The predominant grape we use for our Lateralite Droit wine is Merlot, which is the signature grape for the Right Bank. This grape is very vigorous, with a fairly market tendency for coulure. Hence, its yield is very irregular. It ripens earlier than the Cabernets. The resulting wine is very rich in color and generally in alcohol too. It is supple and less tannic than Cabernet. The quality of the soil in which it is planted has a critical influence on the quality of the wine produced.
The other grape that adds flavor and complexity to the Right Bank wines is Cabernet Franc. This is a vigorous grape variety, but more sensitive to frost and coulure (fruit failing to set). It gives a wine which is lighter in color, with less structure and tannic richness than Cabernet Sauvignon. Elegance and subtlety are the hallmarks of this grape.
We tasted our wines after they have been aging in French-Oak barrels in the facilities provided by Chateau Teyssier in Saint Emilion. The Merlot wine has a beautiful dense red color. The nose is very mature and presents note of red fruits dominated by blackberries and blackcurrants. In the mouth the approach is dense and tight. The evolution is very impressive due to sheer volume and impressive soft tannins. The fruit presence is very persistent with an ending that is long and aromatic. This wine has a lot of flavor and taste. It promises to have a very long and beautiful future when blended with the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Cabernet Franc.
The winning blending formula on which we all agreed for this wine was 65% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc.