Chateau La Peyre

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The Rabiller family has a long tradition of growing grapes in Saint Estephe. However, in the past, the entire harvest was sold to the local cooperative. Dany and René Rabiller, the current proprietors, recognized the potential of their vineyards. They decided to build their own winery on the family estate and, since 1994, they have vinified and bottled their own wine. Production of Chateau La Peyre is approximately 50,000 bottles per annum.

Château La Peyre is made up of several separate vineyard plots covering a total of eight hectares in the Marbuzet sector of the Saint Estephe appellation. The average age of the vineyards is 30 years (as of 2011). Cabernet Sauvignon is the major grape variety grown at Château La Peyre, comprising 50%, followed by Merlot (40%), Petit Verdot (5%) and Cabernet Franc (5%). The distinctive soil is composed of gravel with limestone and clay. The gravel facilitates drainage while the clay retains valuable moisture during the dry summer months and allows even ripening. Every care is taken in the vineyard to ensure healthy, fully mature grapes. Winter pruning is severe and limits the crop size. Green harvesting is employed to further balance the crop load during the growing season.

The careful attention given to the vineyards follows through to the winemaking process. Grapes are only harvested by hand. Before going into the fermentation tanks, the bunches are carefully sorted by hand to remove any underripe or damaged grapes. The Rabillers follow traditional winemaking techniques, preferring a long “cuvaison” or maceration period in the fermentation tank. This allows gentle extraction of color, tannins and flavor components and results in a naturally concentrated and well-balanced wine. Following fermentation, the wines are aged between 12 and 15 months in oak barrels. Only 30% new French oak is used each year to avoid overwhelming the character of the wine. The wine is gently fined using egg whites before bottling but it is not filtered.

Two wines are produced at La Peyre: an Haut Médoc and the Saint Estephe …

La-Peyre-Haut-Medoc Chateau La Peyre Haut-Médoc: The vineyards cover about 1.2 hectares and sit on gravel-infused soil. The vines are of an average age of 25 years (as of 2011). The grape blend for the Haut-Médoc is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. After a manual harvest, the alcoholic fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks; at the conclusion of that phase of the vinification, the wine is racked into small barrels to clarify for an additional year before bottling. Production is on the order of 8000 bottles per annum; 3000 bottles are reserved for our use for the US market.
La-Peyre Château La Peyre Saint Estephe Cru Artisan: The vineyards for the Saint Estephe of La Peyre are situated in the village of Leyssac in the same zone as that of Montrose and Haut-Marbuzet. There are a total of eight hectares of vines with an average age of 30 years (as of 2011). The soil is predominantly gravel with a mix of clay. The grape mix for the Saint Estephe is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The alcoholic fermentation occurs in stainless steel tanks and then the wine is aged in small oak barrels (about one-third of which is new) for an additional 15 to 18 months before being bottled (without filtration). Production is 40,000 bottles annually of which about 4200 bottles are provided to RWM for sale in the USA.
Download La-Peyre tech sheet
Domaine NameLa Peyre
Family/Owners NameRabiller
How many years has the family owned the domaine?1950
How many generations?2
How many hectares of vines are leased? 1.5 ha
How many hectares of vines are owned?8 ha
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? When?Raisonnée
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).Manual harvest
PLEASE ALSO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING IN YOUR REPLY:Vine work by hand except the treatments and clipping by machine
Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse? Soil work by tractor
Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning?Leaf-thinning on the north face or east face
How do you fertilize? Green harvest,   We use organic fertilizer when it is necessary
Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? Please specify.No
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso?No
AppellationSaint Estèphe
Cepage/Uvaggio50% merlot et 50% cabernet sauvignon
%ABVAlc 13% by vol
# of bottles produced40000
Grams of Residual Sugar0
Vineyard/lieu dit name(s) and locationsMarbuzet-Coutelin-Leyssac
Exposures and slope of vineyardsTable-land
Soil Types(s)Gravel 45%, clay-limestone 50%
Average vine age (per vineyard)35-40 years
Approximate harvest date(s)September 25-28
PLEASE SHARE ANY NOTES ABOUT HARVEST/GROWING SEASON FOR THIS WINE IN THIS VINTAGE2016 : very humid spring, very dry summer (heatwave in August). Beneficial thunderstorms at the beginning of September
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?2015 : dry and cool summer, very beautiful September. 2014 : dry and cool summer. 2013 : the flowering was not really homogeneous with humid summer especially in September
% whole cluster, % destemmedDestemmed
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeStainless steel tank with temperature control
Duration of cuvaison25-30 days
Duration of contact with lees90 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Sometimes, when needed, select yeasts
Please share notes about winemaking process for this wine. PLEASE ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING, IF APPLICABLE: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationCold maceration for 5-7 days. 28 °C during the fermentation. Pumping-over with aerations twice a day.Hot maceration (25-28°C) in tank with batonnage. 2 punching-down. Malolactic in tank.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in barrels including 40% new barrels
Duration of elevage12 to 15 months according to vintage
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketFrom 6 months to 2 years
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeFining if necessary with egg white. Filtration if necessary
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Yes, SO2 between 80 and 100 mg/l – monthly monitoring
PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS FINISHED WINE FROM THIS VINTAGE. HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO PREVIOUS VINTAGES?2015 : elegant wine, lots of fruits. On the palate it is soft. Wine with a potential of ageing but can be drunk in 4-5 years too
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