Château Le Puy, VdF 'Emilien' 2018
An iconic organic Bordeaux, pure fruited and surely long lived. Benchmark wine here! Look I normally wouldn't be so gushing about Bordeaux, it's not usually my cup of tea. But every time Emilien gets opened it's the best wine at the table. Remarkable what they have and are achieving at this property.
Le Puy are an outstanding producer from Bordeaux, with their entire estate farmed organically. A blend of 85% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec and 1% Carménère; Emilien is matured in oak barrels and casks for 24 months. This is one of the truly outstanding wines of Bordeaux, with supreme drinkability at all stages of its maturation. Black and redcurrant fruits predominate, with occasional notes of undergrowth and mushroom. Tannins are rounded, and the body medium. A must try.
Producer: Château le Puy
Region/Country: Côtes de Bordeaux, France
Grape/s: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Production Method: Organic and biodynamic viticulture. Fermented in older foudre before maturation in neutral Bordeaux barrels
Style: Soft and approachable yet with ample Bordelais structure
Pairing Suggestion: Versatile wine, with body to match more robust dishes
Profile: Commonly known as a famous blending partner to Cabernet Sauvignon in Bordeaux, it is in fact the most widely planted variety in the region. On the Right Bank, in the communes of Pomerol and St-Emilion, Merlot is at home, and produces some of the world's greatest red wines. It is typically soft and plush, with moderate acidity and ripe tannins. The fruit profile is plummy and generous, and with low yields achieves great concentration. In the hands of top producers, often with a smattering of the Cabernets added, it is capable of producing wines of eminent drinkability and longevity.
Classic Regions: Bordeaux (France), Coonawarra (Australia), China
Chateau le Puy
Hard to know what to say about this estate, every man and his dog has already had a stab. I'll keep it personal to begin with. Although Bordeaux, and the Right Bank in particular, was one of the first proper regions I visited and fell in love with, I ended up never drinking the stuff. Where I worked and learnt the trade was pro-Burgundy, and there's no room for the other B-word. Anyway, I went to a dinner one night, all wines were served blind, and someone had brought an older Barthélémy, mid-90's or something. It proceeded to smoke everything, looking fresh as a daisy, no one picked the decade. What a wine. Now I drink anything from Le Puy on sight. This 400 year old property is as "natural" as they come, a big stretch in this part of the world. Biodynamic farming, moving further toward permaculture. Wild ferments, minimal if at all existent SO2 additions. Not sure what else to say. Iconic. We're blessed they're located in the Francs Côtes de Bordeaux rather than a stones throw away in Pomerol, no one would be able to afford the wines.