Bordeaux De Mour – Châteaux Tour Baladoz & Tayet
You may well recognise the names Château Tour Baladoz and Château Tayet as stalwarts of the Bordeaux section on the Private Cellar wine list. The family behind these two names, and three other properties besides, are third generation wine makers and négociants who first came to Bordeaux in 1938. The De Scheppers, whose first property, Tour Baladoz, was bought in 1950, have since added Haut Breton Larigaudière, Tayet, La Croizille and Lacombe Cadiot to their portfolio, as well as running their own négociant business alongside, G. De Mour et Fils.
There is a certain amount of chop and change of winemakers and cellar masters between the châteaux of Bordeaux and it is a real testament to De Mour that their winemaker, Jean-Michel Garcion, has been with them for over twenty years. His approach to all their wines is that they should drink well in youth but have the wherewithal to age, and that each should reflect its location. It is no wonder then that all the family’s properties are fully engaged in sustainable farming methods with a strong focus on the environment, aiming to preserve the terroir that characterises each wine in their range.
In Château Tayet’s case, there is more than a passing resemblance to Margaux as it is just metres from the boundary, with racy red and black fruits, a light tannic bite behind to a rich, spiced finish, punching way above its weight. A more traditional Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and a sprinkling of Petit Verdot, the wine spends a year in 50% new oak before being bottled. Look out for large formats – they go very quickly!
On the other side of the river, the vines for Tour Baladoz are partially on the limestone plateau and partially in a beautiful green bowl filled entirely with vines, on the eastern edge of St Emilion towards St Etienne de Lisse, which gives them the benefit of two different soils, limestone and clay. Merlot dominates here, rich red and black fruits and toasty oak from the 17 months spent in barrel. Neil Martin, of the Wine Advocate website summed up the 2015 vintage beautifully: “This is a well-crafted, hedonistic Saint Emilion made with style”; we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.