Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme
is a Cru Bourgeois
from the Haut Médoc wine region. Records show that this vineyard was first reported in 1648 when a local landlord, Denis de Mullet of La Tour StLambert rented it to a farmer in exchange for the wines produced. The property passed through various owners until, in 1900, ownership of Caronne passed to Emile and Eugène Borie. The sons of Eugène would later cede their shares to their uncle and purchase Ch. Batailley and later Ducru-Beaucaillou while Emile's descendents would remain the sole owners of Caronne until this day. The property is now managed by Jean, grandson of Emile and François, his nephew. Caronne is derived from "Carona" the name of a local spring source, and Gemme a corruption of "James". Caronne's great soil has unlimited potential and has been described by Tom Stevenson as "a superb island of vines on a gravel plateau south of St Julien estates." Château Caronne Ste Gemme takes pride in its deep gravel mounds of the günzien period which lie on a subsoil of iron rich sandstone to the east and clay to the west. Recent investments also include the building of a new wine making unit, the refurbishment of the barrel cellars and the creation of a temperature controlled storage cellar. The 45 hectare vineyard is located in the St Laurent Medoc area and is planted with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 37% Merlot. The average age of the vines is 25 years old. After harvesting, grapes are destalked, slightly crushed and into fermentation vats. Fermentation occurs with a light "over the top" pumping for a soft extraction of the skins. After up to three weeks meceration the wine is aged for 12 months in 225 litre French barrels (25% new each year). The wine is fined with eggwhites and finally bottled at the vineyard 20 months after it is harvested.
Chateau Caronne Ste Gemme as an attractive, mineral-stony fruit character on the nose. Shows a classical and elegant style, not very dense, but more of a well polished middleweight. There is a firm, tight core of round tannins with a good grip with pepper and spice and black fruit berries. Good acidity and freshness. Will go on for a long time and will become more complex with age.