The wines of Bernard Magrez
Part 2: Château Pérenne

After lunch, we were back in the helicopter to fly to another of Bernard Magrez' properties, Château Pérenne. This meant we had to fly over the Gironde to the right bank, which is where the famed appellations of St Emilion and Pomerol are located.

If you look at a map of the Bordeaux region, you'll see that there's no equivalent to the Medoc on the right bank of the Gironde: directly opposite the left bank estates, the first appellation you come to is the rather lowly Côtes de Blaye.

Pérenne is located in the 1er Côtes de Blaye, and this is an example of an ambitious estate in an undistinguished appellation. The Château itself is fairly typical for Bordeaux, and was built as a rather grand residence in the 1870s. Magrez purchased the estate in 1997, and it is fairly sizeable, with 64 hectares of vines, mostly Merlot.


This is also where Gerard Depardieu, a friend of Bernard Magrez, makes his wine ‘Confiance’. His small vineyard is literally next door, and he has a separate area in the cellar where Confiance is made. When we visited they were draining the wine off its skins, preparing to press (below).


The wines 

Château Pérenne Blanc 2008 (barrel sample)
This is 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Gris and 20% Semillon.
Very bright aromatic nose leads to a grassy, tropical palate with a nice spicy edge to the bright fruit. Deliciously broad and fresh. 87-90/100

Château Saint-Genès 2006 1er Côtes de Blaye
Bright, sweet blackurrant nose with some green herbiness. The palate shows sweet, forward fruit with a nice citrussy structure. Blackcurranty and fresh – tastes a bit Chilean, even. 87/100

Château Pérenne 2005 1er Côtes de Blaye
A bit closed on the nose.
Nicely rich and dense on the palate with lovely bright, pure fruit and some grippy tannins. Lots happening here but needs a year or two to open out. 89/100

Château Pérenne 2004 1er Côtes de Blaye
Green herby lift to the blackcurranty fruit. Nicely aromatic. The palate is bright with blackcurrant fruit and nice freshness. Delicious for current drinking. 88100

Confiance de Gerard Depardieu 2004 1er Côtes de Blaye
95% Merlot, 5% Malbec, from old vines. Hand destemmed and aged for 20 months in predominantly new oak. 14.5% alcohol. Sweet, pure, aromatic nose with some chocolatey notes. Quite lush with dark fruit character. The palate is sweet and rich with new oak evident, as well as pure, dark fruit. Great concentration to this really powerful, smooth wine which has a long future ahead of it. 92/100

La Croix de Pérenne 2005 1er Côtes de Blaye
100% Merlot, hand picked and hand destemmed, with 20 months in new oak. Sweet, intense nose with vibrant, vivid black fruits, some floral notes and some spicy oak. The palate is concentrated and lush with sweet fruit, refined tannins and a spicy finish. Really superb, but currently a bit oaky. 92/100

A short film of the visit:



Also in this series:

Wines tasted 11/08  
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