- Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Frédéric Leydet runs the Château Leydet-Valentin and Château de Valois, both his family’s estates. The wineries are less than 3 miles from each other and they are in a top growing area of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. They are very near to Cheval Blanc, Figeac, and Angelus. The soil is composed of sand, fine gravel, and iron. Like Cheval Blanc, Valois and Leydet-Valentin also have a high percentage (nearly 25%) of Cabernet Franc planted to best express the terroir of this area.
Each winery was passed down through the generations, but it was Frédéric’s father, Bernard Leydet who started bottling from only a few hectares of vines in 1962. Over the years, he gradually purchased more vineyards and at the time of his death in 2006, they had each grown substantially: 9 hectares in Saint-Emilion and 8.5 hectares in Pomerol. Leydet was born and raised at the property and after studying vine growing and oenology, he came to work at the estate in 1996. Since he began he has introduced new practices, such as pruning and green harvesting. In 2012, he began the conversion to certified organic viticulture, receiving the certification for the 2015 vintage.
In the winery, fermentations happen naturally in tank. The wines are aged on the lees in oak barrels with no racking, a strict minimum of sulfur and no fining or filtration. The hands off approach in the cellar gives wines that feel like an ultra-tradional Bordeaux. The wines have a nice amount of fruit and earthiness, backed by structure, and tannins that are present but do not overpower.