From Belgium to Aquitaine for the Love of the Vine
At the highest point of the Bordeaux region of the Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe plateau, in the recently renamed Cotes de Castillon Appellation.
Here on a small estate, is where you will find the Château Goubau with vineyards that are permanently exposed to the sun, but are gently cooled by the breeze which also evaporates the humidity, giving perfect conditions to the grapes growing here.
The clay and chalk subsoil enables optimal water regulation, keeping the roots fresh and resistant to droughts.
Photosynthesis does its job here as the couple, Bea and Stephane Goubau, the owners of the estate, raised the trellis of the vine stocks, increasing the leaf surface and they believe in an organic approach to winemaking.
The Goubau family were not the first owners of the estate as it was called Chateau Gerbay in the 1970’s and bulk wine production was done then.
But with the new owners from Belgium, who fell in love with the property thanks to a friend that let them know that it was for sale in 2005, they have created a more intimate vineyard and cellar renovations that were completed in 2009 are modern with equipment from Italy that is fairly unique to the Bordeaux region.
The equipment consists of two horizontal stainless steel vats with rotating blades that ensures an automatic immersion of the must and a regulated injection of oxygen.
It also has an electric setting for temperature control and this allows for continuous cooling.
The Goubau estate is one of twenty estates to own this equipment. It was also in 2009 that they made the decision to make the winery an organic production.
They have three vinification methods to create a well balanced, good quality wine.
Some of the wine is fermented in the traditional cone shaped wooden barrels whilst others are fermented in newer oak barrels and others are done in the new Oenomost vats which ensures maximum preservation of the aromas and a better extraction of the fruits.
Les Charmes is fermented in the new Italian equipment that keeps the skin submerged avoiding the need for pigeage or remontage.
La Source is vinified in the classic bordelaise wooden cuves and the top wines go through “vinification integrale” or “whole bunch fermentation,” in barriques equipped with openings at each end.
The vineyards surround the chateau and chais at a 100 metre altitude.
The Merlot vines are worked on throughout the year with the removal of excess buds at the end of winter and a green harvest in August which allows for a healthy condition of the grapes by limiting the yields.
There are two sorting tables, one of which is a vibrating one that prevents any grapes that are not at the correct maturity level to pass through.
Bea and Stephane are guided by a well respected oenologist, Pascal Poussevin who has a good reputation in the region.
They are also wine connoisseurs and Stephane inherited his passion for wine from his father, who had wine tasting evenings at their home and invested into a 500 bottled cellar.
Naturally Bea was introduced to the wines too and is now passionate about making high class wines and felt that the region was underrated and their plan was to enlighten wine lovers everywhere.
The Organic Taste Test
Chateau Goubau La Source 2010 is a dense ruby red wine with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberries and spices with hints of roasted flavours.
La Source has an annual production of 15000 bottles, 90/100 rating and has an ageing period of 9 to 15 months in new oak barrels.
Chateau Goubau has the aromas of black fruits and spices with smoky and toasted notes.
It has strong tannins but is soft and smooth.
There is an annual production of 10 000 bottles with an ageing process of 18 months.
This wine has won awards of gold and silver medals and it has also been given a rating of 94/100.
Chateau Goubau 2009 is a densely purple hued wine with aromas of cassis, black plums, violets and baking chocolate with end notes of currants, plums, berries, chocolate and spice.
Chateau Goubau Les Charmes has an annual production of 20000 bottles, consists of 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc.
It is a tender wine with beautiful expressions.
Le Rose de Goubau 2011 is made with juices from the grapes that are picked at dawn, with a slower and cooler fermentation process that enhances the aromas.
There is an annual production of 2500 bottles and it is classified as a Bordeaux Rose, consisting of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
Visit Château Goubau
This beautiful and quaint chateau is a delightful place to visit not only for the setting up on the plateau, but for the interesting wine selection that takes such precision to produce.
And if that is not enough, then you can do the tour and see the latest technology as well as the hard labour that goes into the passion at Château Goubau.
FInd Château Goubau on Facebook.
33350 Gardegan-et-Tourtirac Bordeaux, France
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