91 Points, Wine Enthusiast
"Still young, this ripe Merlot-dominated wine is packed with dark plum and rich damson fruit flavors. They balance the serious amount of wood influence that gives it its spice and potential for aging. Drink from 2023." - Roger Voss
Producer: Chateau Tour Grand Faurie
Wine: 2015 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Varietals: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Harvest/Vinification: Responsible farming, manual sorting, destemming, pressing and fermentation directly in new oak barrels. Each parcel is vinified separately. Malolactic and alcohol fermentations occur in thermoregulated cement tanks. After fermentation process, they select the juice that will be used for the Grand Cru wine. It is then separated into parts, one aging in an old wooden vat (70%) and one in new oak barrels (30%) for 18 months. The two parts are then blended together and estate bottled. Unfiltered and no clarification.
Food: Chicken in mushroom sauce, roasted lamb, duck, dishes with red wine sauces, hearty stews, bean dishes and hard cheeses.
Cellaring: Drink now or cellar until 2030
CHATEAU TOUR GRAND FAURIE
The property was originally owned by the Dusseault family and was called “Clos Grand Faurie.” Pierre Feytit was an employee there and bought his first five acres in Saint-Emilion. At that time, the Dusseault family donated 3 acres to Pierre in Saint-George-Saint-Emilion to thank him for his hard work and devotion. Pierre and his wife had three sons. The youngest, Gerard, inherited 5 acres of Saint-Emilion in 1936 and 2.47 of unseeded land that his brothers gave him. His wife Sylvaine and he worked and planted these vineyards.
In 1939, Pierre served in the 2nd world war, leaving his wife with two young children. Sylvaine tended to 7.4 acres of vine and the sale of the wine production allowed her to buy another acre adjacent to the existing vineyard. Since then, the property has grown with each new generation, inheriting and purchasing more plots.
In 1999, Isabelle Feytit and her brother Franck partnered and now operate 35 acres in Saint-Emilion and 3 acres in Saint-Georges Saint-Emilion. The vines are over 40 years old on average and some reach over 100 years. The soil is sandy with iron subsoil.
Perched on one of the many hills that make up the Bordeaux winegrowing landscape, this medieval town needs no introduction. Its winegrowing landscapes were the first in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its prestigious appellation areas cover 18,530 acres of very different soil types and terroirs. The diversity and abundance of its wines make up an infinitely nuanced picture that is one of the main masterpieces of a region that has so many great vineyards.
The origins of the vineyards in Saint-Émilion date back to the prehistoric period. The first traces of human activity in the vicinity of Saint-Émilion go back at least to the Upper Palaeolithic period (35,000 to 10,000 B.C.). The naturally formed caves, forests and generous water courses were very welcoming for the first peoples of the era. The Pierrefitte standing stone bears witness to their presence between 3,000 and 2,500 B.C.
However, the first amphorae of wine didn't appear until 56 B.C. The history of local winemaking started at this point, when the forest of Cumbis was cleared to plant the first vines. Grape varieties used around Massilia (Marseille) were grafted onto local vine stocks, vitis biturica. Proof of this can be found in the unearthed remains of villas, where sickles used for pruning or harvesting were discovered alongside the sites of presses and tanks.
In 97 A.D., the Roman Emperor Domitius decreed that the best way to ensure the success of Italy’s wines was to eliminate competition in its colonies. As a result, many vines were torn out. This completely prevented any further expansion in Saint-Émilion, until the end of the 3rd century when the order was repealed by Probus. When the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, the spread of Christianity, which uses wine in its religious rituals, contributed to the survival and expansion of winegrowing.
The statue of Louis XIV on horseback majestically overlooks the Courtyard of Honour at Château de Versailles. He was the king who paid tribute to our wines, declaring, “Saint-Émilion, nectar of the gods”. Saint-Émilion wines owe their popularity to their outstanding terroirs and because they meet very demanding requirements which enables them to reach exceptional levels of quality.
In fact, this energy and innovation are intimately linked to the life and history of this ancestral winegrowing place, because here in 1884, the first winegrowers’ union in France was founded. In 1936, the “Saint- Émilion” AOC was officially recognized. In 1954 came three more: Saint- Émilion Grand Cru, Saint- Émilion Grand Cru Classé and Saint- Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé.
Before that in 1948, the first wine quality inspection by tasting was introduced, which two years later in 1950 led to a classification of the wines in the appellation area. In 1952, a set of classification rules was drafted in agreement with the French National Institute of Appellations (INAO). And the classification was ratified in 1955.
What makes this classification powerful and so original is that it is revised every 10 years. It effectively stimulates all Saint- Émilion winegrowers to seek the best possible quality in their wines. The 2012 classification was the sixth since the first in 1955. After ten months of painstaking work, it listed 82 properties, including 64 Grands Crus Classés and 18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés. Saint-Émilion and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Appellations only apply to red wines primarily made of Merlot grapes.
Saint-Émilion has two wine AOCs that are renowned worldwide: Saint-Émilion and Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. The latter appellation also allows the following titles: “Grand Cru classé” and “Premier Grand Cru classé”. The two appellations are geographically intertwined and benefit from an amazing diversity of soil and sub-soil types. They produce a wide variety of wines that can be supple, big, elegant, fruity or mineral. While the two appellation areas are hard to distinguish geographically, only the best wines are entitled to the Grand Cru appellation. They all uphold Saint-Émilion’s values of being genuine, genial and of great quality.
Information by Vins Saint-Emilion
Saint-Émilion benefits from a temperate, oceanic micro-climate with evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year and hot, dry summers, under the influence of the two rivers Isle and Dordogne. They moderate the summer heat as well as the harshness of winter, thus providing protection against the risk of frost. The average yearly temperature is 12.8°C. Temperature swings are lessened. The evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year provides excellent conditions for vine cultivation.
A wide variety of quality soils have developed on two geological formations that have given the region a characteristic relief: from the tertiary era (silty clay, very often calcareous) and the quaternary era (gravel and/or sand). The nature of the soil and subsoil, the relief, the exposure, the water and nitrogen supply influence the early maturity of the vines and the level of ripeness of the grapes. This mosaic of soils and subsoils explains the wines with a variety of personalities according to their terroir of origin. Indeed, the soil and more particularly the subsoil on which the vine is grown influence three aspects of the wine: its aromas, its color and its gustatory properties. The same grape variety, depending on whether it is grown on a particular type of soil, will not have the same organoleptic characteristics. Furthermore, the variation in temperature and rainfall from one year to the next can be considerable, making vintages very different.
Chateau Tour Grand Faurie vineyards are located on red and brown clay on limestone.