Although a small and relatively little known estate, Simard enjoys a sought-after position in amongst some of the premier estates of St-Emilion, including the mighty Ausone.
Château Simard is a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru which belongs to the very famous Vauthier family, who also own the world-renowned Château Ausone. Chateau Simard has been classified as Saint Emilion Grand Cru from the 2008 vintage. It has an enviable address on the sunny southern slopes of Saint Emilion. It has an excellent exposure and predominantly clay soil, mixed with sand and gravel.
Stepping back to 1870, in those days, Chateau Simard was a much larger vineyard. In an effort to expand the wine trade in St-Emilion, to help in the shipping of their wine, a railroad was established that runs through the bottom of the Saint Emilion appellation.
However, the tracks were placed right in the middle of the Simard vineyard, cutting it in half. A new wine was created out of the now-split vineyard, Chateau Haut Simard.
Chateau Simard was purchased by the Maziere family in the 1920’s. Today, the estate is owned by Alain Vautheir, a direct descendant of Claude Maziere, who managed Chateau Simard since 1954. Alain Vauthier manages Chateau Simard and Chateau Haut Simard with the able assistance of his daughter, Pauline Vauthier. Pauline Vauthier is in charge of the winemaking of Château Simard’s 40 hectares of vines.
The 48-hectare, Right Bank vineyard of Chateau Haut Simard is in reality two separate parcels. The larger 40-hectare parcel used for Simard is planted to 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Franc. The remaining 8 hectares are reserved for Chateau Haut Simard, which is planted to 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Simard has a completely different aging process as the wine does not see any new oak for the aging. Instead, the wine of Chateau Simard is aged in concrete vats. Fermentation is in concrete vats; maceration is for ~30 days, depending on the vats. 100% malolactic fermentation is encouraged; there is no oak aging.
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc.
The blend each year reflects the vineyard's makeup of Merlot with small parcels of Cabernet Franc. The wine has attractive, up-front fruit with a fairly long finish that is drinking well presently but also could be cellared for a number of years.a brick-like hue and mellow aromas of leather, pudding spice and leaf tea aromas. The palate offers rich, raisined fruit and fine-grained tannins.
On average, the production of Chateau Simard is close to 12,000 cases per year.