Located at the southern entrance to the village of Saint-Émilion, the Premier Grand Cru Classé of Saint-Émilion, Château La Gaffelière, boasts ancient origins. Some mosaics excavated at the site attest to the presence of vines at the estate in the Gallo-Roman period. Owned by the Malet Roquefort family for over three centuries and located in the "golden triangle," between the hills of Châteaux Pavie and Ausone, Château La Gaffelière embodies the excellence of Saint-Emilion fine wines.
The Château La Gaffelière vineyard covers 22 hectares classified Premier Grand Cru Classé, of which 19 are used for production. This vineyard is located in 3 different areas. Here we find the famous limestone plateau, an outcropping of clayey “Molasses from Fronsadais” soil and deep carbonate sand. Certified High Environmental Value, the Château La Gaffelière vineyard is cultivated with sustainable agriculture with minimal intervention.
2020 was an early vintage, marked by rapid vine growth throughout the vegetative cycle following a spring that was marked by heavy rain and mild temperatures. This significant rainfall brought about mildew pressure with a rare intensity, complicating work at the vineyard. Nevertheless, flowering took place in an even manner. Although the hot and dry conditions during the summer accelerated the grapes’ ripening process, they also caused a slight loss in yield, notably on certain sandy plots, due to water stress as well as slowing down or even blocking the ripening process on the most clayey soils. Harvests began around a fortnight in advance compared to a “normal“ year.
Winemaking and ageing
Following the harvest, the grapes were placed in a cold room for 12 hours. A rigorous optical sort allowed for the conservation of only the best quality berries, which were subsequently subject to plot-based vinification in thermoregulated, gravity-fed stainless steel vats. Alcoholic fermentation with pumping over and punching down. Malolactic fermentation in vats (75%) and barrels (25%). Maceration for 30 days for the Merlots and 32 days for the Cabernet Francs. Ageing lasted for 14 to 16 months in French oak barrels (60% new).