Chateau La Rame

History of DomaineWinesTech SheetGalleryLabelsVideoInsights
Situated 40 kilometers southeast of the city of Bordeaux, Chateau La Rame is among the oldest and most renowned properties in the Sainte Croix du Mont appellation. The house and chai sit on a hill overlooking the Garonne River. The estate was the property of the Baron de Vertheuil, Governor of the Ile d’Oleron, after the French Revolution. It has been recognized throughout its history as one of the prime sites for producing outstanding wine (gold medals at exhibitions in Bordeaux in 1895 and in Paris in 1900). The property was purchased by Claude Armand, the father of the current owner, Yves Armand, at a time when the appellation had fallen out of favor. The Armand family has undertaken to re-establish Sainte Croix du Mont as an appellation of merit set to rival the great estates of Sauternes and Barsac. We have represented Chateau La Rame in the US market since the 1989 vintage.

The 20 hectares of Chateau La Rame are set on a clay-limestone soil blessed with an exceptional substratum marked by a bed of fossilized oysters dating from the Tertiary era. The hillside vineyards overlook the Garonne River and face full south as they slope down towards the river. The vineyards are planted 75% to Semillon and 25% to Sauvignon Blanc with an average age of 50 years (as of 2011). It is from these vineyards that the Bordeaux Blanc Sec (Sauvignon) and the Sainte Croix du Mont “vin liquoreux” is produced. On the sandier soils of the property where the land slopes toward the river, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are planted and are used to produce a Bordeaux Rouge and Bordeaux Rosé. An additional six hectares are sited on a hillside around the neighboring village of Monprimblanc. Here, the Armand family produces a Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux Rouge from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Chateau-La-Rame-St-Croix-du-Mont Chateau La Rame Sainte Croix du Mont Traditionnel: At their finest, the wines of Sainte Croix du Mont can rival the great wines of Sauternes and Barsac which are directly opposite Sainte Croix du Mont on the other side of the river. The Armand family has invested great effort over the past decades to prove the worth of this appellation. Seeking extreme ripeness, the harvest is done entirely by hand and proceeds in successive passes over a series of weeks. The fermentation occurs over a three to six week period at controlled temperatures [between 18 and 22 degrees centigrade]. The traditional cuvee is then aged for two years in “cuve” before bottling. It is frequently blessed with significant levels of botrytis and exhibits a high level of concentration and complexity. Semillon is the exclusive grape in this cuvée. Harvest levels are usually under 30 hectoliters per hectare (25% less than the permitted amount). The wine is not fined and is only lightly filtered before bottling.
Chateau-La-Rame-St-Croix-du-Mont-Reserve Chateau La Rame Sainte Croix du Mont Reserve du Chateau: Since 1983, Chateau La Rame has produced in superior vintages a second cuvee, “Reserve du Chateau”, which is fermented and aged exclusively in oak barrels, one-third of which are new. The elevage continues for 18 to 24 months and additional aging in bottle occurs prior to release from the estate. The grapes for this cuvée are selected after a rigorous “triage” to obtain only the ripest fruit with the most intense level of botrytis. Again, the “Reserve du Chateau” is not fined and is only lightly filtered before bottling. It is composed exclusively of Semillon (old vines of 50 years average age). In cooperation with Chateau La Rame, we often have the privilege of presenting a series of older vintages of the “Reserve du Chateau”.
Chateau-La-Rame-Bordeaux-Blanc Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Blanc Sec: The grapes for this cuvée come from a four hectare hillside parcel of clay and limestone soil with a full southern exposure that overlooks the Garonne River and is planted to Sauvignon Blanc. The vines have an average age of 20 years (as of 2011). After a manual harvest, the grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled vats and left on the fine lees for six months prior to bottling. The overwhelming majority of this cuvée is reserved for our use in the US market (18,000 to 24,000 bottles per annum).
La-Charmille Chateau La Rame Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux Rouge La Charmille: The site for this wine, known as « La Charmille », is situated on the plateau overlooking the village of Monprimblanc about 45 kilometers south of Bordeaux. The soils are a combination of sand, limestone and clay and here they are planted to Merlot (65%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (35%). The cuvaison occurs in temperature-controlled vats with a maceration on the order of two weeks. The wine is then racked into small barrels, one-third of which are new, for an elevage of 15 to 18 months. Approximately 30,000 bottles are produced, one-fifth of which (6,000) are for our use in the US
Chateau-La-Rame-Bordeaux-Rouge Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rouge: The vineyards for this lovely red are at the base of the hillside vineyards of the estate in the village of Sainte Croix du Mont and are composed of sand, limestone and clay. The grape varieties are Merlot (60%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) and the average age of the vines is thirty (30) years. The wine is fermented and aged in temperature-controlled vats and is bottled usually one year after harvest. Approximately 40,000 bottles are produced and we reserve 12,000 bottles for the US market.
Chateau-La-Rame-rose Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rosé: This wine is a relatively recent addition to the range of wines produced at La Rame. The grapes are sourced from a two hectare parcel of younger vines (20 years of age as of 2011) that are on the flanks of a hill that descends towards the Garonne River in the village of Sainte Croix du Mont. The wine is produced via the direct-press method and is fermented in temperature-controlled vats for six months before it is bottled and released in the spring following the harvest. The grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) and Merlot (20%). About 15,000 bottles are produced annually and we reserve 4200 for our use in the USA.
