Lyonnat, a moving satellite
Châteauneuf-du-Pape cannot boast alone of holding the keys to Saint Pierre. The Château Lyonnat has been flagged as pertaining to the Bordeaux diocese since the early XVIIth century and its wines have supplied the wine-cellars of the Vatican for 4 centuries. History does not tell us whether these wines were reserved for ordinary prelates or for grand papal masses but in any case, the significant size of the cellars and the various installations indicate that it was greatly appreciated and bears witness to the imposing size of the estate, which covered 180ha.
In 1961, it is acquired by Damase Milhade, founder of a Libourne trading house, who saw at once the privileged location of the estate. 3 generations later, Gerard and Brigitte Milhade are those who watch over its destiny. A real family business, since the 4th generation, embodied by Cécilia Milhade and her sister Charlotte Généré-Milhade, has in turn become involved with talent and enthusiasm.
An outstanding terroir
Today, the estate still covers 52ha and remains the most important of the appellation. Situated on the culminating point of Lussac-Saint-Emilion, it has the particularity of owning a treasure, which takes the form of a vast 10ha limestone islet exposed to the south, south-east, and very similar to the Saint-Emilion plateau. The other parts of the estate are divided into typical clay-limestone and limestone soils.
Gradually reorganized, grape-varieties take into account the cold nature of the soils. In this area, harvesting is done 15 days after Pomerol. Hence, merlot reigns supreme with 90% of the vines while cabernet-sauvignon and cabernet-franc have been reduced to 10% to produce rosé pressing-wines.
This thought naturally led to other considerations regarding cultivation techniques that could be beneficial to an optimal expression of the wines: grass control, tilling under the rows and in the bottom, reducing yields and increasing the number of vines per hectare are all part of the qualitative guidelines followed on the estate.
In the cellars, the Château Lyonnat did not give in, as so many others did, to stainless-steel installations: on the contrary, it took the liberty of keeping all its cement vinification vats: custom-built, they are perfectly adapted to plot selections and precise vintages.
HUBERT DE BOÜARD, Consultant for Château Lyonnat
Since the 2008 vintage, the owner of the Château Angélus, 1er Grand Cru Classé A of Saint Emilion and renowned consultant, Hubert de Boüard, supervises the vinification and blends of the estate. Childhood friend of Gérard Milhade, he has always been convinced of the extraordinary potential of the Lyonnat.
Thanks to the team, led by Charlotte Généré-Milhade, agricultural engineer and enologist, and her husband, Valentin Généré with the help of Michel Adoue, also an agricultural engineer and technical director of the estate and cellar master, Château Lyonnat has not stopped seducing, vintage after vintage.
Its wines are based on the Saint-Emilion style: dense and tannic, they also reveal a charming elegance.
Château Lyonnat Emotion
The prestigious « Emotion » vintage of the estate is a pure merlot obtained from the old vines of the limestone plateau. Issued from a drastic selection both in the vines and in the cellars (green harvest to diminish yields, stripping of the leaves, manual harvesting and sorting), it performs its malolactic fermentation in new barrels and is aged for 18 months in casks.
Château Lyonnat “Classic” introduces a touch of cabernet-sauvignon of roughly 10% and comes from 32 hectares situated in the hillsides. One third is raised in barrels of which one third are new.
The Rose Perruchon constitutes the 2nd wine of the château; Also made from 90% Merlot and 10% cabernet-sauvigon, it is issued from young vines and also benefits from a very selective sorting. It is raised in concrete vats.
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