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|Appellation/Sub-Region||Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux AOC|
|Grapes||Merlot, Cabernet Franc|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Certified Organic|
In 1996, three years before acquiring the lands of Ampélia, François Despagne inherited the Grand Corbin-Despagne estate from his family, making it the seventh generation of his family at the helm of this Grand Cru Classé Saint-Emilion property. After taking the reins at his family’s acclaimed estate, he sought out a challenge: creating fine wines in Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux, the lesser-known bordering appellation. He was drawn to a particular plot of land that happened to be at the highest altitude in all of Bordeaux. This, along with the clay-limestone soil, had him convinced that he would be able to produce stunning, terroir-driven wines. Indeed, his wines offer freshness and minerality in spades, and are a wonderful alternative for people who wish to drink their wines young rather than wait several years until they reach a peak age (although his wines also possess considerable aging potential!) Throughout every stage of the growing season, François Despagne demonstrates a deep respect for the terroir and its identity. He chose to begin converting his vineyard in 2010 to certified organic status - a choice that reinforced his commitment to quality and high standards of vine growing. Each lot is vinified separately, and blended before aging in the cellar. The 2018 Ampélia is a blend of 80% merlot with 20% cabernet franc grown in the same 5-hectare vineyard on clay/limestone soils. Impeccably textured, it deftly balances deep flavors of plum, blackcurrant, and blackberry with generous layers of saddle leather, cigar box, spice, and dusty baking chocolate. The wine possesses an energetic core of balanced acidity and fine tannin, balancing grip and freshness throughout a long finish. Certified organic.