Chateau Ripeau St. Emilion Bordeaux, Complete Guide

Chateau Ripeau

Learn everything about Chateau Ripeau St. Emilion with wine tasting notes and wine with food pairing tips. Learn all the best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Ripeau History, Overview

While the vineyard of what we know of today as Chateau Ripeau has a long history in the appellation, with vines being planted in the 1700s. The vineyard does not begin to gain notice until 1868.

However, the modern era for Chateau Ripeau begins in 1917, when it was purchased by the family of a well-known Bordeaux negociant, Marcel Loubat, and Marie Loubat.

If you are wondering if the Loubat name sounds familiar to you, the answer is yes. They are from the same Loubat family that owned the legendary Petrus vineyard located in the neighboring Pomerol appellation. Chateau Ripeau has remained in the hands of the same family since that time.

Chateau Ripeau takes its name from the sector the vineyard and chateau are located in. The vineyard has good neighbors as the vines are not located not far from Chateau Cheval Blanc, Chateau Corbin, Chateau La Dominique and it is also close to the Pomerol border.

For a period of time, Alain Raynaud acted as a consultant to the property. In 1997, Chateau Ripeau renovated its entire wine-making facilities.

In December, 2014, Jean and Francoise de Wilde sold Chateau Ripeau to Cyrille Gregoire and Nicolas Gregoire, the sons of James Gregoire. James Gregoire is best known as the previous owner of Chateau La Riviere in the Fronsac appellation.

Chateau Ripeau Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 16.1-hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Ripeau is planted to 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in 1 large, single block of vines. Finding a vineyard of a similar size in Saint Emilion in 1 parcel is not common.

Since the new owners took over, the estate has gone through a modernization, as well as partial replanting on the vineyards. By 2018, the Cabernets were been adjusted as the new owners added 5% more Cabernet Franc and removed 5% of their Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 6,666 vines per hectare.

Located not far from Chateau La Dominique and Chateau Chauvin, the terroir is sand, gravel, limestone and clay with iron deposits in the soil. The average age of the vines is close to 35 years of age. Starting with the 2017 harvest, Chateau Ripeau moved to 100% self-sustaining farming.

To produce the wine of Chateau Ripeau, the wine is vinified in temperature-controlled, stainless steel vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrels.

The new owners have increased the amount of new oak for the aging, so that today, the wine is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for between 12 and 16 months. The first 4 months of the aging process take place with the wine on its fine lees.

The Best Vintages of Chateau Ripeau are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010 and 2009. However, it should be noted that starting with the 2018 vintage, the level of quality produced here made a big jump in quality, making this an estate to watch.

On average 5,000 cases of Chateau Ripeau are produced every vintage. There is a second wine, previously known as La Garenne de Ripeau, the new owners have changed the name to Tour de Ripeau.

It is interesting to note that while 65% of the vineyard is devoted to Merlot, the blend can vary widely, for example, in the 2016 vintage, 90% of the wine blend is Merlot! Long-time fans of the estate will notice another change. Starting with the 2015 vintage, the labels have been redesigned, sporting a much more modern, streamlined, artistic look.

When to Drink Chateau Ripeau, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Ripeau is better with at least 4-6 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage. Chateau Ripeau is best enjoyed in the first 5-18 years of life.

Young vintages can be decanted for about 1 hour to 90 minutes. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Serving Chateau Ripeau, with Wine and Food Pairings

Chateau Ripeau is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.

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

Château Ripeau Wine Tasting Notes

12 Vintages 39,854 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Inky in color, the wine is loaded with toasty oak, licorice, cocoa, flowers and black, red with blue fruit on the nose. Full-bodied, lusciously textured, polished and plush, the finish offers freshness, length and hedonistic pleasures. Under the new owners, the wines here keep improving vintage after vintage. 93-95 Pts

1,668 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

With a deep, dark, hue, the plum liqueur, black cherry, chocolate fudge, flower, coffee bean and plum scents shine on the nose. On the palate, the wine is lush, opulent, fresh and concentrated, providing a big, juicy gulp of perfectly ripe, opulent fruits. The new owners continue investing in the vineyard and cellars with the desire to make the best wine possible. This is a property to watch. 93-95 Pts

2,338 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 94

Deep in color with an equal depth in its fruit, the wine starts off with spice box, espresso, licorice, incense and dark red berries. Opulent, rich, sweet and juicy, with layers of licorice, ripe, cherries and plums, the wine is silky, plush and polished with a gorgeous sweetness and decadent texture in the finish. This should age quite nicely. 94 Points

1,134 Views   Tasted

Rich, fat and loaded with juicy, black fruits, licorice, earth and espresso bean. With all that you'll also find lift, persistence, lavish amounts of fruit and round, silky textures. With all the investments made here by the new owners, you can expect the wine to continue improving and for prices to rise, so check it out while prices are still low. 93-95 Pts

2,122 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Showing intense color, the wine pops with layers of fleshy, soft, dark plums, damp licorice and creamy tannins. There is body and richness here with loads of deep, concentrated fruit in the finish. The new owners are spending with no end in sight to make the best wine possible here. This is a property to watch. 92 Points

1,749 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 92

Flowers, black raspberries, licorice and cocoa scents move you for the palate, which is medium-full bodied, ripe, soft, sweet, fresh and forward. The finish is all about the juicy, cocoa tinged, fresh, dark red fruits. The wine was made from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 92 Points

1,623 Views   Tasted

Dark in color, this wine offers floral, dark berry, licorice, smoke, chocolate and sweet cherries. Round, fleshy, forward and fresh, the wine was produced from blending 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 91 Points

2,409 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 93

Lush, silky, fresh and packed with black licorice, juicy, ripe plums and soft, polished tannins. Drink it now if you must, or give it 4-5 years to develop more complexities. The best vintage ever produced at Ripeau! 93 Points

2,799 Views   Tasted

The debut vintage for the new owners is a big hit with all its lush, ripe, fresh, juicy, dark red fruits, silky textures and finish driven by its licorice, black cherry, espresso and chocolate notes. This easily the best vintage ever produced at Ripeau. 93 Points

2,737 Views   Tasted

Medium/full bodied, with a really, supple, soft, lush textural quality to the ripe, sweet, juicy fruits. The espresso, spice and earthy notes add additional nuance to the forward styled wine that is already open and fun to drink. Clearly, this is the best wine yet produced in the history of the property. With new owners, who are willing to spend what it takes to make the best wine possible, the best is yet to come. 93 Points

3,015 Views   Tasted

The first vintage from the new owners shows a nice dark color, rich, supple tannins, sweet, lush, juicy fruits and chocolate-covered plums in the finish. This clearly marks a rebirth of the estate. The wine was made from a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. 92 Points

2,724 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 84

This early-drinking wine showcases light red plums and licorice. 83-85 Pts

1,378 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 86

Easy going, simple, medium bodied, cocoa dusted, cherry focused wine for early consumption. 86 Points

1,587 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 85

This soft textured, medium bodied, cherry filled wine has no faults, but lacks distinction. 85 Points

2,952 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 87

Soft, easy drinking, plummy wine, round textures and an earthy, dark cherry finish that is best consumed in its first decade of life. 87 Points

4,985 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 85

Mature, easy to drink, with a round, soft dark cherry and earthy core of fruit. 85 Points

3,311 Views   Tasted
2000 Château Ripeau  (St. Émilion Grand Cru) 85

Lighter styled, medium-bodied, earthy, red pit fruit centered wine with wet earth, forest floor, and thyme accents that needs to be consumed sooner than later. 85 Points

1,323 Views   Tasted