Cotes de Blaye, Bordeaux
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours Bordeaux (Premieres Cotes de Blaye)
Certified Organic (ECOCERT) : Biodynamic (Demeter)
Chateau Peybonhomme, one of two chateau’s owned by the Hubert family (Ch. La Grolet) and is among the most important producers in Premieres Cotes de Blaye. One stormy night in December 1999 was the impetus for Jean-Luc and Catherine Hubert to convert their two vineyards to organic and to use biodynamic methods. The storm had winds up to 200 km/hr, uprooted many trees and even damaged the tower of the castle they call home. Jean-Luc describes it as “apocalyptic” and as they listened to the winds howl, the next year they stopped using chemicals and started the transition to biodynamics.
Chateau Peybonhomme is located in Bordeaux’s right bank of the Gironde, near Blaye. This organic/biodynamic vineyard is said to be on the best limestone and clay soils of the region. Jean-Luc Hubert’s desire has always been to create wines which embody the living memory of the terroir. Fifth generation winemaker, indeed, Jean-Luc Hubert is a viticulturist to whom the history and the life of the vineyard and the estate are a vital ingredient of the wine.
Weed killers are banned and products used to treat the vines are limited to sulphur and bacillus thuringiensis. The vines are only fed with natural fertilizer, rock powder, organic compost and green fertilizer. Insects help to reduce the use of fungicides including copper widely used in Organic Agriculture. The strategy focuses on maintaining the biodiversity involving the auxiliary predators of vine parasites. Indirectly, the greater level of biodiversity, the lower the doses of treatment required.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours consists of 64 hectares spread over the communes of Cars, Blaye, Plassac and Berson, with South/South-West exposure on the “premiers” slopes dominating the “Gironde” river. 75% Merlot, 10% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet-Franc, 5% Malbec. Average age of vines is 30 years. Manual sorting of the harvest, 100% destemmed, temperature control, approximately 3 weeks of fermentative maceration, the wine is aged for one year in oak barrels before being bottled.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours Premieres Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux red, their flagship wine, Merlot 75%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, Cabernet Franc 8% and Malbec 2%. Clay-rich soil with the highly chalky subsoil and moderate yields. Very gentle maceration and fermentation achieved with native yeasts, the wine is aged in barrels.
Chateau Peybonhomme-Les-Tours, “Le Blanc Bonhomme” Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux : 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon from 5 year old vines on argilo-limestone soil. The grapes harvested manually in small boxes. Partial carbonic maceration, soft pressing. – indigenous yeasts fermentations – daily batonnage for 2 months then bi-weekly. Suffers total: 80 Mg/L. A great mineral freshness with citrus fruits perfumes. In the mouth, it is a fleshy wine with a very long finish. The semillon tends to dominate the sauvignon, adding great subtlety and complexity.
Le Clairet de Peybonhomme Bordeaux-Clairet (Rose): 100% saignee Cabernet Sauvignon, Le Clairet is a wine bled in Stainless Steel after 36 hours’ maceration. The result is a Bordeaux-Clairet wine with an intense pink color, slight vinosity with aromas of currents, cassis and cherries. 600 cs.
Quintessence de Peybonhomme, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux : The Egyptian strip which decorates the label of the ‘Quintessence de Peybonhomme’ vintage is there to remind you that in the Egypt of the Pharaohs wine was eternal. The grapes come from Chateau Peybonhomme’s oldest vines of, 85% Merlot and 15% Cabinet-Sauvignon. ‘Quintessence de Peybonhomme’ is limited to 10,000 bottles. A beautiful dusky shade fringed with purple, spicy, vanilla and violet notes with a smoky touch; in the mouth black fruits, licorice and pleasant, velvety tannins.