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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:
- First a Pouilly Fuissé from Domaine Sangouard Guyot, certainly the L’Ancestral cuvée in 2017.
- Then it will be a Château de France Blanc 2014, on freshness, with an acidity that will go well with seafood.
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:
- A Fleurie from my friend Christian Bernard from Domaine des Grands Fers.
- A Saint Joseph Sainte Epine rouge from Domaine Michelas St Jemms.
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.
CHATEAU DE FRANCE
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.
CHATEAU DE FRANCE
Château de France – 33850 Léognan
+33 (0)5 56 64 75 39