Château Fleur Cardinale
When I first visited St Emilion I was inevitably drawn to the town, which is not exactly short of charm, and some of its most famous names, led by the likes of Château Ausone and Château Canon, among others. It is perhaps only with subsequent visits that I have been able to pull myself away from these châteaux in order to look into this appellation’s peripheries. To the west lie the likes of Château Angélus, Le Dôme, Clos des Jacobins and many other famous estates. Those châteaux that lie to the east, however, should also not be overlooked.
Perhaps the most notable on the road that winds its way towards Castillon-la-Bataille is Château Valandraud, once more commonly known as Château Bel Air Ouÿ. Close by, on the opposite side of the road to Château Valandraud, lies Château de Pressac; while the wines of these estates differ in terms of texture and winemaking (and price too, of course) I sense there is a common theme running between them, in fruit profile if nothing else. Another estate nearby that seems to continue this theme is Château Fleur Cardinale.
The property seems to date from at least the 18th century, and the vineyard from the 19th century. Nevertheless, there is no great viticultural heritage ready to be celebrated at Château Fleur Cardinale, no ancient bottles from the early 20th century waiting to be brought up from the cellar. Although there was active viticulture here, for many years the entire harvest was sold in bulk to the négociants. As a result there is no vinous memory to the domaine, and what exists today is a very recent creation.