Legend has it that this property was originally owned by a ruthless warlord who was nicknamed “Le Noir” due to his black armour and his tendency to attack his enemies under cover of night!
Now owned by the much friendlier Ducourt family, Jacques Noir is 100% Merlot, vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel vats and then aged in oak for 12 months.
Dense red in appearance with purple hues, the nose is big and full of ripe black fruit aromas and chocolate. The palate is soft with ample fruit and good structure from the gentle tannins. The finish is long and persistent.
The origins of Fourcas Dupré can be traced back to the mid 19th century when, in 1843, the lawyer Jean Baptiste Antoine Dupré, a member of the Bordeaux Appeal Court, bought the property.
The estate is now run by Patrice Pagès, nephew of the late Marc Pagès of Château La Tour de By.
The white wine is a new departure for this fine Listrac property. It is produced from grapes from a 1.2 hectare vineyard situated on the side of the gravel ridge where most of the property’s vines are sited. 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, the grapes are hand picked and fermented in oak barriques followed by ageing in wood with regular bâtonage (lees stirring) to add real depth of flavour and mouthfeel to the wine.
Pale straw in colour, the nose is fresh with citrus notes and hints of exotic fruits. The palate is dry with full, ripe fruit supported nicely by firm balancing acidity.
The second wine of Chateau Monconseil Gazin based in the village of Plassac.
The vineyards are situated on the hillside above the village, just to the south of Blaye. Here the clay/limestone soils provide good drainage and encourage a deep root system for the vines. The vineyards have a south/south west aspect giving excellent conditions for ripening the grapes.
Fermentation is in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats followed by 12 months in mainly old oak.
A blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is very dark in the glass with lots of red berry aromas. The palate is full, with juicy fruit and firm tannins. Very well made and excellent value claret.
Based in Chavanay, Lionel Faury makes lovely wines and has definitely moved his 17 hectare family domaine to the top of the first division of Northern Rhône growers.
The steeply terraced vineyards are on granite soils and have a south/south east aspect. The grapes (100% Syrah from some of Lionel’s younger vines – 10-35 years old) are hand picked and taken to the winery where they undergo a 15-20 day maceration period in steel followed by fermentation, again in temperature controlled stainless steel, with regular pumping over 2-3 times daily. The wine is then aged for 12 months in wood, a mixture of 2,400 -,3,500 litre foudres, 570 litre demi-muids and 220 litre barriques, 155 of which are new. After pressing the wine is bottled without filtration.
The wine is deep, ruby red in appearance with a rich nose full of black fruit (blackcurrant and blackberry) and cherry aromas. The palate is ripe with good fruit flavours and warming spice supported by a firm, yet not obtrusive, tannin structure.
A 17 ha property just to the south of the village of Barsac that has been in the Guinabert family for over 350 years.
85% Semillon, 10% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle.
Pale golden straw in appearance, the nose is fresh with characteristic Botrytis honey and hints of apricots and marmalade. The palate is middle weight, not too sweet but very elegant. A delicious and very well balanced Sauternes.
The second wine of Château Climens, Cyprèe de Climens is 100% Semillon.
The history of the estate dates back to the 16th century but today it is in the ownership of the Lurton family with Bérénice Lurton currently at the helm.
The vineyards of Climens cover more than 30 hectares in one continuous vineyard surrounding the château and have an average age of 35 years.
Fermentation is in cask followed by a further 12 month period of maturation in barrel.
The wine has a lovely yellow/ amber colour with an aromatic nose, with vanilla hints, and notes of candied yellow fruits, apricot and honey. The palate is soft and rounded with excellent texture, richness and great length. A lovely Barsac.
Domaine Piétri-Géraud was created at the end of the 19th century. Today it is still owned by the family and run by two women, Maguy Piétri-Géraud and her daughter Laetitia who are the fourth and fifth generations of the family winemakers.
They cultivate 20 hectares, including 16.5 hectares on the steep slopes of the communes of Collioure and Banyuls at the eastern end of the Pyrenees.
All vineyard activities are carried out by hand and yields are low, the average being 22hl/ha. The winery is in the heart of the village of Collioure amongst terraced houses and shops.
The Collioure Blanc is a blend of 80% Grenache Gris, 15% Vermentino and 5% Marsanne. The grapes are pressed direct to temperature controlled vats for fermentation followed by 12 months ageing in new oak barrels.
Pale gold in appearance, the nose is complex with grapefruit, mango and peach notes. The palate is dry and intense with a lovely mineral backbone supporting layered fruit flavours. The finish is very long. A great seafood wine.
Thierry Hamelin’s family domaine is 36ha in the villages of Poinchy, Lignorelles and Beines. He now works with his son, Charles, who has studied oenology and worked in New Zealand and other regions.
The Premier Cru Cru Beauroy is from a 3.9ha site on steep, south facing slopes at an inclination of 30-40° on Kimmeridgian soil. The vines were planted between 1980 and 1982. This type of soil, regarded as the best in the Chablis region, contains mineral-rich clay and has a high content of marine fossils which gives the soil its high lime content. This in turn gives the wines great intensity and character.
No wood is used with the wine being fermented and aged for 12-18 months in stainless steel.
Vivid pale yellow in appearance with a hint of green, the nose is very expressive with the aromas of white flowers and fresh minerality. The palate is dry, powerful and rich with the ripe fruit supported by fine acidity and excellent minerality. A Premier Cru of great elegance and finesse.
The Hamelin’s lost over 40% of the crop in 2016 because of hail and 55% in 2017 following 5 consecutive days of frost!. So a whole vintage has been lost in 2 years.
Situated in Cadaujac, Château Lamothe-Bouscaut is an old wine estate dating back to the 17th century and beyond. The 12 hectare estate was bought by neighbouring Château Bouscaut in 1999 and is now part of the Lurton empire.
The white wine is from 35 year old Sauvignon Blanc (70%) and Semillon (30%) vines grown on limestone, clay and gravel soils.
Fermentation is in temperature-controlled stainless steel followed by 6-10 months in old oak.
Pale gold in appearance, the nose has aromas of exotic fruits and hints of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is dry, fresh and rounded with great depth and balancing acidity. The finish is very long.
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