Chateau Soleil Le Rival St. Emilion Bordeaux Wine, Complete Guide

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Everything about Chateau Soleil Puisseguin St. Emilion , Bordeaux wine producer profile, with wine tasting notes , wine and food pairings, 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 Soleil Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes , Winemaking

Chateau Soleil is located in what is known as the Saint Emilion Satellite Appellations . The 20-hectare vineyard of Chateau Soleil is planted to a vine density of 5,700 vines per hectare. The vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot , 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon . On average, the vines are on average, 30 years of age.

he terroir of Soleil is thin clay and gravel over limestone. The situation has their vines well placed on the peak of the plateau of Puisseguin. The vineyards are trellised using the traditional Guyot double system. Vineyard management techniques include cover-cropping, mechanical tilling of the soils, debudding, deleafing, and crop-thinning. All these efforts help control the yields at Chateau Soleil. Stephan von Neipperg is a huge proponent of naturally, self, sustainable vineyard management, Chateau Soleil is no exception. They never use any types of chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides.

To produce the wine of Chateau Soleil, the grapes are whole berry fermented. Vinification takes place in either 50 hectoliter or 100 hectoliter, epoxy lined, cement vats. There, the whole berry grapes are kept at the low temperature of 10 degrees Celsius in a pre-fermentation, cold soak, to increase the color, depth and extraction of the wine.

Microbullage is used both under the cap during fermentation and during the process of barrel aging. Malolactic fermentation is conducted in barrel. The wine is aged on its lees, which are regularly stirred. The wine is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for between 18 and 22 months. There are two second wines , Promesse Soleil and Croix du Rival. Close to 7,000 cases of Chateau Soleil are produced each vintage.

The Right Bank property also produces a special, high-end cuvee, Chateau Soleil Le Rival which comes from a special 4 hectare block with old vines planted in 1952 and 1962. This 4 hectare parcel is the oldest vines from the 20 hectare vineyard of Soleil. The terroir is similar to some of the best soil in St. Emilion with its blend of clay, gravel and limestone. The wine making is similar to what takes place at Soleil, but the yields are much lower for Le Rival. They can be under 20 hectoliters per hectare. Also, because the wine is much richer, the wine of Soleil Le Rival is aged in 100% new, French oak for between 18 and 24 months. On average, the production is close to 800 cases per year.

The production of both wines is ably managed by Stephan von Neipperg.

Serving and Decanting Chateau Soleil with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Soleil 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 Soleil is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted braised and grilled dishes. Chateau Soleil is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms and pasta.

Château Soleil Wine Tasting Notes

12 Vintages 21514 Views Sort    Vintage    Rating

  1. 2015 Château Soleil

    1. Medium bodied with a floral, plummy character, soft textures, sweet, black raspberries, licorice and a round finish that should be great on release.

      89 points - Tasted
  2. 2015 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. Dominated by 95% Merlot, with a strong licorice and black cherry nose. The wine is silky, lush and opulent, with a lively, spice filled, plum and fennel personality.

      91 points - Tasted
  3. 2013 Château Soleil

    1. Medium bodied with a nice, plummy character, this will be drinkable on release. 84-86 Pts

      85 points - Tasted
  4. 2013 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. Dominated by 95% Merlot, with an earth, plum and fennel personality, this round, open wine is ready for easy going, prime time drinking on release. 87-88 Pts

      88 points - Tasted
  5. 2012 Château Soleil

    1. Licorice, coffee, black cherry and medium body opens into a light, cherry finish. 85-87 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
  6. 2012 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. Dominated by Merlot, the wine opens with coffee, black cherry, licorice and cocoa. Sweet, round and forward, this will be fun to drink young. 88-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
  7. 2011 Château Soleil

    1. Blending 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged in 30% new oak. From limestone and clay terroir, the wine offers black raspberry jam and cocoa, soft tannins and a medium-bodied plummy finish. This will drink well on release. 87-89 Pts

      88 points - Tasted
  8. 2011 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. From 45 year-old vines planted on a 5-hectare bed of limestone terroir, this 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc blend reached 13.5% alcohol. This wine is produced with the efforts of Stephan Von Neipperg. With deep color, floral, earth and kirsch aromas, luscious texture and a fresh, chocolate- and cherry-filled finish. 89-91 Pts

      90 points - Tasted
  9. 2010 Château Soleil

    1. Licorice tinged cherries and earth, forward, fresh, spicy, black cherry and herb notes with sweet cassis finish.

      88 points - Tasted
    2. Soleil 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon was used to create a wine with licorice, jammy black fruit and cassis with a milk chocolate covered, cassis finish. This wine is produced with the efforts of Stephan Von Neipperg. 86-88 Pts

      87 points - Tasted
  10. 2010 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. Licorice, truffle and smoke with sweet, jammy cherries on the nose, this structured, fresh, black raspberry filled wine needs a few years of cellar time before displaying its ample charms.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. 2010 Soleil Le Rival From 45 year old vines planted on a bed of limestone terroir, this 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc blend offers a complex perfume of truffle, earth, blackberry and stone aromas. Concentrated with intense dark cherries and chocolate, the wine ends with a long, fresh, mineral, cassis and cherry finish. This wine is produced with the efforts of Stephan Von Neipperg. 90-92 Pts

      91 points - Tasted
  11. 2009 Château Soleil

    1. Coffee, coconut, black cherry and licorice scents open to a round, forward style of medium/full bodied wine that ends with a chocolate, fennel and black raspberry finish.

      89 points - Tasted
    2. 2009 Soleil opens with licorice and dark berries. This soft textured, easy drinking wine finishes with dark jammy berries. 5,000 cases were produced. 87-90 Pts

      89 points - Tasted
  12. 2009 Château Soleil Le Rival

    1. Forward styled and already showing well, this plush, low acid, round, chocolate, boysenberry, truffle and black cherry filled wine is a lot of fun to drink.

      90 points - Tasted