The Conseillante vineyard lies on the very boundary between Pomerol and St Emilion, and one of its nearest neighbours is the St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé estate Cheval-Blanc, just across the road to the east. Indeed, although the nearest vineyards include Vieux Chateau Certan, Pétrus and L’Evangile, all Pomerol thoroughbreds, a number of the Conseillante vines actually lie within the St Emilion commune. Underfoot, the soils are a mix of the types associated with the two communes; some clay, some sand, some gravel too. There are 12 hectares of vines all told, 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, planted in a single block, the characteristics of which have not changed since the acquisition of the estate by the Nicolas family in 1871.
The wine label of Les Héritiers Nicolas shows a shield with a silver border enclosing the letter “N”. The violet cap represents the characteristic flavour of the wine. These items, chosen by the Nicolas brothers in 1871, remain elegantly relevant at the beginning of the 21st Century.
The vines, planted at a standard density of 6000 vines/ha, see controlled yields, as evidenced by a figure of 38 hl/ha for the 2005 vintage, achieved through a rolling process of pruning and bud-thinning, with leaf-thinning to improve quality of ripening. The harvest is manual, with the fruit sorted by an arrangement of four sorting tables, and destemmed prior to a cold maceration and fermentation which is carried out according to plot of origin. The malolactic tends to begin in vat, prior to running off and then gentle pressing, before being finished off in barrels, between 80% and 100% new each vintage, where the wine will rest for up to eighteen months, with a racking every third month. There is an egg white fining prior to bottling, but filtration is avoided. Selection and blending occurs when the wine is still in barrel, with the best lots destined for the grand vin, Chateau La Conseillante, with lesser aliquots going into a second wine, newly created with the 2007 vintage, named Duo de Conseillante, which will see only 12 months ageing in wood, using older barrels. Total production at the estate amounts to about 5000 cases, with the second wine accounting for up to 20% of this figure.
An awesome effort. The bouquet of plums, exotic spices and vanilin is followed by a wine that has brilliant definition and remarkable freshness and depth of fruit, as well as grace and elegance. Fabulously long, pure, sweet and expansive, with an explosive finish….you can buy this fantastic wine online at only £115.00 / bottle – click here