Château Grand Village
If there really is a wine to disprove the accepted wisdom in Bordeaux, then perhaps we will find it here, at Château Grand Village. In a region in which we perhaps spend too long looking only at the most prestigious appellations, perhaps because we think all the great terroirs and great vineyards are defined within, to the exclusion of everything that lies outside, Château Grand Village proves that this approach is blinkered. We all have wine-tunnel vision at times; the problem is, in a region so vast, with perhaps ten thousand domaines potentially vying for our attention, where should we look for these unknown châteaux intent upon upsetting the Bordeaux hierarchy?
One place we should look is the commune of Mouillac, far to the north and to the west of Fronsac, where we find the hamlet of Le Grand Village. During the Middle Ages two notable dynasties lived here, the Farouil de Mahé and Verdery families. The fate of the former seems uncertain, their estate long disappeared, their fine mansion now nothing more than a few free-standing ruins. The Verdery family, however, flourished, their estate growing over hundreds of years into what we now refer to as Château Grand Village. Today this expansive domaine is home to the Guinaudeau family, and it is this name that led me here, so far off the beaten track. Jacques Guinaudeau (pictured above) is, of course, the man who secured the reputation of Château Lafleur, in Pomerol, during the latter half of the 20th century. Here at Château Grand Village we have a wine made to the same exacting standards, on interesting terroir, albeit in a region which has, essentially, no real appellation.
In this profile I look at the history of this estate, before an examination of the vineyards and my report on the full range of wines made here today, including an extensive collection of tasting notes.