Château Giscours is a 300-hectare property, including 95 hectares of vineyards, located in Labarde, southeast of Margaux, in the Margaux appellation. Third Classified Growth in 1855, the estate produces rich wines with complex aromas that have a great aptitude for aging.
the technical sheet of château giscours
OWNER: Albada Jelgersma Family
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Alexander Van Beek
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Didier Foret
OENOLOGIST-CONSULTANT : Thomas Duclos
APPELLATION : Margaux
VINEYARD AREA: 95 hectares
VINEYARD MANAGEMENT : Organic farming
SOILS : Graves garonnaises
SOIL MAINTENANCE : Traditional ploughing
AVERAGE AGE OF THE VINEYARD : 35 years
DENSITY OF PLANTATION : 8 330 to 10 000 vines per ha
GRAPE VARIETIES: Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (32%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Petit Verdot (3%)
AGEING : 16 to 18 months in French oak barrels
the HISTORY of château giscours
The history of Château Giscours began in 1552 when Pierre de L'Homme, a rich clothier from Bordeaux, bought the noble house of "Guyscoutz" composed of vast lands. He decided to convert part of it into vineyards, and the wine-making adventure began.
During the 18th century, Marc Promis' ambition was to restore the vineyard. Then, Jean-Pierre Pescatore, a Luxembourg businessman, gave a powerful reputation to the property by multiplying the investments to increase the quality of the wines. He also built the neo-classical castle and farm buildings. He died in late 1855, a few months before the official classification of the Médoc crus, raising Château Giscours to the rank of third Classified Growth.
From 1875 to 1890, Édouard Cruse modernized the property and created the park around the château with the help of a renowned landscaper, Eugène Bühler, and built a farm: the Ferme Suzanne
Following several changes of ownership and the Second World War, the reputation of the wine gradually deteriorated. The estate was reborn in 1952 when Nicolas Tari, an important Algerian winegrower, acquired the estate and modernized the production. His son, Pierre Tari, succeeded him in 1970 and continued his father's efforts.
In 1995, Pierre sold part of his shares and the management to Eric Albada Jelgersma, a Dutch businessman, wine lover and art collector. He undertook the renovation of the property and the reorganization of the vineyard. Today, his children are at the head of the property.
château giscours, the PROPERTY
300-hectare estate located in Labarde near Margaux, Château Giscours has one of the most renowned terroirs in the Bordeaux region. Its magnificent castle with its neoclassical palace look, testifies the history of Giscours and its evolutions. It is also surrounded by a park shaped like a work of art with various sculptures and a beautiful forest hidden behind the castle to admire the fauna and flora.
Geological studies reveal the high quality origin of the terroir, an alluvial deposit of Garonne gravel dating from the ancient quaternary period, which serves as a foundation for the vineyard. Thus, Giscours has three large hillocks that give strength and complexity to its wines:
- The Grand & Petit Poujeau, located to the west of the property, with a height of 21 meters, this croup is composed of peyrosols. These
gravels, brought by the Garonne and the Dordogne, form warm soils perfectly suited for Cabernet Sauvignon and allow matured wines.
- The Bel Air, is a 13 meters high hillock with a high proportion of gravelly-sandy to sandy-gravelly soil. It is a cooler terroir that likes hot
and dry years.
- The plateau of Giscours - Cantelaude, is located at 17 meters of altitude. These hillsides have a root system that draws from the
underground layers to get water, which is necessary in times of drought. The vines are thus protected from climatic excesses.
château giscours, preserving an EXCEPTIONAL BIODIVERSITY
Château Giscours works in a sustainable and committed way in order to preserve the biodiversity of its terroir with currently half of the vineyard surface cultivated in organic farming. The teams ensure to maintain the natural balance by intervening as little as possible in order to reinforce a functional ecosystem and minimize treatments. This approach is also recognized with the Natura 2000 site certification for the park and the Giscours forest.
With the purpose of contributing to the development of an ecosystem that is best adapted to each vintage, to the cultivation of the vine and to the elaboration of great wines, Château Giscours favors biodiversity by encouraging grassing to limit the growth of weeds, by decomposing the soil, by limiting the use of tractors and by using traditional ploughing.
In view of climatic changes, the teams favor tilling the soil before planting. This will allow the root system of the young vines to develop in depth by finding freshness and water. They also conduct tests to find the most suitable rootstocks for the following years.
As part of their approach to protecting biodiversity, the estate welcomes animals (sheep, cows, goats...) to help maintain the property. It also has a vegetable garden working in circular economy and circuit to limit the environmental impact. The products are selected by the chef of the castle to put them on the menu of the Table de Giscours.
the KNOW-HOW of château Giscours
The terroir of Château Giscours is exceptional, the teams maintain the old plots by complantation with care and knowledge of each vine. They select young vines in order to plant them among the old ones. With half of the vineyard under organic farming, the teams strive to carry out a conservative viticulture in order to preserve the terroir as well as its ecosystem and its surroundings.
Precise and meticulous, Chateau Giscours' teams carry out intra-plot harvesting. They start with the youngest vines in order to extract the aromatic brilliance and the fruity aspect of the latter, and then carry out various passages on each parcel in order to harvest the grapes of the oldest vines when they reach their full maturity.
The magic then happens in the Giscours cellars, better known as the "Chais Skawinski" in honor of Pierre Skawinski, who was hired by Jean-Pierre Pescatore to improve the buildings and the vineyard. This historical building has two vats dedicated to the wine making: one for the Margaux appellation and the other for the Haut-Médoc appellation. It is also a place for maturing, with 1,500 French oak barrels supplied by a dozen coopers.
Following the harvest, the grapes are sorted, destemmed and selected by optical sorting in the cellar to keep only the best. The pre-fermentation maceration is done cold in order to sublimate the fruity aromas before the alcoholic fermentation which is also done at low temperature with a soft extraction. Then comes the malolactic fermentation which is done in vats.
The wines are then aged in barrels. Tastings are carried out regularly, leading to the composition of a blend allowing the birth of a unique vintage. During the maturation, the wine gains in fullness and density. The wood contributes to the construction of the wine by bringing noble and soft tannins. Once the wine reaches the elegance and finesse sought, it is bottled.
the CUVÉES of château giscours
Chateau Giscours produces rich and well-constituted wines, Margaux's own charm. It presents complex aromas with a mixture of fruits, floral and spicy notes and a great aptitude for aging.
Château Giscours, Third Classified Growth in 1855 is a voluptuous, greedy and structured wine which possesses a great personality proper to the Great Wines in Margaux appellation. It is a wine that evolves magnificently over time.
The second wine, La Sirène de Giscours, represents one third of the total production. Made from vines in the Margaux appellation, it is an elegant, delicate wine with fruity notes and silky tannins. It can be drunk young but also very well aged.
The estate also produces the Haut-Médoc de Giscours under the appellation Haut-Médoc as well as a rosé, Le Rosé X Giscours, which already has the reputation of being the "best rosé of Bordeaux".