Château Grand Village, Blanc, 2015

  Château Grand Village

A blend of 34% Sauvignon and 66% Semillon harvested between the 5th and 9th September. There is more Semillon in the blend than usual because, in Baptiste Guinaudeau’s words, “these are the best Semillons we have produced, there was a short window to harvest them but it worked out extremely well for us.” The price to pay is quantity, with yields of up to 25% down on an average crop. The Semillon is evident here for the texture and complexity it adds to the blend. A fleshy, plump character is offset by great freshness. Notes of citrus, crushed nettle, salt and a faint touch of gooseberry. The most complex Grand Village we have tasted. A fine white Bordeaux that punches well above its weight.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Grand Village

Jacques and Sylvie Guinaudeau’s home estate is situated in the commune of Mouillac in the canton of Fronsac. Over a third of Grand Village is planted with vines in the best and most suitable plots for viticulture. The rest of the estate is woodland or is used to rear cattle or produce cereal crops. It is an enchanting estate and one that despite its lowly appellation is capable of producing excellent wines. The estate also houses the family’s massale selection nurseries. The healthy virgin soils in a rich bio-diversity provide the favourable conditions to nurture old Bouchet cuttings from Chateau Lafleur.

The same 15 strong team who tend the vines at Chateau Lafleur is responsible for the viticulture and wine-making here. With all the resources and savoir-faire of one of Pomerol’s elite estates at their disposal, it is no surprise that the wines produced at Grand Village are spectacular. From the 2013 vintage, a new cuvee produced exclusively from Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc clones has been bottled. ‘Les Champs Libres’ is a miniscule production that demonstrates the outstanding quality of the terroir and the talent and ambition of the Grand Village team. It is fermented and aged entirely in new Taransaud barrels and marries the intensity and laser like focus of great Sauvignon Blanc to the gunflint and silken texture of something altogether more Burgundian.

Appellation: Bordeaux

Although only separated by some thirty miles; the Medoc and the Right Bank are very different stylistically, historically and culturally. The left bank is dominated by Cabernet plantings, largely due to the fast draining gravel found close to the Garonne estuary. St Emilion and Pomerol are predominantly planted with Merlot and a small smattering of Cabertnet Franc. These varieties thrive on the limestone slopes and clay plateau found around St Emilion and Libourne. In the Medoc one encounters vast, fairytale Chateaux surrounded by vast, flat vineyards. The Right Bank is a little less grand with more modest Chateaux or sometimes no Chateau at all. The topography of St Emilion and Pomerol are quite varied too. The flat planes beneath St Emilion produce unexceptional wines on sandy soils. The Cote of St Emilion affords vineyards a steep southerly exposure. It is here where limestone dominates that St Emilion really shines. As one moves towards Libourne from St Emilion the vineyards gently slope up towards the plateau of Pomerol. By Bordeaux standards the vineyards on the plateau have to be considered quite high altitude... The Medoc was classified in 1855 creating a hierarchy which is still relevant today. The first growths are more sought after and command higher prices than even before. Today, one can drive the short distance from Bordeaux town to the vineyards of St Emilion in a mere 45 minutes. However, before the advent of the car, trade was reliant on the Garonne and Gironde. Therefore, although Belair and Ausone were considered to be of similar quality and shared a similar status to that of Latour, Lafite and Margaux, they were not recognised in the 1855 classification. Pomerol now enjoys a reputation as one of the most exclusive appellations in the world. Their wines are perfumed, seductive and exude breed. They boast many household names such as Petrus, Le Pin, Evangile, Conseillante, Lafleur, Eglise Clinet and Trotanoy, however, serious winemaking is relatively new to this region. Until the '40s, Sauvignon Blanc dominated plantings and the appellation was considered a rather poor neighbour to the more illustrious St Emilion. Generalisations are difficult to make in Bordeaux given the vast number of Chateaux, the multitude of microclimates, winemakers, soils, subsoils, grape varieties and winemaking techniques. However, given the dominance of Cabernet on the left bank, wines tend to be structured, cool and ageworthy, whereas the Merlot biased wines from the right bank demonstrate a fleshy, approachable character, which affords earlier drinking.

Grape Blend: Sauvignon Blanc | Semillon

The traditional dry white Bordeaux blend is usually barrel-fermented to produce a richer, less assertive, food friendly style of Sauvignon with the Semillon adding weight and flesh to the blend. The greatest, most long-lived examples are to be found in the Pessac-Léognan and Graves. The blend has been mirrored to great effect by producers in New Zealand and Australia to produce juicy enjoyable early drinking wines.