Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tour and Wine Tasting Lunch at a Petit Château and Organic Producer: Château Beauséjour – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Picture: Château Beauséjour – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Ever heard of Gérard Dupuy and his Château Beauséjour in AOC Puisseguin-St.Emilion? Probably not. Unless, perhaps, you are into organic wines.

Château Beauséjour is not one of the 300 or so winemakers in Bordeaux that produce a premium Bordeaux which sells en primeur for 50 to 500 Euros per bottle. No, Château Beauséjour is one of the other 18.000 producers or so that are not in the limelight and that make so called petit château Bordeaux wines. These producers have to struggle against the competition of wines from all over the world, including the New World. In my view, many of these petit château Bordeaux producers offer very good value for the price.

As part of the attempt to offer a broad perspective, the 2015 Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours included a tour, tasting and wine lunch at Château Beauséjour, a petit château producer.

Gérard Dupuy and his partner in life and business Claire received us.

Pictures: Welcome

On that day, we visited three entirely different châteaux and had 3 entirely different experiences in in Saint-Emilion:

The first visit, Château Angélus, was to one of the most prestigious châteaux belonging to the top 1% in the rankings of Bordeaux. See here: Tour and Tasting at Château Angélus – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

The second visit, Château Beauséjour was to one of the 18,000 or so non-classified châteaux in the Bordeaux region that produce 95% of Bordeaux wines; we met a passionate winemaker who makes beautiful wines.

During the third visit, at Tertre Rôteboeuf, we met an outstanding winemaker who is a maverick and whose wines have become very expensive; unusually in this price category, he does not sell his wines through the “Place de Bordeaux” system.

For an overview about the whole tour, see: Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Pictures: Tasting a New Wine, Vintage 2015

Gérard Dupuy and his Wines

Gérard Dupuy is the owner of Château Beauséjour, located on the fringes of the village of Puisseguin, where his mother still lives, and of Château Langlais where Claire and he live. Both properties belong to the AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion. He also owns vineyards in Castillon where he produces the Domaine de la Grande Courraye, AOC Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux (red)), and in 2010 he bought vineyards in Bergerac, where he produces the Clos du Moulin – AOC Bergerac (red and white). Finally, Gérard Dupuy produces a NV sparkling wine in the champagne method, Les Bulles de Beauséjour. The winemaking facilities are at Château Beauséjour and all wines are made here.

Pictures: Gérard Dupuy and Annette and Christian Schiller at Bistro Bis in Washington DC, USA

Pictures: Sommelier Moez Ben Achour and Chef de Cuisine Paul Stearman from Marcel's, one of the Top Restaurants in Washington DC, Tasting with the Wines of Gérard Dupuy. See: From Millésime Bio in Montpellier, France, to Bistro Bis in Washington DC, USA: Gérard Dupuy and his Château Beausejour Wines in AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion

Where do Gérard Dupuy's Wine come from?

There are 4 so called satellites of the AOC Saint-Emilion, which do not have the classification system of the AOC Saint-Emilion. They are all located to the north of the town of Saint-Emilion. The 4 satellites are: AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion; AOC Saint-Georges-Saint-Emilion; AOC Montagne-Saint-Emilion; AOC Lussac-Saint-Emilion.

The AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion lies at the heart of the four satellite titles of the Saint-Emilion appellation. The grape varieties permitted are Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion produces only red wines. Merlot is predominant, most often partnered with Cabernet Franc. To qualify for the Puisseguin-St. Emilion appellation, wines must contain a minimum of 11% alcohol and come from vineyards planted to a density of less than 5500 vines per hectare. Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion was granted AOC status in 1936. 753 hectares of vine planted areas belong to the appellation.
AOC Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux lies east of the village of Saint-Emilion and north of the town of Castillon. Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux is an appellation for red wines only. The dominant grape variety is Merlot (70%). Cabernet-Franc (20%) and Cabernet-Sauvignon (10%) account for the rest.

Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux was recognized AOC only recently (1989). For a long time the wines of Castillon were only used as complementary alternatives to enhance Saint-Emilion blendings in poor years. Until 2009, these wines were sold as Côtes de Castillon. In 2009, the Côtes de Castillon appellation was merged with several other Bordeaux Côtes to form the new Côtes de Bordeaux title.

Pictures: Aperitif before Lunch

Castillon has grown from around 2,450 hectares in 1982 to 3,250 today. During the last 25 years, several growers of Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, and other famous areas have recognized the Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux’s potential and invested in local vineyards. One of them is Count Stephan von Neipperg, owner of the classified Château Canon-La Gaffelière in Saint-Emilion, (whom we also visit on the ombiasy PR Wine Tour to Bordeaux) who acquired Château d'Aiguilhe.

AOC Bergerac borders the Bordeaux wine region to the east and is situated around the town of Bergerac. There are about 30,000 acres of vineyards and the Bergerac area contains 13 AOCs for red, white and rosé wines. Red grape varieties planted are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, a little bit of Côt, Fer Servadou, Mérille. The main white grape varieties are: Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Muscadelle. Some Ugni Blanc, Ondenc, and Chenin Blanc can also be found here.

