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Our Society range aims to bottle the essence of a region, in this case the right-bank umbrella appellation of Côtes de Bordeaux. Members’ favourite Château Pitray holds the warrant, reliably combining seductive juiciness with lovely freshness on the palate.
Product Code: CL201
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The majestic estate of Château de Pitray has been in the de Boigne family for 600 years. Situated on the Gardegan plateau in the west of the Dordogne Valley, the property falls under the Côtes de Castillon appellation, but it lies just 8km from the better-known town of Saint-Emilion. Pitray is thought by many to be amongst the finest properties in the appellation. The château itself has been rebuilt twice, most recently in 1868 when it was built in a wonderful Victorian Gothic style, with a recent £1 million roof sprucing the place up after hail damage. The building is hidden amongst century-old oak and cedar trees at the end of a sweeping drive, with the vineyards planted around the outskirts of the estate to preserve the château’s serenity. Indeed, its builders thought that a view of the vines would be rather vulgar and hid them from sight. However, far from being an elite residence sequestered away, the château is hired out for elaborate cocktail parties and weddings, and some of its rooms are used for a memorable bed-and-breakfast experience. On top of all that, oak trees are now being planted with a view to producing truffles!Since 2003, the estate has been run by current generation Jean de Boigne. He farms the estate sustainably with the health of the soils, vines and the environment around them uppermost in his mind. The 37 hectares of vineyards are split into 75% merlot and 25% cabernet franc, both of which enjoy the clay-limestone soils, and vines have an average age of 29 years. The cellar produces almost a quarter of a million bottles annually. Each parcel of vines – and there are many – is vinified separately according to its respective character and needs. The merlot undergoes maceration for longer than the cabernet franc, but both are kept at cool temperatures for the duration, retaining the grapes’ natural character and aromas.The estate’s main wine, Château de Pitray, and also our Society’s Côtes de Bordeaux, are aged in vats, with repeated racking. They then undergo fining with egg whites before blending. Cuvée Madame de Pitray is the result of vineyard and cellar selection of the best grapes, and is often sold en primeur. The wines have a magnificent propensity to age well, and many assert their quality rivals the famous appellation nearby.
The best growers in the less-fashionable regions of the satellite appellations Blaye, Bourg, and the old Premières Côtes have to work that bit harder to get their wines known and the quality is often exceedingly high while the prices remain sensible. Blaye is the northernmost of these satellites, named after the town of Blaye (pronounced ‘Bly’), which sits on the varied soils of the right-hand shore of the great Gironde estuary. Merlot dominates and the majority of the wines are soft and easy-drinking, balanced and flavourful, but without the dominance of new oak. The wines are usually ready to drink much sooner than those of neighbouring Bourg.Côtes de Bourg is a smaller region south of Blaye, where the Dordogne joins the Garonne to become the Gironde. The soils here are more homogenously clay with limestone and the wines, though still generally merlot dominated, are more robust with delectable tannins, and they benefit from a little more time in bottle as a result. They can develop extremely well with short to mid-term cellaring.Before the draining of the marshes of the Médoc in the 17th century it was these areas that provided a good deal of the wine exported to Britain.Castillon adjoins Saint-Emilion to the east along the Dordogne and inland to the north. It is developing a good reputation for its wines and several prestigious producers from neighbouring appellations have invested a good deal to make wine here and too very good effect alongside a number of excellent locals such as Château de Pitray. Merlot again dominates on a mixture of soils from clay to sand and gravel, though cabernet sauvignon is also has a presence. A wider umbrella appellation controlee called simply Côtes de Bordeaux identifies special terroirs, which includes Blaye and Castillon with one or two others on the banks of the two rivers Garonne and Dordogne. The vast majority of production is red, made mostly from merlot, and there are many excellent producers here, such as Denis Dubourdieu.
I would recommend this wine
"The gentleman before me said this wine was excellent. I could not agree with him more good old fashioned claret nothing not to like."
"The gentleman before me said this wine was excellent. I could not agree with him more good old fashioned claret nothing not to like."
