Château Villars

Thierry Gaudrie is in charge of production at this 37-hectare property in Fronsac, the latest in a line Gaudries stretching back to the beginning of the 19th century.

Over the last century the area of the estate has doubled in size as the family have acquired neighbouring vineyards, always with mature vines but also with a willingness to replant as the understanding of the terroirs involved increases.

Located on a south-west facing hillside overlooking the River Isle, the merlot (70%), cabernet franc (20%) and cabernet sauvignon (10%) vines grow on chalky clay slopes sitting on a bed of sandstone and are farmed sustainably. 20 hectares or so of the very best vines are devoted to the first wine, with the grapes hand harvested over two or three weeks to ensure full maturity of all grapes used, and a selection is made again at the cellars. In the past up to 50% of the harvest has been declassified, so rigorous are the selection standards. The wine is barrel-aged in Allier oak, one-third of which is new, for up to 14 months and is fined but not usually filtered.

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