Chateau Damase, a property owned by Gerard Milhade, is primarily planted to the Merlot grape variety. The reason for this is the soil is mainly composed of clay, and Merlot thrives in these conditions, while Cabernet prefers faster draining soils. Chateau Damase has also pioneered the re-introducution of "Bordeaux's Lost Grape" - Carmenere. Carmenere makes up approximately 10% of the plantings at the chateau. Carmenere is a difficult grape to grow, and its yield vary dramatically depending on the conditions during flowering. The inclusion of Carmenere contriubtes a spicy, herbal freshness to the wine and gives it a unique Damase flavor.
The viticultural techniques employed at Chateau Damase are done with the same care and attention to detail as those practiced at classified estates in Saint-Emilion, with small modifications made to suit the terroir of Chateau Damase. At harvest, the grapes are sorted again by quality. Following a selection of the best grapes, there is 100% destemming and a gentle crushing before transferring the berries to temperature controlled vats. A traditional Bordeaux fermentation takes place. Gerard Milhade’s objective is to strike a balance between obtaining good extraction and allowing the terroir to express itself. The wine is aged in new and 1-year-old oak casks and, after a light filtration, is bottled 18 months after the harvest.
The wine has an excellent depth of color and an explosive bouquet of truffles, violets and plums. The full-bodied palate is loaded with a melange of delicious red fruits and structured with soft, supple tannins. There is good balance and a long finish - a hallmark of quality.