Château Guadet Plaisance
No recently tasted wines have challenged my preconceptions and upturned my personal understanding of the appellation hierarchy more thoroughly than those of Château Guadet Plaisance. I visited the estate late in 2012, and although I immediately perceived the energy and vigour exhibited by the proprietor, and I warmed to his organic and not-quite-biodynamic philosophies, I was uninspired by the picture presented by the domaine. Here we were, in Montagne-St-Emilion, just metres from the boundary with the St Emilion appellation, where the likes of Château Grand-Corbin-Despagne and Château Croque-Michotte, increasingly renowned for the challenge made by its proprietor Pierre Carle to the 2012 St Emilion classification more than its wines per se, are to be found. The winery buildings were drab, the interior Spartan and unloved, the paint peeling in places, hidden by cobwebs in others. But the wines? These were like no satellite underdog I have ever encountered before, and were clearly superior to so many wines from St Emilion that I have tasted in the past.
The proprietor is Pierre Taïx, an undersung right bank whirlwind with several properties to his name. The domaine in question, as the title above indicates, is Château Guadet Plaisance. And this is one château in Montagne-St-Emilion which we should all know better, I think.