Chateau d'Aiguilhe Cotes de Castillon 1996
Acquired by Stephan von Neipperg at the end of 1998, Château d’Aiguilhe is one of the most beautiful estates in the Castillon - Côtes de Bordeaux. The existing building, a sort of fortified farm, dates from the 13th century. Everything leads us to believe that the Aiguilhe seigneury covered a very large tract of land in the Middle Age, encompassing several important fiefs. Located on the border between French-controlled and English-controlled areas during the Hundred Years’ War, the Château played a major military role.
Today, the estates covers 111 hectares, of which 50 are devoted to winegrowing.
The vines (80% Merlot - 20% Cabernet Franc) grow uniquely on the upper part of the slope, where they find excellent natural drainage and south-facing sun exposure. The thin layer of relatively meagre clay-limestone and clay-silt soil covers a limestone substratum that provides wonderful water regulation. These natural advantages, combined with old vines, are conducive to producing powerful and mineral wines.
The estate is expertly managed by Jean-Patrick Meyrignac. It benefits from the tried and tested winegrowing methods used by Stephan von Neipperg at his Saint-Emilion estates: letting the terroir express itself fully, low yields and a very flexible approach to winemaking.
Though the region is larger than many of its Right Bank neighbors, it is one that consistently produces high quality, well-valued red wines. In fact, Cotes de Castillon can almost be considered a geographical eastern extension of St. Emilion, producing similarly-fashioned reds based on Merlot.
Vineyards in the region’s clay, limestone and sandstone soils produce sturdy red wines. On alluvial terraces, in vineyards closer to the Dordogne River, wines tend to be more supple and fruity. In either case, a great Cotes de Castillon red will be bursting with raspberry, plum and blueberry, have an enticing bouquet of dried flowers and a finish that is plush and opulent.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.