The beautiful Louis XIII-styled Château Falfas is one of the four great crus of Bordeaux’s Côtes de Bourg. Rebuilt in 1612 on foundations that date back to the Hundred Years’ War, this historic château is situated on the Right Bank of the Gironde River, amid picturesque slopes and hillsides that far outshine the flats of the famous Médoc across the river. Véronique Cochran farms 20 hectares of Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Malbec on the pedigreed calcaire à astéries, clay and silica soil over a deep limestone bedrock of fossilized oysters—the classic combination for growing great wines in Bordeaux. Véronique, along with her now-deceased husband, John, began farming biodynamically in 1988, which stands to reason: she is the daughter of biodynamic pioneer, researcher, author and viticultural consultant François Bouchet. While this return to ancient farming practices is growing in other regions throughout France, Château Falfas remains somewhat of an anomaly in the Côtes de Bourg. With an average vine age of 35 years, yields tend to be low at 35 to 45 hl/ha. The crop is harvested by hand when each varietal has reached the peak of its maturation, and the grapes are sorted in both the vineyard and winery.
The grapes undergo a long maceration of anywhere from 15 to 25 days, however great care is taken not to extract dry tannins. Château Falfas uses only indigenous yeasts for long vinifications and eschew such practices of chaptalization, artificial concentration (common in Bordeaux) and filtration. “Les Demoiselles de Falfas” is aged in tank and is meant for early consumption, while “Château Falfas” ages for 11 to 14 months in barrels, of which 30% are new. Their tête de cuvée, “Le Chevalier,” ages in 100% new French oak barrels and is ideal for longer cellar aging. Véronique aims to produce well-balanced, elegant wines, with good fruit and structure that naturally reflects both their terroir and the conditions of each vintage.
For more information, please see: chateaufalfas.com/index.php/fr/