Château Côte de Baleau: Vineyards
Château Côte de Baleau is located to the northwest of the town of St Emilion, not that far from the road that heads out in this direction towards the vineyards of Pomerol and Libourne. Here the land slopes down and away from the prestigious cap of limestone, upon which the town and so many of the appellation’s most desirable names can be found. Visiting the estate it feels rather isolated, but in fact it is but one square on an extensive patchwork quilt of vineyards. To put it in the context of its environment, its nearest neighbours of any repute include Château Laniote and Château Fonroque to the east, and Château Rol Valentin to the northwest.
At this point on the gentle slope the soils are transitioning from the clay that is associated with the limestone of the town with the sandy soils that we see more towards the west of the appellation. The owners naturally make much of what clay they have, although visiting the estate I was struck by the very friable nature of the grey and sandy soils (pictured above). The vineyard covers 18 hectares, of which 15 hectares are classified as grand cru classé, and the planted varieties are nothing unusual for the appellation, being 80% Merlot with 15% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are aged 31 years on average, planted mostly at 8,500 vines per hectare. The work in the vineyard is, for the moment at least, conventional.Please log in to continue reading: