Château Tour de Pas Vineyards

Château Tour de Pas is considered to be possibly the top wine of the St. Georges St. Émilion A.O.C. (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). The commune of St. Georges lies to the south of the town of Montagne and to the east of Libourne the centre of the wine trade on the right (north) bank of the River Dordogne. St. Georges is the leading satellite appellation of the more famous St. Émilion, known by lovers of fine Bordeaux as an area of prime Merlot vines. The St. Georges vineyards lie immediately to the north separated from the plateau of St. Émilion itself by the small Barbanne River. It was granted its own A.O.C. status in 1936. To the west and north west the vineyards of Pomerol are located.

Château Tour de Pas GrapesPascal Delbeck is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in viticulture and viniculture in the Bordeaux region. He took over the Château Tour de Pas in 2003 having been both director and wine-maker there since 1975. He was also the chief winemaker for the Châteaux Ausone (1er Grand Cru Classé Saint Émilion‎) and Belair (Lussac St-Émilion). Pascal holds the distinction of being one of very few Bordeaux producers to have been made a Chevalier du Tastevin in Burgundy. The vineyards comprise 14 hectares of slopes with the most favourable south and south-eastern aspect. The soil is a mixture of clay and limestone with Périgord sand. The cool clay is prized especially for the cultivation of Merlot grapes in Bordeaux as it slows the ripening of this, usually earlier finishing, grape variety, allowing for the production of more flavour compounds. The limestone and sand ensure the good drainage which water-stresses the vines, essential for top quality wine grapes. In 2008 the property and cellars were renovated with the latest equipment including small stainless steel vinification tanks.

Biodynamic viticulture is practised in the vineyard, a system devised by Rudolph Steiner which takes organic cultivation techniques several stages further including paying particular regard to phases of the moon for the execution of specific tasks. Great attention is paid to bio-diversity within the vineyard ecosystem. Three of the grape varieties permitted by the A.C. regulations are grown for the wine of Château Tour de Pas and comprises 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc with the remainder being 5% Cabernet Sauvignon since replanting took place. The average age of the vines is 25 years. Harvesting of the grapes is undertaken purely by hand.


Pascal Delbeck's Château Tour de Pas Claret

Pascal Delbeck's Château Tour de Pas claret combines the qualities of an excellent terroir, that magical combination of soils, slopes, aspect and micro-climate and its profound interaction with specific vinestock together with fastidious vineyard and winery management. After fermentation the wine is aged in barrel (30% new) for 15 months before bottling. Depending on the vintage the wine is ready for drinking at between 3 and 5 years but will continue to develop for another 5 to 15 years.

Vintages vary of course, part of the fascination of fine wine, but typically tasting reveals cherry and berry fruit, good acidity with some spice and a backbone of tannin which softens with maturity. Pascal himself recommends a serving temperature of 17 degrees C, drinking this wine with roast beef, duck or goose but casseroles and hard, mature cheeses are also a good match.

Château Tour de Pas amply demonstrates that affordable high quality wines can be produced in Bordeaux. It is a red wine to savour that won't break the bank.


Short Video Portrait of Pascal Delbeck


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