Marks and reviews
A Fronsac wine which brings together a beautiful fruitiness and an inimitable complexity and density
Overlooking the Isle Valley, a stone's throw from the town of Libourne, Chateau Dalem is a Fronsac estate located in the commune of Saillans. A property that has been active since 1610, this chateau has belonged to the same family for three centuries. In 1955, Michel Rullier was at the helm of Chateau Dalem until 2002, when his daughter Brigitte Rullier Loussert took over the running of the estate. Today, working alongside her son Charles, Brigitte Rullier Loussert continues to elevate the reputation of Chateau Dalem, which has benefited from the valuable advice of the wine consultant, Eric Boissenot, since the 2019 vintage.
The Chateau Dalem vineyard is spread over 35 hectares. The vines were planted some 40 years ago on clay and limestone plateaus and hillsides.
The 2020 vintage was particularly early. The crop cycle remained 2-3 weeks ahead all throughout the year. The winter was mild and dry, followed by an equally mild but rainy spring. These factors led to an early budding and flowering. The very hot and dry summer made it possible to carry out the earliest harvest that has ever been recorded at the estate. The heatwave preceding the harvest time decreased the yield but also gave the vintage its remarkable character.
The winemaking and aging
After the manual harvests, the berries are destemmed and then a densimetric sorting is carried out. The grapes ferment for 24 days, 50% in new barrels and 50% in stainless steel and cement vats. The wine then ages in oak barrels, of which 52% is made of new wood.
Thanks to the know-how of enologist Eric Boissenot, who has joined the team at the estate, the Chateau Dalem 2020 has been able to develop even more finesse and depth than usual. This cuvee is fruity and complex at the same time, but also indulgent and dense. Its exceptional length is testament to the beauty of the Merlot cultivated on clay and limestone soils. Chateau Dalem 2020 adds a charming final touch to the superb trilogy of 2018, 2019 and 2020.