Les Parcellaires de Dourthe, 2022

Bordeaux is a region where blending is key.

The structure and linearity of the Cabernet Sauvignon is cushioned by the plump weight of the Merlot. Cabernet Franc gives perfume and spice, while Petit Verdot gives colour and backbone.

The precision that comes from the gravel or the limestone is countered by the flesh and substance given by clay.

This vat is for the first wine. That vat is for the second wine.

And so on.

If there is any time when the region’s technical directors and famed body of consultants really earn their keep it is when it comes to the blending, taking seemingly disparate lots of wine and combining them to create something elevated above any of the individual lots. In short, producing a blend which is greater than the sum of its parts.

Les Parcellaires de Dourthe

This, of course, directly contradicts the belief in many other parts of France, not least the whole of Burgundy but also Sancerre, Vouvray, Chinon and many other corners of the Loire Valley, where special terroirs are routinely carved out from the whole in order to be allowed to shine. Les Monts Damnés, from Gérard Boulay, Le Clos from Vincent Carême, La Croix Boissée from Bernard Baudry….I could go on (for a very long time).

The Bordeaux blending dogma is clearly one worth challenging. And in Bordeaux, Véronique Razimbaud, Patrick Jestin, Valentin Jestin and Frédéric Bonnaffous, who together head up Vignobles Dourthe, proprietors of a number of well-known estates including Château Belgrave and Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac, have decided to do just that with Les Parcellaires de Dourthe.

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