Sauternes… The “Gold” of Bordeaux …
Let me introduce you to one of the greatest jewelers of Sauternes …. The Chateau Guiraud (1st Grand Cru Classé of Sauternes)
Following a notary act that is in that place, the Château Guiraud was founded in 1766 by Pierre-Armand Guiraud a protestant merchant from Bordeaux.
The world of Sauternes has always claimed its Catholic faith and displayed its loyalty to the monarchy (the properties showed their desire for the restoration of the monarchy).
By building a Protestant church on his estate and opting for a black and gold label (with a non-writing calligraphy, symbol of modernism), the vineyard has posted up a clearly support to Napoleon 1st, Château Guiraud thus became a symbol of free spirit and the desire for independence. Spirit that is always present even nowadays.
In 2006 the property was bought by an industrialist, Robert Peugeot, and three winemakers, Messrs. Olivier Bernard (Domaine du Chevalier), Stephan von Neipperg (Château Canon La Gaffelière) and Xavier Planty (director of Château Guiraud. See photo), four wine lovers. They are the current owners.
So! Last Tuesday we were a small group (Miss VickyWine, Martha l’actu du vin, and me) that has been fortunate to spend a day in this property, with Mr. Planty as a guide …. The program includes breakfast, tour, barrel tasting …. (A dreams program!)
What prompted Mr Planty in wine?
Simply by chance. After his Bio studies at the Faculty of Bordeaux, and wanting a job close to nature, he chose to return to training to Château Soutard. In 1982 he joined the team at Château Guiraud.
What he look for each year when creating Château Guiraud‘ wines ?
A wine of great rectitude, the nectar in the mouth turns out to be a great wine, reflecting a precision viticulture. A “natural” wine that tends to be perfect, unpretentious winemaking … fruit of grapes to ideal ripeness.
For more details watch the video
What distinguishes Giraud from other Grand Cru Classé of Sauternes ?
Above all a meticulous and responsible respect for the ecosystem in order to have a “noble rot” (Botrytis cinerea) in the more qualitative and efficient manner possible. But it is also characterized by a great freshness, a “lightness”, a lack of flavor “jammy” … as well as an assembly with much of sauvignon blanc.
But Chateau Guiraud is also characterized in 2011 by obtaining the organic farming certification AB. Far from the marketing aspects the approach was made in order to protect the soil and ecosystem.
For the anecdote, this is the only property with a conservatory of grapes (in association with other vineyards) of vines, allowing the preservation of varieties and their reproductions.
Note that it is at the Chateau Guiraud that the very concept of “firsts” was born in 1984. The original idea was to allow traders to drip before the press, the new vintage.
Last quick tip of the week: try the wine and food pairing: Sauternes / rare oysters, you will not be disappointed by this beautiful strange alchemy.
Thanks to Mr. Xavier Planty and his team for their great hospitality.
Jonathan Choukroun Chicheportiche
1 Château Guiraud
05 56 76 61 01
Soil: a soil composition based on different plots: limestone, sandy gravel of Quaternary red clay and clayey
Three wines: Château Guiraud (1er Grand Cru Classé of Sauternes), Petit Guiraud (Sauternes), G de Guiraud (Bordeaux Blanc -dry white wine)
In Organic Farming (1er Grand Cru Classé conducted in AB).
Assembly of wines: Château Guiraud To 65% Semillon, 35% sauvignon blanc; Le Petit Guiraud 65% Semillon, 35% sauvignon blanc; le G de Guiraud 70% Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon 30% of white
Establishment of hedges and "nursery for bug" around each plot to protect the vine naturally and preserve an ecosystem in balance.
Fermentation: is for 90% in new barrels and 10% in barrels of wine
Wine maturing process : For the Château Guiraud third in new oak barrels, third in barrels of wine, and 1/3 of 2 wines in barrels for 24 months; For Le Petit Guiraud in vats and barrels for 1 year ; For Le G de Château Guiraud 1/3 new barrels, 1/3 of a wine in barrels, and third in two barrels of wine for 1 or 2 months depending on the year. It should be noted that each variety, each piece is aged separately in oak barrels, the assembly does after making.