 31, in warm and damp spring weather. Despite these conditions, shatter and uneven fruit set were minimal. The summer was very hot, with a period of drought between June 19 and August 12. However, the ample water reserves which had accumulated during winter meant that the vineyard at Château de Sales remained unaffected by the lack of rain. Veraison, when the grapes change color, started early, on July 11 in the earliest Merlot plots, and ended on August 30 in the last Cabernet Sauvignon plot. Picking took place between September 10 and 30. The grapes showed excellent phenolic maturity, holding out the promise of an exceptional vintage.
Varietals: 79% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc
New Oak: 18% new French oak barrels, 82% barrels from 1 to 2 previous wines
Aging: 12-18 months in French oak barrels