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2005 Chateau Puygueraud Cotes de Francs


                        Chateau Puygueraud
                                   Cotes de Francs
                  70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec

                                   CSPC# 500066


                              CLASSICS Catalogue

NOTE: Trying to confirm the blend for this vintage.

Wine Spectator (US)
Issue: December 2008 – James Suckling
#32 – Top 100 Wines of 2008

Wine Spectator (US)
Issue: March 31, 2008 – James Suckling
92 pts & Smart Buy
“Shows lovely black currant, floral and black licorice notes. Full-bodied, with
velvety tannins and a tight bead of fruit and mineral throughout. Long finish. Best
after 2009.
This is typically one of the best values in Bordeaux, and especially in 2005. The
large property matched the quality of many of the top estates in more prestigious
Right Bank appellations. The wine is made by the team of Nicolas Thienpont and
Stéphane Derencourt, who together also produce the wines of Château Pavie
Macquin and Larcis Ducasse, both of classic quality in 2005. The Thienpont
family (also of Pomerol’s Vieux Château Certan and Le Pin) first bought into the
Côtes de Francs appellation with its purchase of Puygueraud in 1946 and has been
making serious reds there since the early 1980s.”

Wine Spectator (US)
Issue: December 10, 2007 – James Suckling
92 pts & Smart Buy
“What was also interesting during last night’s dinner was when I decided to pull
out some wines that are going to cost $35 or less at retail in the United States. And
this was after those mega-buck reds. Margaux is going to be easily pushing $1,500
a bottle. I pulled out a Puygueraud, Trois Croix and Gigault Cuvée Viva. They
were so beautiful with ripe fruit aromas of blackberries, raspberries and hints of
wood and full bodies with a compliment of round tannins. The Puygueraud was
the best with a black truffle and spice complexity.
Durantou hogged the bottle.
Everyone was shaking his head in almost disbelief. We all agreed that the force of
2005 in Bordeaux will be all these excellent reds for very, very reasonable prices.
What else in the wine world can you find such diversity, high quality and good

Wine Spectator (US)
Issue: March 30, 2006 – James Suckling
89 – 91 pts (Barrel sample)
“Blackberry, violet and raspberry aromas. Full-bodied, with lots of fruit. Long
and powerful. Complex and excellent.”

Robert Parker (US)
Issue: April 2008 – Wine Advocate
89 pts
“The 2005 Puygueraud is a beautifully textured, dense purple-colored effort. This
Thienpont-owned vineyard was one of the first to make noises from what was a
totally unknown appellation - Cotes de Francs. Stephane Derenoncourt is the
consultant, which helps explain this beautifully textured, dense purple-colored
effort. The bouquet offers up aromas of tobacco leaf, black currants, cherries,
charcoal, and a hint of background wood. Drink it over the next 5-7 years.”

Robert Parker (US)
Issue: January 2007 – Wine Advocate
88 – 90 pts
“No Cuvee Georges was produced in 2005, but the regular Puygueraud is a full-
bodied, powerful effort boasting a black/purple color as well as super-sweet
aromas of licorice, blackberries, raspberries, and minerals. Floral, rich, solidly
constructed, pure, nuanced, and layered, it may merit an outstanding rating once
the tannin becomes integrated. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018 (No tasting note
was provided in Issue 170. We have instead included the text of the tasting note
from Issue 164)”

Stephen Tanzer (US)
Issue: May / June 2006 - International Wine Cellar
87 – 90 pts
“Good full red. Superripe aromas of black fruits, licorice, black pepper and bitter
chocolate. A typically rich and full for this wine, but with lively acids and calcaire
energy giving shape to this deeply fruity wine. Finishes broad and long, with a
saline nuance. A large-scaled but fresh Puygueraud with alcohol of 14.8%.”

