It was a pleasure to revisit the The Guéry family in the Spring and taste their new wines. They have been producing wine over eight generations since the 18th century in the delightful little Southern village of Azille.
René-Henry and Florence are the current generation, who took over from Antoine and Maguy Guéry. The 30 hectare Minervois vineyard is situated at the foot of the Montagne Noire between Carcassonne and Narbonne, and enjoys excellent drainage and exposure to the sun. The large mosaic of different patches, with different terroirs and planted with 17 different grape varieties, gives René-Henry a large and diverse palette to work from. We were particularly bowled over by the reds this year. Their Minervois, now named Grès – referring to the pebbly soil, is the best we have tasted from them, and the top of the range Les Eolides 2010 is as brilliant as the marvellous 2003 and 2005 we previously shipped.
In an area where power and alcohol often dominate the wines, it is particularly refreshing to see that the Guéry family focus on elegance, finesse and the expression of the fruit from their varied terroirs.
Their Minervois, now named Grès – referring to the pebbly soil, is the best we have tasted from them, and the top of the range Les Eolides 2010 is as brilliant as the marvellous 2003 and 2005 we previously shipped.
What really grabbed our attention this year was his superb L’Adoration 2012 – made from 100% Mourvèdre. Not unlike a really good Bandol but Guéry’s wine is really something exceptional and different!
Château Guéry Grès 2012
Made from a careful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre this is medium/deep in colour. It has an inviting perfumed nose with pure Syrah fruit and notes of herbs. This leads into a rich, concentrated mouthful of smoky Syrah fruit. The tannins add good structure but are unobtrusive, soft and ripe and there is good length.
Serre de Guéry L’Adoration 2012
IGP Pays d’Oc
This fascinating wine is made from 100% Mourvèdre. As the Minervois appellation insists on a blend of additional grape varieties, it has to be classified as a Vin de Pays. The Mourvèdre grape variety is hard to grow, and only flourishes in a small number of terroirs, the most famous being the fabulous deep wines of Bandol in Provence (which are also fabulously expensive!).
In René’s hands the variety’s character is expressed exceptionally well. It is medium/deep in colour. There is a wonderful perfumed nose of violets and red fruits. On the palate it is full of fruit with delicious flavours of sloes and damsons and a dusty, mineral finish.
Château Guéry Les Eolides 2010
This tour de force, his flagship wine, which is made largely from Syrah with just a tiny amount of Grenache in the blend, is named after the symphonic work composed by César Franck actually in Azille. Only the grapes from the best slopes are used, and the wines is aged carefully in oak barrels. The results are superb! It is deeper in colour, with a very fresh minty nose, while on the palate it is concentrated, very silky, elegant and complex with black fruits dominating. It finishes very long with a hint of dark chocolate.
Some of you will remember the superb 2003 and 2005 that we shipped previously. The 2010 is every bit as good and justifiably it won two stars in Guide Hachette this year. A real Rolls Royce of a wine!