Château La Bourrée (Vignobles Meynard)

St. Magne de Castillon
Côtes de Castillon
Jean-Francois Meynard
Christelle Gauthier

Jean-Francois Meynard and Christelle Gauthier produce wine from three different Bordeaux appellations, all close to the Dordogne River; Côtes de Castillon, Saint Emilion and Entre-Deux-Mers. Both of their families have roots in their villages going back to the 19th century. Jean-Francois and Christelle have transformed their family’s business from selling grapes and wine in bulk to selling estate bottled wines.

Côtes de Castillon is located on the eastern border of Saint Emilion. It became an independent appellation in 1989, before which it was classified as Bordeaux Superieur “Côtes de Castillon”. Until 1920 the wines were labeled as “près Saint Emilion”. The appellation takes its name from the town of Castillon La Bataille where in 1453 a battle took place that ended the 100 year war with England. The vineyards are a geological extension of those encountered in Saint Emilion with some good sites on the upper plains as well as the more classic hillsides and elevated plateaux.

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Côtes de Castillon

Château La Bourrée extends over 12 hectares in the village of Saint Magne-de-Castillon where the upper river plain meets the first hillsides. The vineyard is planted with 70% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Franc. The yields are kept to 45h/hl by green harvesting and leaves are pulled as needed to insure proper ripening. All the grapes are brought to a sorting table before entering the winery allowing only the best fruit to be vinified. Before the alcoholic fermentation begins, the grapes macerate for a few days at a cold temperature. After fermentation the wine stays in contact with the skins for two weeks after which the wine is aged in used barrels for a year and then another six months in tank before bottling.

Bordeaux Clairet

The Clairet is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Franc, and as opposed to harvesting early for a Rosé wine, the grapes for the Clairet are picked at the same time as those for the La Bourrée red wine. The grapes are put in a tank for 12 to 24 hours at which point the free run juice is drawn off to a separate tank where the juice is allowed to settle and clarify before fermentation begins at a low temperature. The wine rests on its fine lies for a month and a half before it is lightly filtered and bottled.

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.