Couvent des Jacobins is situated in a remote setting in the heart of the Saint-Emilion appellation. Reminiscent of a small medieval city, Couvent des Jacobins was built in the 13th century. The estate has been renowned for the production of its wines for almost seven centuries. Since 2010, Xavier Jean has been at the helm of the property, perpetuating the legacy of this iconic property.
The Couvent des Jacobins vineyard covers 4 different soil categories: limestone rock to the east of Saint-Emilion, clay-sand on calcareous “molasses de Fronsadais” and clay-sand on iron ore subsoils to the southwest, and clay-limestone on the northeast plateau of the village. 2019 marked the final year of the property’s conversion to organic viticulture with some biodynamic practices employed as well.
The 2020 vintage is one that will be remembered at the property. It began with a winter without noticeable difficulties, which allowed for an optimal development of the vines until spring. The spring season was rather rainy, requiring the close attention of the vineyard teams. The high temperatures and water stress on the vines at the end of the summer did reduce the yields, but it also concentrated the grapes in a manner comparable to 2018. The leaf stripping carried out was quite light, in order to avoid over-ripening and to preserve the freshness of the fruit. The harvest began earlier than in the two previous vintages, taking place over the course of two weeks. The 2020 vintage is powerful and complex, but it also possesses an elegance and length on the palate comparable to the 2012, 2016 or 2019 vintages.
Vinification and aging
Following the manual harvest, the grapes were sorted and transported to the cellar. The grapes were vatted using a 100% gravity-fed system. A pre-fermentation maceration of 2 to 5 days was carried out at temperatures between 8 to 12 degrees. Then, temperature-controlled macerations were carried out, in a manner adapted to each grape variety. The berries macerated for 20 to 25 days without the addition of sulfur, in order to preserve the freshness and balance which characterize the 2020 vintage. The wine was transferred to barrel in December 2020. Around 45% of the barrels were new and 55% second-fill, with the aging lasting 12 to 15 months on average.
The Couvent des Jacobins 2020 is powerful and complex, but also has an elegance and length on the palate comparable to the 2012, 2016 and 2019 vintages.