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Calicem

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    • Ownership

      Rose-Noëlle BORDE et Xavier JEAN

    • Director

      Denis POMARÈDE

    • Oenologist

      Thomas DUCLOS

    • Presentation

      A sunny and warm end of summer 2018 and a little bit of rain towards the harvest period benefitted the phenolic maturity of the CALICEM plot which is now nearly 60 years old. This 2018 vintage is all about control and precision. No search for excess of structure or oak, we instead privileged the fruit touch of these old vines. The finish is long and salivating, the trademark of CALICEM across vintages. We crafted about 2,300 bottles of CALICEM 2018.

    • Origin

      Saint-Émilion Grand Cru.

    • History

      Plot purchased by the JEAN and JOINAUD-BORDE families in 2015.

    • Estate size

      Less than 1 hectare.

    • Vineyard age

      The plot was planted in 1961/1962 and has been exclusively renewed through vine complantations, leading to an average age of almost 60 years.

    • Yield

      Given the high average age of vines in the plot, the yield was equivalent to about 25 hectolitres per hectare in the 2018 vintage.

    • Production

      About 2,300 bottles

    • Blend

      100% merlot.

    • Vine works

      Special attention placed on managing the very old age of the vines. Similar to sister estate Couvent des Jacobins, all vine works are undertaken using the principles of organic-farming.

    • Harvest

      100 % hand harvests on September 28, 2018, with a first grape selection on the plant and a second on the sorting table.

    • Winemaking

      Gravity-based, whole-barrel vinification ('vinification intégrale') in 500-litre barrels for the whole plot. Daily slow manual pigeages for color extraction. Extraction of about 30 days depending on the barrel and based on extensive tasting.

    • Ageing

      Exclusively French oak barrels of 500L from Allier/Tronçais/Bertranges forests. Ageing of about 22 months in oak (including the vinification intégrale). Two rackings during ageing.

    • Miscellaneous Data

      14.5% vol.
      Bottled in September 2020.

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A unique plot

An everlasting attention to details

Passion and craftsmanship combining to produce CALICEM, a confidential cuvée from very old vines.

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A unique plot

An everlasting attention to details

CALICEM is born from a small plot on the Southwest slope of the hill of Saint-Émilion, with the unique characteristics of having a high share of limestone ('molasses du fronsadais') in the soil. The plot, which we purchased in 2015, is less than 1 hectare in surface and is adjacent to the classified plots of Couvent des Jacobins. It was planted in 1961-1962 with old clones of merlot, and has been exclusively complanted over the period. 


The old plant stock, combined with an average age approaching 60 years, makes the vines homogeneous and unique. Yields are naturally low and berries concentrated.


CALICEM welcomed a jewel plot of old merlots in 2020. That plot is less than 0.3 hectares and enclaved on the Southwest slope within three First Growths at the prestigious "Mazerat" lieu-dit.


We tailor vineyard works to the old age of the vines, with the same attention as one would give to a garden. Year 2016 was the first one during which we only used organic products at the plot (similar to Couvent des Jacobins, the other family estate).

 

We vinify CALICEM separately from Couvent des Jacobins. Works at the cuvier and cellar are tailored to the unique characteristics of the plot, especially its age. We harvest manually in small containers, with a first sorting at the plant and a second one in the cuvier at slow velocity. Gentle color and tannin extraction is obtained through multiple daily manual 'pigeages'.

 

The natural concentration of berries at the plot suits them well for a long ageing process, typically 18 to 24 months.

 

We produce less than 3,000 bottles of CALICEM annually. The high concentration of the berries and a delicate winemaking and ageing give CALICEM a deep and vivid color, a great density in the mouth but with smooth, silky tannins and a unique saline aftertaste. The CALICEM label encapsulates those qualities. It represents the process of wine creation, from the vine roots all the way to the love that we gave it. The visual was created for CALICEM by Indonesian maestro of movement Nyoman Nuarta, in 2017. 


CALICEM is not widely available given the small quantities, so we invite you to contact us if you wish to acquire a few bottles. Our contact information can be found in the 'contact' page of the site. 

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