Château l’Évangile | Pomerol’s iconic jewel in Barons de Rothschild’s crown

Château l’Évangile

Château l’Évangile, a historic estate in Pomerol, was acquired by the Barons de Rothschild group in 1990. This property, already of high standard, now ranks among the best in the appellation, thanks to hard work and investments.

A historic Pomerol estate acquired by the Barons de Rothschild group

This historic Pomerol estate, formerly known as Fazilleau, was founded in the mid-18th century. The estate passed through several hands before taking on its current name in the early 19th century. Paul Chaperon took over ownership in 1862, building the current château and cementing its reputation for quality. In 1868, the second edition of Cocks & Féret listed it as a Haut-Pomerol Premier Cru. The estate stayed in the hands of the same family (whose heirs were called Ducasse) until 1990, when Baron Éric de Rothschild acquired it.

Château l’Évangile now belongs to a group firmly rooted in the Bordeaux fine wine landscape, also owning Châteaux Lafite Rothschild, Duhart-Milon, and Rieussec in the region. This affords the estate access to substantial resources and experienced teams, allowing it to be particularly innovative.

While Saskia de Rothschild is at the helm of the group and remains involved in all the properties, Juliette Couderc was appointed Chief Operating Officer at Château l’Évangile in 2020. We met her in 2021 during an exciting visit to the estate.

Organic viticulture

Located in Pomerol, between the prestigious vineyards of Château Pétrus and Cheval Blanc, the 22 hectares in the south-eastern part of the appellation enjoy a truly privileged position. The soil is fairly varied, combining clay with iron seams, clayey gravel, gravelly clayey silica and, a unique local feature, a long line of gravel consisting of alluvial stones brought to the surface by the Garonne River and deposited on its banks millions of years ago. The vineyard is planted mainly with Merlot (79%), supplemented by Cabernet Franc (20%) and a little Cabernet Sauvignon (1%). The vines are relatively young, averaging some 30 years.

The estate consists of 43 parcels on three main terroir units: firstly, the pelosols, characterised by swelling clays at the top of the plateau, then soils with a gravel clay to gravel-sand texture, and finally, in the lower part of the appellation, soils with a predominantly sandy texture. Due to its particularly hot terroir, low clay soils and relatively young vines, the vineyard is prone to water stress. The estate is testing different solutions to minimise plant evapotranspiration (sprinkling clay on the leaves and algae-based biostimulants) and water evaporation from the soil (mulching, working the soil, etc.).

Certified organic since 2021, the estate also experiments with several biodynamic practices (silica and horn dung treatments, herbal teas, following the lunar calendar for specific actions…). The plots are largely grassed over. The property is also home to beehives and significant biodiversity along its 2 km of hedges.

This Château joined the other properties of the Group in the B Corp community in December 2023. This stringent certification is designed to generate a positive and significant social, societal and environmental impact in business operations.

Traditional, plot-by-plot vinification

The estate strives to inject freshness into its wines, which can sometimes be lacking as climate change increases alcohol levels and reduces acidity. The harvest date is therefore of the utmost importance and must be perfectly adapted to each individual plot. Mini selections are even conducted within each parcel to ensure that the grapes are picked at optimum ripeness. These grapes are then stored in a cold room overnight before vinification begins, which helps to limit oxidation and preserves the fruitiness.

The winemaking process follows a relatively traditional Bordeaux style, starting with selected yeasts, though some natural yeast trials have also been undertaken. The wines age for around 18 months in oak casks, 70% of which are new. At Château L’Évangile, the use of vessels other than barrels – such as foudres (large wooden tuns), amphorae or concrete vats – offer greater latitude to adapt to the identity of each vintage.

Château L’Évangile is described in an old edition of the ‘Grands vins de Bordeaux’. This fine wine generally exudes aromas of black fruits such as blueberry along with gentle woody notes. It is full-bodied, dense, fresh and well balanced with a silky texture and ripe, elegant tannins.

The second wine, Blason de L’Évangile, with shorter barrel ageing, shares similar characteristics to the main wine and is best enjoyed young. It generally reveals aromas of red and black fruits (blackberry and raspberry) and sweet spices such as cinnamon, driven by a fresh, refined palate.

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