2017 Chateau La Fleur 'Garderose'
Region: St.Emilion < Bordeaux <France
Grapes: 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Franc
Vineyard/cellar stats: Certified organic, biodynamic practices; gravel, clay, silex soils; fermented in cement tanks, then aged in bottle for 12 months; unfined/unfiltered, minimad added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Christophe Pueyo
Bordeaux is beyond a doubt one of the most prestigious wine making regions in the world, churning out wines that are idolized and hoarded -- and among the most expensive wines in the world. However, like many famous regions whose fortunes rely on reputation and scores to command the big bucks, consistency is key, and vignerons use all the tools at their disposal to achieve this. Which means conventional farming, additives, and other practices that manipulate the wine into the estate's signature "recipe" are common.
However, in recent years there's been a bit of revolution among the vignerons in Bordeaux in response to the over-oaked, over-marketed and often uninspired wines, as well as an awakening to more conscious farming and winemaking practices. Leading the charge is a group of smaller vignerons in St. Emilion determined to bring back a sense of terroir to the region, along with organic/low-intervention practices, and Chateau La Fleaur Garderose is at the helm.
Chateau La Fleur Garderose is a second label of Belregard Figeac, a classic right bank estate in St. Emilion, continuously owned by the Pueyo family since 1853. Christophe Pueyo represents the new generation of winemaking in the region, having converted to organic viticulture (certified in 2010) and biodynamic since 2017, and replacing small barrique with neutral Austrian Stockinger foudres. Overall, Christophe is adopting a more gentle and natural approach, resulting in wines that still epitomize classic expressions of right bank Bordeaux, where Merlot reigns supreme, but expressing a purity of fruit and vibrant energy that is unique for the region. This is a Bordeaux that doesn't require a special occasion or event, or a fat wallet and 60 years under one's belt, to enjoy. Youthful and modern, this is plush and juicy, with black plum, black cherry and an earthy, forest floor quality that feels right this time of year. Bordeaux we actually want to drink - yay! Pair with your favorite comfort food and a nostalgic 80's movie, and let the Covid holiday stress melt away.