Château Le Puy: One More 2015 Last Call!

Posted on: 09/3/18 12:00 PM

Le Puy

This is one wine from the magnificent 2015 Bordeaux vintage that everyone should own. A unique wine with a story to tell, that conveniently enough is ridiculously delicious. This is one that will drink very nicely young, or age for decades. Your choice- either way you need this wine!

We offered it a little earlier than the year as a pre-arrival and I’ve copied in the original e-mail below the line. The wine is now in house and we’ve got just eight cases left. If you haven’t got one already- now is the time.

2015 Château le Puy ‘Emilien’ Francs Côtes de Bordeaux

Decanter: “You have got to get hold of this brilliant value wine. Really, it has the most beautifully plump ripe fruit, practically bursting out of the glass but with excellent tension and balance. Utterly delicious, and my pick over the also excellent 2016. A low 30hl/ha yield in a relatively dry year – 593mm of rain overall at this spot, which is particularly low for Bordeaux. As with almost every vintage here, the blend is around 85% Merlot, with the rest a mix of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Carmenere.” – 94 pts. Jane Anson

More About the Wine:

Château Le Puy, Bordeaux’s trailblazer for the Biodynamic movement, is one of the hottest wines around – not just in Bordeaux but anywhere in Europe. The attention has been building for years, underscored by famous Japanese manga Drops of Gold, which featured a young wine lover in search of the world’s greatest wine. DRC, Petrus, the First Growths and Chave all feature prominently. But the winner, the world’s greatest wine? Le Puy.

Over the last year, the press attention continues to roil. This full-length profile by Eric Asimov in the New York Times may be the best in show, but you don’t need to look far to see more. Jane Anson for Decanter has recently described it as ‘one of Bordeaux’s most overlooked wine estates’ and ‘an inspiring château that kicks against the usual definitions of Right Bank Bordeaux’.

Why is Le Puy so overlooked? Because it is different. I like different. As Eric Asimov writes, Le Puy is ‘marked by purity, precision, lightness and drinkability that encourages taking another sip. They have an intensity of flavor despite their grace, a combination more often associated with that other great region in the east of France…’

Indeed, there is more than a hint of the Burgundian about Le Puy. When we held a tasting of the wines back in 2016, it was striking how many of our regular Burgundy customers dived into these wines with gusto, and it’s no surprise that it’s among our Wine Director and Burgundy Warrior Ian Halbert’s favourite Bordeaux. It’s not just the sense of elegance, purity and ‘grace’ that does this, but something in the character of those that make the wines.

The headline on Le Puy is very often Biodynamics, but their practices are really something a little more than that. The Amoreau family have been farming in this way or similar for generations, and long before such things were ‘codified’. The emphasis has always been on the soil, and on creating a truly independent farm- with wild animals and wild plants both allowed and encouraged, as well as resident horses, bulls, cows and sheep. The thinking behind this is that it creates a naturally healthy ecosystem for soil, as Pascal Amoreau says ‘When you work in a monoculture, it changes the fauna. You end up with more parasites than predators. The wild areas have more predators. You have to have wild areas around the vines to maintain a balance’.

These principles have aligned very well with those of biodynamics, but they came about independently at Le Puy, and they will be there long after the current fashion for biodynamics cools off. Besides, the wine is absolutely delicious!

Posted in Bordeaux List By Guy Davies