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Chateau de Chambert

Chateau Chambert is located in Floressas, in the Cahors region of the Lot department in south-west France. It has a rich history. Indeed they have some archives that date back to the 10th century which state that vines were planted in Chambert on the hills of Floressas. From the 13th to the 16th century the estate was owned by the Lords of Floressas: De Beynac in 1318, Vicomte Lagorse-Limoges in 1550, and the Marquis Brachet de Peyrusse in 1630. By the end of the 17th century its wines were being sold throughout Europe, and by the 19th century the Château Chambert wines were being exported to America. In 1780 the Latheze family acquired the estate, and in 1857 Mélanie Latheze married Louis Bataille. Their son, Marie Désiré Pierre Amédée, who was born at Château Chambert in 1862, would become the youngest general in France. In 1914 General Bataille died in action during WW1, and his sister, a nun, inherited the estate but allowed the vineyards to run wild and the land was used for grazing sheep. The vineyards remained abandoned until 1973, when wine merchant Marc Delgoulet bought the neglected estate and replanted the vineyards, farming organically, and also sought advice about biodynamic farming. In 2007 Château Chambert was sold to the present owner Philippe Lejeune, who has the same mindset as Delgoulet and has gained both organic [2012] and biodynamic [2015] certification; it is the largest organic and biodynamic estate in Cahors. 65 hectares of vineyards are divided into more than 100 distinct plots, at an average height of 300 metres above sea level, and are planted with 80% Malbec [the historic grape of Cahors, known locally as Côt], 17% Merlot, and 3% Chardonnay. The soils have two distinct geological profiles; there are limestone hillsides, that have Kimmeridgian clay like the Chablis region, and red clay soils that are very high in iron ore. These divergent configurations, and the myriad of varying elements within them, bring infinite complexities to the wines. These are powerful wines, with layers of fruit and minerality, silky tannins and beguiling spice. A charming feature of the estate is that Philippe keeps highland cattle, and these are allowed to roam between the vines following the harvest until the end of winter.