At the turn of the 21st Century, the Lesgourgues family - true Gascons - decided to restore the southernmost vineyard in the Madiran AOC to all its former splendor…
The year is 1999, the Renaissance of the Cru is in motion, and is made possible thanks to significant efforts in the vineyards and the cellars.
Peyros, « stony place » in old French, is nestled in the Haut-Béarn region, more precisely in the “Vic Bilh” (old country in local language). We are in a village of only 103 people - Corbère-Abères - a place unchanged since 1793. During the 17th Century, the estate was home to a convent of 200 nuns. The vines would come to be planted much later…
In the 1960’s, this domain was a benchmark of the Madiran appellation. Known for the remarkable finesse of its wines - poured in the best restaurants of Paris, and exported around the world.
The contribution of Emile Peynaud (1912-2004), the “pope of Bordeaux wines”, is indisputable. He developed a new vat room that enabled optimal vinifications, whilst still respecting the various vine plots - illustrating a perfect example of innovation for the quality of the wines. It is not by chance that Peyros is named “the most Bordelais cru of the Madiran” by wine enthusiasts and prominent sommeliers.
During the early 1990’s, the estates lacked care and investment. The owners, who had no children willing to succeed them, regrettably decided to sell.
The estate was taken on by The Lesgourgues family, vintners and distillers in Bas Armagnac and Graves regions, engaging in the challenge to raise Peyros once again, to be among the jewels of South West!
Twenty years later, driven by the same founding values – Tradition, Innovation, Beauty – the family and the Peyros team work hard to prepare the estate’s future, striving for excellence and singularity while fully respecting its ecosystem.
There is no great wine without great terroir…
Latitude North : 43°. Longitude : 0° exactly on the Greenwich Meridian.
The unique qualities of Château Peyros are born of its atypical terroir and its microclimate. From the Pyrénées moraine, located on a geological cluster that was bypassed during the deglaciation, Peyros is the only Madiran estate that benefits from a South-facing orientation. Its exposure to the sun is optimal, as the vines get an enhanced photosynthesis. The grapes are better fed; which leads to wines with greater precision.
The soils are silty-clay and exclusively made from pebbles brought by the mountain glaciers and locked up by clay: the “pouzzonales”. Beyond the Pyrénées, those pebbles are quite similar to gravel in the Graves appellation.
Lastly, the two plots making up the 55-hectare estate culminate at 300 meters high (1.000 feet), providing an interesting thermic amplitude utilised especially during the late summer and autumn, the harvest season. Another point of difference for Château Peyros…
Tannat, a native grape of Madiran, blossoms nicely in this terroir - displaying the required maturity - thanks to the south orientation of its vines. It is completed by the floral and spicy Cabernet Franc grape which expresses itself through a balance of acidity and minerality. Other official grape varieties are not being planted in the estates: the Fer Servadou is too rustic and the Cabernet Sauvignon have been taken out as they do not reach full expected maturity in this terroir.
What guides us is a commitment to results rather than to resources.
Château Peyros seeks measurable results in a commitment to the production of wines that respect nature and its ecosystem, ensuring sustainable development.
Sustainable viticulture has been evident since the acquisition of the domaine, and we are committed to this. With the vintage 2018, Château Peyros is a single-estate winery with double environmental certification : Haute Valeur Environnementale (HVE) level 3 and Terra Vitis. These certifications are not a target, rather, an indication of great results obtained through the years and vintages.
You will find here, via nine practices (among many others), what is being done at the domaine to contribute to reaching our commitment:
1. The respect of Tannat grape. It represents 70% of total acreage of the domaine and the choice of rootstocks and clones are adapted to each single vine plot. Currently, two wines are 100% Tannat : Greenwich.43N et Marie Blanque.
2. A deep study of the soil. A meticulous cartography of the soils’ conductivity was done and regular pedologic pits are made in order to better choose the vegetal manure and define the techniques when preparing the soil for any new planting.
3. The end of chemical weeding since 2017, thanks to mechanical weeding.
4. A reasonable soil amendment without being systematic and only after analysis of the soil component, of leaves and petioles. The amendment is purely organic (compost) and via green fertilizers (sowing of beans in the rows).
5. The green work in the vineyard via disbudding, in order to reduce the vegetal overcrowding and to make a bunch selection.
6. The micro-vinifications are meticulously made in small stainless-steel vats of different sizes, so it respects the unicity of each vine plot: 15 vats comprising between 50 hl and 180 hl.
7. Soft extractions are made only through a daily tasting of the must, thereby avoiding extracting too much tannins. They are made at the very beginning of the alcoholic fermentation, aimed at pulling out the fruit. When the fermentation is done, long macerations are made, so as to gain boldness, roundness, and to achieve a long-lasting mouth.
8. Mastered ageing in barrels - done in 225L french oak barrels (new and used) as well as in 500L (in order to limit the oak influence). Only renowned cooperage firms are chosen such as Saury (Corrèze), Gillet (Bourgogne) and Allary (Charentes). The goal is to express the best from the wine, not to overwhelm it with oak.
9. No allergen is present in our wines. Furthermore, our wines are suitable for vegans - as we use exclusively organic natural additives (fining agents) while fining our wines before bottling.
Each single cuvée is a unique artwork. Each of them has its own style and offers a unique aromatic and gustative range. All of them are 100% estate-grown from two distinct plots. The grapes are harvested, vinified and aged in the historical 17th Century cellars by the women and men who work at the property.
The name was evident: when Jean-Jacques Lesgourgues checked that the western side of the 2.6 hectares Lanestousse plot – facing the Pyrénées in the south – was crossed by the Greenwich meridian, he decided to give it the name of its geographic coordinates: longitude 0 and latitude 43°N. The terroir concept takes its full sense as only one unique wine, made from grapes coming from this exact point on earth, can exist. An extremely rare wine crafted only during great vintages. There were only 11 in the last 20 years: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018
Recently, Arnaud Lesgourgues and Corinne Lanyou have focused their efforts in redefining a new savor, an atypical wine profile whilst respecting the Madiran typicity. They sampled and tasted all the wines from the Appellation in order to find, step by step, the sought-after style. In lieu of the last extremely hot springs and summers, a less sunny, fresher and more humid 100% Tannat plot was obviously selected.
“ The rest belongs to the technical-sensitive know-how of a vinification as precise as the schedule of a Swiss watchmaker, to immensely soft extractions and pupping-overs, and to long macerations like an endless day, and finally to a “lace” filtration”. Léon Mazzella about Marie Blanque en 2020.
Technical data :
The cuvée Vieilles Vignes, the domaine’s signature, represents the core of the production. Only 40+ years old grapes are chosen to be part of the final blending. The color is dark and intense, the nose is minty, slightly peppery while offering black currant notes. The mouth is powerful and displays a generous flesh and nice boldness. The finish is long with velvety tannins.
Technical data :
The Tradition cuvée of Château Peyros is the classic wine that perfectly represents Madiran. The grape selection is made with the idea of combining a matured fruit and a mastered oak through the blending. The significant greater share of Cabernet Franc in the final blend (40%) allows an earlier consumption, as of two years after the harvest.
Technical data :
Chateau Peyros, 9 chemin du Château, 64 350 Corbère-Abères, France
Tél : 05.59.68.10.51 et 05.57.94.09.20