New Bordeaux - Château Séraphine
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 in News
Since his first adventure in Bordeaux as a young stagiaire (apprentice) 40 years ago, Andrew Caillard Master of Wine has been a regular visitor to Bordeaux. Once again, he is on the ground in Bordeaux for 2018 Primeurs week for Langton’s. For our 2018 En Primeur campaign, Andrew Caillard MW will taste hundreds of wines, provide his scores and identify his favourites for the vintage. Buy Château Séraphine now
Charlotte Krajewski Winemaker - Chateau Séraphine
Bordeaux nouveau - Château Séraphine
Château Séraphine is the newest Pomerol estate on the block. Comprising a 2.2-hectare parcel of vines, purchased in 2017 by Martin Krajewski, it is a vision splendide albeit in a Lilliputian way. The property is run by Charlotte Krajewski, a 30s something Plumpton winemaking graduate with tons of winemaking experience at Château des Sours in the Entre Deux Mers, Elephant Hill and Trinity Hill in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Having observed her career for quite some time now, she epitomises the ascendency of practical and highly motivated women in the world of wine. Energetic and articulate, she brings a down-to-earth highly skilled and experienced factor to her father’s magnificent yet tiny enterprise.
Andrew Caillard MW, Florian Thoelke (Senior Buyer - Langton's) & Winemaker Charlotte Krajewski
The estate is so small that Charlotte can work in all aspects of the winemaking process from vineyard work to flogging the absurdly small production around the traps. She has been given a rare jewel to polish, a task that might seemingly look like an opportunity of a lifetime, but in reality, something that goes much deeper than normal quixotic ventures. I have known Martin (and his wife Nicolette) Krajewski for almost as long as I have been coming to Bordeaux. Their Château de Sours, until it was sold to the Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma (2017), was a meeting point for many of the UK’s wine intelligentsia and artistic brethren, in many ways a post-modern salon accompanied invariably by great wine and always great company.
Martin, who made his wealth in the recruitment business aeons ago, has been a regular visitor to Australia for years and has many friends in the Australian wine industry. When we were making Red Obsession in 2011 he put our entire film crew up at Ch de Sours and in the process converted our cinematographer from the demon drink into a wine lover. His enthusiasm, generosity and love of wine is of course supported by his access to financial resources and contacts, but in the end, Martin is a good bloke with a massively creative and applied mind.
Château Séraphine Logo
Ch Séraphine highlights Martin’s longstanding dream of making something special on hallowed ground. While Pomerol, adjacent to St Emilion, does not have any classified wines, it is home to some of the greatest wine estates in the world, particularly Ch Petrus, Ch Lafleur, Ch Lafleur Petrus, L’Evangile and Vieux Château Certan. During the 1990s, Robert Parker discovered the micro-estate Le Pin, which became one of the darlings of the cult wine scene.
I had a friend who once sold a case of 1990, so he could buy a car. The idea of establishing a property in Pomerol, without Bordeaux’s stifling hierarchies steeped in politics, conservatism and traditional tribal entitlements, is practical although the return on investment will not be realised until around 2090 or thereabouts. Nonetheless, the Krajewski family are not alone. Compared to many other properties in the general area, particularly nearby St Emilion, Ch Séraphine is surprisingly modest in scale.
Ch Séraphine is named after Charlotte’s great grandmother, who originated from Poland. Her husband was in the Polish Hussars and hence the peacock’s tail moniker which officers in the Polish army typically wore before the country was subjugated by the Nazis.
Tasting table at Château Sérephine
The winery is perfectly designed to process around 6-8 tonnes of fruit each vintage. The four vats are designed to match the four parcels of vines. Although comprising the latest in technology including sorting machine and traditional basket presses, everything is pretty much done by hand or with the help of horses. The barrel cellar is about the same size as a suburban garage, with about enough space to fit a Toyota Landcruiser. 2017 comprises only four barriques and the 2018 only a little more. Without too many options for blending, Charlotte’s approach to winemaking is both fatalistic and precise. The grand vin is the priority and the proportions of each parcel are exacting.
A first look at the 2018 Château Séraphine
The 2018 Ch Séraphine is an intuitively made wine offering the aromatic complexity and richness of Pomerol yet elegance in structure and mineral length. The wine is sinuous and elemental but the wine will definitely fill out and develop with time. We will no doubt pick up a small parcel of the vintage. Availability will be quite limited, but for those who like something that reflects ambition and the romance of wine, this quixotic Pomerol could be a great addition to the cellar. Watch this space.