Winemaker Arnaud Thomassin Christmas

A Very Merry Winemaker Arnaud Thomassin

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The man behind Chàteau de France (Pessac) Shares His Holiday Wine List

As told to Tristan Olphe-Gallaird of Big Bouffe

I’m going to spend the end of year celebrations near Sarzeau, in the Gulf of Morbihan, in Brittany. We plan to eat seafood and a pot-au-feu for Christmas Eve. Regarding the wines, I plan to drink those of friends, whom I met during my studies or at trade fairs and professional tastings.

For the aperitif, I’m going to open a blanc de blanc from Ariston in Brouillet. I like champagne that is not too vinous, with pep and freshness.

For the seafood platter, I will open two wines:

Here we obviously have two wines with completely different grape varieties but what they have in common is some freshness and minerality while having a certain structure brought by the vinifications in barrels.

For the pot-au-feu, I also chose two wines:

I think the two will go well on the stew. We should not have wines that are too powerful but on the contrary a little finesse is needed. Beaujolais will be perfect for getting to start. It is quite a round and drinkable wine.

With Saint-Joseph we will go up in structure as the Syrah grape gives a spicy and powerful wine (but not too much). I always keep in mind the notion of freshness. It’s important to me that there is always some acidity.

For the cheeses (aged comté, brie with truffle…):

I will open a Château de France 1996. This is my first vintage. I drink it from time to time. It is quite advanced, with finesse and elegance, with aromas of undergrowth. We begin to lift our foot a little on the power of the wines to slowly reach the end of the meal.

I will stay on the Bordeaux side for dessert (probably an apricot tart) with a Sauterne Château Suduiraut 2009. It is a wine that has already been around for a few years with not too much sugar and a little freshness. I think it will be perfect to end the meal.


Winemaker Arnaud Thomassin christmas

The father of Arnaud Thomassin bought Château de France in 1971, a somewhat forgotten estate where he was keen to make great Pessac-Léognan wines. Arnaud joined his father in 1996 as technical director. He adds his personal touch, paying particular attention to the vineyard.


Château de France – 33850 Léognan

+33 (0)5 56 64 75 39

[email protected]

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