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Wine with the Maker - Chateau Le Puy

Wine from Chateau Le Puy

Winemaker and his wine

We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Jean-Pierre and Francoise Amoreau to the office to host a tasting of the range of their wines. Along with winemaker Frederic Grappe we were introduced to their exquisite wines all of which are produced in a biodynamic manner. The winery was developed in 1610 and Jean-Pierre is now the 13th generation of his family to make wine at the site; his son Pascal is all set to lead the label into its 14th generation. With so much history, tradition and above all exceptional wines you would imagine there to be an air of arrogance surrounding the couple but it could not be further from the truth. They are proud of what they are producing but very much let the wine speak for itself. They are humble when discussing the pedigree of their wine and are approachable and amenable to discuss their techniques and biodynamic practices. Château Le Puy is located on the Right-Bank of Bordeaux just west of the town of Libourne. In ancient times this area was known as ‘The Plateau of Wonders’ because of the excellence of the wines produced. This same plateau is also home to the prestigious appellations of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. The quality of the wines is parallel with its illustrious neighbours but as the Chateau is classified as Coteaux de Bordeaux the price tag is considerably less. The wines are not fined or filtered meaning that everything that was present as fermentation ends up in the bottle. This adds to the complexity of the final wine, adds flavour and results in more of a true expression of the terroir. Fining and filtering could remove something that is intrinsic to the wine and therefore aid the maturation process. The age of the vines also adds layers to the wines. They average 50 years old and so produce lower yields of high quality concentrated Wine from Chateau Le Puyfruit. Barrel maturation is carried in mostly old (4-5 years) casks, a year in ‘futs’ of 5000 litres to gain development followed by a year in ‘barriques’ of 250 litres to add texture.

So, how does the wine taste?

Well, several wines were tasted but the one that really stood out for quality vs value for money was the Chateau Le Puy 2009. The colour is a gorgeous deep garnet that invites you in to the glass. The nose is redolent of Genoa cake, chocolate, and heaps of cherries but with a softness of strawberries and cream; very typical of a wine of this quality with 85% Merlot. The remainder is 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and unusually 1% Carmenere. The palate displays wonderful fresh cranberry acidity balanced with plummy richness, firm yet elegant tannins and a long, warming, spicy finish. An absolute delight. Chateau Le Puy is currently ‘Experts Choice’ at The Perfect Cellar so get yours before it’s all gone.  

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