Summer Wine at Château Peyfaures
Château Peyfaures believes grapes come first when you create exquisite wine. This philosophy permeates everything at the winery - sustainable organic practices, natural fermentations in the winery and a deft hand with oak to enhance rather than mask the flavors of fruit.
The magic begins in the vineyards with an eye on protecting the winery’s land and health of the vines. Château Peyfaures only uses environmental farming methods by combining the traditions of their historical practices with cutting-edge technology to grow grapes that speak to the region’s capabilities.
Located in Génissac, the sustainably farmed vineyards are beautifully situated on clay-limestone soils in eastern Entre-deux-Mer, across the Dordogne river from Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Like these two world-class regions, Château Peyfaures focuses on Merlot, while blending Cabernet Franc and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon to create a wine with lush, dark fruit. Minimal intervention allows the vineyards to showcase their unique character. The varied soils on the gentle slopes facing the top sites of Saint Emilion give the resulting wines a layered complexity.
Presently, the 16-hectare estate produces two wines; Château Peyfaures and Dame de Coeur. Both wines have received accolades from leading critics, including 90 and 91 points from Wine Advocate. Wines from a small plot within the vineyards are aged at least 40 years, which go into the creation of the limited Dame de Coeur. The seasoned vines are primarily Merlot and some Cabernet Franc; intensity provided by the lowered yields illustrate the depth and complexity possible from the terroir.
Winemaking at Château Peyfaures harks back to a time before modern, large-scale production, favoring instead the techniques used by prior generations that organically brought fame to the region. Grapes are gently crushed in a traditional basket press to emphasize aromatics and avoid harsh green notes. Spontaneous fermentation is encouraged, utilizing the natural and indigenous, wild yeast found at the winery rather than adding a culture formulated in a lab.
There are no exacts for the wines of Château Peyfaures and the preference is to let each wine determine how much oak and time in the cellar is necessary. Each block of vineyard is fermented and aged separately to bring out its optimal character before blending. In keeping with the dedication to the classic style of Bordeaux, the wine is made with the structure and body that can withstand the test of time. Their cuvées are enjoyable in their youth with elegant, dark fruit and a refined earthiness, but over time, they develop more nuanced elegance with fine, silky tannins and mature bouquets.
2017 was a significant turning point in the history of Château Peyfaures as the winery was acquired by Ricardo and Maria Moraes of Miami, Florida. The Moraes family is upgrading the infrastructure and production capabilities of the Château, vineyards and winery operations. The investment scope includes updates to the interior and exterior of the Château, which will offer a tasting room for visitors. The updated label designs, bottles and wooden cases will reflect the refined, yet modern, aesthetic of the new ownership.
Seven generations have cared for Château Peyfaures with the last in line, Laurent Godeau, staying on as head winemaker. As the 7th in line, Godeau grew up immersed in the history and traditions of Bordeaux learning from a young age about the art and science of winemaking, as well as the flavors and beauty of the region. Godeau brings expertise, pride and respect to his craft striving to celebrate the terroir through instinctive winemaking decisions, oak selection and patience in the cellar.
In addition to the benefit of early exposure to winemaking, Godeau graduated from Audencia business school and Bordeaux University of Oenology DUAD. Following his studies, Godeau officially joined the estate in 2008 and became director of winemaking. To further his craft, Bordeaux legend Michel Rolland rounds out the team as consulting oenologist. With the Moraes family, they will continue to carry on the tradition of the estate, while raising the quality of each new vintage.