The richly colored wines of Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion are characterized by their structure, their strength, and a finesse which allows them to age beautifully and develop an ever more seductive bouquet. If they are given enough air (decanted), these wines can be enjoyed young with strongly flavored foods, which they complement well. Later, at the peak of their maturity, they make the perfect counterpoint to white meats and subtle sauces.
Puygueraud (Ch.) Bordeaux Wine
Georges Thienpoint bought Chateau Puygueraud in 1946. The poor state of the vineyard forced him to rip out all the vines and turn the property into farmland for nearly thirty years, restructuring and regenerating the soil. At the end of the 1970s, when he decided to replant the vineyard, the quality of the soil allowed him to use low-yield rootstock. He chose the plants carefully and spaced them according to the specific qualities of the soil. At each stage, he applied the knowledge of traditional wine-growing that he had acquired on his family’s property, Vieux Château Certan.
The harvest, conducted entirely by hand, is again manually sorted before the grapes are crushed and destalked. Fermentation takes place at a high temperature to concentrate the flavor, while the maceration lasts for three weeks during which time the juice is pumped through several times. The maturation is “mixed,” meaning that it takes place alternately in stainless steel vats and oak casks (25 percent new each year) whose contents are changed during frequent racking (drawing the juice off the lees).
Puygueraud wines, which have been granted the Bordeaux Cotes de Francs AOC, are well structured. A high proportion of Cabernet gives them subtlety and elegance. These are long-lived, distinctive wines with a rich and complex nose.
Rame (Ch. la) Bordeaux Wine
During the French Revolution, La Rame belonged to Baron de Vertheuil, governor of the lie d’Oleron off the west coast of France, and Lord of Rame. One of the oldest and best-known Bordeaux crus, La Rame was already considered one of the leading crus of its AOC by the Bordeaux wine trade in the nineteenth century. The Armand family, who had lived in Sainte-Croix-du-Mont for more than a century, bought this estate in 1956, when disastrous frosts struck the Bordeaux vineyards. Aware of the land’s potential, Clause Armand used all his means to restore it. By 1969 he was finally able to renovate the cellars. La Rame gradually re-established its reputation and when Yves Armand took his father’s place in 1985 he put all his energy into implementing the most advanced growing techniques and practicing the selection essential to the making of a great wine.
The wines of Chateau La Rame, the flagship of its AOC, have a delicate bouquet and a structure that combines strength and finesse. Creating a sensation of harmony and elegance, La Rame is a match for the greatest sweet white wines.
Because of their great length and width, the rivers that crisscross the departament —the Garonne, the Dordogne, and the Gironde—create microclimates which affect or strengthen the prevailing Atlantic climate. Because of this, they play an all-important role in the region’s viticulture.