Château La Grolet

Looking down at the Gironde River

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Château La Grolet? who makes the wines?

Jean-Luc and Catherine Hubert, along with their son Guillaume and daughter Rachel, manage the estate from the vines to the bottling line. The family, on Catherine’s side, has been growing wine in the area since 1895, and in 1997 they were able to purchase La Grolet in the Côtes de Bourg. At the heart of the family’s efforts is a dedication to organic and biodynamic farming. Between Château Peybonhomme Les Tours and La Grolet, the Hubert’s are the largest biodynamic farmers in the Côtes de Bourgs and Côtes de Blaye regions.
The Hubert Family at Château La Grolet

what wines do they make at Château Peybonhomme Les Tours?

The La Grolet “Tradition” and “Tète de Cuvée” wines from Château La Grolet are both marked by the distinct, older vine Cabernet Sauvignon that forms the backbone of the wines, even though it represents less than half of the blend. Merlot is the most widely planted grape on Bordeaux’s Right Bank, but these are wines where the Cabernet seems to play the starring role. Both wines are ageworthy, though the Tète de Cuvée has more tannin and tends to represent the older parts of the vineyard. We expect it to live well into its second decade, where the Tradition is a wine to enjoy in the first ten years after vintage.
La Grolet Tète de Cuvée

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when did Château Peybonhomme Les Tours start? when might you open a bottle?

During the French Revolution, the owner of Château La Grolet backed the King and ended up donating his most prized possession to the anti-Royalist forces, drenching the history of the Château in blood. Literally and figuratively headless, the Château charted a wandering course through history until the Hubert’s came along in 1997 and purchased the land and the Château.
La Grolet carte postale

Each new vintage in Bordeaux seems to raise to a fever pitch the endless speculation on futures and just how expensive the wines will be this year. While there sems to be a strong market for bottles that cost hundreds of dollars, the real and sustainable pleasure in Bordeaux, in our experience, comes from lower priced bottles that will age for a decade or more. We love to open these bottles with friends without concern for the investment they represent. It took us five years to find such a house in Bordeaux and we are thrilled to offer La Grolet as one of the best values we’ve ever tasted.

where is Château Peybonhomme Les Tours?

The Côtes de Bourg is located on Bordeaux’s Right Bank where Merlot is often the dominant grape in any blend. The winery is a stone’s throw from the banks of the Gironde river, closer to Margaux on the Left Bank than St.Emillon and Pomerol on the Right. Wine making in this area dates back to Roman times and there is evidence that Caesar sent an emissary to build a fortress on the hill above the river as a military outpost.
Château La Grolet, Bordeaux

Château La Grolet, Bordeaux

The soil in Bourg is varied and the region is known for it’s rolling hills. La Grolet’s vines are south facing and sit on a largely gravel base. The exposure means that frost is rarely a consern, but the potential for hail makes the family nervous every year.

why might you want a taste? why is Château Peybonhomme Les Tours a Candid Wine?

La Grolet offers a look at the depth that wines from Bourg can achieve, and the value they represent. The Hubert’s bought the property in large part because of a parcel older vines of Cabernet Sauvignon on the property. Even when the Cabernet is no more than 20% of a blend, as is the case in the Tète de Cuvée, its presence is unmistakable. We think they offer some of the best value in Bordeaux.
Plowing vineyard

La Grolet is a Candid Wine because we could not believe how clean and balanced the wines are for the price when we first tasted at the Renaissance des Appelations tasting in France. Most people will become fans of La Grolet without even knowing that the wines are grown without pesticides and made without modern techniques. This is what traditional, affordable, right bank Bordeaux tastes like to us, and we are proud to work with the Hubert Family.

how is the wine made at Château Peybonhomme Les Tours?

Where many in Bordeaux and elsewhere chase points and look to construct wines that will perform well for reviewers and critics, the Hubert family pursues biodiversity and eschews the hallmarks of technological winemaking. New oak barrels are kept to a minimum in the winery and any talk of additives in the winery is verbotten. Instead, the wines are intended to be a reflection of what happened in the vineyard that year and they are made with as little intervention as possible.
Dynamiseur
We understand fully that “reflecting the vineyard” is a phrase that is nearly cliche at this point. We would encourage you to taste a bottle of Château La Grolet and Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours from Blaye side by side. They are a similar blend of grapes, made by the same family at estates that are just 8 km apart, and yet they resemble each other as cousins, if that. Each could be made to be fuller, riper, oakier, and more international in style, but instead the reflect the sites on which they grow, beautifully.