Jean-Luc and Catherine Hubert are the fifth generation in Catherine’s family to own and operate Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours. Along with their son Guillaume, they farm the estate and make the wines themselves, and represent the largest certified Biodynamic estate in the Cotes de Blaye. The Château at Peybonhomme dates to before the French Revolution and the Hubert Family, on Catherine’s side has been farming the surrounding vineyards for the last five generations. The Château sits on the banks of the Gironde river in the Cotes de Blaye, some four or five miles north east of Margaux and roughly the same distance to the south west of Paulliac. Happily for us, the area was outside of the land that was deemed to produce the finest grapes at the time of the “Classification of Bordeaux” and that is key to lower land prices which in turn means lower wine prices today. With vineyards that slope down to a major river, benefit from excellent drainage and exposure, Chateau Peybonhomme has all the geographic elements needed to grow excellent grapes and the Hubert family’s careful farming maximizes this potential year in and year out. The divide in Bordeaux between trophy wines accessible only to the super rich and the everyday wines on which our love for the region is based, is massive and it is responsible for too many insipid, over-ripe, over oaked wines, the nature of which speaks to the ego of the winemaker instead of anything happening in the vines. Our first taste of Chateau Peybonhomme Les Tours was an amazingly fresh breath of air. You might want to try these wines if you are a fan of layered, traditionally styled Bordeaux who cannot justify $40 to $4000 for a bottle of wine on a Wednesday night, or if you are interested to see what organic and biodynamic farming can do in a region which has only recently seen a renaissance in agricultural practices. Either way, we suspect you will enjoy the change of pace these wines represent.
The Hubert family makes the type of Bordeaux that we love and can afford to drink. These are wines that eschew the quest for critical acclaim and “perfection” and instead are consistently balanced, age-worthy and drinkable. The Cru Bourgeois from Peybonhomme is an ideal glass of Bordeaux for easy meals or grazing with appetizers. We would not discourage pairing the red “Cru Bourgeois” with any dish that you might think of for Merlot dominated wines from the right bank, but the wine seems to be most comfortable with well made bistro fare.