I would recommend this wine
There are no press reviews for this product.
"A nice enough Bordeaux, but not sure its worthy of such a price tag. However this is definitely one to decant, I have never seen so much sediment in a relatively young wine. "
Mr Michael Wilton (23-May-2020)
"Tried at a Wine Society friends house. I was pleasantly surprised. a fruity wine with a good lasting impression.Will be buying lots of bottles. He said he has purchased this over the years and the quality has remained constant."
Mr Ken Smith (29-Oct-2019)
"Unbelievable, this wine sings of fruit both in the mouth and on the nose, blackberries perhaps a little tobacco initially tannin and acid shy. When it does come the tannins are smooth and controlled and the acidity just increases the length in the mouth. This is very much a now wine not for long keeping . The fruit itself puts it on a par with the madame de pitray "
Mr Ian Strang (20-Oct-2019)
"Not a bottle I would buy again, the tannins seemed harsh even with decanting for a couple of hours and the wine just uninteresting. I compared it to [another merchant's]Claret which for #3 more was a much better blend much softer."
Mr Martin Mooney (30-Jul-2019)
"Disappointing, as a fan of Pitray of which I still have a couple of bottles, and of the society’s claret, I ordered this as an ‘inbetween’ wine. Smells ok but little taste - certainly no fruit and no better on day two - perhaps a dud bottle. "
Mr David Welland (27-Jul-2019)
"I have had very mixed experiences with this wine. The first few bottles were nicely balanced and very good for a Bordeaux selling at less than £10. However, the last bottle I had was undrinkable when opened with a corked taste although the cork was in perfect condition . It seems to have mellowed a little over the week whilst I had relegated it to cooking wine."
Mr Andrew Bartlett (24-Feb-2019)
"It is a OK wine with some nice fruit but at £9/btl is very expensive for what you get."
Mr A Nick Lowe (19-Jan-2019)
"Reading other members' reviews I realise we all have widely differing tastes. I enjoyed the wine finding it fruity and robust enough to partner a steak and kidney pie. It was part decanted about an hour beforehand allowing the tannin taste to mellow. It could improve with bottle age although the remainder, in the bottle under a vacuum stopper, had faded by the following day. Best with food I think and reasonable value."
Mr Brian Glover (17-Dec-2018)
"Reasonable and quaffable, I didn't have high expectations and was rather nicely surprised. I like the tannin, and at modern room temperature it does well. A little thin perhaps, but at less than a tenner, it does the job. "
Mr Simon Larter-Evans (16-Dec-2018)
"Surprised and disappointed. I recently had a Château de Pitray, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux 2015 which I thought was remarkable - the day after we tried it, I ordered a case, only to find it had sold out, but the Society recommended I try the The Society's Côtes de Bordeaux 2015, which is by the same Chateau and the same year.
I haven't had such an unappetising wine for a long time - in it's current form it is undrinkable. Thin, no fruit and highly tannic. The label suggests that it can benefit from up to 8 years bottle age, so after the first taste (after 2 hours in a decanter), I put it in a vacuumed bottle to see if it would improve. After 2 days it had softened a bit and had opened up somewhat, but it was still fairly unpleasant, so I'm not sure if it will improve with age. Would be interested to hear what experience other members have had, as it should have been a good year from a good Chateau."
Mr Alexander Robinson (05-Dec-2018)
The Spectator (26th Mar 2019)
"Affordable claret is
better than ever ... From a great vintage and made by Château de Pitray, this
is the very definition of refreshing lunch time claret. I love the combination
of ripe raspberry fruit with a nice tannic bite to it that comes into its own
with red meat. - Henry Jeffreys"
"Great value wine. Fruity, but with enough body to handle a few more years in the cellar after which it should be very good."
Prof Paul Blachez (03-Mar-2018)
"Disappointing. This will be my first negative review of a Society wine. A sharp, unpleasant tang on the tongue. No fruit and no nose. A taste like oxidation, although clear and good colour. Another Pitray wine had a similarly unpleasant raw edge."
