Château Fleur Cardinale
Former owners of the porcelain company Haviland in Limoges, Dominique and Florence Decoster bought Château Fleur Cardinale in 2001. With the help of the existing team, they managed to promote the estate to the rank of Grand Cru Classé in 2006. In 2012, their daughter-in-law Caroline joined the company. Ludovic, their eldest son, joined the team in 2015. The journey that started as a couple now continued as a family.
The wine estate is located on one of the highest points of the clay-limestone plateau of Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse along the ridge of the northern slope. It extends over 23.5 hectares (58 acres) and consists of a wide range of soil and subsoil types with great viticultural potential. The 64 lots that make up the estate enjoy all exposures as well as a varied topography. The grape composition of the vineyard is largely dominated by Merlot (76%), followed by Cabernet Franc (20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (4%).
For many years, the estate has been fully committed to environmentally friendly conversion of viticulture, while at the same time taking numerous actions in favor of preserving biodiversity, ie no chemical weed control and an insecticide-free policy.
Weeds and flowers between rows restore the nutritional elements of the vines. This practice makes it possible to limit soil erosion and compact soils, while improving their porosity and bearing capacity. By providing a refuge and food source, it promotes the development of macrofauna (earthworms) and microfauna (bacteria and fungi). The estate also includes permanent, natural fallow land, which is a true ecological reservoir, undisturbed by humans, and in which nature has managed to reclaim its rights.
The barrel room, renovated in 2019, makes it possible to carry out the vinification by parcel, allowing careful monitoring of the individual expression of each terroir. It contains temperature-controlled tronco-conical stainless steel vessels from floor to ceiling, allowing for greater precision in managing temperatures and extraction potential.
The different batches (combinations of grape variety and soil type) are aged separately in new French oak barrels for a period of 12 to 14 months. The style of each of the ten cooperages is tailored to the character of each plot, so that the specific profile of each plot is perfectly visible until the end of the aging process. At the same time, about 10% of the production is micro-vinified in twenty 500 liter barrels in a special cellar. Each of these vessels is equipped with an ingenious independent temperature control device that guarantees very precise temperature management. This microvinification gives an extra dimension to the wine, giving it an intense fruit taste. Finally, 750 liters of amphorae are reserved for aging wine from old Merlot and old Cabernet Franc plots. This specific aging improves the fruit character and the length of the flavor in the final blend.