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Croix de Labrie

A confidential icon

A confidential icon, that is what has become Croix de Labrie in a 6 years time since its acquisition in 2013 by Axelle and Pierre Courdurié. Coveted by the elite of connoisseurs, getting marks up to the greatest, the rare pearl continues to increase its reputation. And good news, the Courduries are committed to develop projects.

Paolo Basso avec Axelle et Pierre Courdurié

"Exceptional" exclaims Paolo Basso, Best Sommelier of the World, on visiting the property, when he began commenting the tasting of Château Croix de Labrie. If it marks the spirits and provokes emotion, it must be said that the jewel of the estate, on the plateau of St Christophe des Bardes, is carved like a diamond. The 5.79 hectares on 3 different terroirs are worked in organic farming, plowed by horse, pruned according to the Poussard method, green harvested, pruned on the rising sun side for a better ripening and planted with daikon between the rising sun side to work the soil naturally and avoid too much nitrogen. This year, they are testing an alternative method, genodics, using music to fight against certain grapevine diseases, particularly effective against esca, the famous trunk disease, or against mildew. The principle? The musical waves could influence the rate of protein synthesis and bring down diseases by 20%.

This garden vineyard is limited to 34 hectoliters per hectare for an authorized yield of 50 hectoliters in the appellation. Here, the watchwords are care, attention, softness. In the cellar, the grapes are selected with the Tribaie and everything starts with cold pre-fermentary macerations. The punching, 2 to 3 times a day, is manual. Malolactic fermentations are undertaken in barrels with 100% new wood for Croix de Labrie. No filtering, which does not prevent to obtain brilliant and limpid cuvées. And to cork the bottles of the estate, Axelle and Pierre Courdurié have also looked for a new alternative to avoid any bad surprises: ArdeaSeal. No more cork, it is made of polymers that preserve gas exchange.

Result, Croix de Labrie thrills the fans and tickles the greatest wines of Saint-Emilion. The production being limited (9,000 bottles) and the price positioned uprange (120 euros public price), the couple developed the range to satisfy as much people as possible, with a Burgundy-like approach, by terroir: La Chapelle de Labrie, from plots in Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens composed of gravel with clay and limestone and Les Hauts de Croix Labrie, more on gravelly soils, still dominated by Merlot. These two cuvées are chiselled with the same spirit, that of a quest for infinite accuracy. Not to mention Croix de Labrie - Stella Solare, a white Bordeaux, and the two last releases that bear the name of their daughter Camille, who also drew the labels: Camille de Labrie red in AOC Bordeaux and Camille de Labrie Chardonnay - Vin de France. A godsend for wine lovers. It contains the DNA of the house. “These wines are built for a younger clientele, just to open the door to our universe, more affordable and easier to access. They are sold at wine shops, restaurants. We have worked on the palate, the minerality, the tension, the roundness. They represent our conception of wines,” says Axelle.

Bénédicte Chapard