The En-Primeur Insider: Eighth Edition, with Alistair Cooper MW

Cotes de Castillon is another one of those Right Bank appellations (along with Fronsac) that does well in very hot vintages such as 2020. This is largely due to its limestone soils as well as the huge amount of biodynamic estates in  the area. Unsurprisingly for me the standout performer was Clos Puy Arnaud in this year’s Castillon offerings. 

Biodynamic since 2010, Clos Puy Arnaud has 14 hectares (65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Franc) on the limestone plateau at around 90 metres above sea level. Under owner Thierry Valette this estate just keeps on getting better and better. They are experimenting with no sulphur, amphora aged wines with their Cuvée Ananda and from now on their Grand Vin will be around 20% amphora aged. Very often biodynamic wines for me just seem to exhibit real purity, vibrancy and energy and Clos Puy Arnaud is a prime example. Most importantly, this is extremely well priced for a wine of this quality. 

Here’s what I thought when tasting the wine for JancisRobinson.com and United Cellars a few weeks ago. 

‘A very vibrant berry laden nose, raspberry and mulberry and pepper. Such vibrancy, freshness and energy on the palate with fine and detailed tannins, a red fruit core with lovely texture. Really well balanced wine that is all about the energy coursing through its veins. Absolutely superb.’  17 points. 

Alistair Cooper Master of Wine and Esteemed Critic

- Alistair Cooper, 
Master of Wine & Esteemed Critic