Mr Roger Daniels (28-Feb-2018)
"A good everyday drinking wine. Red plum fruit with some sweet spice from oak, it has soft tannins providing necessary structure. Get your order in now; I see there is no follow-on 2013."
Mr Peter J Ford (29-Jan-2017)
"Charming, quaffably light claret. Perhaps not a weekday wine but very good value indeed."
Miss Claire Chapman (19-Jan-2017)
"Rather nice for an entry level Cotes de Castillion. Notes of raspberry, blackberry, cherry, jalapeno, green pepper and graphite/ink, with a touch of pepper."
Mr Barry Smith (21-Dec-2016)
"Not an review as such just a note that we would re-order this one as a good, value wine"
Mr Sean Trent (20-Jun-2016)
Mr Paul Murdin (11-Aug-2016)
"Has the same unmistakable rich savouriness of the Chateau de Pitray, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2010, there's a hint of raw steak to it. It's more fruity and the tannins are coarser than I remember the branded Pitray to be. I ordered a selection of £10-11 Bordeaux's from the Society and it doesn't quite stand up to them but it is cheaper. Saying that if you could find a £9 supermarket Bordeaux of this quality at this price you'd be laughing. A very enjoyable wine."
Mr Anthony O'Halloran (02-Jun-2015)
"I have to side with those who gave positive comments. The wine was opened early and drunk with a chicken dish with a hefty sauce, the wine proving a hit with my fellow diners. Smooth, well balanced, integrating fruit and tannins, and delicious. It completely reappraised my views on the Bordeaux 2011 vintage."
Michael A Gill Esq (22-Mar-2015)
"I picked up a bottle of this wine some time ago but did not broach it until recently. Having purchased some of the Mme. de Pitray from the Society for laying down I was keen to ascertain the quality of the producer.
I must disagree with the previous reviewer's comment, and suggest he may have had a flawed bottle. I found this a very pleasant wine indeed.
The nose opened with ripe fruits and oakiness opening up to reveal an unusual spiciness. Dr Pepper - but dare I say it, in a good way. The mouth was well balanced on it's own, and better yet with food. Quite a meaty fungal quality to this savoury wine. A treat to drink.
I must commend The Wine Society again for bringing us such a lovely wine at a very reasonable price point."
Dr Lorin B Davies (13-Jan-2015)
"A real disappointment. I was looking forward to this but it failed to deliver on any front. Even a couple of hours decanting and drinking it with a fantastic medium rare sirloin failed to coax any life from it. Mine was one bottle from a mixed case so it could have been an exception but with so much choice at this price I will be trying something else in future."
Mr David Marshall (26-Dec-2014)
"I have drunk many a bottle of Pitray over time and find that this Society Wine is actually better and at such a good price. I sometimes decant this wine at dinner parties so that people who drink the label will not be deterred from giving it just praise."
Dr Laurence Measey (31-Oct-2014)
"I am surprised that this wine has attracted no previous comment. I am no claret expert but this ( enjoyable and consistent) wine and the excellent Bordeaux Rouge Special Wine Society Bottling 2011/12 have converted me to the joys of claret."
Mr Paul Rawlins (10-Jul-2014)
The Observer (15th Mar 2015)
"Consistently good - David Williams"
The Wine Gang (2nd Mar 2015)
"This is the second
vintage of The Society's relatively new own-label wine, made by Château de
Pitray, and we think this is a serious bargain claret. Handsome and grown-up
with both ripe black fruit and a hint of leather, some tobacco leaf towards the
end and decent length as well. - The Wine Gang"
The Daily Telegraph (22nd Nov 2014)
"Ripe black fruit and
hints of leather and tobacco with a long finish. A real bargain. "
"Very good. Not surprised that is already sold out."
Mr John Burns (09-Feb-2013)
"The Society's description refers to "...generous, fresh-tasting fruit"; absolutely spot on! A smooth and warm finish that appealed even to friends who claimed not to be keen drinkers of red wine. I served this wine with Veal Wellington and it was a joy! Very good value for money."
Mr David McCullough (30-Jan-2013)
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