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Terroir expression

Gravel plot
Bringing out the best expression of the terroir is the winemaker's task at this point.

When the berries have gone into the vats, a pre-fermentation cold soak of the skins is done at around 10 to 12°C for a period of 48 to 96 hours, depending on the characteristics of the vintage. This is followed by the alcoholic fermentation and then one to two weeks of maceration.

When the vatting period is finished, the running off operation separates the free-run wine from the marc (the solid parts), which is gently pressed using a traditional vertical press. The resulting press wine is aged separately.

If the quality of the press wine is high enough, a proportion of it may be blended with the free-run wine to enhance the tannic balance, combining volume, structure and finesse.

For the ageing process La Conseillante uses between 50% and 80% new barrels, depending on the vintage. They are sourced from several coopers so as to avoid any one type of oak dominating the aromas and to enhance the complexity of the wine. On average, the wine stays in barrel for 18 months.

At the end of January or beginning of February, the first racking, using a traditional bellow pump, is carried out to eliminate the solid particles that have formed a deposit in the barrels. The wines are then racked again, according to the oxygen requirements of the wine.

At La Conseillante, the wines are fined with whisked egg whites at the end of the ageing period, using two or three whites per barrel. This fining, the length of time spent in barrels and the racking make the wines remarkably clear and bright, making filtering unnecessary.

The wines are blended in spring. The barrels are tasted one by one and then blended to achieve the best possible balance.

The 18-month ageing period then comes to an end, and the wines are bottled.

The bottle used for Château La Conseillante is unique. It is made from a specific mould and carries its own laser markings.

Since 1971, eminent oenologists have contributed their expertise and experience to Château La Conseillante. The first were Professors Peynaud and Ribereau-Gayon, then Gilles Pauquet and Jean-Claude Berrouet, and Michel Rolland since 2013.