Chateau La Rame Bordeaux 2016
An inexpensive Merlot/Cabernet blend that delivers all the satisfying, full-bodied promise that Bordeaux offers. Next time you find yourself reflexively reaching for a Cali cab, try this instead. The vineyards for this lovely red are at the base of the hillside vineyards of the estate in the village of Sainte Croix du Mont and are composed of sand, limestone and clay. The grape varieties are Merlot (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) and the average age of the vines is thirty (30) years. The wine is fermented and aged in temperature-controlled vats and is bottled usually one year after harvest. Situated 40 kilometers southeast of the city of Bordeaux, Chateau La Rame is among the oldest and most renowned properties in the Sainte Croix du Mont appellation. The house and chai sit on a hill overlooking the Garonne River. The estate was the property of the Baron de Vertheuil, Governor of the Ile d’Oleron, after the French Revolution. It has been recognized throughout its history as one of the prime sites for producing outstanding wine (gold medals at exhibitions in Bordeaux in 1895 and in Paris in 1900). The property was purchased by Claude Armand, the father of the current owner, Yves Armand, at a time when the appellation had fallen out of favor. The Armand family has undertaken to re-establish Sainte Croix du Mont as an appellation of merit set to rival the great estates of Sauternes and Barsac. The 20 hectares of Chateau La Rame are set on a clay-limestone soil blessed with an exceptional substratum marked by a bed of fossilized oysters dating from the Tertiary era. The hillside vineyards overlook the Garonne River and face full south as they slope down towards the river. The vineyards are planted 75% to Semillon and 25% to Sauvignon Blanc with an average age of 50 years (as of 2011). It is from these vineyards that the Bordeaux Blanc Sec (Sauvignon) and the Sainte Croix du Mont “vin liquoreux” is produced. On the sandier soils of the property where the land slopes toward the river, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are planted and are used to produce a Bordeaux Rouge and Bordeaux Rosé. An additional six hectares are sited on a hillside around the neighboring village of Monprimblanc. Here, the Armand family produces a Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux Rouge from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.