As soon as they had taken over the estate in 2012, Axelle and Pierre Courdurié were immediately convinced of the potential of this mosaic of plots in the middle of the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation area. This is where they could finally fulfil their passion for wine. And change their lives.
When they met in 1994 in Washington state, Axelle was winemaker at the Columbia Winery, while Pierre was working in wine distribution. When she returned to Bordeaux, Axelle thought that her great experience plus fluent English would be more than enough to pursue her career. Unluckily for her, Bordeaux in the 90’s did not welcome women into wine, whatever their field of expertise.
She changed her plans and developed her career in a major French group specialising in building materials It was hectic, but flavourless, so she quit, when the desire to roll up her sleeves and get to work on a project closer to her aspirations became an absolute necessity.
The tiny plots of Château Croix de Labrie total an area of 3.5 hectares (8.7 acres) in the middle of the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation area. Rational cultivation techniques are applied in tending the vines, whose fruit produces three great wines.
Chapelle de Labrie is made from fruit from the plots in Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens, next to Château Valandraud’s first plot, where the Cabernet Franc mingles with the dominant Merlot.
Notes and Reviews
James Suckling (95)
This is very fine-grained with such beauty and finesse. It seduces you with its polished and lovely fruit. Medium body. Wonderful length. Better after 2023, but already a joy to taste.
Neal Martin (91)
The 2016 Chapelle de Labrie has a generous, pure bouquet of lush red cherry and strawberry fruit, though unlike some of its peers, there is focus and impressive delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin, a smooth texture and a lightly spices, quite persistent, truffle-tinged finish. Excellent
|Grape Varieties||Merlot, Cabernet Franc|
|Age of Vines||40 years old|
|Vinification||Hand picked and fully destemmed followed by a cold-soaking for 4 days. The fruit is vinified plot by plot. Different temperature levels are adhered to, but never higher than 26° C (79° F). The cap is punched down manually.|
|Elevage||18 months in new oak barrels|
|Soil Type||Clay over limestone|