Domaine les Sadons
Alain Albistur loves his old basket press: “It gives me all the control I need to get the wines just right every time”. And he can’t afford to put a foot wrong since, unbelievably, he only makes 5,000 bottles each year.
This is not a wine-crazy millionaire with a passion for “garage” Pauillac, but a seasoned professional with over 25 years’ experience working in the cellars of the famous Grand Cru Classé estate, Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste. And Alain’s father worked for decades at Château Latour before him, wine runs deep in the Albistur family, and so when Alain’s father passed away and left him a generously-sized vegetable patch between the vines of Pichon-Comtesse and Pichon-Baron, the only sensible thing to do was to plant it with vines. And so Domaine Les Sadons came to be.
The name Les Sadons refers to a measurement of land area, a reference to how much a manual labourer can cover in a certain time – “How many sadons did you do today?” – and reflects the tiny extent of the vineyard (just under one hectare). Planted in 2001 and now reaching perfect maturity, the vines are divided into three parcels, mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with some Petit Verdot. The parcels are vinified separately in small cement tanks, except for the Petit Verdot which gets special treatment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and aged in 40% new French oak before the final assemblage.
Very few such producers remain in the Pauillac appellation, and it is doubtful they will all survive as they inevitably feel the pressure to sell up to the hugely wealthy Crus Classés, always on the lookout to acquire more land, especially so in more difficult vintages. Amongst these few, Domaine Les Sadons is quite probably the best in terms of quality, as an article in Decanter magazine in early 2017 would suggest.
We are privileged to have a regular but very limited allocation of Domaine Les Sadons for export, the only négociant company to offer this wine.
|Domaine Les Sadons, Pauillac, 2014|
|Domaine Les Sadons, Pauillac, 2015|