Grande Maison (Organic): Monbazillac / Bergerac
Rated “Outstanding” 5 star producer (one of only 4 producers in the south-west) in Robert Parkers Wine Buyers Guide #7
Thierry Despres is the very jovial owner / wine-maker of Grande Maison. The sweet Monbazillac’s are Thierry’s pride and joy, although his dry whites and reds from the Bergerac appellation are equally outstanding. Since arriving at Grande Maison, a 13th century building, he has completely renovated both the vineyards and the buildings.
The Monbazillac wines are made from grapes grown on very low yielding vines. Individual botrytis affected grapes are hand selected from up to 7 picking runs through the vineyards. Thierry has also built a dam amongst the vineyards to help induce the attack of botrytis. There are 3 different cuvees of Monbazillac produced.
“The wines are splendidly concentrated, very clean and pure. Thierry Despres is a fanatic, as well as an individualist, but he makes very good wines” Clive Coates – The wines and Domaines of France
2009 Bergerac blanc “cuvee Sophie”
A wood matured blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. This wine shows greater richness and depth than is typical of many Bordeaux white wines.
2008 Bergerac rouge “cuvee Antoinette” (90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon)
A medium to full bodied style of red to be enjoyed in its youth. Shows fine red fruits with hints of ‘Graves-like’ tobacco so typical of Bergerac red wines.
2007 Monbazillac “cuvee des Anges” 750ml (review below for 2005 vintage)
“Thierry Depres offers a sensational value and introductory opportunity by bottling his 2005 Monbazillac ‘Cuvée des Anges’ of Semillon, Sauvignon, and Muscadelle, organically grown and selectively harvested like all of his wines, but seeing no oak. Toasted brioche, musk, white truffle, gardenia, honey and candied citrus rind waft from a glass of this self-styled angelic cuvée. The long finish is only very subtly sweet, with chalk, bitter-sweet candied citrus, and musky, meaty notes. An open bottle will hold up well for more than a week, so what are you scared of? And if you think this is good, wait until you taste the barrel-fermented wines from Grande Maison .” 92 points Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate Aug ‘08
2009 Monbazillac “cuvee du Chateau” 500ml – arriving late 2013
From selected botrytised grapes – wood aged – very fresh and will keep very well though drinking brilliantly now. Rich luscious and long finishing fresh. A stunning success in this outstanding vintage, 2009 combines richness and freshness giving a wine of great power with balanced acidity. Fabulous
2009 Monbazillac “cuvee des Monstres” 375ml
‘Monstres’ is a wine that is made with the same care and attention to detail that goes into the making of Château d’Yquem. Only 2 barrels produced from yields of 3.5 hl/ha after seven pickings of individual botrytised berries. This wine shows great depth and concentration while remaining fresh and elegant. A stunning wine to enjoy now or cellar for a further 10+ years.