Located southeast of Bordeaux, Chateau des Antonins is a family-run estate steeped in history. The estate, built in the 13th century, owes its name to the ‘Antonins’ monks who lived there for 500 years. A large part still survives today, including a toll bridge, chapel, monastery and various windmills. Phylloxera destroyed the vineyards in the late 19th century but the de Roquefeuil family, who have owned the estate since the 1850s, have gradually replanted vines, which today cover 25 hectares. Geoffroy and Martine de Roquefeuil took over in 1985, and have moved to sustainable farming. Their son Antoine spent time working in New Zealand before returning to the family estate as head winemaker in 2016. He took over management of the estate in 2020.
The vineyards sit on the left bank of the Garonne river. Only five hectares are planted with white grapes, split between 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon. The vines lie on predominantly sandy-loam soil, which lends an elegance and lifted acidity to the wine. The remaining 20 hectares are planted with 65% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc on clay-gravel soil, which results in approachable wines with an excellent fruit concentration.
The Chateau is located on the left bank of the Garonne, south of Graves. Only five hectares of the vineyards are given to white varieties, split between 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, managed sustainably and with the use of cover crops to avoid erosion and aerate the soil. The vines are planted on sandy loam soil which lends an elegance and lifted acidity to the wine.
80% Sauvignon Blanc 20% Semillon
Once at the winery, the grapes underwent a 12-hour maceration period on skins to extract aromatics before being gently pressed in a pneumatic press. After cold settling, the juice was fermented in stainless-steel tanks at controlled temperatures of 16-18°C. The wine was then kept on its lees for 15 to 30 days, with regular batonnage, to add texture and complexity. The final blend remained in the cellar until bottling on 28th November 2019.
This vintage allows the Sauvignon Blanc to really express itself. On the nose are pronounced aromas of grapefruit, tropical fruit and mint with notes of boxwood. The Semillon adds texture and richness to the palate and the finish is refreshing and long.