Cadillac, Loupiac & Sainte-Croix-du-Mont

  • By Jacky Blisson MW
  • 01 Dec 2020
  • 5 MIN
  • Level 201
Made possible by
Loupiac - Credit : Sweet Bordeaux

On the eastern bank of the Garonne river, at the southern end of the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux AOP, lie three appellations prized for their elegant and balanced sweet wines. The riverside location of Cadillac, Loupiac, and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, coupled with their gentle slopes and temperate maritime climate are the ideal conditions for the development of beneficial Botrytis cinerea. 

Cadillac AOP

The vineyards of Cadillac spread across 22 villages directly south of the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux appellation. 140 hectares of vines are planted here on rolling hillsides. Approximately 70% of the crop is Sémillon, with Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Gris as secondary grape varieties. Cadillac features well-drained soils that vary in composition from areas of predominantly limestone-clay to gravelly beds. The best vineyards are located on south to southeast facing slopes. 

The intensity of Botrytis in Cadillac wines varies from vintage to vintage, and across the region. Appellation rules stipulate that the wines must be late harvested, in successive passes, when they reach a minimum must weight of 255 grams/litre (g/l). Yield levels are restricted to a maximum of 37 hectolitre/hectare (hl/ha). This is the only AOP to sell exclusively estate-bottled wines. According to the Vins de Bordeaux, Cadillac wines have delicate floral, lemon, and yellow fruit aromas. They are vibrant and fruity on the palate, with an opulent mouthfeel and sweet finish.

Notable Producers

  • Chateau Biac
  • Chateau Tanesse
  • Château Peybrun
  • Château Renon
  • Château Laubes
  • Château La Croix Bouey
  • Château Les Bertrandes
  • Château Suau 

Loupiac AOP

Loupiac is located 40 km southeast of the city of Bordeaux, nestled between Cadillac to the north and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont to the south. This is a slightly larger appellation than Cadillac, with roughly 310 hectares under vine. Terroir varies in terms of vineyard orientation, soil composition, and micro-climates. The most prized vineyard sites are found on the slopes rising up from the banks of the Garonne river, where the morning mists induce heavier, more consistent levels of Botrytis. The chalky-clay soils here are said to bring a stony mineral nuance to the wines. 

Appellation rules are similar to Cadillac in terms of handpicking of late harvested grapes, however the minimum must weight is slightly lower: 229g/l (245g/l for Sémillon). A maximum yield of 40hl/ha is permitted. A typical Loupiac wine blend is composed of 80% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc (and/or Gris), and 5% Muscadelle. Vins de Bordeaux describes sweet white wines from Loupiac as being spicy and refined with a generous palate profile and honeyed sweetness. These are wines that improve with moderate-term ageing.

Notable Producers

  • Château Dauphine Rondillon - Vignobles Darriet 
  • Château du Cros
  • Château Jean Fonthenille
  • Château les Roques
  • Domaine du Noble
  • Château Grand Peyruchet

Sainte-Croix-du-Mont AOP

Sainte-Croix-du-Mont is a sweet white wine appellation south of Loupiac. Its 330 hectares of vines are planted on a hilly terrain of mainly chalky clay with a limestone bedrock. Vast quantities of fossilized oyster shells dating back over 22 million years cover the plateau of Sainte-Croix-du-Mont.

Appellation rules here match those of Loupiac in terms of handpicking of late-harvested grapes. The minimum must weight is 229g/l (245g/l for Sémillon). A maximum yield of 40hl/ha is permitted. Sémillon generally makes up 85% of blends, with small volumes of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Gris for added vibrancy and aromatic lift.Tasting notes from Vin de Bordeaux depict these wines as age-worthy and luscious, developing intriguing honeyed, toasty, dried fruit aromas over time.

Notable Producers

  • Château La Caussade
  • Château Coulac
  • Château La Rame
  • Château Roustit
  • Château Lousteau
  • Château Crabitan Bellevue

Loupiac - Credit : Sweet Bordeaux