Decanter (UK)
Issue: 2008 – James Lawther MW
4 stars (out of 5)
“If ever there was a year for the later ripening terroirs of the Côtes and Fronsac this
was it. The clement conditions throughout the year and during the harvest were
perfect for ripeness. As well, clay-limestone soils helped regulate water stress.
This then was a very ripe vintage with a plentiful supply of tannins and big sugar
potential (wines at 14.5-15° in some cases). The danger here was twofold, a
‘porty’ tone to the wines if the ripeness was pushed too far and long fermentations
which needed hygienic conditions and a soft touch to avoid further imbalance or
microbiological spoilage. A number of wines had not finished their malolactic
fermentation by the primeur tastings. In general, rich, powerful, long-term wines
providing the correct balance was achieved. James Lawther MW
Chateau Puygueraud, Bordeaux Cotes de Francs 2005.

Reserved but fine dark, spicy fruit. Firm tannic structure and balancing freshness
on the finish. As always good value. Drink 2010-2018. 17 points.”

Newsweek (US)
Issue: April 7, 2008
92 pts & Bargain Bordeaux
“Bordeaux’s celebrated 2005 vintage has triggered sticker shock. Top châteaus are
selling bottles for as much as $2,000. But the vintage quality is high across the
board, so you can also find some great values. Lesser-known appellations and
châteaus are a great source for the bargains, including the wines below:
Château Puygueraud Côtes de Francs 2005
An obscure region delivers lovely black currant, floral and licorice flavors in this
merlot-based red.”

Grape-Nutz (US)
Issue: March 29, 2008
“Medium-dark ruby in color. Surprisingly reticent nose, but some undertones of
dark fruit and toast noted. Full in mouthfeel, plenty of dark off-sweet fruit, and
long finish. Nice, just not open for business yet.
Aroma score: B+ Taste score: B+ Overall score: B+ .”

The Wine Club (US)
Top 20 Wines
“Chateau Puygueraud is produced mainly from Merlot with, however, a proportion
of Cabernet that is quite high for the region as well as a touch of Malbec with its
peppery character. In 2005, all the Cabernet Sauvignon was pulled up and
Cabernet Franc was planted in its place. This variety ripens earlier and is better
suited to the terroir of the Cotes de Francs.”

Tom Cannavan (UK)
Issue: May 2006 – Wine Pages
88 – 89 pts
“Another nice nose here, with good fruit quality immediately expressive and open.
The ripeness of fruit persists nicely onto the palate, where the tannins are rather big
and dry, but the fruit seems adequate and this is well balanced.”

Red Carpet Wine (US)
Top 100 Wines
“Puygueraud is the reference point estate for the cooler climate Cotes de Francs
appellation. A firm but promising bouquet of scorched earth, wood, tar, black
currants and a hint of hickory wood. Dense ruby/purple color as well as a sweet,
intense bouquet of cherry liqueur, new saddle leather and toasty oak. Medium-
bodied, with plenty of muscle and show make it a candidate for long term
cellaring. One of the most consistently excellent and delightfully drinkable
inexpensive bordeaux we’ve ever carried!”

