Château Puy-Blanquet Château Puy-Blanquet
February 4, 2019, James Suckling
“Focused fruit, such as raspberries and blackberries with chalk and flowers. Full body, firm and chewy tannins and a long and defined finish. Quite muscular. Try after 2021.”
Overlooking the Dordogne valley in the heart of Saint-Etienne de Lisse, Château Puy-Blanquet has northern and eastern blocks that enjoy the morning sunshine. There are 49.42 acres of planted vines on soils of clay and chalk.
Château Puy-Blanquet was known as one of the best Saint-Émilion Grand Crus as early as the 19th century, and was awarded a part of the collective gold medal bestowed upon a selection of Saint-Émilion chateaux at the Paris Exposition of 1889.
Today, the vineyard is owned by the Jacquet family and managed by Pierre Meunier, who was trained by Ets. Jean-Pierre Moueix.
A respect for tradition and quality is what makes Puy-Blanquet special. Instead of following the trend, vineyard manager Pierre Meunier has continued plowing the soils to ensure optimal maturity of the fruit. Green harvesting, leaf cropping and harvesting are done by hand.
The wines are fresh and generous and can be enjoyed after just a two or three years of cellaring.
The 2016 climatic year was composed of two distinct parts. First, a cool and wet spring with record rainfall (259 mm from April to June, compared to 108 mm during the same period in 2015). A short break from the rain in May allowed for a quick and even flowering. The weather shifted in mid-June, giving way to clear skies and warm temperatures through mid-september. The warm, dry weather that set in over the summer resulted in drought conditions, but vineyards planted on water-retentive soils, such as the limestone of Saint-Émilion, fared well. The vegetative cycle slowed over the summer months, but rain in mid-september allowed the grapes to reach full maturity. At harvest, the berries were crunchy, gorged with sugar yet fresh at the same time, with intense notes of black fruit, the skins redolent with mild tannins, the seeds crisp.
Varietals: 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
Average Vine Age: 25 years
Aging: 12 months partly in oak barrels (10% new)