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News

NEW EFFICIENT FACILITIES

The winery was designed by Bernard Mazières, who is renowned for his know-how on many winegrowing estates. The style of the new building is inspired by the traditional cellars on the right bank of the Garonne River that combine sober simplicity and noble materials, such as stone, timber and brushed metal. It is very light and faces the vineyard with large horizontal windows and views over the vines both for the vathouse itself and the offices, meeting rooms and tasting area on the first floor.

The vathouse is oval shaped and frees up space so that tasks can be efficiently carried out around the 22 epoxy resin-coated concrete tanks. The volume of each tank has been defined after the surface of the parcels of the estate. Each of them receive its own dedicated vat. By being lower and wider, the tanks naturally increase the contact surface area between the juice and the marc. The access hatches in the tops of the tanks are large and centrally positioned for effective pumping over. The vathouse design made it possible to totally reorganise how it is used:

  • In the new building, the harvest is brought right inside and ends up in the middle of the vathouse, from where the grapes can be sent up into the tanks with a mobile, removable system that is gentler with the fruit.
  • The flow of people and materials and access between the vathouse and the barrel cellar have been improved.
  • The vathouse is also an ideal venue for dinners and tastings, which permit its optimization when vinification is over.
  • A tasting room overlooking the vineyard and the vathouse is ideally located for welcoming professionals.

 

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History

The name “La Conseillante” appeared in the middle of the 18th century, when the influential Catherine Conseillan, who owned the property, decided to endow the estate with her name.

In 1871, the Nicolas family acquired La Conseillante, whose surface area (12 hectares – 30 acres) and plots have not evolved since, enabling the estate to hold on to its exceptional qualities. In 1960, Louis Nicolas’ heirs formed the Société Civile des Héritiers Nicolas company. In 2001, the organisation of the company progressed by recruiting an Estate Manager. Then in 2003, a Family Council was formed.Since 1st February 2010, the Family Council of La Conseillante has had three members, Docteur Bertrand Nicolas, co-Managing Director since 2001, Jean-Valmy Nicolas co-Managing Director since 2010 and Henri Nicolas.

Today, the fifth generation of the Nicolas family manages the estate, symbolising the long-lasting attachment of this family to a great wine.The Family Council’s role is to supervise the Estate Manager’s activities and to take part in strategic decisions, such as futures sale prices, allocations, investments, dividends and promotional activities. The Nicolas heirs are identified on the label, which has sloped corners and a silver border surrounding the coat of arms inscribed with the letters “LN”. The violet-coloured capsule is a reminder of the aroma and characteristics of the wine. These parts of the design chosen by the Nicolas brothers in 1871 remain elegantly modern in the 21st century.

For the 140 years that it has existed, Château La Conseillante has thus benefited from long-lasting, unwavering support from the Nicolas family, helping it to express the best of its terroir, one of the greatest in Pomerol. One of its characteristics is that no member of the family lives with income from the property.

 

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Vineyards

Located in the heart of Pomerol on an outstanding terroir, Château La Conseillante is one of the most emblematic properties in the Bordeaux winegrowing area. 80% of the vines that grow in this unique place, where the soils are predominantly made up of clay, are of the Merlot variety, which makes our wines round, deep and smooth. The remaining 20% that grow in gravel soils are Cabernet Franc, which contribute structure and freshness to the blend.

 

Today at La Conseillante, rational vine husbandry, controlled yields, a focus on achieving optimal ripeness of the fruit, rigorous sorting of the harvest and programmed replanting go hand in hand with unparalleled facilities to vinify the fruit on a plot-by-plot basis. The estate has acquired modern, efficient equipment, including a whole new vathouse with enough tanks to individually make the wine of each of the 18 mini-plots that make up our 12-hectare (30-acre) vineyard. The estate has remained unchanged since it was founded in the very middle of the great Pomerol terroirs, which is a guarantee of the quality of our wines. However, this quality could not have been expressed so regularly without the care and attention lavished on the 140 vintages produced here by generations of the Nicolas family, who have all directed the estate’s fortunes, while handing down and preserving its unique heritage.

