Discovering Chateau Teyssier, Grand Cru St Emilion

Chateau Teyssier is a Saint Emilion Grand Cru and lies on the plain of Vignonet in Saint Emilion.  The estate  has been making wine since 1714 and during the 19th century was the largest estate in the area.

The château is Napoleonic dating from the Second Empire in 1869 and was once owned by Jules Roy, a military historian and friend of the author Antoine de Saint Exupéry (whose grandfather owned Chateau Malescot St Exupéry).

Distinguished by a life of military valor and decades of writing that marked the courage of his convictions, Algerian-born Roy was one of France’s most productive writers, and one of the sharpest critics of its war against Algerian independence.

When Jonathan and Lyn Maltus bought Chateau Teyssier in 1994 its vineyards had become neglected and were reduced to 5 hectares.  Maltus invested heavily in Teyssier with the intention of transforming it into one of the finest estates in Saint Emilion.

The winery (better known for Chateau Le Dome) was modernised and Maltus began buying neighbouring parcels of vines (some of which lie next to Chateau Angelus)  which increased the vineyard to just over 50 hectares of land.

He also bought up two other estates, Chateaux Laforge and Grand Destieu.  A dynamic and ambitious team were introduced – including Gilles Pauquet, the oenologist to Chateau Cheval Blanc.

Maltus has been dubbed one of the rebels of Bordeaux, playing a key part in the garagiste movement and creating much sought after micro cuvées.

During the 90s these wine makers competed to make wines that were modern in style and pioneered vinification techniques such as double sorting, lees utilization and gravity transfer . . . which nowadays have become almost obligatory for any estate wanting to produce fine wine.

Maltus’ wines have reached cult status and in addition to the Grand vin Château Teyssier, the estate produces the “super-cuvées” Le Dôme, Vieux Château Mazerat, Les Astéries, Le Carré, Clos Nardian as single vineyard wines and the estate wine Château Laforge as well as the generic Bordeaux appellation line Pezat.

Chateau Teyssier is a modern Saint Emilion and has flavours of rich, dark fruits such as black cherry, blackberries and mulberries with a hint of vanilla, violets, oak and cedar.

This is a well balanced, elegant wine full of supple tannins and opulence.  Teyssier would be lovely with venison or pigeon and pairs well with roast beef and lamb, steak and kidney pudding, casseroles, cheeses.  This is a wine that will stand up well with mild curries and is great with duck in plum or black bean sauce.

Stephen Spurrier from Decanter described this wine as:  “Dark red, clean and fresh fruit, fragrant and well-contained, good length and savoury balance, nice sense of place”.

This 2007 is drinking well with a lovely balanced richness.  With the Cabernet Franc showing very well on the nose there is lots of fruit with hints of smoke and toasty oak.

This is a rich wine with elegance, fine tannins and great freshness.  At £14.90 a bottle delivered to your door this represents great value for money and you would be forgiven for thinking this wine should command a higher price tag.

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