Château Carbonnieux Blanc 2011
• Domaine: Château Carbonnieux
• Appellation: Pessac-Léognan
• Classification: Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
Château Carbonnieux is perhaps one of the most beloved properties hailing from Pessac-Léognan. This Graves Grand Cru Classé has one of the longest histories in the entire region that dates all the way back to the 12th Century. The vineyard is 900-hectares, making it one of the largest in the entire appellation. Yet despite its size, Château Carbonnieux never compromises in terms of production, yielding some of the most iconic and timeless red and white wines from the Pessac-Leognan Region. The wines are incredibly beautiful and balanced and are versatile enough to drink after some decanting or lay down for years to come. We can assure you, once you experience Château Carbonnieux, you will be a fan for years to come.
Château Carbonnieux receives its namesake from a family with the last name Carbonius who cleared and cultivated land near Léognan at the beginning of the 13th Century. The first owner was Ramon Carbonnieu, who is mentioned in the archives of Bordeaux. After the tumultuous Hundred Years War, the property was run by Benedictine Monks. The Monks did not hesitate to borrow large sums of money to focus on their winemaking and ended up producing some of the most renowned wines in the world.
The white wines of Château Carbonnieux were seen as some of the top wines of Graves. At the time, there were two leaders in terms of winemaking in Pessac-Léognan – Château Haut-Brion for red wines and Château Carbonnieux for white wines. These white wines soon gained traction and acclaim outside of France in the Ottoman Empire, where they were adored among royalty and called, “the mineral water of Carbonnieux.” In 1786, the American President and oenophile, Thomas Jefferson planted a pecan tree in the Château park. The tree is now two centuries old and still stands there to this day. The property was classified as a Grand Cru Classé in 1955. The property has been in the possession of the Perrin family since 1956, and it is still very much a family operation.
At Château Carbonnieux, there is a mixture of different types of gravel, which are unique to the region. Here, the vines can have great drainage and get the nutrients they need from the clay and limestone terroir. Château Carbonnieux is a rare producer because both red and white vines can thrive in this incredible environment and are worthy of being classified. The white wine varietals Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are planted in a mixture of gravel, clay and limestone soils which yield complex aromas and freshness.
If there was one word to describe the vinification process at Château Carbonnieux, it would be, “gentle.” The aim here is to preserve the wine’s roundness and mineral qualities – never to create some over the top wine. Because of the mixture of tradition and modern viticultural innovation, the white wines here are timeless. With their citrus qualities, racing mineral acidity, beautiful fresh aromas, and complexity they are simply iconic and a must have for any white wine lover.
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