Montagne Saint-Émilion, Château La Croix Bonneau, Bordeaux, France, 2016
Chateau La Croix Bonneau is a modest property of four hectares in Montagne, the village just to the north of Saint-Émilion. It was bought in 2005 by Eric Salmon and his family, and from the outset their aim was to improve quality in the small vineyard and cellar. The clay soil of the Montagne Saint-Émilion appellation gives generous fruit-driven wines which tend to be more forward in their youth than those from Saint-Émilion. Eric capitalized on this generosity and reduced yields to increase ripeness even more. Eric's philosophy has been to reduce yields by pruning the vines to a lower number of buds and by green harvesting in the summer, both of which improved the ripeness of the grapes. Yields were around 38 hectolitres per hectare. Vines are 35 years old and were hand-harvested before the grapes were sorted several times to ensure only the best fruit was chosen.