A Harvest Visit to Château Preuillac, 2012

I recently wrote of my visit to Sociando-Mallet during the 2012 harvest, on October 4th to be precise. For the second in this short series of 2012 harvest reports I travel slightly north of Sociando-Mallet, which itself sits just a few minutes north of the St Estèphe appellation. For this harvest visit, I headed up into the vineyards of the Médoc, to Château Preuillac.

Château Preuillac is one of two properties – the other being Château Brown in Pessac-Léognan – owned by the Mau family, specifically by Jean-Christophe Mau. It is an estate I have visited before, including this time one year ago when I stopped by to taste a mini-vertical of recent vintages of Preuillac, ranging from 2010 back to the 2004. On this visit – also on October 4th, the same day I visited Sociando-Mallet – I spent more time out in the vines than tasting wine (although there are some tasting notes to come), in the company of Frédéric Massie, one of Stéphane Derenoncourt’s associate consultants. Before I report on our walk though the vines though, a quick recap on Château Preuillac itself, and the growing season so far, is perhaps warranted.

Château Preuillac

Château Preuillac

The Preuillac estate covers 42 hectares of the Médoc appellation, of which 30 hectares are planted to vines. The château sits on the side of the D203 which runs east out of Lesparre-Médoc; continue on down this road and you pass the vineyards of Potensac (perhaps one of the best known châteaux of the Médoc, owned and managed by the Delon family of Léoville-Las-Cases), before the road slowly turns southeast towards St Seurin de Cadourne (and thus past Sociando-Mallet) and then continues on towards St Estèphe. The vineyards sit either side of the roadside, with variable terroir, some plots a little higher and more sandy-gravelly, some plots lower and with heavier soils.

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