The Pueyo Family has owned Belregard Figeac since 1853. The estate has remained in the family and this continuous ownership is accompanied by the priceless and intimate knowledge of the best parcels of each vineyard gained through seasons of observation. This is the kind of understanding that no amount of time at university can replace. It shows through in the wine, a true example of the character of their particular corner of Saint Emilion. Jacques and Jean-Paul Pueyo, brothers, are the current generation in charge of all affairs at Belregard Figeac. They have recently been joined by Jacques’ son, Christophe. For our part, we have worked with the Pueyo family since the 1996 vintage having been introduced to this delightful and dedicated family from Libourne by Danielle Meunier, proprietor of our other Saint Emilion producer, Chateau Haut Segottes.
The vineyards are situated on the slopes near the picturesque village of Saint Emilion but in the section that borders Libourne and Pomerol. Saint Emilion is a large appellation, with noticeable variation in soil types, over 17 different combinations of soil and subsoils are classified here, resulting in wines that can be very different from one another. At Belregard Figeac, the soil is a deep sand positioned on moderate slopes. Compared to the Médoc, the soils are richer. Vines are more vigorous and require wider spacing, with an average 5000 to 6000 vines per hectare as compared to 9000 to 10000 vines per hectare that is common in the Médoc. Merlot predominates at Belregard Figeac, comprising 68% of the vineyards. Cabernet Franc (25%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (7%) make up the rest. The vines are an average 35 years old (as of 2011). The majority of the holdings are situated on the plain of Figeac, certainly one of the most renowned of the various terroirs of St. Emilion, located on the border of Libourne and Pomerol. The Pueyo brothers use traditional vineyard management methods with limited use of chemicals. A team of workers goes through the vineyard in the summer to pull leaves for better aeration and exposure of the grapes. This time consuming task ensures better ripening and helps in disease prevention. The harvest is, of course, done manually.
This estate produces two wines that we handle as exclusive importer for the USA. The classic Saint Emilion Grand Cru “Belregard Figeac” and a simple Bordeaux appellation “Tellus Vinea”. [Please see Chateau La Fleur Garderose]
|Tellus Vinea Bordeaux Rouge: The grapes for this wine are harvested (by hand) from vineyards that border the Lalande de Pomerol appellation. The grapes undergo a three-day cold maceration; the alcoholic fermentation then proceeds for eight to ten days. The wine is racked several times during its elevage in stainless steel and cement tanks before being bottled after an egg-white fining. The grape composition is predominantly Merlot with a touch of Cabernet Franc in the blend that provides additional structure to the wine. Approximately 8000 bottles are exported under our care for the US market annually. Organic.|
|Chateau Belregard Figeac Saint Emilion Grand Cru: The Pueyos follow traditional vinification techniques. After a 3 day cold maceration, fermentation takes place in both cement tanks and stainless steel tanks. Either way, temperatures are closely monitored so the fermentation proceeds at a controlled pace with maximum temperatures reaching 28 degrees Celsius. The “cuvaison” (fermentation + maceration) usually lasts between 15 and 20 days. Closely monitoring the temperature during fermentation helps avoid extracting the harsher, more bitter tannins that can appear if the temperature gets too high. Half of the wine is aged in barrels for 18 months following fermentation. Only 25% new barrels and 25% one-year-old barrels are used each year, to avoid overwhelming the fruit. The second part of the cuvée is aged in cement tanks. The two parts of the wine are ultimately blended, then fined with egg whites before bottling. The composition of this most prestigious of the wines of this cellar is generally on the order of 60% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is marked by a vibrant ruby/garnet color married to a richly spicy nose with hints of tobacco and coffee in the background; the flavors are dominated by red currant, cassis, and raspberry; the texture is silky and the wine is smooth and generous on the palate; the subtle tannins have grip but are graceful making this wine particularly welcoming over the near term. Approximately 2400 bottles are shipped by us annually for the US market. Organic.|
In the year we’ve been working with Chateau Le Puy, this singular and idiosyncratic Right Bank estate has made a multitude of fans—and even changed the way many people think about what Bordeaux can be. In a region known for its conservatism, where a fixation on polish, extraction, and control often straitjackets its wines, Bordeaux
The Tellus Vinea recently made a full three-vintage jump from 2011 to 2014. The Pueyos did not make the wine in 2012 or 2013 due to an exciting array of climatic phenomena, and ultimately were forced to look for a new source for this wine. The site on the border with Lalande-de-Pomerol was no longer
On November 23, 2013 Neal wrote: “Just wrapped up a lovely morning in Saint Emilion and am now on the train from Libourne to Bordeaux (to catch a connection to Montpellier this afternoon). I was delighted by what I tasted at both Haut Segottes and Belregard Figeac. First of all, I am happy to report