Driven by a passion for wine and wanting a new challenge, Oliva and Didier Le Calvez decided to make their own wine in one of the most famous UNESCO protected regions of Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion.
After several years searching, starting back in 2007, Olivia and Didier’s dream finally began to take shape when they found an old Château nestled in the picturesque hills on the right bank of the Gironde for sale. This rustic estate perched atop of the Puisseguin plateau, one of the four satellite appellations of Saint-Émilion, had been under the ownership of the Estager family for more than a century. With a beautiful cellar and surrounded by some of the best vineyards in the region and only a stream separating them from the illustrious Saint-Émilion, Olivia and Didier found the perfect spot.
“After visiting numerous estates, we fell in love with Clarisse which combined the ideal terroir and perfect blend of grape varieties, 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Everything came together allowing us to make a wine we have always dreamt off, rich, perfumed and most importantly elegant.”
Stéphane Derenoncourt, the famed right bank specialist, joined the family project early on bringing some all-important winemaking savoir-faire.
Named after their daughter, Olivia and Didier hope Château Clarisse will stay in the family for generations to come.
Excellence in the vineyard and the cellar
An exceptional terroir
Situated on the famous Saint-Émilion plateau, Château Clarisse produces beautiful wines on some of the best soils in the region. Initially, only five hectares Clarisse has grown over the years to 15 hectares including 2.3 hectares in neighboring Cotes de Castillion appellation. Benefiting from a well-drained clay-limestone and chalky-clay soil, the famous consultant Michel Rolland likes to describe these soils as “armchair terroir,” naturally producing goods wines with minimum intervention.
Organic viticulture to help protect the bio-diversity
Clarisse has been farmed organically since its creation and was certified organic in 2015. All the work in the vineyard is undertaken with the utmost respect for the nature and to help preserve the natural diversity present.
The soils are enriched with organic compost to stimulate important micro-organisms. “We aim to push the plant to grow deeper into the limestone soil to showcase its special qualities: aromatic finesse and supple tannins” explains Didier.
A rigorous selection to ensure only the best grapes make it into the final wine
The harvest is completely manual, and the grapes are meticulously sorted to make sure only the cleanest and ripest berries make it into the final wine.
Minimal intervention winemaking to respect the terroir
Olivia and Didier want to let the terroir speak and believe traditional methods are the best, this means using concrete and large oak vats for fermentation. The extended maceration and ageing in oak that follows gives the wine strength and elegance.
Since the beginning, Olivia and Didier dreamt of working with famed consultant Stephane Derenoncourt “We completely agree with his philosophy of letting the terroir speak, and letting the grapes reach maturity with minimal intervention. We also agree with his golden rule: a wine must express with subtilty and harmony its terroir while producing wines that can be enjoyed immediately but also have the ability to age.”
Found in the best restaurants in the world
Thanks to their extensive connections in hotels and restaurants, Olivia and Didier Le Calvez can showcase Clarisse to wine-lovers around the world.
The wines are distributed in more than 20 countries: France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt, India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Australia and many more.
The ever-growing list of distributors can be found at www.Château-clarisse.com/points-de-vente.
A selection of the hotels where Didier Le Calvez was a manager and where you can find Château Clarisse. In addition to these establishments, Château Clarisse is served in over 100 restaurants around the world.