Château Chaigneau - Lalande-De-Pomerol
Lalande de Pomerol is found just north of the more renowned Pomerol appellation, divided by the Barbanne stream. Located not far from Libourne, the Dordogne river plays an important role in the region’s microclimate, bringing much needed nourishment and moisture to the vines.
Merlot is the dominant grape, comprising nearly 75% of all plantings, followed by Cabernet Franc which makes up another 15%. Some producers have small amounts of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon planted as well.
With 1,100 total acres planted, Lalande de Pomerol is slightly larger than its neighbor Pomerol. Approximately, 525,000 cases of wine are produced each year in Lalande de Pomerol. Some of the appellation’s soils are composed of clay and gravel along with traces of iron oxide, very similar to that of Pomerol, while other vineyards have sandy soils that produce lighter wines. The Lalande de Pomerol appellation consists of two communes, Lalande de Pomerol and Neac, the latter having more slopes and deeper soils with better drainage.
Château Chaigneau was constructed in the early 1800s and purchased in 2005 by Monsieur Sanchez-Ortiz. The 12 hectares (30 acres) of vines are planted on gravel and clay soils. Vines average 28-33 years of age. Vineyard work normally includes a green harvest, excessive leaf removal and debudding. The grapes are harvested by hand and are sorted twice before being crushed, comprised of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless-steel vats, then aged in a combination of tank and 225 liter barrels for 12 months. Annual production is approximately 60,000 bottles a year. The wine is elegant and well-balanced, with notes of ripe plum and blackcurrant, a touch of vanilla and spice, and well-integrated tannins.