Chateau le Puy 2017 'Emilien' Francs Cotes de Bordeaux AOC
Item Number: 15406
Sub Region: Right Bank
Appellation/AVA: Francs Cotes de Bordeaux AOC
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Grape(s): 85% Merlot / 14% Cabernet Sauvignon / 1% Carmenère
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic
Soil Type: Red clay and silt on les Astéries limestone plateau
Elevation: Variety: highest point at 110 meters
Winemaking Notes: Work in the winery is done according to the lunar calendar. Grapes are manually harvested from 50-year-old vines, then are entirely destemmed and left on lees for 2-3 weeks. The wines are produced without any additions including sulfites. Fermentation occurs spontaneously with indigenous yeast. During fermentation, no human hands ever touch the cap—no punch downs, no pump overs. *** The wine matures for 24 months in oak with regular stirring in the barrel scheduled according to the lunar cycle. The Emilien bottling spends a year in 50-hectoliter foudres before a year in 228-liter barrels. The wine is neither fined nor filtered before bottling, which takes place in the middle of the lunar cycle. Emilien is the estate’s most important cuvee in terms of volume. Total sulfites for 2017 vintage equal 13 mg/L.
*** Instead of pump overs, they employ an ingenious but very low-tech arrangement in which wooden slats are affixed to the top holes of their huge cement fermentation tanks, with small gaps between the slats. While the juice is fermenting, the cap is pressed up against the slats and held there, while the bubbling juice breaks up through the cap and between the gaps in the wooden slats, swirling continuously in the recessed tops of the tanks, and keeping the cap moist—all without any human interference.
Rosenthal Tasting Notes 7/2021: "Over the course of several visits, we witnessed the 2017—not an easy growing season in Bordeaux—transform from something jagged and ornery in its early stages of elevage into something focused and beautiful in the bottle. Higher-toned and leaner than the broad 2015 and the richly layered 2016, the 2017 still offers a succulence of sappy red fruit that is very Le Puy, as well as a driving, tunneling palate of remarkable energy. A subtle but irresistible umami pervades the palate and grounds some of the wine’s higher tones with its savory pull."
Terroir Notes: The winery has been in continuous operation since 1610, situated on the outskirts of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, at the highest point of the Côtes des Francs appellation (although the Amoreau family chooses to remain outside the appellation), on the same plain as Pomerol. The Amoreaus own over 100 hectares, but purposely only cultivate 45 hectares for wine, preferring to maintain a balanced ecosystem (they have numerous ponds, forests, and fields). The vineyards have never been sprayed with chemicals—ever. Biodynamic treatments have been employed since the 1960s (the manure-filled horn and the quartz spray have been used continuously since then). Many of their vineyards are plowed by horse, and always have been.