Starting with that of a couple of audacious winegrowers (Béatrice and Vincent Rapin), who chose to create an estate in 2000 from 30-70 year-old vines growing on gentle slopes with well-drained clay-limestone soil in the town of Vérac in order to make a great Bordeaux.
They were followed by another couple of enthusiastic new winegrowers who have been writing the next chapter in the history of this 4-hectare estate since 2017: Valérie (who maintains her human resources job in the medico-social field) and David (who spent 20 years in IT and management control with supermarket and video game companies) felt the desire to grow vines, to make good wine, and to live a different, more natural lifestyle. New chapter but same organic methods in the vineyard, with support from Béatrice and Vincent. .
Valmengaux’s history is also that of 50 friends who made this new adventure possible thanks to the formation of an agricultural land grouping called Les Amis de Valmengaux.
This part of the story revolves around a common cause: to make wines that reflect the terroir, without the use of chemicals, to provide pleasure and emotion.
The next instalment of Valmengaux’s history will be written when you drink the wine!
The winemaking philosophy is the same in the vineyard and in the cellar – to produce the most natural possible wine. Concretely, this entails:
a strict respect for organic specifications, which forbid the use of weed killers and chemical insecticides. Although certification was obtained in 2012, organic winegrowing practices were applied as soon as the estate was created
limiting the number of bunches per vine so as to concentrate sugar and aromas in the grapes The bunches are more evenly spread out and better ventilated to reduce the risk of rot and fungal diseases. A virtuous circle
natural fermentation triggered only by indigenous yeast on the grape skins and in the cellar atmosphere
ageing for 18 months in an environment with temperature and humidity regulated by a ground-coupled heat exchanger. The size and age of the foudres (12 and 20-hectolitre wooden vats), oak barrels, and 500-litre earthenware jars give the wines a unique patina without denaturing them
And in the bottle
What about the juice? 90% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon from vines 30-70 years old
Valmengaux – Organic wine: beautiful deep, brilliant crimson colour, an expressive aromatic nose of red and black fruit, as well as a beautiful long aftertaste
Available vintages: 2015, 2016 in 75 cl and 150 cl bottles
Valmengaux – En Jarre – Organic wine: aged in earthenware jars that enhance aromas. The fruity flavours are enhanced and more complex
« Nose full of black fruits and laurel. Round and spicy. Then a long finish. An excellent meal companion. »
Θ vinogusto.com: Valmengaux En Jarre one of the 12 Bordeaux Red 2015 ready to drink!
“15/20 – Valmengaux en Jarre is a very fruity organic wine. Its concentrated fruity aromas, its delicate tannins and its very supple and pleasant have appealed to us. A nice, very mature and well velvety discovery! Pleasure in a bottle – a very nice one by the way.”
Θ Robert parker – Neal Martin – Score: 88 (barrel tastings)
“The 2015 Valmengaux has a punchy , fiesty red cherry and wild strawberry- scented bouquet .The palate is medium – bodied with a soft , supple entry ,very fleshy in the mouth , through it needs just a little more structure on the finish”
Θ Jean Marc Quarin – Carnet n° 78 – Score: 87 (barrel tastings)
Come and meet us from November 1st to 3rd at Salon du Goût et du Vin (food & wine fair) at Bois-Plage-en-Ré, rue des Barjottes (it’s here). About 40 wineries and food producers (oysters, delicatessen…) will offer you to taste and buy their products.
We will be delighted to meet you and make you taste Domaine de Valmengaux organic wines
… that’s what Simon Woolf writes in the last issue of english magazine DECANTER. Within a list of renowned wineries: Pontet-Canet, Fonroque, Palmer, Le Puy… Famous teammates for Domaine de Valmengaux 2015… available in the UK by the end of the year.
Tasting notes (for subscribers) here. Read Simon Woolf’s article too: he explains how practices have changed in Bordeaux, in the wake of pioners estates of the area.
The 2019 harvest is in the vats! On Friday, September 20, 25 people worked actively in the vineyards. On the agenda: cutting bunches, pruner by hand, loading into crates and sorting grapes, from sunrise until nightfall! Small aromatic berries, rich in sugars and color, are the characteristics of this vintage. Vines were about to suffer from the lack of water since the beginning of summer, especially the week before the harvest. In practical terms, leaves were beginning to turn yellow, some berries to wither. In the end, on the quality side, the 2019 vintage should be close to 2018 🙂 . But the path from grapes to bottles is still long…
A few words about hand-picking vs machine. In my humble opinion, respecting the vines is the key: the harvesting machines are heavy and pack down the soil, they make vines more fragile as they shake them strongly to bring down the grapes … and sometimes the most fragile vines too. I think hand-picking is more consistent to our organic approach. However, I do not cast anathema on the harvesting machines, which also have their advantages, and those who use them. Pros and cons, simply explained here