Built in Saint-Estèphe by the Merman family at the beginning of the 19th century (1815-1830), the château is surrounded by vineyards and a 6-hectare park. Originally called « Cru de Croc », the estate had only 17 hectares of vines. The name was changed to « Château Le Crock » in 1880, as the vineyard continued to expand. In 1903, the Cuvelier family, wine merchants from the North of France, acquired the estate, which now comprises 32 hectares. The family, now headed by Didier Cuvelier since 1979, endeavored to see their château prosper and become a Cru Bourgeois in 1932.
Planted on a historic terroir composed of 95% Garonne gravel and 5% clay, the vineyard is spread over three distinct locations, taking advantage of exceptional richness and aromatic diversity. The traditional grape varieties of the Médoc, Cabernet Sauvignon (53%), Merlot (33%), Cabernet Franc (9%) and Petit Verdot (5%) express the originality of the Saint-Estèphe terroir. Respectful of the environment, vineyard management favors tillage, mating disruption pest control, and natural fertilizer in order to minimize the use of chemicals.
The Vineyard Manager, Jonathan Servant, and the Oenologist, Isabelle Davin, verify grape ripeness. Hand harvesting begins at the end of September. For two weeks, 70 pickers fill the crates, which are then emptied on the sorting table. There, the staff selects the most beautiful bunches. The berries, once separated from the stems, are transferred to the vats.
The wines are vinified in temperature controlled tanks, 14 stainless steel and 8 concrete. Individual tanks are used to respect the terroir and varietal characteristics of each plot. To extract color and tannins from the skins and to promote the development of the yeast necessary for alcoholic fermentation, several daily pump overs are carried out. After three or four weeks of maceration, the wine is transferred to barrels.
Aging in French oak barrels begins once the malolactic fermentation has been completed. It lasts 18 months for the first wine, and 12 months for the second wine. After several tasting sessions with our consulting oenologist, Michel Rolland, blending takes place during the sixth month of barrel aging. Thus, Château Le Crock and Château La Croix Saint-Estèphe are born. Twenty-two months go by from harvest to bottling of the entire vintage at the château.
Didier Cuvelier is accompanied by Vineyard Manager Jonathan Servant, Oenologist Isabelle Davin and Cellar Master Vincent Pautard. A team of 10 people makes the estate live throughout the year and aims for excellence. From the vineyard to the bottle, combining tradition and modernity, the expertise of this team is used to produce wines of high quality while respecting the soil and the identity of the château.