Andrew Guard

Bordeaux - Côtes de Francs


I have been looking for some time to find a Bordeaux to add to our portfolio of wine and after several years of searching and tasting I have found something very special indeed in Château le Puy, run by the Amoreau family since 1610.

Jean-Pierre Amoreau and his son Pascal make very pure and equisite Bordeaux wine from their estate of fifty hectares of old vines in the Bordeaux 'Côtes de Francs' region. The estate is planted mostly to Merlot but also has plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Carmenère. For white wine, only Semillon is used.

Jean-Pierre is the 15th generation of family winemakers at Château le Puy which is located between Saint Emilion and Saint Cibard and it is on the same plateau as Saint Emilion and Pomerol. The vineyards are 110 meters above sea level and the soil consists of a venerable mix of clay, flint and limestone.

Château le Puy is certified Biodynamic by Demeter and the approach to making the wines is admirable and similar to many of the other estates we import. Grapes are brought in to the winery whole and un-crushed; they are then fermented using indigenous yeasts with little or no sulfur dioxide to preserve them. Following fermentation, the wines are aged up to two years in seasoned oak casks and barrels of various sizes. When the time comes to bottle the wines, the process takes place in the middle of the lunar cycle and without any filtration. The bottles are corked and protected by a wax seal.

Unlike the majority of wine in Bordeaux that is made from blends of different grapes that are harvested, vinified and then blended together once the wines are around a year old, the wines produced at Château le Puy are blended before they even arrive at the cellar. Most of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are harvested at the same time and crushed and fermented together. Amoreau says that this technique allows for more complex textures and flavors that come from having different yeast strains on different grapes, and from different parcels.

These are special wines and an authentic expression of 'terroir' - Biodynamic agriculture, winemaker skill, soil and climate all combine to produce wines that age with grace and elegance, and with a bright acidity that keeps them fresh and alive.

These wines are, quite sincerely, a 'must' and I am delighted to be able to offer them.

Written by Andrew Guard — April 03, 2015