Very Sauvignon nose. Then quite broad and full-bodied on the palate. More acidity, please! Just a bit flat, though salty, on the finish.
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2023)
A blend of 55% Sauvignon Blanc and 45% Sémillon, the 2022 de Fieuzal Blanc exhibits aromas of spring flowers, lemon oil, al dente pear and peach with flinty hints. Juicy, round and deep, fleshy and fresh with a medium to full-bodied palate, it has a slightly phenolic finish. The aging process should reduce the slight austerity and bring more flesh and substance.
Yohan Castaing, Wine Advocate (April 2023)
About this WINE
Chateau de Fieuzal
The origins of Château de Fieuzal date back to the first stirrings of winemaking in Bordeaux’s Graves region. This Pessac-Léognan estate sits on one of the best gently sloping, gravel-outcrops in the area - long admired for its excellent drainage and heat diffusing properties. While Château de Fieuzal its known for producing some of the best white wines in Bordeaux, its reds are equally good, and in 1959 the estate was awarded the official status of Graves Grands Cru Classé.
Fieuzal is named after the family who owned the property up to 1851. The estate now covers some 75 hectares, 10 of which are used to grow white wine grapes. The current owners are Brenda and Lochlann Quinn, who hired talented young winemaker Stephen Carrier in 2007. Working closely together, they have introduced a rigorous and innovative winemaking style, and have broadened the estate’s reputation considerably. As well as hiring Carrier, the Quinns brought well-known Bordeaux winemaking consultant, Hubert de Bouärd, owner of Château Angélus, on board in 2006.
The vines at Château de Fieuzal have a current average age of 30 years, and are planted at a density of 9,000 plants per hectare. Chemical applications are kept to a bare minimum, traditional farming methods are used and grapes are picked and sorted – twice - by hand, all of which helps to preserve the purity of the fruit. Vines are managed on a plot by plot basis, essentially meaning that each undergoes tailored winemaking processes to avoid masking or muting their distinct flavours and aromas. Other developments at Fieuzal have included a restructuring of the vineyard and, in 2011, the inauguration of a new cellar, fully equipped with advanced winemaking facilities.
In 1986 a new communal district was created within Graves, in Bordeaux, based on the districts of Pessac and Léognan, the first of which lies within the suburbs of the city. Essentially this came about through pressure from Pessac-Léognan vignerons, who wished to disassociate themselves from growers with predominately sandy soils further south in Graves.
Pessac-Léognan has the best soils of the region, very similar to those of the Médoc, although the depth of gravel is more variable, and contains all the classed growths of the region. Some of its great names, including Ch. Haut-Brion, even sit serenely and resolutely in Bordeaux's southern urban sprawl.
The climate is milder than to the north of the city and the harvest can occur up to two weeks earlier. This gives the best wines a heady, rich and almost savoury character, laced with notes of tobacco, spice and leather. Further south, the soil is sandier with more clay, and the wines are lighter, fruity and suitable for earlier drinking.
Sauvignon Blanc & Sémillon
The blend used for White Graves and Sauternes and rarely encountered outside France. In the great dry whites of Graves, Sauvignon Blanc tends to predominate in the blend, although properties such as Smith Haut Lafite use 100% Sauvignon Blanc while others such as Laville Haut Brion have as much as 60% Sémillon in their final blends. Sauvignon Blanc wines can lose their freshness and fruit after a couple of years in bottle - if blended with Sémillon, then the latter bolsters the wine when the initial fruit from the Sauvignon fades. Ultimately Sauvignon Blanc gives the wine its aroma and raciness while Sémillon gives it backbone and longevity.
In Sauternes, Sémillon is dominant, with Sauvignon Blanc playing a supporting role - it is generally harvested about 10 days before Sémillon and the botrytis concentrates its sweetness and dampens Sauvignon Blanc`s naturally pungent aroma. It contributes acidity, zip and freshness to Sauternes and is an important component of the blend.