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N°165

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Château de Couches

23/09/2019
“A specific and unique terroir”

In 2009 Patricia and Olivier Poelaert took over Château Marguerite de Bourgogne in the heart of the Côtes du Couchois area. By dint of tenacity, the couple took over the estate of 10 hectares around the spectacular medieval building and invested in a new cellar. They do not lack ambition for their appellation.
 

Le toit du château en tuiles vernissées, emblématiques de la Bourgogne.

What is your history with this exceptional place?
In 2007, I used to manage a computer company with my wife, Patricia. She decided to go back to school at the Sorbonne university and told me: "The company is going well and I will be able to do what I have always dreamed of". I answer: "No problem but if we have another activity, we must stay an hour from Paris by TGV". We drew a lovely line on the map of France and said tou ourselves: you love history, I love wine. The choice was quite simple: Champagne, Burgundy or Loire. In Champagne buying a vineyard is difficult. In the Loire valley buying a chateau is difficult. The only place where you could buy a chateau and vineyards was in Burgundy. We have seen an ad. We had a crush, especially since it has an AOC around: Bourgogne Côtes du Couchois. The vines of the castle were rented. We had to recover them. The welcome was rather cold ... But we started to work with several winemakers on vinification and created emulation. In 2014, we launched a soil survey, with a complete mapping of the terroirs. The work really began to pay with medals in various competitions from 2015. We understood that it was possible to do something good on this land in red and in white. It was simply necessary to give ourselves the means: to reduce the yields, to make careful elevages, etc.

Olivier Poelaert et Paolo Basso

The project developed in 2017. Why did you take over Cave de Mazenay?
To have an optimal place for winemaking. We renovated the building, cleant the barrel cellars. In 2016, we took over the rented vines thanks my wife's tenacity. For the record, we had a nice party to celebrate this. A few days later, the vines were frozen ... The first vintage was 2017. We farm about ten hectares today. We vinify our grapes and we also buy grapes and musts from colleagues. The ultimate goal is to highlight the Côtes de Couchois
appellation.

What is your approach of the vinification process?
On our terroirs, we must "break the fruit", with semi-carbonic maceration to gain suppleness but also with long vatting. This is what we do on our cuvées "Les Parisiennes" and "Les Marguerites". The results are good. We have a beautiful soil, global warming also helps us. Your goal is to get the Bourgogne Côtes du Couchois appellation for white wines as well.

Your goal is to get the Bourgogne Côtes du Couchois appellation for white wines as well. What are the assets to achieve this?
The soils of the Couchois area are really specific and unique in the region since the category "versicolor clay" on granitic basement are therefore particularly successful to whites. The implementation of demanding specifications (planting density, manual harvest, yield ...) would differentiate our products from a generic AOC, far too permissive, while enjoying a reasonable price, which is the case on the reds. This would allow us to guarantee a good price-quality ratio. The Château's whites won medals and several vintages were referenced in BIVB's Prestige Cellar.

Laurent Gotti

 

 

Paolo Basso’s reviews

Château de Couches Clos Marguerite « Passionnément », Bourgogne Blanc
Chardonnay AOC 2017

A beautiful bright golden yellow color. A nose with woody and fruity aromas that mingle: vanilla, fine spices, a smoky touch, pineapple and golden apples. A soft and delicate attack on the palate, followed by a medium bodied mid-palate that reveals a very intriguing saline note that conveys a beautiful minerality. Final of good persistency with an acidity that supports the expression of the wine and a touch of bitterness. An excellent wine to accompany fresh- and saltwater fish.

 

Château de Couches Blason de Vair « Cuvée Clin d’Œil », Bourgogne
Côtes du Couchois AOC 2016

Beautiful light garnet-red color with orange shades. An intense nose with aromas of currants, red cherries, a touch of herbs that gives it a very special character. Palate with penetrating and tense flavors with a beautiful freshness, a fiery character with a rich structure with firm and astringent tannins. A little short finish with a rustic touch. A wine that requires one or two years of aging to reveal its charms.

 

www.chateaudecouches.com