Domaine de l’A is owned by Stéphane and Christine Derenoncourt. The estate was founded in 1999. Their first purchase was small — the original vineyard was only 2.5 hectares. In time, two additional purchases helped Stéphane and Christine bring the estate to its current 10-hectare size. Domaine de l’A is located in the commune of Sainte-Colombe in the Côtes de Castillon appellation, just due east of St-Émilion. In fact, the estate of Domaine de l’A is close to some very good St-Émilion estates. For example, Valandraud, Faugeres and Fleur Cardinale are just down the road.
The 10-hectare Right Bank vineyard of Domaine de l’A is located on a terroir with deep clay and limestone soils. In fact, it was the limestone that first attracted Stéphane to the land. The vineyard of Domaine de l’A is planted with 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard has a south-facing exposure and is planted to a vine density of 7,000 vines per hectare. The density has increased dramatically since it was first purchased by the Derenoncourts. The average age of the vines is close to 35 years, although the vineyard has some old vines that are between 60 and 70 years of age!
Domaine de l’A strives to do as much biodynamic farming as possible. Stéphane believes deeply in sustainable farming both for his own vineyards and in many of the vineyards he consults for. Low yields are something that Domaine de l’A is known for. It is not uncommon for the estate to produce wine from yields of only 15 hectoliters per hectare.
Notes and Reviews
Righteousness, race and classicism perfectly define this vintage. Deep and full of black fruits, the perfect ripeness of the grapes offers a slender, spherical and soft mouth, without any heaviness. The tight weave develops on chalky tannins — a signature of the limestone — and the final, long and slightly salty, leaves the memory of freshness on the palate.
Wine Enthusiast (92)
While this Stéphane Derenoncourt wine has dry tannins, it also has ripe fruit and blackberry flavours. Concentrated and firm for now, from 18 months in barrel, it will develop well to give a rich wine in the future. Drink from 2019.
|Grape Varieties||Merlot, Cabernet Franc|
|Age of Vines||40 years old|
|Vinification||Hand picked, fermentation with 20% whole-bunch in temperature-controlled oak vats and maceration for 30 days, with gentle remontage.|
|Elevage||16 months in oak barrels (40% new)|
|Soil Type||Clay and limestone|