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With a legacy that dates back to the 17th century, Château Simard is located near the ancient and beautiful town of Saint-Émilion, home to the Right Bank’s most prestigious estates. Among the most renowned of these is Château Ausone — one of only two properties classified in 1955 as Saint-Émilion Premiers Grands Crus Classés A. Château Ausone’s proprietor, Alain Vauthier, inherited Château Simard in 2008 when his uncle, Claude “Coco” Mazière, passed away. The château has been in the family since 1954.
A quintessential Saint-Émilion producer, Château Simard’s vineyard is surrounded by the region’s first-growth vineyards. The 40-hectare (98.84-acre) gently sloping vineyard is marked by predominantly clay soil mixed with sand and gravel, and a deep water table, forcing the vines to grow far into the ground. It is planted to Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines that average 35 years in age. The vineyard manager is Laurent Vallet. Pauline Vauthier is the general manager.
Château Simard produces only one wine. It is classically elegant, with a refined style that results not only from the excellent vineyard location, but also from traditional winemaking methods employed at the château and the number of years the wine is aged in the cellars. The wine is ready to drink when released and does not require the additional bottle aging that is typical of Bordeaux.
Weather conditions / The 2000 vintage was proclaimed from the start as one of the best vintages of modern times. In the spring of 2003, I had many opportunities to find out if we really had a true dream vintage on our hands.
During the 2000 harvest, while doing a “personal inspection” in the vineyards, I noticed that something extraordinary was on the way. The grapes looked extremely healthy.
While the sorting table was rolling, I observed that there were few leaves, stems and weeds among the grapes. This is why sorting the grapes was so easy and quick. This must be one of the characteristics of the 2000 vintage, because normally even great vintages require a lot of work at the sorting table.
The 2000 vintage is a classic, extravagant and extremely long Bordeaux with dark and extremely dense wines, which have a huge concentration of fruit, length and superbly concentrated tannins. The tannin is not allowed to dominate, as it is well enveloped by the fruit. A scent of under-ripeness is only present in a few wines. One of the hallmarks of this vintage is an intense, deep aroma of dark berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and black cherries.
All red grape varieties have reached perfect maturity, including Bordeaux's most temperamental and unruly grape variety, Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot brings to wines the long-awaited addition of backbone and power.
Additionally, the grapes for whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle, ripened perfectly and produced extremely fine dry white wines. The sweet white wines have unfortunately transformed into some light, elegant and charming wines, based 100% on the September harvest. From October 11, it rained a lot in Bordeaux and this continued until the end of the year.