Clos du Notaire
AOC Côtes de Bourg
We’re always looking for great terroir, because that is the fundamental ingredient for making outstanding wine*, and it has a lot to do with physical geography. The vineyard of Clos du Notaire stands out, both literally and metaphorically, as it lies on top of the highest point of the Right Bank of the Gironde estuary with breath-taking views to the south and west, across to the Médoc and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. To mark this high point, the owners erected a very pretty little pagoda, or gloriette, among the vines, where you can watch the sun set and cast bets on the next day’s weather forecast.
This unique position means that the vineyard is exposed to the elements all year round, which is perfect for maximum sunshine, cooling breezes in summer and drying winds in winter to keep the vineyard clean and free from infection. Importantly too, there are depressions in the contours to the north and south and as weather formations approach from the west they tend to follow the easiest routes, being to either side of Clos du Notaire’s promontory, with the result that the vineyard is always spared the worst of the weather, be it frost, hail or rainfall. Together with the excellent drainage afforded by the limestone slopes, and a mature vineyard planted by the previous owner and his predecessor, Clos du Notaire really has what it takes.
Enter the new owners, Amélie Osmond and her partner Victor Mischler; the couple followed their dream to Bordeaux a few years ago in order to become winemakers and they managed to acquire this 21-hectare estate when it was put up for sale in 2014 by the Coutin family who had made wine here for just over a century. The name came about long ago since the Coutin family were local solicitors (notaires) and the real name of the property was eventually forgotten because everyone referred to the wine simply as “the solicitor’s wine”.
Amélie and Victor are putting their all into this new adventure, and have the full support of the former owner who has helped them in their first couple of vintages. New to viticulture but keen supporters of ecological issues, the couple continue to manage the estate with respect for the environment and plan to move to organic viticulture in the near future. The wine they are making now follows the traditional style of the property, with a rich, dark fruit character and plenty of structure to age, but they want to polish the tannins further and improve quality by focussing on the health of the vineyard and the quality of the grapes they harvest.