Rochebelle is a 3-hectare family property that has been passed down from generation to generation since 1847. It is now managed by Philippe FANIEST and his Oenologist daughter Emilie. The domaine was awarded GRAND CRU CLASSE DE SAINT-EMILION status in the 2012 classification.
Château Rochebelle overlooks the Dordogne Valley and is situated on the exceptional asteriated limestone plateau of Saint Emilion. The vineyard lies between 85 and 94 metres above river level on gentle slopes that enable the runoff of surface water in the event of heavy rainfall. This gentle gradient combined with the estate’s topographical location and the porous nature of the limestone rocks ensure excellent natural drainage.
In dry weather the vine roots use a form of capillary action to draw water from the limestone rocks thereby ensuring a constant yet not over-abundant supply of water to the vines. They receive neither too little nor too much water, limiting any negative effects of hydric stress.
The terroir at Rochebelle is composed of brown limestone soils (Calcosol) and brown calcic soils (Calcisols) lying on top of the mother rock at varying depths of between 30 to 100 cm. These shallow, arid soils contribute to limiting the vine’s natural tendency for over-vigorous growth.
It is this combination of limiting the vine’s productive strength and naturally regulating water that enables Rochebelle to produce such high quality grapes.
The vineyard is planted with 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc and the vines have an average age of 45 years. Every other vine row is tilled and the vines are cultivated with the utmost care and attention. The grapes are left to ripen at their own rhythm. The harvest is carried out manually and sorted very carefully prior to vinification with ever-evolving yet moderate processes.
Observation, precision and intuition are what guide our choices and define our permanent quest for excellence based on rigour and discretion.
One of Rochebelle’s unique characteristics is its monolithic cellars dating back to the 18th century. A visit to the cellars is an unforgettable, emotional experience and offers an insight into the history of this family domaine. Rochebelle’s wines are left to age in these cellars in new oak barrels at a constant temperature of 13°C and a humidity level of 85%. This environment provides ideal ageing conditions for our older vintages.
Rochebelle’s exceptional ageing potential and its combination of smoothness, purity and tension make it the ultimate illustration of a pure thoroughbred wine. An elegant and authentic wine!
Make no doubt about it : Rochebelle must not be define in hectares but rather by its nectars.