Download Chateau-La-Rame tech sheet
Domaine NameCHATEAU LA RAME
Family/Owners NameARMAND
How many years has the family owned the domaine?About 100 years
How many generations?8 GENERATIONS
How many hectares of vines are leased?45 HECTARES
How many hectares of vines are owned?50 HECTARES
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?NO
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).WE TAKE PRIDE IN OUR RESPECT FOR THE VINES AND ACCOMPANY THEM ALL THROUGH THEIR NATURAL GROTH CYCLE. FOR THIS WE ARE VIGILANT, IT IS A DAILY TASK. RESPECTING THE VINES IN THIS WAY, AS WELL AS THEIR ECOSYSTEM, TOGETHER WITH WONDERFUL SOILS “TERROIR” WE OBTAIN AUTHENTIC WINES. ALL THESE TASKS IN THE VINES ARE CARRIED OUT MANUALLY: PRUNNING, LEAF THINNING, DE-BUDDING, TRELLISING, HARVEST
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.NO
Bordeaux blanc secChâteau La Rame 2016
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationBordeaux blanc sec
Cepage/Uvaggio75% sauvignon blanc, 25% Semillon
%ABV0.13
# of bottles produced30000
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsDarrous
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth Slope 5%
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)15 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/Ha
Approximate harvest date(s)September 1-15
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 : historical vintage. Perfect weather conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Three different periods: Humid period from January 1st to June 20 : Quantity. More than 800 mm of rain in only 6 months. The vine that likes water, grows well, generous with foliage and fruits. The flowering time start around June 10th with the sunshine. Dry period from July 1st to September 13 : Powerful Hot and dry summer, one of the driest in the last 100 years, which brings tannins in the fruits and the month of August brings them quality. Indian summer from September 15 to late October: elegance. 2 wonderful months for a perfect ripeness. Alternation of cool nights and sunny days refine slowly the tannins of the « grands terroirs ». This vintage is more on the freshness but also generous, powerful and elegant. Pale colour with grapefruit, passion fruit, mango and pineapple aromas. Nice freshness and soft in the mouth.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel and concrete tank with temperature control
Duration of contact with lees 3 months with regular stirring
Select or indigenous yeast? indigenous yeasts
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Cold stabilizing (6°C) after fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank
Duration of elevage3 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketMin 2 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining with bentonite at the end of the fermentation. Tangential filtration after the harvest and plate filtration before the bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?At the end of the fermentation: 4g/HL. At the bottling : 25 mg/l free SO2
Bordeaux rosé
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationBordeaux rosé
Cepage/Uvaggio40% Merlot, 60% Cabernet sauvignon
%ABV0.125
# of bottles produced12000
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsDarrous
Exposures and slope of vineyardsTable-land
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)42998
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 : historical vintage. Perfect weather conditions.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Three different periods: Humid period from January 1st to June 20 : Quantity. More than 800 mm of rain in only 6 months. The vine that likes water, grows well, generous with foliage and fruits. The flowering time start around June 10th with the sunshine. Dry period from July 1st to September 13 : Powerful . Hot and dry summer, one of the driest in the last 100 years, which brings tannins in the fruits and the month of August brings them quality. Indian summer from September 15 to late October: elegance. 2 wonderful months for a perfect ripeness. Alternation of cool nights and sunny days refine slowly the tannins of the « grands terroirs » This vintage is more on the freshness but also generous, powerful and elegant. Pale and vivid pink colour with raspberry and wild strawberry flavours. Acid notes and freshness in the mouth.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel and concrete tanks with temperature control
Duration of contact with lees 45 days with stirring
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Cold stabilizing (6°C) after fermentation.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Stainless steel tank
Duration of elevage3 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketMin 2 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining with bentonite at the end of the fermentation. Tangential filtration after the harvest and plate filtration before the bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?After fermentation 4 to 5 g /Hl. At the bottling : 26mg/l free SO2
WINE 1Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rouge
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationBordeaux rouge
Cepage/Uvaggio50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet sauvignon
%ABV0.13
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsDarrous
Exposures and slope of vineyardsTable-land
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)35 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)20 sept-15 oct
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison35 days
Duration of skin contact21 jours
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Punching-down
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Pumping-over
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationMalolactic fermentation in tank
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Oak barrels 10%. Stainless steel tanks 90%
