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Chateau Cazebonne is a reclamation project involving an historic 40 hectare estate in Graves, spread over 7 parcels of vines with different terroirs. To correct the industrial farming of the past Cazebonne is in conversion and will be certified organic and Biodynamic as of the 2020 vintage. The soils are lightly plowed, fertilized with compost and cover crops, and 26 old Bordeaux varities are being planted to bring back diversity to the vineyards. The 2019 Graves Blanc "Entre amis" is 50% Sauvignon, 50% Semillon, 20% with 5 days of skin contact. The nose is floral, but with a tone of spicy, herbal zest. Dried apricot, sliced pear, and a wonderful earthy aroma of crushed white stones. The palate has distinct flavors of golden apple, with more nuanced notes of white pepper and cured lemon. There is a richness in structure (no doubt due to the Semillon), framed by wonderfully bright acidity and a dusting of subtle tannin.
This cuvée is made from 79% Semillon and 21% Sauvignon Gris. The Semillons come from an exceptional outcrop of gravel on their "Cazebonne" vineyard, to which has been added Sauvignon Gris from the "Medicine" parcel. Half of the manual harvest was destemmed by hand, and the rest was placed in whole clusters in two terracotta amphorae. After pressing, the fermentation finished in old barrels. The wine was then matured for 9 months, without any added sulfur (neither on the harvest nor before bottling).A gastronomic white, the maceration brought bitterness and complexity. But it is closer to a white wine than to an orange wine. On the nose there are zappy aromas of spearmint, white pepper, dried apricot and papaya. The palate is full, with lemon, green tea, in addition to white and yellow stone fruits. Structurally, there is a lovely richness, with just a bit of tannic muscle, and a leveling edge of good acidity. Beautiful wine!
Though Christophe Pueyo is the 5th generation of winemakers to work with this estate, he has brought them in a new direction with conversion to organic farming (and more recently biodynamic practices), and is making decidedly un-classic expressions of St. Emilion. The 'Galipette' is a far cry from the Bordeaux Blanc we're accustomed to, but is instead a delightful, no additive pet-nat of Semillon and Muscadelle. These two varieties, typically the minority in dry, white blends, are the star of this frothy sparkler. Notes of chamomile and white flowers, soft herbs, and fresh bread on the nose, and a creaminess and richness that you might not expect from a no sulfur pet-nat on the palate. Michelle DeWyngaert