Like another of our Graves producers, Château Couloumey, Château Respide has a long history that draws links with Louis XIV, the Sun King, the property having belonged to his Chief of Police. A more recent owner was the cousin of Toulouse-Lautrec and the painter often visited the house, where apparently he liked to play billiards. The Bonnet family acquired the estate in 1952 and is now run by Franck Bonnet, third generation, although the château itself has since been sold off.
The vineyard extends to 25 hectares of sand and gravels soils planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a little Petit Verdot for the reds, and Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon for the whites. Particular care has been taken to protect and promote the flora and fauna on the property by every generation of the Bonnet family, especially with respect to any treatments applied to the vines. In addition, whole sections of the property are left fallow; grubbed up parcels are left to recover for years before replanting, and seed naturally with local wildflowers; and nesting boxes are installed widely to encourage insectivorous birdlife like pied wagtails and various tits.
The chais have been recently renovated and equipped with stainless steel and winemaking is modern with a traditional feel. Here we find the key to the top wines in the Respide range: barrels. The Cuvée Callipyge, which we can only translate as “Buxom Blend”, is a seductive, sumptuous and supple oak-aged offering in both red and white. The oak is well-dosed and not at all overwhelming but it makes a huge difference to the style and puts this pair easily amongst the best wines of the appellation.
|Château Respide, Graves blanc, 2016|
|Château Respide, “Cuvée Callipyge”, Graves blanc, 2015|
|Château Respide, Graves rouge, 2015|
|Château Respide, “Cuvée Callipyge”, Graves rouge, 2014|