Duration of elevage18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketmin 3 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeVegetal fining agent (green peas, potatoes) Tangential filtration after the harvest and plate filtration before bottling.
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?After malolactic fermentation : 4 g/hl. At the bottling : 25mg/l free SO2. At release : 22mg/l
Wine 2Château La Rame La Charmille 2014
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationCadillac Côtes de Bordeaux
Cepage/Uvaggio50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet sauvignon
%ABV0.13
Soil Types(s)Clay-limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)35-45 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)20 sept-15 oct
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2014
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?Good weather conditions in spring, but the summer was gloomy. The 2014 life-cycle was punishing for the vine and the vinegrowers. July was cold – far below normal season – and August was very rainy. But September saved this vintage with a dry, sunny and hot weather (30°c). Thanks to this weather, the grapes can ripen successfully. This nice weather has also stopped all the sanitary degradation in the plots. Finally, quantity and quality were present for this vintage. The grapes harvested have a good potential to produce powerful wines with good balance between sugar and acidity. The 2014, could make forget a difficult 2013 vintage, resulting in low yields. 2014 should recover the stocks, which have never been so low for years.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank
Duration of cuvaison35 days
Duration of contact with lees21 days
Duration of skin contact21 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Indigenous yeasts
PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE:Punching-down
pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationPumping-over. Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Oak barrels, about 30% of new barrels every year.
Duration of elevage18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketmin 4-6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeVegetal fining agent (green peas, potatoes). Tangential filtration after the harvest and plate filtration before bottling.
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?At the end of the malolactic fermentation : 4 g/hl. At the bottling : 25 mg/l free sulfur
WINE 3Sainte Croix du Mont: Château La Rame Réserve du Château 2014
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationSainte Croix du Mont
Cepage/Uvaggio100% Semillon
%ABV0.135
Grams of Residual Sugar 160g/l
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLa Rame
Exposures and slope of vineyards South, Slope 10%
Soil Types(s)Fossilized oysters, limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)40 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)October (3-6 sorting)
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGEGold colour. Pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, mango and orange flavours.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?On the palate, well-balanced, fresh and rich.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedBerries picked one by one. Botrytized berries
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeBarrels
Select or indigenous yeast? Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Racking
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Barrels with 30% new
Duration of elevage18-24 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketmin 6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeTangential filtration after harvest and plate filtration at bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?At the end of the fermentation : 20g/Hl. At bottling : 35mg/l free sulfur
WINE 4Sainte Croix du Mont Château La Rame Tradition 2014
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationSainte Croix du Mont
Cepage/Uvaggio100% Sémillon
%ABV0.135
Grams of Residual Sugar 140g/l
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsLa Rame
Exposures and slope of vineyardsSouth, Slope 10%
Soil Types(s)Fossilized oysters, limestone
Average vine age (per vineyard)40 years
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)5000 vines/ha
Approximate harvest date(s)October (3-6 differents sorting)
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
% whole cluster, % destemmedSuccessive sorting
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeConcrete tank
Duration of cuvaisonNo cuvaison
Duration of contact with leesDuré de 15 jours en contact avec les lies (correspondant à la fermentation)
Select or indigenous yeast? Indigenous yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. Racking
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)50% in tanks and 50% in barrels (30% new barrels)
Duration of elevagemin 18 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US market min 6 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeTangential filtration after the harvest and plate filtration at the bottling
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?At the end of the fermentation : 20g/hl. Adjustment at the bottling if necessary. At release : SO2 35 to 40 mg/l free SO2

12 Bargain Bordeaux Wines to Drink at Thanksgiving

White and red, Bordeaux bargains abound. Here are 12 elegant, affordable picks. RAY ISLE October 09, 2018 French wine for Thanksgiving? Sacrilege! Why not drink something all-American, like Zinfandel … oh wait, that probably has its origins in Croatia, where it’s known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. The truth is, almost all of the wine we drink […]

0 comments

La Rame rosé wrap-up

Although Chateau La Rame is most renowned for its impeccable botrytized sweet wines (arguably the greatest producer in the appellation of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont), they produce dry wines of terrific balance and outstanding value. Their 2016 Bordeaux Rosé is a trace lighter in color than previous vintages–more a shimmering silvery salmon than a bright pink. Produced from […]

0 comments
Print This Page Print This Page