Château Gueyrosse (Vignobles Delol)

Saint-Emilion Grand Cru
Yves Delol
Samuelle Delol

Saint-Emilion is one of the most beautiful wine producing villages in the world. It is nestled into the same limestone hills that provide the unique ground for the illustrious vineyards that surround it. The local architecture is built from the quarried limestone and features roofs of earth toned tiles giving the town an historic charm that is “postcard perfect.”

The Delol family has owned the Domaine Chante-Alouette-Cormeil since 1818 and Chateau Gueyrosse since 1862. Since 1995 the wine has been made by Samuelle Delol who took over from her father Yves. Perhaps it is the 200 years of farming or perhaps it is the personal philosophy of Samuelle and Yves, but the viticulture and winemaking practices are old enough to be new again, literally. The farming is organic and the wine making non-interventional. As a way of celebrating 200 years of organic farming, Samuelle has decided to apply for official certification. Recently, the vineyards were certified “Bee Friendly”. There is nothing flamboyant or out of balance with Samuelle’s wines. Grapes are hand harvested and then pressed in a traditional basket press from the 1940’s. The wines ferment with their indigenous yeasts and macerations last between 3 and 5 weeks. In their youth, the wines are discreet and Samuelle says that it is not until after 10 years that the wines start to reveal themselves. It is fortunate and rare to have families such as the Delol’s who are willing to keep stock in their cellar for more than a decade before releasing wines to the market. The Delols are admired by many of the old guard aristocracy of Saint-Emilion vignerons for their refined aesthetic and commitment to craft at the highest level but they have largely escaped the notice of the press. For the experienced Bordeaux drinker or someone interested in discovering the style of wine that made Bordeaux internationally recognized centuries ago, these wines are a rare treat.

Chateau Gueyrosse

Chateau Gueyrosse is in the southwestern corner of Saint Emilion and overlooks the meandering Dordogne river. The outskirts of Libourne have expanded so much that the back side of the vineyard is a “commercial” zone with big box stores and huge parking lots. Until 1973 this small area had a separate appellation called Sables-Saint Emilion. The vineyard has a soil of “graves rouge”, a soil type similar to that found in the southern sector of Pomerol which is iron-rich, sandy and with a deep layer of alluvial stones. The vineyard is planted to 85% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. A large parcel that was planted in 1939 had to be replanted in 2016 and now the average age of the vines is 25 years. Through severe pruning in the spring, yields are kept exceptionally low, 35 to 42hl/h, and no green harvesting is necessary. After vinification, the wine is aged in tank for 1 to 3 months for clarification and then in barrel (2 and 3-year-old barrels) for 12 months with racking every two months. The wine is then put back in tanks for a few months, fined with egg-whites and bottled in the spring un-filtered.

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.