Originally Sauternes wines benefit from a skillful association of natural conditions. The Mercadier vineyards make the most of this perfect combination of elements.
The terroir of Sauternes: a secret alchemy
The 3 properties that make up the Mercadier Vineyards stretch from north to south in 3 of the 5 towns in the appellation.
The Mercadier vineyards at the heart of an exceptional microclimate
Our parcels stretch from the north to the south of the Sauternes appellation, enjoying the southwestern sunshine. Here the oceanic climate is temperate. Sheltered by the Landes forest and moistened by the Garonne and Ciron rivers, soils are covered by a gentle, protective morning mist.
Sunlight will warm them up a little later during the day. It is this unique combination of climate conditions, together with an exceptional terroir, which creates this perfect harmony and gives birth to Sauternes wines.
A blessed terroir: warm on the surface with a damp subsoil
Soils are composed of gravel on the surface which reflects sunlight and keep the heat. Below the surface it turns into clay whose draining power forces the vines to dig deeper to search for nutrients, namely alluvials and sediments from the quaternary era.
Their long roots delving deeply into the subsoil protect the vines from water stress during heat waves. Forced to make their way deeper through the subsoils, these vines give their best.
it makes up 80% of our grape varieties. It brings body and rich flavours to our wines with notes of hazelnut and honey. Some of our parcels are one hundred years old. They constitute a real treasure looked after and valued by our teams. The quality of their production is exceptional.
it represents 10% of our vineyards. Its mineral finesse, its fresh and subtle aromatic variations complete Semillon to which it is traditionally associated.
it constitutes 10% of our vineyards. It makes our wines more complex with its subtle honeysuckle fragrances, its exotic fruit and acacia nuances, bringing both harmony and depth to the whole.
In the Sauternes region more than elsewhere tending the vines is a matter of patience and expertise
The vines are tended all year round, and most operations are carried out manually. Old vine stocks are replaced “in complantation” by carefully selected young plants. We then need to wait many years before they start to produce wines that meet our quality requirements.
The Sauternais region is the home of a strange miraculous fungus!
Botrytis Cinerea is a necrotrophic fungus, which means it kills its host in order to consume it and continue to grow. Feared by many cultivators, it is an essential ally for Sauternes wine growers.
Season after season our teams carefully tend our vines until the famous grape harvest, always carried out manually. This meticulous operation is specific to Sauternes wines.
The overripe and candied grapes will only produce a few precious drops. Indeed Sauternes wines are among the lowest yielding wines: it will only produce one glass of Sauternes while in most vineyards it will be one bottle!
Mercadier’s Sauternes wines:
: vinification from the vine to the oak!
Picked berries are immediately put in pneumatic presses. The musts obtained are transferred into small temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. This enables a precise control of the fermentation process of our different batches.
In early December, once fermented, our wines are aged in barrels. 100% of these barrels are made of French oak. The wines are racked and tasted every three months to check on their evolution, and the level of barrels is regularly completed in order to avoid oxidation.
Wines are only blended after an 18-month aging period. This involves long hours of tastings, trials and discussions which are decisive for the future of our wines. Paul Mercadier , surrounded by his family, will make use of his open-mindedness and his audacity tinged with tradition.
Our wines are then estate bottled and make their way all around the world!
Can we enjoy young Sauternes?
Sauternes wines can definitely be aged for several decades and patiently wait before unveiling their amber colour.
We put great love in our wines, now it is your turn to treat yourself!
The best way to enjoy it will be your way. A crusty baguette, a little Roquefort cheese with a glass of Sauternes: a simple snack becomes pure magic. An impromptu dinner, a small occasion at home or just feeling like sharing a moment with your family or friends…the wines from the Mercadier vineyards offer different notes depending on their age: fresh or more sophisticated, fruity or more honeyed, it’s up to you!