In the Vineyard

The first thing we did after arriving, was to tour the vineyards with Gérard Dupuy. The vineyard area totals 13.5 hectares. Gérard Dupuy told us that the clay and limestone soil of Château Beauséjour is planted with Merlot (73%), Cabernet Franc (22%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (5%). All grapes are organically grown, certified by Ecocert. “The refusal of chemical treatments at our wineries dates back to their appearance on the market after 1945. We practice the total grass cover. This method allows regulating the ecosystem in a monoculture, while limiting soil erosion. In our vineyards, wild tulips thrive in the vineyard rows in the spring.” The average age of the vines is 40 years.

Pictures: In the Vineyard

In the Cellar

Moving on to the cellar, Gérard Dupuy follows the natural wine philosophy: “In the cellar, we use a minimalist approach. Our wines are aged for a period of 12 to 24 months in oak barrels.” All of his wines are made at Château Beauséjour.

Pictures: Cellar Tour

Wine Lunch

Lunch was fabulous. We started out with an aperitif and then moved to the newly renovated dining area for a wonderful 3-course meal and Gérard Dupuy’s impressive wines.

The menu was prepared by the former Owner and Chef of the Auberge du Village in 33330 Saint Christophe des Bardes. It was excellent. Jane Anson on Auberge du Village in 33330 Saint Christophe des Bardes: “Just the kind of local restaurant you look for – inexpensive, simple and charming - and it’s very popular. The wine list is short, but well chosen (hard not to be when you are surrounded by Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classés) and as keenly priced as the food.”

The Wines Gérard Dupuy Poured

NV Bulles de Beauséjour Brut

2012 Clos du Moulin AOC Bergerac Blanc

Annette Schiller: When I came to Puisseguin in 2012, Gérard offered some oysters and a white wine. I liked the wine and asked, where the wine was from. With a mischievous grin he said: from here. That took me by surprise since he could only produce red wines from his vineyards as far as I knew. Then he explained with his dry humor that he loves oysters and that he simply wants a good wine in his cellar to go with his oysters. So, he bought vineyards in the AOC Bergerac to make his own white wine for his oysters. This Clos du Moulin white is a blend of 40% Sémillon 40% Muscadelle 20% Sauvignon Blanc.

2011 Clos du Moulin AOC Bergerac Rouge

This entry level red is a blend of 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is a pleasant every day wine, hearty but with a certain softness, ready to drink now. The nose of dark cherry, plum was beautiful, the finish lingering on.

2012 Château Langlais AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion
2011 Château Langlais AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion
2010 Château Langlais AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion
2009 Château Langlais AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion

2010 Château Beauséjour AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion

Annette Schiller’s notes from a tasting earlier in Washington DC: This wine was the knock off for me. The color in the glass was pitch dark, the nose of dark berries, spices, herbal notes was bewitching. This wine is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc. On the palate the wine had tension, but at the same time was gloriously harmonious with an endless finish. It was matured for 24 months in new oak and produced with almost no intervention. It was a very authentic wine reflecting at its best what is called ‘terroir’. The grapes came from 80 year old vines, planted in 1936 by Gérard’s grandfather. Harvest was at a very low yield of 30 hl / ha, and only 9,000 btl were produced.


Thank you so much Gérard and Claire.

Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction

How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Tour and Wine Dinner at Domaine de Chevalier with Director Adjoint Rémi Edange and Owner/Director Olivier Bernard – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France

Schiller's Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France

Saint Emilion Wines and their Classification, Bordeaux, France

Tour and Tasting at Château Angélus – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France

Tour and Wine Lunch at Château Beauséjour, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, with Owner and Winemaker Gérard Dupuy

Tour and Tasting at Château Tertre-Rôteboeuf, Saint-Emilion, with Owner and Winemaker François Mitjavile

Tour and tasting at Château de Figeac, Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé.

Tour and Wine Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland

The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany 

Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Canon La Gaffelière, Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé

Tour and Tasting at Château de Fargues, Sauternes, with Prince Eudes d’Orléans

Wine Lunch at Restaurant Château de la Tour in Cadillac and Tour at Château Du Cros, Loupiac, with Catherine Boyer, Proprietor of Château Du Cros

Tour and Tasting at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé.

Lunch at the 2 Michelin Starred Restaurant La Grande Vigne

Tour of the Earl Ostrea Chanca Oyster Farm and Oyster Tasting in Grand-Piquey, with Oyster Farmer Ralph Doerfler

What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France

Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Le Reysse, Vignobles Paeffgen, Médoc, in Bégadan, with Stefan Paeffgen

Château Léoville-Poyferré, Chateau Le Crock, Didier Cuvelier in Bordeaux and the Cuvelier Los Andes Wines in Argentina

Tour and Tasting at Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Didier Cuvelier

Tour and Wine Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

The 5 Premiers Grands Crus Chateaux en 1855 of Bordeaux, France

Tour and Tasting at Château Mouton-Rothschild, Pauillac, 1ière Grand Cru Classé.

How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil

Lunch at Restaurant Le Peyrat in Saint-Estèphe with the Grape Pickers of Château Sociando Mallet

Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Basile Tesseron

Tour and Tasting at Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

Tourt and tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé

Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Diana Paulin

schiller-wine: Related Postings (Château Beauséjour)

From Millésime Bio in Montpellier, France, to Bistro Bis in Washington DC, USA: Gérard Dupuy and his Château Beausejour Wines in AOC Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion

Lunch at Château Beauséjour (AOC Puisseguin-St. Emilion) – a Vin Bio de Bordeaux - with Owner and Wine Maker Gerard Dupuy, France

Vin Bio de Bordeaux - At Château Beauséjour in AOC Puisseguin-St.Emilion, France

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