Château Moulin du Cadet | Estate winery in Saint-Emilion on the Bordeaux region’s right bank.

Owner | The Lefévère family since 2015.

Background | In 2002 Alain Moueix and his sister Isabelle Blois (née Moueix, having married Pierre Blois) took over the running of the Château Moulin du Cadet on behalf of their father Jean-Jacques Moueix when the latter’s rental agreement with Ets J-P Moueix ended (see also Château Fonroque). This rental agreement had begun in 1979. In 2015 Château Moulin du Cadet was sold to the Lefévère family who own other properties in Bordeaux.

Terroir | The Moulin du Cadet vineyard is directly north of the town of St-Emilion, on the (Plateau de Cadet, a bump of limestone which is the most exposed limestone area in Saint-Emilion. It was once decorated with a windmill and enjoyed strategic importance in the 18th century when the area was owned by the de Fontémoings (who also controlled what is now Château Canon).

Vineyards | There are 4.60 hectares (11.4 acres) of vines, 100% Merlot. There are 3.34 hectares (8.25 acres) on the limestone plateau (Merlot) and 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres) on sandier soil (Merlot) where the terrain dips.

Biodynamics | Biodynamic practices were first used at Château Moulin du Cadet in November 1995 when the estate was being managed by Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix. First, a one-hectare (2.47-acre) plot of Merlot on sandy soil was converted, with another 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres) on clay limestone following the next year. Pierre-Michel Falquier did the practical side, while Nicolas Joly advised. In 1996 this plot was the first to finish its malolactic fermentation, and produced the wine with the highest sugar levels. From 1996-2002 the vineyard was farmed part biodynamically and part conventionally under Ets J-P Moueix. From 2004 under Alain Moueix the Merlot on the plateau was farmed biodynamically, with advice from Jacques Mell, the rest was farmed organically. Stinging nettle teas were sprayed on the vines to help correct iron deficiencies causing chlorosis (see plant-based teas). From 2005 the entire vineyard was farmed Biodynamically. Alain Moueix told me it took 2 mornings or 2 afternoons to spray the vines with the Biodynamic field spray preparations 500, 501 and 508 (Telephone conversation with Alain Moueix on Wednesday morning 28th January 2004)

Certification | 2006 Full Biodynamic certification from the SIVCBD (via Agrocert) for the the first time. 2015 The new owners appear to have dropped out of both France’s national organic certification and the SIVCBD’s Biodynamic certification. | 2017 Listed as certified Biodynamic by the SIVCBD on 30 September 2017 (but with Alain and Isabelle Moueix given as the contacts). 

Winemaking | Square cement vats with temperature control. Under Alain Moueix 2002-2015 the winemaking here was similar to what it was at Château Fonroque. The winemaker was Laurent Nougaro with whom Alain Moueix worked at Château Mazeyres in Pomerol.

Wines

Saint-Emilion AOC, Château Cadet Fontpère | Grand Cru. | 2003 Nice crisp fruit at Millésime Bio January 2006.

Saint-Emilion AOC, Château Moulin du Cadet Grand Cru Classé. |The grand vin.

1995 ‘Full-bodied, robust, packed with fruit,’ says Stephen Brook (2007, p.433). | 1999 Hit by hail on 5th September. | 2002 ‘Rich, full-bodied, rounded yet accessible and long,’ says Stephen Brook (2007, p.433). | 2003 First year of conversion to organics. Hot vintage. Rich, tannic, but not hot or stretched at Millésime Bio 2006. ‘Rather dilute and feeble,’ says Stephen Brook (2007, p.433). | 2004 Second year of conversion to organics. Crisp with delicious fruit at Millésime Bio 2006. | ‘Sound but very tannic and lacks persistence,’ says Stephen Brook (2007, p.433). | Broad, nicely evolving red fruit, just about ready (tasted with Marc Halverscheid in Mannheim, Saturday evening 11th May 2013. | 2005 First vintage with full organic certification. Bright, new oak, lovely texture at Millésime Bio 2006. | ‘Despite rather low acidity, the 2005 is mouth-filling and concentrated and shows great promise,’ says Stephen Brook (2007, p.433). | 2007 Lovely clarity and typicity, youthful but could be drunk now, red plum and terroi. (at Return to Terroir, Melbourne 15th March 2011). | 2008 More depth than 2007, gravelley (at Return to Terroir, Melbourne 15th March 2011).

Bibliography

Stephen Brook, The Complete Bordeaux (Mitchell Beazley, 2007).