Tobias Treppenhauer (GER)
Issue: February 11, 2008 – Stern
90 pts
“Der Jahrgang 2005 hat – im Vergleich zu Vorjahren – eine positive Veränderung
gebracht, da die durchschnittliche Qualität auf einem ungewöhnlich hohen Niveau
liegt. Die Spitzenweine aus dem Medoc haben sich natürlich der gestiegenen
Qualität auch preislich angepasst (z.B. aktueller Flaschenpreis Chateau Latour
2004: ca. EUR 349,- / 2005: ca. EUR 1.000,-!!!). Die Weine ohne großes
Renommee haben dagegen ihren Preis meist gehalten und man kann hier aufgrund
des tollen Jahrgangs echte “Deals” ergattern.
Der empfohlene Wein ist so einer. Das Château Puygueraud ist das führende Gut
der Subregion Côtes de Francs. Ein Gebiet, dass zwar in der Nähe von St-Emilion
und Pomerol liegt, jedoch noch nicht einen ähnlich hohen Status inne hat.
Was die Weine der Côtes de Francs mit anderen Weinen des so genannten “rechten
Ufers” eint, ist der hohe Anteil an Merlot. Dieser macht die Weine in der Regel
etwas fruchtbetonter als die Cabernet Sauvignon dominierten Nachbarn des “linken
Der amerikanische Wine Spectator hat diesen Monat seine Bewertung für den nun
in Flaschen abgefüllten Wein nach oben angepasst und lässt ahnen, dass andere
Kritiker ähnlich verfahren werden.
Lange Rede, kurzer Sinn: Dieser Wein muss gekauft werden, um feststellen zu
können, ob man ein Bordeaux-Trinker ist bzw. werden möchte. Ein Experiment,
das sich in jedem Fall lohnt!
Auge: Volles Rot mit schwarz-violettem Kern.
Nase: schwarze Johannisbeeren, Himbeeren, Blumenduft, Lakritz, schwarzer
Pfeffer, dunkle
Schokolade und Mineralien.
Mund: sehr körperreich mit lebendiger Säure, sehr fruchtig, salzartige Note
samtiger Tannine, komplexer und langer Abgang.
Sonstiges: Mindestens 2 Stunden dekantieren! Perfekte Trinkreife zwischen 2010
bis 2018.
Enthält 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc und 5% Malbec.”
Cuisine et Vins de France (FRA)
Issue: September – October 2007
16 / 20 pts
“Toute petite appellation du Bordelais, les Côtes de Francs sont peu connues. La
grande majorité des domaines appartient à des propriétaires de Pomerol et Saint
Emilion, venus chercher ici diversité et dépaysement. Avec Puygueraud, la famille
Thienpont s’inscrit dans cette tradition. Le 2005 est une parfaite réussite du
domaine, avec un vin remarquablement fruité et concentré reflétant sans coup férir
la réussite du millésime.”

Sommelier Vins (FRA)
“Continuant sur ma lancée, je m’approche d’un vin que j’ai toujours apprécié, un
Côtes de Francs, le château Puygueraud, qui présente une belle suavité, le merlot
(70%) dégage sa rondeur toute joviale, et la finale est élégante, bien maitrisée
malgré des tanins encore bien fermes.
Un vin qui reste fidèle à son image, dôté d’une excellente tenue, et droit comme un

The Cotes de Francs
The smallest of the Bordeaux appellations – 450 hectares – resembles a small
independent state and occupies the highest slopes of the Gironde, halfway between
the valleys of the Isle and the Dordogne, to the east of Saint Emilion.

Polyculture leaves its mark everywhere and prairies, cereals and vines intermingle.
Created in 1967, the appellation is very much part of the Bordelais family, its
wines having the precision of the best Bordeaux.

Humble pearl of the Bordelais vineyards, the Cotes de Francs is nevertheless one
of its most precious stones.”

The Thienpont Family
One name and one family have contributed to the breakthrough of the appellation:
the “Thienpont tribe”. This family of negociants, originating in Oudenaarde
(Flanders) also owns Vieux Chateau Certan, one of the best-known chateaus in
The patriarch, George Thienpont, bought Chateau Puygueraud, which dominates
the whole appellation, in 1946. Upon his arrival he found the vineyards in ruins
and set about revitalising them through the planting of cereals and raising of cattle.
It was only at the end of the 1970s that he began replanting the vineyards and in
1983, the first wine was produced.

Today, the chateau produces three wines: Chateau Puygueraud, Chateau Lauriol
and Cuvée George and it is one of George’s sons, Nicolas, who manages the
vinification at the different properties.

The wines
Chateau Puygueraud is produced mainly from Merlot with, however, a proportion
of Cabernet that is quite high for the region as well as a touch of Malbec with its
peppery character. In 2005, all the Cabernet Sauvignon was pulled up and
Cabernet Franc was planted in its place. This variety ripens earlier and is better
suited to the terroir of the Cotes de Francs.

