Built in the middle of the 19th century, Château Charmail commands a charming estate overlooking the Gironde. Surrounding the château, the vineyard is all of a piece, situated on gravel crests and at present covers some twenty hectares. It is planted to Cabernet franc and Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot.
Winemaking is per-formed by the owner, Olivier Sèze, a trained agronomist, well-versed in the latest enological methods. Indeed, in tandem with the Pauillac-based enologist, Michel Couasnon, Sèze has be-come a veritable pioneer ("maverick" might be the more accurate term) in the Médoc. Since 1991, his successful development of the technique called, "pre-fermentation, cold maceration" has roused interest through-out the Médoc, in Saint-Emilion, and even at the Institute of Enology in Bordeaux. The technique is similar to that widely employed by the Burgundian enologist, Guy Accad, although much less sulfur dioxide is used at Charmail. It results in deeply colored, "fatter" wines with softer tannins than might otherwise be the case using traditional fermentation techniques.
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