Catherine Papon-Nouvel comes from a family that has been making wine in Saint-Émilion since the 18th century. In 1998, she was entrusted with the three family estates, including Saint-Émilion properties Clos Saint-Julien and Petit Gravet Aîné. While each has its own vats and its own cellar, the two estates share their technical and human resources. The plan is for the sales and administrative teams to base themselves at Clos Saint-Julien, in the heart of the village.
The properties have been farmed organically since 2008; however, the 2017 frost and the mildew of 2018 cast some doubt over whether this courageous choice was really in the vineyards' best interest. Fortunately, the majority of Catherine's vines are Cabernet Franc, which is a particularly resistant variety. Under these difficult conditions, she is holding her breath to see what happens next year.
The limestone terroir of Clos Saint-Julien makes its presence felt: the wine has depth, complexity and impressive weight. The Petit Gravet Aîné, which is 80% Cabernet Franc, is wonderfully rounded, with forward fruit: "a very accessible wine", according to Catherine.