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The annual production for the first growth is about 100.000 bottles. Some really bad years (1991 and 1993) No classified growth has been produced.The first growth is produced from a 85ha of Sauternes appellation vines.
Only Semillon (65%) and Sauvignon (35%) are planted at Guiraud with a pruning "à cots" or "in fan" for the Semillons and long branches for the Sauvignons. The density of plantation is 6660 vine per ha (Root stock Riparia 33 09, 101 14,161 49). The average age of the vines is 35-40 years. The average yield is 12hl/ha. The maximum yield allowed by the appellation is 25hl/ha.
Harvest is only done hand picking by successive waves through the vineyard (2 to 7 selections), picking only the botrytised berries. A minimum of potential alcohol (20°) must be reached before starting the harvest. The fermentation is made in new oak barrels over a period of three weeks to two months. Different batches are fermentated until they reach their own equilibrium which depends upon their selection. Chaptalisation, cryoextraction and any other techniques used to enrich the wine are absolutely prohibited. The aging in barrels lasts 24 months.
1996 is one of our favorites, because of its clearness given by sauvignon (Xavier Planty)
Stemming from an early harvest (started on the 28th of august), fist time since 1883, and a very pure botrytis, 1996 Guiraud is a complex and powerful wine, built for long years.
Deep yellow tinge with glittering bronze reflects.
A spicy nose, of crystallized apricot, honeysuckle, peach, fresh pineapple followed by crystallized lemon but also balck tea and roasted berries, vanilla notes.
A very rich texture, always backed up by a really good acidity.
The wine is never to heavy but on the opposite, offers the freshness of great botrytis.
The " Noble House of Bayle " used to be estate's name when it belonged to the Mons Saint-Poly family. A notarial deed dated 22 February 1766 reveals that Pierre Guiraud, a Bordeaux merchant of Protestant faith, bought it for 53,000 livres.
On his death in 1799 his son Louis succeeded him. It was under Louis Guiraud that the estate was saved from a severe devaluation which had begun in 1793, becoming a famous château well known for its wine.
On his death in 1837, his son Pierre-Aman inherited a well-established property, with a value estimated at 250,00 livres.
Within 80 years and three generations, various families succeeded each other as owners of the estate. The legend was born in1855 when Château Guiraud became a Premier Grand Cru de Sauternes.
During a dinner in early 2006, Robert Peugeot, an industrialist, and three wine makers, Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier, Stephan Von Neipperg of Château Canon La Gaffelière and Xavier Planty, the estate's director, decided to buy Guiraud. They signed a purchase contract on 20 July 2006 thereby uniting their shared passion for wine, gastronomy, nature and hunting.
Area: 85 ha
Soil: 80% sandy gravel and clayey gravel for the remainder
Sub-soil: deep translucent sand, pure gravel with some banks of red clay and limestone marl,bands of limestone with oyster shells or red and white clays
Density: 6,600 vines/ha
Rootstock: Riparia, 33 09, 101 14, 161 49
Average age of vines: 35-40 years
Harvests: uniquely by hand, with successive selective pickings (2-6 pickings) of botrytised
grapes. A minimum potential alcohol level of 20° is required to begin harvesting
Fermentation: 90% in new barrels, 10% in barrels that have already aged one wine,for a period of three weeks to two months
Maturation: in barrels, on fine lees, for 18 to 24 months depending on the year, with racking every three months
Production: 100,000 bottles of Château Guiraud
30,000 bottles of Dauphin de Guiraud, Château Guiraud’s second wine 50,000 bottles of G de Château Guiraud, dry white Bordeaux
Owners: Robert Peugeot for FFP, Stephan von Neipperg, Olivier Bernard and Xavier Planty
The 1996s stand as a “classic” Bordeaux year, although – as Jancis Robinson MW has written – not in the “skinny” sense; although Farr Vintners’ director, Tom Hudson, told the drinks business that it was perhaps a “very good” rather than a “truly great” year as it wasn’t uniformly excellent across the region.
By way of a recap, 1996 was a particularly sterling vintage for Médoc wines. The Berry Bros & Rudd website extolls: “This is one of the great post-war vintages for Médoc Cabernet-based wines. They are rich, complex and beautifully balanced wines, packed with ripe, pure fruit and have the structure that will allow the top wines to age well into the next decade and beyond.”
The Right Bank by contrast are described as “distinguished” but “overshadowed” by the ‘95s – which was an especially good vintage for Saint Emilion and Pomerol.
It was also an excellent vintage for white Bordeaux.
Robert Parker’s scores tend to favour the Left Bank, though a few of the very best wines of the Right Bank received very respectable reviews as well.
Only two wines received 100-points: Lafite and Latour, Margaux was rated 99, Léoville Las Cases 98, Ducru Beaucaillou 96 and Pichon-Comtesse 96.
La Mondotte was the highest rated Right Bank wine on 97-points, Ausone was the next best rated on 93 as was L’Eglise Clinet, while Gomerie, Petrus and Le Pin settled for 92 and Cheval Blanc for 90.
With the passage of nearly 20 years, the wines have naturally appreciated and now that they are well into their drinking window demand will almost certainly begin to push prices up even further for the most in-demand among them.
The figures are often impressive, to date Lafite has seen a rise of 657.9% since its release, its second wine Carruades is up 592%, Latour has risen 437%, Petrus 400% and Pichon Baron 240%.