Château L’Etoile de Clotte (Vignobles Meynard)

St. Magne de Castillon
2.5 ha
Saint Emilion Grand Cru
Jean-Francois Meynard
Christelle Gauthier

Jean-Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier produce wine from three different Bordeaux appellations, all close to the Dordogne River; Côtes de Castillon, Saint Emilion and Entre-Deux-Mers. Both of their families have roots in their villages going back to the 19th century. Jean-Francois and Christelle have transformed their family’s business from selling grapes and wine in bulk to selling estate bottled wines.

Jean Francois farms 2.5 hectares of vines in the St Émilion commune of St Étienne-de-Lisse. It is one of the 13 communes that make up the AOC St. Émilion and is situated in the eastern part of the appellation. Jean-Francois’ vines are on the higher slopes of the commune and have clay-rich calcareous soils. The vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec. The vines have an average age of 45 years.

Read winemaker’s comments Bordeaux Vintage Reports

Saint Emilion Grand Cru

Jean-Francois keeps yields low with de-budding, canopy pruning and green harvests. Each parcel in the vineyard is vinified separately. All of the grapes are de-stemmed and placed in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats where fermentation and maceration takes place over the course of 4 weeks. The wine then is racked into barrels with 50% new oak. Looking for complexity and nuance in the maturing of his wine, Jean-Francois works with 6 different barrel makers and a variety of toast strengths. The wine matures for 12 months in barrel and then another 6 months in tank before bottling.

Region: Bordeaux

The city of Bordeaux and its surrounding viticultural area are located in southwest France, in the Gironde. The area is formed around two great rivers; the Garonne which flows from the Pyrénées and the Dordogne which flows from the Massif Central. The rivers meet just north of the city of Bordeaux and flow into the Gironde estuary which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The regulating influence of the ocean and rivers, along with the temperate climate of mild winters and warm falls, have an important and beneficial effect on the vineyards...

As the city of Bordeaux evolved into an important port and center of trade in the eighteenth century, its political importance grew, as did the reputation of its wines. The Bordeaux merchants, who had for centuries dealt with wines from “up river” were encouraged at this time to leave behind the wines from the other southwest appellations in favor of the local wines that were given special “fast-track” privileges. Today, a few centuries later, the Bordeaux vineyards and their reputation have developed significantly. Presently, there are 53 different Bordeaux appellations comprising approximately 275,000 acres of appellation controlée vineyards. This scale of activity insures that one can never know Bordeaux, but rather, continue to discover it.

We have found Bordeaux to be an area that far exceeds its conventional association with classification systems and the relatively few “grand chateaux”. As in other regions of France, our portfolio focuses on small family estates located throughout the many Bordeaux appellations. Beyond the circles of merchants, negociants and journalists that often define Bordeaux; we have found independent vignerons working on a small scale whose deep commitment and sensitivity to their land and work results in the production of beautifully rich and diverse wines. The Bordeaux winemaker now works with centuries old viticultural traditions which are being interpreted through a lens of modern technology and a global exchange of ideas.