Clos de l’Oratoire is located on Saint-Émilion’s northeast slope and has only 13 hectares of vines. The terroir is comprised of Fronsac molasse, which is a layer of sandy soil with a clay subsoil and is ideally suited to Merlot, which makes up 80% of the vineyard. The remaining 20% consists of Cabernet Franc. These two varieties are only ever used. No Cabernet Sauvignon or Petit Verdot in sight.
Clos de l’Oratoire is another property in the Saint-Émilion appellation belonging to the von Neipperg family. Like Canon la Gaffeliere, the vineyards are sustainably farmed using bio-dynamic practices to express fully both the varietals used and the terroir. 2005 was an exceptionally good year throughout Bordeaux, whereby ripeness came easily to each estate. The purity of this vintage and the depth of character Merlot can produce is shown beautifully in this wine. It is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and has been aged in 80% new French oak for 18 months on fine lees.
Clos de l’Oratoire Grand Cru Classé is round, smooth, and very seductive. It has a beautiful deep crimson colour and powerful fruity aromas. Merlot provides roundness and opulence, whereas Cabernet Franc contributes power, aromatic complexity, and a long aftertaste. Although Clos de l’Oratoire can be enjoyed several years after the vintage, it is, above all, a wine with fine ageing potential. It is drinking beautifully now but will continue to develop for many years to come.
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