Domaine de Valmengaux

En Foudre Bordeaux 2018

Domaine de Valmengaux En Foudre Bordeaux 2018

Domaine de Valmengaux is a pioneering domaine created in 2000 from one contiguous 4ha parcel of certified organic 35-70 year old vines growing on gentle slopes of well-drained, northeast and northwest exposed, clay-limestone soils on the outskirts of the tiny right bank village of Vérac. The village lies 35 km northeast of Bordeaux, 17 km northwest of Pomerol, and 20 km from Saint-Émilion. The wines of Domaine de Valmengaux display a similar structure to the wines of nearby Pomerol with their impressive texture, density, and length. Valmengaux Cuvée En Foudre is made from cordon-trained, old vine merlot (90%), with cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon making up the balance.

Husband and wife team David & Valérie Vallet share a philosophy centered on utilizing organic and regenerative farming to handcraft terroir-driven natural wines outside of the rigid Bordeaux system. Specifically, they do not use chemical herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard (the property has been free of both since at least 2000), and they limit the number of bunches during pruning as to provide even space between them and allow natural ventilation, with the benefit of concentration in the wine. They utilize cover crops and native grasses between the vine rows and tilling is kept to a minimum. Valmengaux has been certified organic since the 2012 vintage. 

Cuvée En Foudre is aged in used, 12hl and 20hl Austrian Stockinger oak foudres. The wines display remarkable purity, richness, and depth, with tasting notes which bring to mind the excellence one finds in neighboring Pomerol. Valmengaux is quite approachable right out of the gate, yet will repay up to 10 years of further age in bottle, if you can wait that long to drink these supremely delicious wines.

Vinification – The property is entirely handpicked, and in the cellar they utilize spontaneous fermentation triggered by the indigenous yeasts present on the grape skins and in the atmosphere of the cellar. Bunches are completely destemmed, crushed and fermented in large, temperature-controlled cement fermentation tanks. 20 days of alcoholic fermentation with twice-daily pumping over and maceration in thermo-regulated concrete vats. Malolactic fermentation is spontaneous in the same tanks. After fermentation, the wine is moved into used 12hl and 20hl Austrian Stockinger oak foudres, where it rests for 24 months without racking or disturbance. The wine is then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

  • Bordeaux

  • Site: Valmengaux, Vérac

  • Grapes: 90% Merlot with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Vine Age: 35-70 years old

  • Soil: Well-drained clay and limestone

  • Vinification: Spontaneous alcoholic fermentation with native yeasts in temperature controlled cement tanks, malolactic in the same vessels

  • Aging: 24 months in used 12hl and 20hl Austrian Stockinger oak foudres, no racking

  • Farming: Regenerative, Certified Organic (Ecocert)

  • Fining/Filtration: None

  • Vegan: Yes

  • SO2: 50mg/L total

  • Suggested Retail: $38.00