CHÂTEAU GUIRAUD, GRAND VIN BLANC SEC
BORDEAUX, FRANCE 2020
Estates are not static entities. Some regress over time; many stay the same. But some get better, sometimes dramatically better.
One of our jobs is to keep track of these risers, the producers who, for whatever reason — new ownership, a new consulting hire — are determined to alter their trajectory. That's not just where excitement lies; it's often where great value lies.
Among this crop of risers is Château Guiraud, which has emerged as an estate to watch in a hyper-competitive Bordeaux.
We're thrilled to have secured a small allocation of their 2020 Blanc Sec, which Jeb Dunnuck, in a 93-point rave, declared "beautiful," extolling its "concentrated mouthfeel" and "clean finish."
Though the estate has been around since the mid-18th century, and was among the group of domaines to make the list in the 1855 Classification — it was known then as Château Bayle — Guiraud embarked on a new chapter in 2006. That's when it was purchased by new owners, a group that included such Bordeaux luminaries as Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier and Stephan Von Neipperg, whose St. Emilion estates include Canon La Gaffeliere, La Mondotte, Clos de l'Oratoire, and Xavier Planty.
With that purchase, out went the red grapes whose vines dated back to the 1930s. The owners focused their attention exclusively on white wines (the 110 hectares are devoted only to Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc) and set about modernizing both the cellars and equipment.
The leap in quality over the past decade has been striking.
Grand Vin Blanc Sec is a recent arrival to the portfolio — 2020 is the inaugural year it was produced — but it displays all the characteristics that have made Guiraud one of the rising stars of Bordeaux, not least of which is that it has been certified Agriculture Biologique; in other words, that it was organically produced from start to finish. A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon — all hand-harvested, and at full maturity — it is a gorgeous expression of its soil, a gravelly mix of red clay, limestone marl, and fossilized oyster beds.
Intriguingly, it has lost none of its freshness for having been treated to partial malolactic fermentation, or for spending 12 months in barrels, and has only gained in complexity.
Aromatically, it is an intense experience — floral and ripe — and that nose persists long past your first sip. In the glass, the acidity is sharp and unmistakable, but it never takes over; instead, and beautifully, it helps to bring the silken palate into sharper definition.
Guiraud makes its whites to age, and this one is certainly no exception -- though it's ready to go right now, and will be a superlative partner for many light or cold preparations. As Dunnuck wrote, "I'd drink bottles over the coming 4-6 years or so, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see this evolve nicely for well over a decade."
We expect the same, and hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity — a chance to add a delicious and versatile wine to your dinner table right now and also to stock your cellars for the future!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Fall 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, July 31, 2022.