The Pommier family acquired a vineyard called Vrai Caillou in Entre-deux-Mers in 1879. They now own around 100 hectares of vines, which produce excellent red and white basic Bordeaux. In 1990 Michel and Odette Pommier were able to make a long-held dream come true: they acquired almost seven hectares of excellent soils in Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, a commune belonging to the Saint-Émilion appellation, in addition to their extensive vineyard holdings – which are now managed by their daughter. They invested in a cellar and christened their wine Darius – commemorating not only a Persian king who lived around 500 BC, but also one of their grandchildren, whose mother comes from Iran. Since then some of the Château's wines have been among the 200 or so that are marketed as Saint-Émilion Grand Cru.
Darius is 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet franc. The vines are 40 years old on average. They are cultivated naturally: the soil between the rows of vines is grassed over. The harvest quantity of 35 to 40 hectolitres per hectare is below the permitted yields, which ensures that the wines are naturally concentrated. Great care is also taken in the cellar. The wine is aged in small oak barrels, but to avoid woody notes the proportion of new barrels is limited to only 30%.
With Darius the family proves that a classic Saint-Émilion – full of character, and vinified according to the rules of contemporary winemaking – does not necessarily have to cost a fortune.