A true family affair, this property has been in the hands of the Vayron family since 1840, and has now passed through eight generations. Its current owners are Xavier and Dominique Vayron, who inherited the estate in the 1970s, and their daughter Frédérique, who has continued to improve the property since she became involved in 2005.
The family’s nine hectares of vines stand in one block on the Pomerol plateau, where they benefit from plenty of sunshine, and the finest part of the vineyard lies next to top Pomerol property Château Trotanoy. The mix of soil types – varying between clay, sandy clay and gravel – provides a nuanced palate of grape characteristics from which to create a concentrated, complex wine.
There are just two grapes grown here: merlot, which makes up 90% of the blend, and cabernet franc which contributes the remaining 10%. Grapes are all hand harvested before being fermented in temperature-controlled cement vats, after which the wine ages for around 16 months in oak, up to 30% of which are new barrels.
Luckily for Society members, American gurus read this wine wrong, and it is still available to us at a reasonable price. Although it shows more fruit and perfume when young, Bourgneuf has always been a wine that requires and benefits from ageing, and should be kept for between eight and 20 years.