Didier Miqueu and Stephan von Neipperg acquired a magnificent vineyard with some of the best terroir in Lussac-Saint–Émilion in 2007. The vines are located in an area of great archaeological interest encompassing the former Gallo-Roman villa of Lucciacus, from which the name Lussac is derived. Digs in the vicinity prove the property's ancient wine growing vacation and long, rich history.
Château Croix du Rival has twenty hectares of vines, some of which are over 50 years old. The clay-limestone soil is entirely comparable with that of the Saint–Émilion plateau where the finest great growths are located. The Croix du Rival (or "Rival Cross") overlooks the vines. Such crosses are numerous in Saint–Émilion and helped mark the way for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela.
- Vineyard: 12 ha
- Soil: Clay/Limestone Plateau
- Average Age of the Vines: 25 years
- Grape Varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Production: 60,000 bottles
- Winemaker/Consultant: Count Stephan von Neipperg
- Winemaking: Maceration lasting 3-4 weeks in temperature-controlled concrete vats. Extraction with pigeage (breaking up the cap) and pumping over. Malolactic fermentation in barrel.
- Ageing: On the lees, in 30-40% new french oak barrels, 12-18 months.
90% Merlot - 10% Cabernet Franc
In the RIVAL vineyard, Stephan von Neipperg has identified two exceptional plots: a light clay and gravel surface with limestone rock outcropping in places. In 2009 these two parcels, hardly four hectares in size, produced grapes of exceptional quality. The resulting wine confirmed these grapes’ incredible potential: power and length, great structure and velvety tannins still in their youth, with a complex, aromatic finish.
“...one of the fi nest Lussacs I’ve tasted, the equal of a great Saint–Émilion... dense ruby/purple color, notes of kirsch and cassis, earthy and spicy with a good minerality; the wood is well-incorporated; freshness, precision, power and richness…”
Robert M. Parker, Jr. – The Wine Advocate