I know we’re reaching when I see rows of grapes…
My first winery visit for this trip was to Château Giscours in Medoc region, on the left bank of Bordeaux. Their wines are classified under the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 as one of the 14 Third Growth “Troisièmes Crus” vineyards, producing wines of Margaux appellation.
To be honest, Medoc and Margaux wine was never my thing. I tend to prefer Saint-Émilion wines, but I am open to trying because well, there’s a high chance that we only get inferior Medoc wines in Singapore. Digressing, I used to not think highly of Burgundy Pinot Noir but the impression entirely changed when I tasted it in Burgundy itself. And I didn’t even get to try any Romanée-Conti; even the village level wines already tasted better than what we normally find in Singapore.
Back to Medoc, I simply came here because I was searching for a B&B stay in a wine château and I found Château Giscours listed on Booking.com. The rooms looked good and the location was in the famous Medoc region so why not? It cost €165 (10% vat included) per night with breakfast and wine tasting for 2 (which would be €12 per person).
On the left is the building where the accommodation is and where wine tastings takes place. It used to be a horse stable in the past.
This is the building you traditionally see on Bordeaux wine labels.
We started with a brief introduction about Château Giscours and the history. It changed hands in 1995 and is now owned by a Dutch owner.
These barrels stores the 2015 wine. It’s not ready yet!
All wines are aged in French oak barrels and they use mostly new ones each year. Old barrels can be sold to people making whisky. One new French oak barrel can cost minimum $1200 and premium wines uses more expensive barrels which can cost over $4000 each. This process cannot be compromised because the oak has significant effect on the wine. This gives French wines their distinct character, by allowing oxidation due to porous nature of the wood and imparting flavor from the oak. This makes French wines different from new world wines which may skip this step and age in metal containers instead.
Château Giscours is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet and 2% Petit Verdot.
2010 was a good year for Château Giscours and most of Bordeaux, due to the good weather. Good years depends very much on the weather, since the wine making technique is more or less the same.
Bottles waiting for the 2015 wine.
Time for wine tasting. Most vintages from the years before 1995 aren’t here because they changed hands.
The tasting comprised of a rose, a second wine and their Grand Cru wine.
The Grand Cru wine packed a lot more character than their second wine – La Sirène de Giscours, which was more for everyday drinking.
2005 was also an exceptional year. The wine would have reached it’s prime by now! It could be a coincidence that good years comes roughly every 5 years because 2015 was good too! Too bad it’s not available yet.
Price list for purchase. Year 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010 were the better years.
These are used as samples to identify notes of the wine.
Made from old oak barrels!
The rooms for B&B are located on the upper floors of the building. This is the tiny corridor.
Bathroom equipped with Hermes toiletries.
Honestly I had expected a rather basic room but this place was really nicely done up. I was pleased with the quality here and the idea of staying in a vineyard made my Bordeaux trip feel complete.
They didn’t have a restaurant onsite but there are restaurants in the area. I had dinner at La Table d’Agassac which was a 10 minutes’ drive away. Read about it in this post. (Upcoming)
The next morning…
Breakfast was provided in a private dining room just below.
It was a lovely spread.
My stay here was very pleasant and I would recommend this experience! It beats staying within town for sure. You have to stay in a winery if you visit Bordeaux. You just have to!