A brief history
Formerly the property of the patrician family of Saint-Estèphe of this name, the Château de Côme is mentioned in the Guide Féret, the bible of Bordeaux, in 1886 as “Cru Bourgeois Supérieur”. The vineyard was created around 1840.
When Baron Velge bought it in 1997, there were still two hectares left, the label disappeared, the vine having been leased by another castle.
Very quickly, the area of the vineyard climbs to seven hectares, of qualitative and homogeneous terroirs, an elegant label is published, the marketing launched with success. The first vintages already present wines of great finesse.
Located on the best plots of clay-limestone soil in the town, Château de Côme can produce a silky wine of great subtlety, with melted and balanced tannins, focused mainly on fruit and nobility, with very good length in the mouth. , both the most Saint-Julien and the most feminine of the Saint-Estèphe .
It is the case today, the work in the vineyard, as well as a more precise vinification, having made it possible to achieve this goal.
The grape variety of 45% cabernet-sauvignon for structure, aromas and tannins, as well as for the silky note peculiar to Como, 45% merlot for the velvety and fat, 10% petit verdot adding color and a nice spicy note, is ideal for Saint-Estèphe.
The great years see high quality Merlots complement perfectly ripe Cabernets. When the sun is sometimes regretted, the Cabernet becomes rounded on contact with the Merlot, which is still ripe. Of course, the vintage effect remains present, and the wines are available according to the characteristics specific to each of them.
The management opted a few years ago for organic vineyard management, the labeling having been obtained for the 2018 vintage!
As the 1st St-Estèphe vineyard to have been recognized as such.
Since 2011, in the continuation of the search for a wine as natural as possible, Côme produces a wine without the addition of sulfur. This one presents a fruit of a roundness and a fat that one does not find at the same level in the sulphite wines, when they are young. Here too, the property is a pioneer in the territory of St-Estèphe.
In the vineyard, you need observation, flexibility and skill.
We spend a very long time in the field, because everything starts from there… We do not take any systematic decision, which does not start from a preliminary observation on the vineyard…
Whether it is a question of soil nutrition, pruning, protection against pathologies and natural attacks, harvesting, the decisive basis of intervention is always observation.
Certain practices remain essential, such as:
The Guyot double window pruning, to evenly distribute the bunches and promote ventilation and sunlight, important and long work, manual (9,000 strings per hectare), delicate,
The work of the soil by plowing (4 traditional plowing) and scratching which eliminates any use of weedkillers.
The choice of the start of the harvest is delicate and essential. A fortnight before the expected date, the grapes are taken from the plots and analyzed in the laboratory.
As soon as the results of the analyzes become satisfactory, and that they no longer change, the pips are ripe, the harvest is attacked.
Unwanted bunches are removed from the harvest. This first sorting in the vineyard is followed by a second on the table in the cellar, under the permanent supervision of the manager of the exploitation and of the Baron and Baroness Velge, personally.
For the vat room, the choice fell on medium-sized vats.
The vats are made of cement, as at Château Petrus in Pomerol. Respectful of the musts, because they only allow very gradual thermal changes, they ensure the best extraction of aromas, tannins and colors.
By tank, we follow the ascending qualitative curve and decide to move on to the phase of aging the wine in barrels as soon as the optimal point of extraction of the elements of quality, elegance, freshness, distinction, fruit, flavors, fat, is reached. .
As for the barrels, depending on the vintage, we use 20% to 25% new barrels made from French oak from the Allier region only.
During a period of 5 to 6 months, the barrels are topped manually, that is to say that 2 or 3 times a week, one adds the small quantity necessary to replace the loss of wine absorbed by the wood and by evaporation called "the part of the angels".
At the same time, the clarification phase begins naturally, thanks to exposure to cold (the cellar is opened to the outside during the winter).
The barrels are then subjected to clarification by means of manual racking carried out every three months and fining, carried out with egg white, during the second winter. Aging on fine lees is practiced. The wines of Como stay in barrels for 12 months.