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At a glance at the timeline of Vignobles Gabriel & Co, we can notice that it underwent a lot of turmoil. In 1904, Gabriel Bruneteau established the Domaine de Grand Moulin, driven by a passion for making wines. However, when he died, this passion in the following generation did not reflect. The land was used to farm grain and livestock. Although the vineyard remained, it was planted solely for Ugni Blanc, an appreciated variety of white grape for producing white wines and Cognac.
This trend continued for the next 4 generations where the vineyard went through more changes until the great-great-grandson of Gabriel Bruneteau took charge of the inherited land in 1985. Jean-François Réaud not only got the estate but also inherited the lost passion for producing quality wines. He thought of modernizing and expanding the vineyards keeping in mind the historical importance of the estate. The estate was renamed Chateau le Grand Moulin. Moreover, he decided to use the name of Chateau Les Aubiers, which belonged to his family, to expand the original vineyard and encourage organic farming. In addition to this, Jean invested in numerous pieces of land and added them to the business with the goal to satisfy consumer demand.
For the passion of winemaking and promoting the Right Bank Wines of Bordeaux, he decided to take things further. He collaborated with several neighboring wine estates to enhance the reputation of their wines. He convinced them that such collaborations would prioritize ethical wine growing rather than the economic model. This is when Vignobles Gabriel & Co originated. Having the surety of developing independent identities, all the winemakers are secured under this one label.
Apart from their independent labels, these winemakers release their flagship wines under the Vignobles Gabriel & Co label. Source: Instagram
All the members have turned their focus towards ecological awareness. As a result, all the estates are High Environment Value level III,(HVE) certified. Moreover, everyone has agreed on a charter that guarantees constant production. This is a long-term commitment that will stabilize the future of Bordeaux wines and their distribution.
One of these estates is from Montagne Saint-Emilion which produces Chateau Barrail Tapon. Nicole Tapon, the chief winemaker, joined her family vineyard in the year 1999. The vineyard dates back to 1794 and her family has been cultivating vines in an organic way since then. As a result, the vineyard was certified organic in 2012.
The Chateau Barrail Tapon won the Gold Medal at the Paris Wine Cup in 2021. This wine is a blend of merlot noir, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon and is aged in concrete vats and barrels that are aged for 18 or 24 months.
The wine grabbed 5 awards at the 2021 Paris wine Competition. Source: Paris Wine Cup
Points Scored: 93 points
Medal won: Gold, Bordeaux of the year, best wine by country, varietal, and value.
Tasting notes: Expressive notes of strawberries, cherries, and blackcurrants. A full-bodied wine that is velvety and fruity.
This beautiful intense coloured wine with powerful tannins is perfect to pair with tender pieces of beef and stuffed veal cutlets with girolles.
Nicole with her parents (left), Dedee and Raymond Tapon (right). Source: France Info
Nicole takes inspiration from her grandfather who had great respect for terroir. She focuses on the weather and makes decisions accordingly. “It's not easy, but it’s very interesting because we don't do systematic work and we think about each task,” explained Nicole in an interview with FranceInfo.
According to her, women are more careful when working in the vineyards. She hopes her daughter Alienor will eventually take over this healthy and rich land for growing wine.
The world awaits to witness this master craft of the right bank and appreciate its wine-making skills.
Header Image Source: Vignobles Gabriel & Co
The article was written by Arjun Moghe, Content Writer, Beverage Trade Network.