Château du Grand Bos

22 ha
Lou Rochet

Château du Grand Bos is located in Castres, in a part of the Graves appellation which is home to some of the oldest Bordeaux vineyards dating back 2,000 years. The Château and vineyard lie near the old Roman road named “Chemin Gallien”. As early as 1868, editions of Cocks & Feret listed Château du Grand Bos as a leading estate in its commune. When André Vincent bought the property in 1988, the vineyard, composed of very deep gravel, had not been cultivated for thirty years. André sold his property in Saint Estephe, Chateau La Haye, with the idea of retiring at Grand Bos. Realizing the remarkable potential of his terroir, he instead immediately set out to replant the vineyard in addition to restoring the Château. After the initial work was done in the late 1980’s, André made further renovations to the winery in 2005 and refashioned the underground cellar into a pristine barrel room which includes a 17th century well that offers lots of natural humidity.

The vineyard totals 22 hectares with 18 hectares in red grapes and 4 hectares in white grapes. André Vincent was ahead of his time by farming without pesticides or herbicides and using only copper sulfate (bouillie bordelaise) against mildew. He worked the soil throughout the year, including “chaussage et dechaussage”, a traditional method of protecting the vine over the winter by covering the base of the plants with soil just after harvest and then removing it in the spring. In 2007 André’s daughter, Marie, began helping her father run the estate. In 2017, André’s granddaughter, Lou Rochet, arrived at the winery with master’s degrees in both chemistry and oenology. Her first vintage was 2018. Since 2020 the winery has been in organic conversion and the 2023 vintage was the first to be certified. Lou uses bio-dynamic principles in her farming and is able to grow many of the necessary plants for her tisanes in the forest that surround her vineyard. She also works with a local beekeeper who stations his hives throughout the vineyard. All harvesting is done by hand.

Graves Rouge "Chateau"

Red grapes are planted in the proportions: 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 3% Cabernet Franc. The exact blend varies according to each year’s conditions. The different varieties and parcels are vinified separately. Lou takes a practical approach with regards to yeast. She prefers to inoculate larger tanks with cultured yeast and use indigenous yeast in the smaller tanks. Maceration lasts at least a month including a pre-fermentation “cold soak” which occurs before the temperature is raised in the tanks and the yeasts begin their work. By contrast, the malolactic fermentations are carried out only with indigenous yeasts. After the malolactic fermentations have finished, the wines are aged for 12 months in oak barrels which range between 1/2 and 1/3 new, depending on the vintage. Lou works with four local barrel makers and uses oak procured from the Allier forests. After the aging process, Lou makes her blend from a selection of barrels. Production is between 2,500 and 4,000 cases per vintage.

Graves Rouge "En Trois Temps"

« En Trois Temps » is a unique multi-vintage wine from Bordeaux. The wine has equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon from 2019, Petit Verdot from the 2020 vintage, and Merlot from the 2021 vintage. Lou makes an “Ancestrale” vinification without the aid of electricity. The grapes are de-stemmed by hand and then put into open top Bordeaux barrels that are stood up on their ends and have one end cut off.

Graves Blanc

4 hectares are planted to white grapes in the proportions: 45% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Sauvignon Gris and 15% Muscadelle. All white grapes are picked in the morning and put into small bins which are stacked in a refrigeration unit for nearly 24 hours. This method allows Lou to reduce or eliminate the use of SO2 at this stage. Remaining as whole clusters, the grape bunches are pressed very slowly the following morning.

Graves Blanc "Chateau"

The “Château” Blanc is typically a blend of 55% Semillon, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Sauvignon Gris and 11% Muscadelle. The different varieties and parcels are vinified separately in oak barrels. Some new barrels are used with the Semillon, but for the other varieties only barrels of one year and older are used. The wines are aged for eight months on their fine lies with regular “batonnage”. After the aging process, Lou makes her blend from a selection of barrels. The wine is filtered but no SO2 is added before bottling. Production is approximately 250 cases per vintage.

Graves Blanc “Cuvée Spinoza”

The “Cuvée Spinoza” is a blend of 42% Sauvignon Blanc, 32% Sauvignon Gris, 22% Semillon, and 4% Muscadelle. After a manual harvest, the grapes are fermented in stainless steel, with the different grape varieties fermented separately. The wines remain “sur lie” until the spring when an “assemblage” is made. 450 cases are produced.

Graves Blanc "Nature"

The cuvée “Nature” is a wine that Lou first made in 2020, and which puts the Muscadelle grape variety front and center. The blend is 80% Muscadelle and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. Whole clusters are chilled overnight and then fermented with indigenous yeasts in old Bordeaux barrels The time in the barrel is limited to three months because no SO2 is used during the entire process. The wine is bottled without filtration. 800 bottles are produced per vintage.


Region: Bordeaux

The city of Bordeaux and its surrounding viticultural area are located in southwest France, in the Gironde. The area is formed around two great rivers; the Garonne which flows from the Pyrénées and the Dordogne which flows from the Massif Central. The rivers meet just north of the city of Bordeaux and flow into the Gironde estuary which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The regulating influence of the ocean and rivers, along with the temperate climate of mild winters and warm falls, have an important and beneficial effect on the vineyards...

As the city of Bordeaux evolved into an important port and center of trade in the eighteenth century, its political importance grew, as did the reputation of its wines. The Bordeaux merchants, who had for centuries dealt with wines from “up river” were encouraged at this time to leave behind the wines from the other southwest appellations in favor of the local wines that were given special “fast-track” privileges. Today, a few centuries later, the Bordeaux vineyards and their reputation have developed significantly. Presently, there are 53 different Bordeaux appellations comprising approximately 275,000 acres of appellation controlée vineyards. This scale of activity insures that one can never know Bordeaux, but rather, continue to discover it.

We have found Bordeaux to be an area that far exceeds its conventional association with classification systems and the relatively few “grand chateaux”. As in other regions of France, our portfolio focuses on small family estates located throughout the many Bordeaux appellations. Beyond the circles of merchants, negociants and journalists that often define Bordeaux; we have found independent vignerons working on a small scale whose deep commitment and sensitivity to their land and work results in the production of beautifully rich and diverse wines. The Bordeaux winemaker now works with centuries old viticultural traditions which are being interpreted through a lens of modern technology and a global exchange of ideas.