La Conseillante has a style unlike any other. Every vintage displays the characteristic bright, deep ruby robe. The bouquet develops a complex aromatic pallet of violets, liquorice, truffles and red berries. This wine stands out for its harmony, its elegance and its complexity. Château La Conseillante launched its second wine “Duo de Conseillante” in 2007. Made with fruit from younger vines, “Duo” nevertheless expresses all the complexity and elegance of this great Pomerol terroir with its hints of liquorice, violets and red berries.

Since 2016, La Conseillante has implemented a series of undertakings to reduce its environmental impact.
The estate has gained ISO 14001 and HVE 3 certification within the SME programme (Environmental Management System) for Bordeaux wines.
ISO 14001 certification implies the limitation of environmental impacts within a company. HVE 3 certification (High Environmental Value) is centred round 4 separate environmental themes: biodiversity, phyto-sanitary strategy, management of fertilisation and water resources.

La Conseillante also cultivates different species of plants, such as clover (used in different parts of the vineyard where vines lack vigour) and oats (used to break up the soil with their roots). Radish is also planted, particularly in clay parts of the vineyard, where it enables de-compacting and aeration of the soil.

These elements all enhance biodiversity within the La Conseillante vineyard.

 

 

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Winemaking

When the fruit has been placed in tanks, it is left to macerate at a temperature between 10 and 12°C without fermenting for a period ranging from 48 to 96 hours, depending on the characteristics of the vintage.

Then the juice and skins ferment together for a week and are left to macerate again for one to two weeks. When vatting is finished, the free-run wine is run off and the marc is taken out of the tanks and gently pressed with a traditional vertical press. The press wines obtained are then aged separately. If the quality of these press wines is high enough, a proportion of them can be blended with the free-run wines to balance their tannin content and add volume, structure and elegance to the final product. La Conseillante ages its wines in barrels 50 to 75% of which are new, depending on the vintage. The barrels are sourced from several coopers so as to prevent the domination of any one woody aroma and to enhance the complexity of our wines, which on average remain in wood for 18 months. At the end of January or beginning of February, the first traditional racking using air pressure is carried out to eliminate the solid particles that have been deposited in the barrels. The wines are then racked again every three months.

At La Conseillante, the wines are fined with 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 racking make the wines remarkably clear without having to filter them. The wines are blended in spring. Each barrel is tasted separately and they are then blended to achieve the best possible balance. The 18-month ageing period is then finished as the wines are bottled. The Château La Conseillante bottle is unique, made in a specific mould, and has its own laser markings. Since 1971, eminent oenologists have contributed their expertise and experience to Château La Conseillante wines. The first were Professors Peynaud and Ribereau-Gayon, then Gilles Pauquet and Jean-Claude Berrouet, and now Michel Rolland.

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Inside information

For over a century now, the Nicolas family has placed its trust in the skilled hand of man. Successive vignerons have built on what they have learned from their ancestors while evolving thanks to the technical and scientific progress they have witnessed themselves.

Passing down knowledge and skills is crucial to the preservation of our vineyard. Yet it must also go hand in hand with a constant reassessing of the way we work and farm.

Each generation endeavours to pass its savoir-faire down to the next, to make the right decisions for the vineyard and the cellars, so that our wine may gain even greater purity and precision, while maintaining its identity, with its hallmark finesse, balance and suave velvety texture.

Owner: SC des Héritiers Nicolas

Managers: Dr Bertrand Nicolas et Jean-Valmy Nicolas

Consultant: Michel Rolland

Winemaker: Marielle Cazaux

THE VINEYARD

Soil composition: 60% grey clay and 40% sandy gravel, resting on red (iron) clay

Grape types: 80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc

Pruning: Double Guyot

Planting density: 6,500 vines per hectare on average

Yield: 3,500 to 4,000 litres per hectare

Average age of vines: 34 years

THE WINE

Harvesting: At optimal phenolic ripeness, by hand, in low-capacity, open trays

Sorting: By hand and machine on 4 tables

Winemaking process: Pre-fermentary cold-maceration for 2 to 5 days, vatted for 3 to 4 weeks

Vats: 22 epoxy coated concrete tanks, fully temperature-controlled

Selection: Vertical wine press and separate ageing of press wines

THE AGEING

Ageing: 50% to 80% in new, French oak barrels, from a number of carefully selected coopers

Average length: 18 months

Racking: Racking using air pressure every 3 months

Fining: 2 to 3 fresh egg whites per barrel

 

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  20 wines 

Domaine de Chevalier 2021- 80% C. Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 5% C. Franc and 5% P. Verdot. It's the first vintage with that much C. Sauvignon in the blend. 13% alcohol. Intense black- and redcurrants, crushed rocks, coffee beans, cigar box, graphite, fresh, fine structure and complexity. Persistent aftertaste. Splendid effort for the vintage. 94-95p.

