The 2017 Domaine de l'A is a gorgeous, but also embryonic wine from Stéphane and Christiane Derenoncourt. I have seen Domaine de l'A blossom with time, but it is also a wine that requires a bit of patience. I suspect that will be the case here as well. Time in the glass brings out striking purity in the wine's dark, layered fruit, and yet the best is clearly yet to come. The 2017 was vinified and aged in French oak, about 40% new.
Drink 2023 - 2032Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (Mar 2020)
The 2017 Domaine de l'A is composed of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. It was aged for 16-18 months in French oak barrels, 40% new. Deep garnet-purple in color, it gives up pronounced notes of fruitcake, prunes and cherry pie with hints of hoisin, balsamic, espresso and Provence herbs. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-coating black fruit preserves and a chewy texture, finishing with an herbal lift.
Drink 2020 - 2029
Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Mar 2020)
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Jan 2020)
About this WINE
Domaine de l'A
World-renowned consultant Stèphane Derenoncourt and his wife, Christine, purchased 2.5 hectares in the commune of Sainte-Colombe in the Côtes de Castillon in 1999. Today, they have 11 hectares divided among various parcels, the majority on a south-facing slope with tuffeau limestone soil (to which Stephane attributes his wine’s floral aroma). The average age of the Merlot (70%) and Cabernet Franc (30%) vines is 55 years old. The domaine is organic but – for the time being – uncertified. Yields are tiny: 28 hl/ha in a generous vintage. Owing to its scale, undulating vineyards and the ethereal character of its wines, the domaine has a distinctly Burgundian vibe.
Cotes de Castillon
To the east of the St Émilion wine appellation, and on the north bank of the Dordogne, Côtes de Castillon has been the site of considerable interest and investment since the early 2000s. Wine production is significant, yielding over 1.5 million cases per annum and quality is quite variable, ranging from the everyday from the sandy and light gravel soils to imposing, aspirational wines benefiting from considerable investment, and made from the clay and limestone vineyards on higher slopes.
The style of these latter wines is akin to good St Émilion, and the wines use predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In common with other regions recognised to produce interesting and good-value wines, several well-known St Émilion proprietors have invested in the appellation over the past decade, among them Gérard Perse of Ch. Pavie, Stephan Von Neipperg of Canon-la-Gaffelière, and consultant Stéphane Derénoncourt.