The estate features an attractive country house with beautiful walled grounds and a view overlooking the Dordogne Valley, the village of Saint-Emilion, and (in good weather) the belltower of the church in Pomerol. The domaine’s name goes back several hundred years and is said to be due to an elderly lady who lived there. Legend has it that she used to race down the drive of the château to the stagecoach stop to hear the latest gossip. Trotte-Vieille literally means "scurrying old woman.” You can see a 15th century parchment recording the leasing of the estate at the entrance to the cellars.
Trottevieille's southwest-facing vines are located in a single block on top of the Saint-Emilion plateau. The limestone soil covers a 30 cm layer of red clay. The average age of the vines is 50 years. There is also a rare plot of pre-phylloxera Cabernet Franc dating back 1868. The few bottles produced from these grapes are not for sale. The vines are Guyot simple or Guyot double pruned, depending on the plot. Sustainable agriculture methods are employed as much as possible.
Chemical sprays are used sparingly and carefully timed for maximum effectiveness. Leaf thinning takes place in June, and there are two green harvests for low yields: only 6 or 7 bunches are left per vine. The grapes are hand picked into small crates and carefully gone over twice on a conventional and a vibrating sorting table. Winemaking begins with cold maceration (25° C) for four days, followed by 4 weeks of alcoholic fermentation during which the temperature is gradually increased. The wine is regularly pumped over. Extraction starts out very gentle at the beginning, followed by maceration at a higher temperature towards the end. Malolactic fermentation takes place half in vat and half in barrel, with regular bâtonnage for increased richness.
Trottevieille is aged for 16 months in 100% new oak barrels The château works with 10 different coopers.
Relatively rare and hard to find, Trottevieille is recognised for its elegance, roundness and very long aftertaste, as well as the fact that it is enjoyable both young and old. Trottevieille's fruit, balance, and full-bodied flavor make it highly sought-after.
Since 2003, the wine from Château Trottevieille have been superb, and well worthy of the its classification as a Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B. Denis Dubourdieu is now consulting enologist and recent vintages of Trottevieille are delicious, which was not always the case fifteen years ago.
The 2006, 2005, 2004, and 2000 Trottevieille vintages are classic Saint Emilion, a tribute to their terroir rather than overly-sophisticated winemaking. Despite a somewhat challenging vintage, 1999 Trottevieille nevertheless exemplifies the turnaround in quality desired by owner Philippe Casteja. The 1989 Trottevieille was a brilliant effort in what was a mostly mediocre period for the château. The 1964, 1961, 1947, and 1945 demonstrate Trottevieille's fantastic aging potential. Buyers should not be discouraged by the Château Trottevieille's rarity. It is well worth finding a few bottles of this elegant wine. Trottevieille has recently provided excellent value for money in the context of its classification.
Trottevieille, Vieille Dame de Trottevieille (second wine)