Chateau Le Puy Duc de Nauves 2016
The Chateau le Puy Duc de Nauves is from an estate overlooking the Dordogne River in France. Chateau Le Puy is steeped in history. It is currently run by Jean-Pierre, Françoise and Pascal – the 15th generation of the Amoreau family, who began making wine back in 1610. The chateau was first built in the early 17th century, before a period of rapid growth starting in 1832. The vineyard now spreads across 35 hectares, over three plots, and is located on what was once known as the “Plateau of Wonders”. Old vines are used, often more than 50 years old.
Château Le Puy takes traditional winemaking seriously, building on past innovations. In 1921, Jean Amoreau began the practice of using only the finest grapes and destemming them before vinification, significantly reducing bitterness. This was built upon in 1934 when Robert Amoreau introduced the “chapeau immerge” extraction method. From 1990, Château Le Puy started to move towards sulphite-free vinification, with an extra focus on using only carefully selected grapes without added sulphites, sugars or yeasts, and then allowing it to barrel mature for 24 months, with regular stirring in accordance with the lunar calendar. No filtration or fining takes place. This process was implemented in full from the 1998 vintage.
What an absolute pleasure it is to have access to the “second wine” of such a singular estate – one that boasts the same rigorously natural vineyard management and cellar practices as Chateau Le Puy itself. This Duc des nauves 2016 – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is absolutely stunning, it’s Le Puy bloodline showing in its aromatic exuberance, silky and harmonious palate, and overall seamlessness. It brims with the vigour and generosity of the great 2016 vintage, but it is in no way overripe or out of balance.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Bordeaux at this price offering more pleasure and complexity.