Château Le Chatelet
Considering its privileged position, sandwiched directly between two highly regarded stalwarts of the St Emilion appellation, Château Beau-Séjour Bécot (just to the west) and Clos Fourtet (on the opposite side, to the east), Château Le Chatelet has maintained a surprisingly low profile for many years. Several factors have contributed to this low-key presence, not least the fact that more than half the vineyard was absorbed, along with that of Les Trois Moulins, into that of its western neighbour in 1979. The decision to do so prompted the demotion of Château Beau-Séjour Bécot from the rank of premier grand cru classé when the St Emilion classification was revised in 1985, which can only be regarded as a disastrous result. It also had a long-lasting effort on Château Le Chatelet though, which was left with barely 3 hectares of vines.
The other reason this estate has flown under the radar in recent years is, perhaps, that it too was demoted; this was back in 1996 (ironically, the year Château Beau-Séjour Bécot returned to its previous ranking), the property cast out from the rank of grand cru classé into St Emilion anonymity. Under the current management, however, quality here has been on the up, and the property was accordingly reinstated to the grand cru classé rung of the classification’s ladder in 2012.
In this profile I look in a little more detail at the history of this estate, which is rather sparse (much of what I know I have already presented above) before going on to look at the vineyards, winemaking and wines today.