Château Gombaude-Guillot, 2015 Update

Perhaps one of the lowest-profile châteaux in the Pomerol appellation, Château Gombaude-Guillot has been run by Claire Laval since she took over from her father in the early 1980s. Today the vineyard is managed purely using biodynamic methods, Claire having come round to this as a response to the vineyard afflictions, including a spider infestation, which the vines didn’t seem to be able to shake off. During the early 1990s she shifted to organics, followed a decade-or-so later by conversion to biodynamics. She is assisted in this by her husband Dominique Techer (pictured below), and their son Olivier Techer.

Château Gombaude-Guillot

I sense that the wines have great appeal to those with a strong belief in the value of biodynamic and natural winemaking, the bottles held aloft as examples of what can be achieved in this famous appellation using these methods. I tend to come at the wines not as someone with a great belief in biodynamics, but as someone who looks for quality in the glass, regardless of the methodology. Having now tasted with Claire and Dominique several times, giving me experience of several vintages and the opportunity to revisit some, as well as a taste of the wines from their other property Clos Plince, I certainly think that the wines have appeal. They have attractive flavours and they seem to evolve in an interesting, quite savoury style. What they miss, especially when we compare them to the wines from their neighbours including Château Clinet and Château Trotanoy is substance and texture. I like the wines, but I also have a feeling that there is still some untapped potential here.

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