Sénéchaux is an excellent example of how a large “alien” concern – in this case the Cazes familly of Château Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux – should manage its purchase, namely by investing as and where necessary. They have done this without forsaking the historical essence of the domaine, personified here by the longstanding régisseur Bernard Tranchecoste. Domaine des Sénéchaux dates back to the 14th century, making it one of the oldest wineries of the region. It spans 26 hectares across Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 23 hectares of which are planted with red varieties, the remainder white. Their main holdings are on the south-westerly slopes of the Bois Sénéchaux, just to the east of the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here, some of their Grenache vines are as old as 80-90 years old. Production here remains very traditional, and they retain a simple two-wine offering. Largely, grapes are de-stalked and new oak is avoided in favour of concrete, foudres and second-use Bordeaux (Lynch-Bages) barrels.
The team at Sénéchaux are extremely happy with the balance they achieved in the 2020 vintage, with power and volume balanced with freshness. They started their harvest in early September and completed it before the month was out. This was a week earlier than for the ’19 vintage and helped to achieve the freshness and purity we’ve seen consistently through our tastings of the ’20 vintage.