Secret de Château Biac
AC Cadillac, 2010
|Serving temperature:||12 to 14 °C|
|Food pairing suggestion:||Fruit tart, Foie gras, Blue cheese, Goat's cheese|
|Harvest:||hand-picking, strict selection, in several rounds (tries), grapes infected with botrytis|
|Maturation:||in used barriques|
|Maturation duration:||16 months|
Sometimes life is full of surprises. The Lebanese Asseily family experienced this first-hand when they became the owners of Château Biac as if by accident in 2006. They regularly spent their summer holidays near Biac, but never would they have dreamt that they would own and manage this wonderful property themselves one day. It’s a fascinating story that Tony and Youmna Asseily are happy to share over a glass of their wine.
Château Biac isn’t located in one of the world-famous towns on the left or right bank of the Gironde, but on the Graves plateau south of Bordeaux in the small town of Langoiran. Idyllically situated, the winery offers a magnificent view of a meander of the Garonne to the south-southwest.
Biac was first mentioned in the 17th century. The present-day château dates back to 1755 and was built by the daughter of the Baron de Langoiran. At the end of the 19th century, Château Biac enjoyed an excellent reputation, not least because the vineyards were only planted with selected Château d’Yquem vines and red vines from the finest wineries in Saint-Émilion. By 2006, however, the winery was in a sad and neglected state.
The fungi be thanked
The Sémillon grape is the basis of the legendary sweet wines of Sauternes. Its origins are there, in the southern part of the Bordeaux region. Its secret to success is its susceptibility to the Botrytis fungus, which pierces the skin of the ripe berries. Thus the water evaporates, and the sugar in the fruits concentrates. The musts are as thick as syrup. They present the citrus-fresh, fruity aromas of the Sémillon varieties. In addition, the Botrytis fungus contributes complex notes of honey, dry apricot and candied orange to the wine. The Sémillon is closely related to the Sauvignon blanc, and almost all sweet wines from Sauternes and its surroundings contain a small proportion of Sauvignon. The dry whites from Bordeaux are the opposite: the Sémillon mostly plays the supporting role. In early-19-century South Africa, Sémillon was the most planted grape. However, only vanishingly small quantities still grow there today. However, the vine has since taken root in California and Australia.