Château Le Puy 2016 'Emilien', Francs-Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
Château Le Puy 2016 'Emilien', Francs Côtes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
In continuous operation by the Amoreau family since 1610, this winery is on its 14th generation. Of its almost 100 hectares, only 54 are planted to the vine, the rest preserved as fields, forests, and ponds in order to maintain a natural ecological equilibrium. Located in the once renowned commune of Saint Cibard, Le Puy produces most of its wines under the Francs—Côtes de Bordeaux AOC, though, like so many of our traditional producers in the region, the estate finds itself compelled to move toward labeling its wines as Vins de France. The very existence of Château Le Puy almost defies belief. In, of all places, Bordeaux—a region that fell especially hard for the oak-and-muscles approach favored by certain critics and point-chasers over the past few decades—there exists a sizable and historic estate that is making wines true to this region’s all too often abused terroir.
- Winemaker: Amoreau Family
- Farming: Biodynamic (certified)
- Variety: Merlot (85%), Cabernet Franc (7%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Malbec (1%), Carménère (1%)
- Terroir: From parcels sitting on a plateau at the second highest point in Bordeaux (110 m), with various exposures. Red clay, silt, and limestone top soils on top of the Asteries limestone plateau that extends to Château Le Puy from Saint Émilion. 50+ year old vines.
- Vinification: Hand harvested. After total destemming, wines ferment sponta-neously in concrete vat for 2-3 weeks.
- Aging: 12 months in in century-old, 50-hl foudres, followed by 12 months in 228-l barrels, none new. Occasional egg-white fining, unfiltered. Sulfur applied only at racking, 27 mg/l total, c. 0 mg/l free
- Tasting Notes: The Emilien is neither overly exuberant nor garishly fruit-for-ward, yet deep and inviting and truly dazzling. On the palate, it is held in form by the glistening acidity that characterizes Le Puy in every vintage even as it reveals its myriad nuances of flavor and inner-mouth perfume. Drinking the Emilien is an experience that belies its makers’ trust in the health of their fruit and the natural processes that, without coercion or sculpting, transform it into wine.