Helen’s blog

Thoughts and tastings from Helen Savage, wine writer.

Chateau Thénac – can investment make a great wine in Bergerac?

Chateau Thenac  I reported on my visit to Chateau Thénac in The Journal a fortnight ago, but I wasn’t able to add my tasting notes on the wine here because my Internet connection was hors de combat. So with apologies for the delay, here are my thoughts:

Fleur du Périgord 2011, Bergerac Blanc (80% Sauvignon Blanc, 10 Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle, unoaked)

Very green savoury dry white with both both freshness and elegance. It achieves what Stéphane Guillot aims for – ‘crispy’ fruit in a ‘vin de plaisir’)

Chateau Thénac 2010, Bergerac Blanc (75% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle, barrel fermented and aged for 9 months, with lees stirring, the nine months in tank)

Much richer – a fine, complex, dry white with a confit lemon character and much more mouthfeel than the unoaked white. The oak/fruit balance is exemplary.

Fleur du Périgord 2009, Bergerac (75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon , half the wine aged in oak for 6 months)

A lovely bright colour, then a fresh, elegant spicy aroma – including ginger, unusually. Savoury, fresh and spicy with brambly fruit and a mineral/savoury finish. Real elegance in an entry-level wine.

Chateau Thénac 2008 Côtes de Bergerac,  (58% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 15 months in mostly new oak)

A refined,  scented bouquet, then fresh acidity in the mouth balanced by a long, savoury, black cherry, bramble and damson flavours.

Chateau Thénac 2009, Côtes de Bergerac (58% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 15 months in mostly new oak)

Much richer, with liquorice aromas and much more concentration of black fruit flavours, but also, curiously, more obvious oaking. Less finesse at the moment than 08, but shows good, fresh acidity. Very promising.

Thénac, Côtes de Bergerac, Blanc Moelleux, 2006 (90% Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle, 10 months in new oak, around 45 to 50 g/l residual sugar)

Perfumed, some evidence of botrytis, but also fresh grapefuit. Lively acidity and a slightly phenolic twist. It’s a bit betwixt and between in style, but is a good drink.


One Response to “Chateau Thénac – can investment make a great wine in Bergerac?”

  1. Hi Helen,

    We have followed your wonderful writings (and still do) prior to seting up our venture and looking for a partners. We drove to Chateau Thénac in December but unfortunately no one was there.

    We have managed to purchase Chateau Thénac 2009, Côtes de Bergerac in The Maison Des Vins in Bergerac, and Christelle’s father (Jacque Combaud – an old school wine maker), confirmed your mouth watering descriptions.

    Chateau Thénac is not on our list of partners at the moment but no one can tell how busy this summer is going to be?

    Regards from Bergerac Wine Tours crew