Red, Ready, but will keep

2011 Château Puygueraud, Bordeaux Côtes de Francs

2011 Château Puygueraud, Bordeaux Côtes de Francs

Red | Ready, but will keep | Ch. Puygueraud | Code:  23430 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Fronsac | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews

The Wine Advocate


The Wine Advocate - Another strong effort from Puygueraud (the birthplace of the Thienpont family), the 2011 was fashioned from modest yields of 35 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec came in at 14.5% natural alcohol. The wines dense blue/purple color is accompanied by copious aromas of blueberries, blackberries, charcoal and graphite. Clearly performing well above its modest pedigree, this sleeper of the vintage possesses medium to full body, beautifully pure fruit, and a decades worth of drinkability.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 26/04/2012

The Producer

Ch. Puygueraud

Ch. Puygueraud

Georges Thienpont, of the great wine-making family in Bordeaux, purchased Château Puygueraud, located in the Cotes de Francs wine appellation, in 1946. The vineyards had been devastated by the two World Wars, and so the land was initially used to grow cereal and farm cattle.
In 1979, he started to replant the vineyards, and in 1983 he was joined by his son Nicolas Thienpont to help produce the first vintage.

The vineyard comprises 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec grapes. The soil consists of clay and limestone, with chalky subsoil. Vines are planted with a vine density of 4,500 vines per hectare.

In 2013, Château Puygueraud launched Puygueraud Blanc, a Bordeaux AOC white wine. The white grapes are composed of 55% Sauvignon Gris and 45% Sauvignon Blanc, representing the highest percentage of Sauvignon Gris used in Bordeaux. Château Puygueraud also produces Cuvée George, as a tribute to George Thienpont, which is a blend of Malbec and Cabernet.

Nowadays, Nicolas manages not only Château Puygueraud, but also several well-known St Emilion estates such as Berliquet and Larcis Ducasse.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

The Region



Fronsac and its premium wine sub-appellation Canon-Fronsac lie in a serene landscape on the northern banks of the Dordogne, to the east of Libourne. Due to its proximity to that town and, thus, the presence of the major houses of Pomerol (most notably Jean-Pierre Moueix), the wines are considered to offer a good-value alternative to that appellation. In fact, in terms of style, the wines probably have more in common with St Émilion, having a fresh, crisp-fruit profile from clay and limestone soils, dominated by Merlot.

Only about half a million cases are produced in Fronsac, with Canon-Fronsac, from vineyards only around the villages of Fronsac and St Michel de Fronsac, contributing a further 150,000 cases. J-P Moueix owns or manages several properties in the region, the renowned oenologist Michel Rolland owns Ch. Fontenil, and Ch. du Gaby is also highly recommended.

Recommended Châteaux : Ch. Fontenil, Ch. du Gaby, Ch. Canon

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