Château de JaniconCastres | Bordeaux
The birthplace of “claret” and home of the famous Haut-Brion, the Graves appellation in Bordeaux for centuries has produced red and white wines with an aristocratic mien and effortless elegance in perfume and flavor.
The region’s name points to its terroir strength: “graves” describes a gravely terrain, these poor, well-draining soils a veritable nirvana for Cabernet Sauvignon — a fact used to great effect by our partners in Castres, Château de Janicon.
Surrounding the estate’s sixteenth-century home and cellars stretches around 100 acres of mixed vineyard land and wild forest, with oak and chestnut trees some hundreds of years old. The Rochet family tends 40 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines in equal proportion, the backbone of Graves red blends, in addition to Petit Verdot and Malbec.
Today Janicon is led by its third generation, winemaker Lou Rochet (who not only has a degree in wine estate management but also in molecular chemistry) alongside her mother, Marie Vincent-Rochet.
FARMING & WINEMAKING
The village of Castres is an ancient one, along the route of the Via Aquitania, a Roman trade road. Janicon (under the estate’s original name, Grandes Bos) has been a wine-producing estate since the Middle Ages; in the 1800s, it was written that the winery was distinguished by its wines of “finesse, body and pronounced bouquet.”
The estate manages some 44 acres of red grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Soils are predominantly stony (the region’s classic “graves”), with subsoils of clay and silica above a core of limestone rock, deep under the surface. Vine age ranges from 15 to 50 years old.
Vines are cared for sustainably. The estate plants ground cover between rows to increase biodiversity; no herbicides are used at all. Recently introduced bee hives and even a house for regional bats have helped to support local flora and fauna.
Grapes are harvested by hand. A short, pre-fermentation cold maceration is followed by fermentation (separately by grape variety and parcel) on selected yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. Wine is aged in French oak barrels for one year, in the estate’s underground cellars, which maintains ideal temperature and humidity.
A glorious Graves in all ways! Rich fruit with lovely texture, refined tannins both silky and structured, length and spice. A fantastic red that shows why great (and affordable) Bordeaux is possible, you just have to find the right family growers who understand that great wine always starts in the vineyard.