Everything about Chateau La Riviere Fronsac Bordeauxwine producer profile, with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairing tips, best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau de La Riviere History, Overview
Chateau de La Riviere is one of the older estates in the Fronsac appellation. The history of the property can be dated back all the way back to 769, when the Emperor Charlemagne ordered that a fort be constructed on the site, Prior to 769, the land was previously used as by the Romans as a burial mound. The chateau in use today was constructed in 1577 by the mayor of Bordeaux, Gaston de L’Isle. Before La Riviere was sold, the estate had been owned by the L’Isle family for more than 500 years! Chateau La Riviere takes its name fittingly from the Dordogne river that sweeps through the Fronsac region. The estate was owned and managed by James Gregoire until 2013.
Chateau de la Riviere is the largest estate in the appellation of Fronsac, with close to 59 hectoliters of planted vines. However, the estate also includes beautiful gardens and forest land, bringing the total size of the property up to 65 hectares. Here you also find an impressive array of underground limestone quarries, which provide perfect storage conditions for their wines. Chateau de la Riviere has enjoyed periodic renovations over the years. In 1962, the Right Bank estate was completely modernized. But not for the last time.
Chateau de la Riviere was purchased in 1995 by Jean Leprince who once again modernized the estate. Tragically, Jean Leprince was killed in a flying accident in 2002. Following his death, the property was sold to James Edmond Gregoire. James Gregoire earned his wealth as one of the top manufacturers of grape harvesting machines. In a tragic twist of fate, James Gregoire also died in a flying accident. He was killed when his helicopter crashed in December 2013.
Sadly, the accident took place only one day after James Gregoire agreed to sell Chateau de la Riviere to the Chinese billionaire Lam Kok. This deal is said to be the largest investment by an Asian yet in a Bordeaux vineyard, surpassing the deal for Chateau Bon Pasteur earlier this year. The buyer, Lam Kok was also in the helicopter and died in the same accident. The group was said to have been flying over the Right Bank vineyard surveying the land when the accident took place. The children of James Gregorie purchased Chateau Ripeau in St. Emilion the following year.
Chateau de La Riviere Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The large, 65 hectare vineyard of Chateau de La Riviere is planted to 82% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% old vine Malbec in 53 separate parcels on clay, limestone and sandy soils. This shows a marked increase in the plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards have old vines, some of which are up to 80 years old.
Chateau la de Riviere takes a serious environmental approach to their vineyard management techniques. In 2012, they became one of the first Bordeaux chateaux to earn certification for high, environmental value. The red wine of Chateau de la Riviere is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and aged in 30% new French oak for between 12 to 18 months, depending on the character and style of the vintage.
In addition to the red wine of Chateau de La Riviere, the estate produces a white wine, Chateau de La Riviere Blanc from a unique blend of 67% Sauvignon Blanc and 33% Sauvignon Gris. What makes that blend unusual is the extremely high portion of Sauvignon Gris. The white wine is vinified in cement vats. Chateau de La Riviere also makes a special, luxury cuvee, Aria. Aria is a small production wine made from a Merlot dominated blend that comes from some of the estate’s oldest Merlot vines in a single 1.5 hectare plot. This is a much richer style of wine that sees a lot more new oak. In fact’ it’s aged in 100% new, French oak barrels. Close to 1,000 cases of Aria are produced each vintage. Like all the wines of Chateau La Riviere, Michel Rolland is the consulting winemaker.
Production of La Riviere ranges from 15,000 to 18,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year. They also make a second wine, Les Source Chateau de La Riviere.
Serving and Decanting Chateau de La Riviere with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau de La Riviere is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be decanted for up to 1 hour. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau de La Riviere is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised and grilled dishes. Chateau de La Riviere is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.
Chateau La Riviere is more than just a winery, the estate is also a full service hotel in the Fronsac appellation, which offers guests luxury and the opportunity to enjoy life in the middle of their Right Bank vineyards.
Château de la Rivière Wine Tasting Notes
11 Vintages 18822 Views Sort Vintage Rating
2016 Château de la Rivière Aria ( Fronsac)
Forward, fun and easy to drink, this is a crowd pleasing styled wine that will drink well early.
Apr 29, 2017points - Tasted 732 Views
2015 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Forward, soft, polished, ripe and packed with, sweet, plush, dark red fruits, this will drink well on release.
Apr 29, 2016points - Tasted 982 Views
2014 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Fresh, juicy, round, forward and offering loads of ripe black cherry licorice, smoke and earthy characteristics. Even at this young stage, this is already quite tasty and easy to drink. With a few years, this could be even better as it fills out and gains more weight.
Jul 10, 2017points - Tasted 542 Views
2013 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Oak, earth and dark cherries move to a soft, accessible, oaky, red berry finish that will offer pleasure on release. 86-88 Pts
May 1, 2014points - Tasted 1488 Views
2012 Château de la Rivière Aria ( Fronsac)
Deep in color with licorice, flowers and jammy berries in the nose, the wine is rich, deep, ripe, jammy and full-bodied with a chocolate-covered, black cherry finish. 89-91 Pts
Apr 26, 2013points - Tasted 1441 Views
2012 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Licorice, smoky cherries and earthy notes on the nose, lead to a sweet, open, fresh plummy wine.
May 15, 2015points - Tasted 1486 Views
Supple-textured, ripe and approachable, this early-drinking wine offers a lot of fleshy, sweet, jammy and fresh black and red fruits with a fun, fleshy personality. 88-90 Pts
Apr 26, 2013points - Tasted 1920 Views
2011 Château de la Rivière Aria ( Fronsac)
From 73% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Malbec, with black cherry, licorice, soft textures and an open personality. 89-90 Pts
Apr 20, 2012points - Tasted 1087 Views
2010 Château de la Rivière Aria ( Fronsac)
La Riviere Aria was a discovery for me. Thank you to to Bill Blatch from Vintex for introducing me to it. It was the first time I had tasted this wine. From a blend of 86% merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, with vines averaging 40 years of age, the wine sported a deep color. Floral, boysenberry aromas, a rich mouth full of ripe, black fruit, chocolate and boysenberry jam makes this a very tasty offering from Fronsac. I'm not sure what this cost, but chances are, this will be a good value wine to seek out. 90-92 Pts
Mar 14, 2011points - Tasted 2345 Views
2009 Château de la Rivière Aria ( Fronsac)
This delicious, Merlot based wine is filled with ripe, juicy, dark berries, chocoalte, cherry, minerality and vanilla. Supple in texture, concentrated, fleshy and plummy, the wine is already drinking well now. It's hard to find in America at the moment, but if you run across a bottle, it's worth tasting.
Jan 19, 2012points - Tasted 1920 Views
2009 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Fully ready to drink, the wine is filled with round textures, licorice, espresso bean, plum and cherries. This is not for aging. It's for drinking.
Dec 16, 2013points - Tasted 2316 Views
2008 Château de la Rivière ( Fronsac)
Jammy black fruit, licorice and coffee aromas, soft textures, medium body with a plum and herb filled finish. I'd drink this on the young side.
Dec 5, 2011points - Tasted 2563 Views