Château la Soujeole, "The Fulfillment"
THE SEIGNEURY OF MONTCLAR
When one of the sons of the Lord of Montclar bought La Soujeole in 1740, he would be the first of nine generations of landowners. The last direct descendant of the family,Bertrand de la Soujeole, rector of the Saint-Nazaire church in Carcassonne, made a vow : to ensure the integrity of the estate after him.
In 2012, as Gérard Bertrand first visited la Soujeole, he was overwhelmed by a sense of fulfillment that had everything to do with the quality of the location and its secret vibration : “The rolling landscapes and ancient forests are a joy to the eye. Sometimes it seems as if time stands still. The calm and the silence elevate us to a rare state of consciousness, reinforcing our convictions and our priorities, showing us the path to take.ˮ
Monsignor Bertrand de la Soujeole had just found his successor. He agreed to rent the estate to Gérard Bertrand, who invested in the cellar, introduced biodynamic farming and horse-drawn plowing, to reveal the essence of the terroir.
BETWEEN THE OCEAN AND THE SEA
A door between two worlds, la Soujeole is ideally located in the Malepère appellation; the most western in the Languedoc. The Château stands where the Atlantic and Mediterranean climatic influences meet; combining the best of each and celebrating their differences. The flora is a mix of Mediterranean and oceanic trees : Arbutus and Holm Oaks grow side by side with common Oaks and Beeches.
At La Soujeole, half of the property is planted to Cabernet Franc, the remainder being split between Merlot and Malbec. Languedociens at heart and in spirit, the wines of la Soujeole nonetheless share an accent, depth of colour and grip of tannins with the wines of the South West.
These hillside vineyards have been cultivated biodynamically since 2013. Horse-drawn plows further connect the realms of animal, mineral, plant and human.
The South looks to the West and claims both the subtlety and the power of a magnificent expression of Cabernet Franc, unique and true to its Cathar terroir. It reaches full maturity in the Languedoc and presents none of the green notes that are associated with it in cooler climates. It develops flavoursome aromas of paprika and juicy blackberry, while retaining the freshness and elegance that are its signature.
The grapes are hand-picked in two stages. First, the younger Cabernet Franc and Merlot vines are harvested to produce the rosé, which is, in part, aged in barrels for six months to accentuate its singularly refined character. The second stage, from the end of September right up to the end of October, sees the harvest of the grapes from old vine Merlot, Malbec, and finally Cabernet Franc that will make up the red Grand Vin. After aging separately for 12 months, the single variety wines are then blended together, and bottled on a ‘Fruit Day’ to respect the lunar calendar that governs biodynamic practices.
The red Grand Vin offers a generous fruit, deep color and firm tannic mouthfeel. It calls for a cassoulet or duck confit, as the famous ‘French Paradox’ starts here at la Soujeole !