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Château Monconseil-Gazin

Château Monconseil-Gazin

The legend goes that the name 'monconseil' came about after Charlemagne held a council (mon conseil) in this area in the ninth century. The château itself wasn't built until around 1500, and it was bought by the Baudet family in 1894. Since then, five generations of the family have put their heart and soul into tending the 18 hectares of vines at this château in the Cotes de Blaye, a region which borders Bourg at the northernmost part of Bordeaux's right bank.

Throughout the 20th century, the estate evolved as each generation made its mark, most notably in the 1950s when it also acquired six hectares of vineyards in Gazin, prompting the château's name change to Monconseil-Gazin. The family then purchased 18 hectares at Château Ricaud in 1962, as well as Château La Petite Roque in the 1980s, meaning their total vineyard area now comprises 44 hectares.

The 24ha at Monconseil-Gazin lie on gentle, south-facing slopes that get plenty of sunshine in the dry summers, but the vines are kept hydrated thanks to well-draining, clay-limestone soils which encourage the roots to dig deep for moisture. The estate is dedicated mostly to red grapes, with 60% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 10% malbec, and a small amount of cabernet franc, but it also has two hectares of sauvignon blanc and semillon.

The current generation of the family is Jean-Michel Baudet and his wife Francoise. Jean-Michel is as passionate about wine as his forefathers, and was even part of the group responsible for the creation of Blaye AOC. The team campaigned for years, finally achieving its aim in 2000, and Jean-Michel is now the president of Blaye AC. It was in this same year that the château first began pursuing sustainable vineyard practices, and the estate has now been Terra Vitis accredited. This means it practises firmly controlled sustainable viticulture and has a lower sulphite allowance than even organic production.

The winery is subject to strict quality control. Grapes are sorted manually prior to fermentation; after which, the wine spends between 12 to 18 months in French oak barrels. Great care is taken to ensure the oak influence is balanced with the wine's other characters, resulting in a smooth, fresh wine that remains a brilliant example of the Blaye appellation for which this family campaigned so tirelessly.

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