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Calicem

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      Calicem comes from a small plot on sandy clay soil with Fronsadais molasse (limestone) fringes of less than 1 hectare. The plot is located on the South-West slope of Saint-Émilion, and is adjacent to the classified plots of Couvent des Jacobins at 'Rivalon' slope. It was planted in 1961/1962, leading to an average vine age exceeding 50 years, naturally low yields, a well-developed root system and small, concentrated berries. The vineyard and technical team is the same as for Couvent des Jacobins but the plot is vinified entirely independently and separately from Couvent des Jacobins. The small plot size allows very high precision in the vine works, highly tailored selections as well as vineyard and vinification experimentations that would be difficult to undertake in a larger surface. 2016 is the second vintage of CALICEM we produced on this small plot after 2015, and is characterized by the silkiness of its tannins.

    • 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 more than 50 years.

    • Yield

      Given the high average age of vines in the plot, the yield was equivalent to about 25 hectolitres per hectare in the 2016 vintage.

    • Production

      About 180 cases.

    • Blend

      100% merlot.

    • Vine works

      Special attention placed on managing the very old age of the vines. Similar to sister estate Couvent des Jacobins, we started using organically-certified products in 2015 immediately after the plot purchase, with a target of organic certification by 2020.

    • Harvest

      100 % hand harvests on October 2, 2016, with a first grape selection on the plant.

    • Winemaking

      One sorting table with 4 sorters at small speed, with berries falling directly into the oaks for immediate vatting by gravity. Whole-barrel vinification ('vinification intégrale') in three 600-litre barrels and one 225-litre barrel for the whole plot, with multiple daily slow manual pigeages for color extraction. Pre-fermentation extraction of 5 days at 7°C to 12°C. Temperature-controlled extraction of 30 to 32 days depending on the barrel and based on extensive tasting. The plot was originally planted in merlot, but a few cabernet plants (about 5% of the total) have been identified, marked, harvested and vinified independently.

    • Ageing

      Exclusively French oak barrels of 600L and 225L from Allier/Tronçais/Bertranges. Potential ageing of 16 to 20 months in oak (including the vinification intégrale). Mix of about 70% of new demi-muids (600L), 30% in barrels of 1 wine. We will potentially do two to three rackings during ageing.

    • Miscellaneous Data

      About 14.5% vol. and pH of about 3.80.

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A unique plot

An everlasting attention to details

Passion and craftsmanship combining to produce Calicem, a rare red wine from very old vines.

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A unique plot

An everlasting attention to details

Calicem is born from a small plot of sandy clay on the Southwest slope of the hill of Saint-Émilion, with the unique characteristics of having a high share of limestone reflux ('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 exceeding 50 years, makes the vines homogeneous and quite unique. Yields are naturally low and berries concentrated.

 

We tailor vineyard works to the old age of the vines, with the same attention as one would give to a garden. Yields are delicately managed towards July and August, only if necessary to avoid undue stress to the old plants. 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. Vatting is made by gravity directly from the sorting table, with berries falling into barrels where the fermentation process takes place. We undertake a cold pre-fermentation, with varying temperature and length depending on the vintage and location of the harvested plants. 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 20 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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