Maison Georges Vigouroux - Terroir
Maison Georges Vigouroux - Mercues

Mercuès terroir

Georges Vigouroux’s top priority when he bought Château de Mercuès in 1983 was to restructure the vineyard, chiefly on the surrounding gravely hillocks in the communes of Caillac and Mercuès. The plots he acquired were replanted and the chai was built under the château gardens. The particularity of Château de Mercuès is its viticultural method, which was used in the last century before phylloxera – significantly increasing planting density.

Most plantations in the Cahors Appellation have average density of 4,000 vines per hectare, but at Château de Mercuès plantation density reaches 6,666 vines per hectare for half the vineyard, as high as for the great Medoc wines. This is particularly favourable for the Malbec grape, which has been grown in Cahors for more than 2,000 years. It reduces yield per stock and increases the quality of the wine, giving it very high concentration and ageing potential.

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Maison Georges Vigouroux - Haute Serre

Haute-Serre terroir

Located between the 44th and the 45th parallel, the Haute-Serre vineyards enjoy a privileged location halfway between the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees Mountains. With a natural alchemy of various criteria - geology, soil depth, altitude and distance to the river Lot - Haute-Serre is composed of a complex terroir of clay and kimmeridgien limestone, favourable to producing great wines for ageing. On the hills, 300m above sea level, the limestone plateau is made of stones coated with red clay, more or less mixed in the subsoil with blue clay and occasionally covered by a siderolithic formation rich in ferruginous concretions. It is this feature that often gives the great finesse often attributed to Château de Haute-Serre wines. This exceptional terroir particularly favourable to the cultivation of Malbec is also suited perfectly well to the production of great whites. Indeed, the major French whites are most often grown on siderolithic soils. Convinced of the potential of the soil, Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux quickly chose to plant Chardonnay in Haute-Serre, obtaining wines of great elegance. Haute-Serre, 10 minutes from Lalbenque, is also a truffle terroir. Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux planted 1000 truffles oaks to harvest the famous Tuber Melanosporum.

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Leret-Monpezat terroir

The château is imbued with history, and legends link it to Jeanne Aymet, who is said to have had an affair there with Henri IV. Château Leret-Monpezat has 36 hectares of vines in the heart of the appellation, between the limestone plateau and the Lot valley. More faithful to the wine of Cahors than to his lover (which provided the background to the traditional French song, Ne pleure pas Jeanette or « Don’t Cry, Jeanette », Henri IV would have undoubtedly appreciated the wine of Château Leret Monpezat.

Beautifully vivacious with impressively rich aromatics, it is the perfect marriage between Malbec and the terroir of Leret. In partnership with Jean-Baptiste de Monpezat since the 1990s, the Vigouroux family built a wine cellar and introduced modern and rigorous techniques with regard to both viticulture and winemaking. The wine is now aged in oak barrels and everything possible is done in the vineyard and cellars to respect the environment.

The estate takes up most of a plateau between on one of the meanders of the Lot river between Albas and Belaye. The clay-limestone soil features alluvial deposits dating from the Tertiary Period on a stony subsoil. There are also outcrops of large round stones from the former riverbed. Consisting primarily of Malbec (80%) and other regional grape varieties such as Merlot and Tannat, the vineyard (replanted between 1965 and 1975) is grown sustainably, with grassing between vine rows, leaf thinning, green harvesting, low yields, and long ripening. The soil is kept well-drained in order to maintain the terroir and protect it from erosion.

The vineyard benefits from optimum sun exposure and there is a light breeze on the plateau all year long. The microclimate is exempt from excessive cold and spring frosts, and escapes the other extreme of heat wines in summer. This makes for good, even ripening.

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Tournelles terroir

One day, in the 1990s, Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux was particularly struck by the very old vines of this beautiful small hillside vineyard.

This came at a time when the Vigouroux family wished to extend their know-how beyond Cahors. They soon became interested in Château Tournelles because of its great terroir potential. Wishing to make a wine neither like Bordeaux, nor Cahors, and working within parameters such as grape varieties imposed by the appellation rules, Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux set about creating a fine wine epitomising the best of Buzet.

Rarely planted in the appellation, but legally authorised, Malbec is, according to him, the key to the appellation’s renaissance. So he planted this variety on the 15-hectare vineyard, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

Vines over 30 years old, a well-reputed vineyard with alternating gravelly and clay-limestone soil overlooking the Garonne river valley, as well as an oceanic climate propitious to making good wines of various kinds, but each reflecting its terroir. Very rigorous methods in the vineyard, including a density of over 6,000 vines per hectare. Traditional winemaking techniques revolve around extracting elegant tannin and leaving the wine on the skins for about 18 days to concentrate fruit and flavour. The fermentation temperature is maintained at approximately 30°C. The wine is also aged traditionally for at least one year.

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