Château Guiraud Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 1er Cru Classé 2001

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Château Guiraud

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Beschrijving van Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 1er Cru Classé 2001

History Château Guiraud was known as "Bayle" in the 19th century, the origin of the name rather vague. The earliest recorded proprietors were the "Essenhault" family and when their domaine was partitioned in 1729, the Bayle parcel fell into the hands of the "de Mons". The estate was then acquired by "Pierre Guiraut" who lent his name to the vineyard and it was his grandson by the same name who sold it to a consortium entitled "Depons and Co." in 1846. In the 1855 Classification, Château Guiraud was declared a Premier Cru but just three years later the estate was resold to a bon-viveur by the name of Félix Solar. He was declared bankrupt in 1861 and was forced to sell Guiraud to "Pierre Schroeder" of the Bordeaux negotiants "Schroeder & Schyler". But within a year they had sold it to the Bernards. The Bernards were an affluent Jewish family who had made a fortune in heavy industry, renowned for constructing the dockyards in the city of Bordeaux. They invested heavily into the estate; expanding the vineyard, constructing a Château building and modernizing the chai. Guiraud entered its zenith during the Bernard aegis, challenging even Château d'Yquem at the turn of the century. Through marriage the estate passed to the Maxwell family whose dynasty was cut-short in 1932 following a run of catastrophic vintages. The purchaser was the notorious Paul César Rival, an egocentric, cantankerous man with a passion for flying; so much so that he constructed a landing strip in the middle of the vineyard and succeeded in crashing his plane amongst the vines of Château d'Yquem. Although he initially took care of Guiraud, the building was occupied and desecrated by the Germans during World War II and thereafter Rival became a hermit within the confines of his Château, which gradually fell into disrepair. Accordingly the quality of Château Guiraud waned; wine lying moribund in concrete vats for years accompanied by irregular bottling of each vintage. Rival eventually, perhaps reluctantly, decided to sell up and in order to exploit its value, instigated a radical replanting program, including 12 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc. It was finally sold to the Narby family in 1981. The 28-year old Hamilton Narby, a man surfeit with entrepreneurial zeal and set to the chaotic, ruinous Château, revelling the challenge of restoring this decayed beauty. He reconstructed the Château building to make it inhabitable for his family, installed stainless-steel tanks, new oak barrels for maturation and a laboratory. The aging staff were politely moved on and an emerging, younger generation of vignerons took their place. Hamilton Senior took over from his son in 1988 and appointed Xavier Planty to manage the estate on his behalf. Monsieur Planty (who I am convinced I have met but cannot remember when or where) remains in situ to this day. The Vineyard Château Guiraud actually lies in the town of Sauternes. The estate encompasses 128 hectares which includes 98.21 hectares under vine: 85 hectares for Sauternes AC and the rest producing dry white Bordeaux named "Le G de Guiraud". The vineyard lies on a mostly sandy/gravel soil with a heterogenous sub-soil of red clay, marl and gravel. As previously mentioned there is a relatively high proportion of Sauvignon Blanc planted: 35% of the vineyard with the remainder devoted to Semillon (the average for Sauternes is 10% Sauvignon Blanc.) Château Guiraud has experienced a myriad of cépages over the century and in the 1920's the vineyard even included a little "Metternach" or "Riesling" (which was eventually outlawed in the 1930's.) Following Rival's ill-advised Sauvignon Blanc replanting in the 1970's, this grape varietal constituted 70% of the vineyard. Although this acreage has halved in recent years, it still leaves the current owners with a surplus of Sauvignon Blanc: hence the dry white Bordeaux that puts the excess to good use. The planting density is 6,660 vines per hectare with an average age of 35 to 40 years using Riparia 33 09 and 101 14 rootstock. Yields are kept low at around 12hl/hc. Vinification Between two and six tries are carried out by 120 workers to select the appropriate berries affected by noble rot. Berries must show a minimum of 20° alcohol to achieve the style of wine they demand. Four pneumatic presses are used to crush the grapes, each batch comprising the fruit from one of 74 individual plots within the vineyard. The must is transferred by gravity into underground 25 hectolitre stainless-steel tanks, each one containing a separate "batch" of wine. The must is then transferred by air pressure into barrels where fermentation takes place over a period of one to two months. The wine is then matured in barrel for 18 to 24 months before fining, filtration and bottling. One tenet at Guiraud is the minimal use of sulphur dioxide (SO2), preferring to use inert gases to prevent oxidisation. They also vehemently oppose modern techniques such as cyroextraction or the more prevalent use of chaptalization, both practices regarded as flagrant abuse of the terroir. Giuraud abides by the rules of nature, rather than chemistry and physics. Approximately 2,500 cases of Grand Vin are produced per annum along with a second wine named "Le Dauphin du Château Guiraud." The Wines I have a lot of time for Château Guiraud, which I guess is the first sweet Sauternes that ever passed my lips. It is a powerful, rich, honeyed wine and I bet that many wine aficionados are oblivious to the high percentage of Sauvignon Blanc in the blend. I, for one cannot detect any gooseberry or cut grass flavours: a result of the meticulous practices at Guiraud that ensure only the ripest grapes find themselves in the Grand Vin. There are several vintages that have been outstanding: 1986, 1996, 1999 and 2001 are all fabulous and should find homes in most wine-lovers cellars. Some Sauternes, even if they are well-balanced and well-made, can lack a little personality. Not Guiraud: there is always something going on in this wine and Xavier Planty's adherence to natural wine-making means that the vicissitudes of the vintage are translated into the wine, each year slightly different from the last. A highly recommended Sauternes. Bron: Wine-Journal

Wijnhuis Château Guiraud

Château Guiraud, voorheen La Maison Noble du Bayle, was eigendom van de familie Mons de Saint Poly. Wanneer de eigenaar, Pierre Guiraud, overlijdt gaat het wijnhuis naar zijn zoon Louis. Hij zorgt ervoor dat het wijnhuis groeit. In 1855 is het een prestigues en bekend wijnhuis. In 2006 werd het wijnhuis verkocht aan vier personen, waaronder drie wijn makers. Ze delen de passie voor wijn, gastronomie en natuur en dat heeft ertoe geleid dat ze het wijnhuis overnamen. Het wijnhuis verbouwt de druivensoorten Semillon, Sauvignon.  

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Château Guiraud Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 1er Cru Classé 2001

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