The garagiste movement in Bordeaux has drawn a lot of attention toward more minimal intervention, terroir-focused wineries. While small-production doesn't always equal success, in the hands of the most attentive the results show a very different side of a region most commonly associated with $100+ price tags. No domaine has taken this approach to the extreme as perfectly as Domaine de Galouchey. Its one hectarevineyard located just west of Saint-Émilion has delivered a masterpiece of Bordeaux, a bottling aptly named Vin de Jardin (Wine of the Garden).
Marco Pelletier had worked as the sommelier at 3-Star Michelin, Le Bristol in Paris before joining with friends, Jean Terrade and Gérard Pantanacce. They had a dream to produce the style of Bordeaux that they themselves wanted to drink, and tend the land with the most precise care possible. Top quality Bordeaux can regularly produce 7,000 bottles per hectare, but the trio took it further limiting yields and producing only 3,600 bottles. This means sorting at the winery is surgical, with only the grapes going into the vat they would want to eat.
My first opportunity to taste the wine was a pivotal moment in how I think of Bordeaux. Freshness and drinkability had not been synonymous with the region in my mind, and yet that's what stood out in Vin de Jardin first. There's a seamless texture and bright fruit quality that begs to be consumed. Each sip I'm connected to the raw materials of the vineyard, something that all great wines should deliver.
The quintessential tobacco, dark chocolate, graphite, and wild herbs that make Bordeaux so distinct are met with vivid floral notes and ripe, pristine fruit. The complete picture is one that reminded me why Bordeaux is always worth a closer, to search for hidden gems like this. And at $36 per bottle I was shocked to find a wine behind that tag which hit every mark.
Vin de Jardin exemplifies everything that's to be lauded and respected about the small grower-producer. This is the most excited I've ever been about Bordeaux in this price realm.
2014 Domaine de Galouchey Vin de Jardin
$36 per bottle.