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 …
|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.|
|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.|