Sure, just like anything else, Bordeaux can be expensive. There is a time and place for everything, and special occasions call for special wines. But what about those of us who love to drink Bordeaux more frequently? We’re guessing you probably know about these folks, but if not, let us fill you in on the efforts of Benedicte and Christophe Piat of Chateau Couronneau. You see, we’ve been importing their wines for over 10 years now. We know a good thing when we see it (or taste it, anyway). It seems we’re not alone in this prognosis; many of you are on to these wines also. Their wines tip the scales when it comes to authenticity, quality and price. It’s good to have friends … especially in Bordeaux. After spending a week running wild, tasting the wines up and down the Medoc and St. Emilion, it has become tradition to put aside a little time to visit the Piats and taste what they will be releasing soon. Two years ago, we had a great visit. It is not an easy chateau to find, so once we found it, we were relieved. The Piats are charming people. They welcomed us into their chateau; gave us the tour, and we began tasting in the barrel room. After the barrel samples, we were invited to stay for lunch, and they put out a spread of seafood that was unrivaled. We had never imported their Bordeaux Blanc before, but when it was poured, its freshness was very inspirational! It paired so well with lunch, that it became a foregone conclusion that we would be importing this wine from now on.
Fast forward to this year. It was Friday afternoon. The Piats were leaving town at 6 PM. I was running late. A spur of the moment arrangement had me meeting Christophe in a St. Foy de Grande parking lot at 4:15 PM. I was to follow him back to the chateau. Okay, he knew the road, I didn’t. He was flying. Flying. Somehow, neither of us were pulled over and we made it safe and sound. Benedicte was there to greet us and we visited for a while, then it was off to the barrel room. My heart still racing from the roller coaster ride over, I managed to regain focus once I had a 2009 Couronneau barrel sample. Another great effort! At this point I wasn’t surprised, as the 2009 reds were very impressive. I was anxious to taste the wines that were available now, so we made our way inside the chateau, and they were already all set up for me. The 2009 Blanc was simply marvelous. Bright, fresh fruit and minerals wrapped up in a lively profile. Much to like. When I tasted the 2008 red, I was impressed. Very expressive dark red fruit dominates the aromatics and palate. There is an earthy framework, and the tannins are fine. This very well could be my favorite Couronneau vintage to date. I came back with glowing reports, and was psyched to hear that they would be coming soon. The container landed last week and the wines are here, ready to go! It’s good to have friends!
Bio-certified since 2001, the Piats are committed to organic farming.