2003 Chateau Simard
With a legacy that dates back to the 17th century, Château Simard is located near the ancient and beautiful town of Saint-Émilion. Called the hill of 1,000 châteaux, Saint-Émilion is home to the Right Bank’s most prestigious estates.
The Saint-Émilion region is marked by moderate temperatures due to the nearby Dordogne River, which acts as a tempering mechanism to prevent spring frost and to moderate the summer heat. This allows for a long growing period to ensure perfect ripening.
Merlot is king in Saint-Émilion, with Cabernet Franc its queen. These two grapes comprise most of the production of the region. The wines from Saint-Émilion are known for being sumptuous, with smooth tannins and the ability to age over long periods of time.
A quintessential Saint-Émilion producer, Château Simard’s vineyard is surrounded by the region’s first growth vineyards. The 40-hectare (98.84-acre) hillside property is marked predominantly by clay with sand and gravel soil and a deep water table, forcing the vines to grow far into the ground. It is planted to Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines that average 30 years in age.
Château Simard produces only one wine. It is classically elegant, with a refined style that results not only from the excellent vineyard location, but also from traditional winemaking methods employed at the château. Winemaking at Château Simard includes fermentation in concrete vats and an extended maceration period. During aging, it is racked using traditional methods. The wine is bottled and aged in the cellar, allowing the fragrance and flavors to develop complexity, nuance and finesse.
On opening the wine shows aromas of sweet fruit, fresh cut grass and notes of white flowers; with time open the wine expands to include dark cherry and slight smoky notes. Ripe plummy fruit greets the palate in a medium bodied framework supported by nice acid balance which provides a lengthy mid-palate. Into the finish the wine delivers bright cherry and an element of stone fruit. The tannic structure is drying but ripe and even which suggests that this very approachable wine has many years of life ahead of it.