The Cuvée George is produced in small quantities and, without being a “prestige”
cuvee, is a nod to George Thienpont who appreciated cabernets and malbec.
Unusually, it is a blend of 35% Malbec, 35% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and
10% Cabernet Sauvignon, thus giving it great individuality of expression at a time
when many wines seem to becoming more and more similar in style.

Chateau Lauriol is principally the second wine of Château Puygueraud, made from
the younger vines on the property

The Human Aspect
Nurturing the soil
The soils of Chateau Puygueraud were patiently restructured and regenerated over
a period of thirty years before being replanted with vines at the end of the 1970s.
One row in two of vines is planted with grasses in order to support the soil
structure and encourage the microbiological life of the soil as well as humus
production. The other rows are gently worked with harrows

The Vines
The rootstock and clones used in the vineyards are very carefully selected in order
to preserve those vine-stocks most suited to the region, manage vigour and give
maximum expression to the terroir.
Another objective is the control of yields, which are always inferior to the
maximums allowed in the appellation. This control of yield allows good ripening
of the grapes and helps ensure a healthy harvest. Management of the yield begins
with pruning followed by de-budding in spring and green harvest at ‘bunch
closure’ and at veraison. The complimentary work of leaf thinning helps maintain
a healthy environment for the grapes.

This manner of caring for the vines is deliberate as the quality of the harvest is the
key ingredient in making good wines.
The harvest (by hand) is proceeded by the drawing up of a parcel by parcel plan of
the vineyard according to analysis of sugar/acid levels and tasting of the grapes to
evaluate their phenolic maturity.
Once picked, the grapes are sorted and fed into stainless steel tanks for whole-
berry fermentation. After a gentle extraction and subsequent maceration,
sometimes accompanied by micro-oxygenation, the wine is put into barrel where
malolactic fermentation takes place. Aging on lees is undergone, without
excessive racking or strict time limits – all interventions are decided by tasting.
Bottling, proceeded by a gentle fining, normally takes place after 16 to 18 months
in barrel.”Ref:
The property was acquired by George Thienpont in 1946 and he subsequently
replanted it with vines towards the end of the 1970’s. Since 1983 his son, Nicolas,
has been responsible for the winemaking. Chateau Puygueraud has since become
the benchmark wine for the Cotes de Francs and a reference for the renewal of this
still little-known appellation.
Area: 35 ha
Varieties planted: 55% Merlot (no more Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Cabernet Franc
with effect from 2005) 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec
Density: 4500 vines / ha
Soils: Clay-limestone on limestone rock with clay and marl
Average age of vines: 30 yrs
Soil management: Traditional: light ploughing and aeration of the soil with inter-
row planting of cereals in the winter.
Tanks: Stainless steel tanks
Length of aging: 12 –16 months in barrel
Barrels: 40% new, 30% 1 yr old, 30% 2 yrs old
Owner: Thienpont Family
Contact: Nicolas Thienpont
Address: 33570 Saint-Cibard
Tel: + 33 (0)557560747
Fax: + 33 (0)557560748
Prodcution: 90,000 to 115,000 bottles approx.
Other specifics:
Temperature controlled tanks.
Lees stirring after completion of malolactic fermentation
Micro-oxygenation if necessary
Reductive aging on lees: 1st racking after 6 to 10 months (before the summer), 2nd
racking 1year later before bottling.

Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2008

Map of Appellation
The Cotes de Francs, smallest of the Bordeaux appellations, occupies the highest
slopes of the Gironde River to the east of Saint-Emilion. Chateau Puygueraud is
leading the breakthrough of this previously little-known region. This wine is
produced mainly from Merlot with, however, a proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon
that is quite high for the region, as well as a touch of Malbec with its peppery
space provided courtesy of

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