2m 23d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  11 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  11 wines 

LA CONSEILLANTE 2005 98p / Tasted in November 2021. Yield - 38 hl/ha. Great stuff coming from this outstanding vintage. Truffles, seductive nose, elegant and incredibly classy wine, red meat, very sophisticated, great structure, and incredibly long aftertaste. Fantastic wine and the best example of this wine I’ve had.

9m 28d ago

 Jeff Leve, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  20 wines 

2020 Bordeaux is the grand finale of the never-before-experienced, three consecutive run of great vintages. Yes, there has been a few back-to-back double plays, but this is the first time Bordeaux has ever experienced a full hat trick. There are differences in the vintages, which will become more apparent as the wines age and evolve. Each vintage is unique. Perhaps 2020 is closest to 2018, for its opulent, velvet drenched, sensuous style.  Though, it is important to note that you also find freshness, lift and elegance. Here is something to consider about 2020, alcohol levels are lower for many estates, which is surprising with hot, dry years like 2020.

9m 29d ago

 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Wine Writer (South Korea)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  29 wines 

1982 is an iconic vintage for Bordeaux, and for many wine lovers, it’s a reference point as a modern, ripe year that was delicious from the onset. The top wines are still holding up well and show no signs of fading. However, some of the lesser wines are starting to show its age. This ripe vintage has given us a wide drinking window, regardless of the specific appellation and terroir. For those that still have some top 1982 Bordeaux in your cellar, there is no rush to pull the cork. A long life ahead awaits these beauties.

10m 23d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW/BWW2022-Best Germany Wine Critic of the World, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  10 wines 

2018 performed very well in the tasting at Château Nenin, which was arranged by Pomerol Séduction. 10 wines of this renowned vintage were on show and proved that the vintage has won on stature and character since the en primeur tasting in spring 2019.                 

1y 15d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  56 wines 

Bordeaux 2020 Vintage - Château Smith Haut Lafitte 2020- lots of aromatic blackcurrants and black cherries on the nose, powerful on the palate with a strong backbone, big concentration, multilayered and with great length. Long, long finish. Impressive effort. 96-97p.

1y 3m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW/BWW2022-Best Germany Wine Critic of the World, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  16 wines 

2020 – the paradox vintage Part 3

1y 4m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  100 wines 

I'll repeat myself with the phrase, "Pomerol is one of the strongest districts in 2018"! The truth is that it's s an accurate and valid statement. Despite not tasting Petrus and Lafleur, to name some of the big hitters, I can assure, that there is enough exceptional goof for every taste from Pomerol. As everywhere in Bordeaux, there also are very few wines under the usual standard in Pomerol.


 

1y 6m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château La Conseillante . In a tasting of  50 wines 

BORDEAUX 2019 / Ch. Margaux 2019 - only 37% of the whole production into Grand Vin. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon + 7% Merlot + 2% Cabernet Franc + 1% Petit Verdot, 14.9% alcohol. Ch. Margaux' technical director, Philippe Bascaules, told me, that Merlot needed to be vinified gently due to its voluptuousness and high alcohol. He made a comparison between 2018 and 2019 Grand Vin - "when I taste 2018 Ch. Margaux, I taste 2018 vintage first, then Ch. Margaux. When I taste 2019 Ch. Margaux, it's Ch.  Margaux first, then 2019 vintage!"
It's a showcase of Cabernet Sauvignon with wonderful aromas of cigar box and tobacco leaves. Extremely elegant and multi-faceted, sophisticated and very stylish for the property. Exceptional complexity and purity. Liquid silk. True perfection here! 99-100p. 

2y 2m ago

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