Dec 8, 2020
Magali Guyon has been the technical director/ winemaker of
Cardonne in the Médoc of Bordeaux for more than 20 years.
Having worked in Bordeaux for some of the biggest names – she is
the former winemaker at Château Lynch-Bages – she represents the
best of the best in Bordeaux. Château La
Cardonne was recently awarded the prestigious Cru Bourgeois
Supérieur title as well.
In this show, we take a different look at the Médoc (the
prestigious Left Bank of Bordeaux) and approach it as a proposition
of growing and terroir – not of pretty chateaux and expensive
wines. Magali helps us reframe the discussion of Bordeaux to show
us that the true essence of Bordeaux is the vineyard and the
Here are the show notes/discussion topics:
- The location, size, and the major water, soil, climate, and
other influences in the Médoc
Vins du Médoc
- The soils and the differences between the various types of
gravel, the clay-limestone, and the limestone bedrock that could be
particularly suited to white wine in the future (yes, we do discuss
the possibility of a Blanc appellation for Médoc)
- The flat aspect of Bordeaux and how diurnals must make up for
what it lacks in altitude or slope
- The grapes of the Médoc – mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. We talk about what type of land
is well-suited to each grape and what matters when it comes to good
- The many separate areas/AOCs –Margaux, St. Julien, Pauiilac,
Listrac, Moulis, St. Estèphe, and the wider areas of Haut-Médoc and
Médoc. We talk about the similarities (the oceanic climate) and the
differences (nuances in climate and soil)
- I ask Magali about why there are no wines that tout “old vines”
or Vieilles Vignes on their labels in Bordeaux. She explains why
that could be.
- Climate change and the challenges of strictly organic or
biodynamic viticulture are a big topic. We also talk about the new
grape varieties – Touriga Nacional, Marselan, Arinarnoa, and
Castets – and the potential for a few of them. We address the
importance of tradition and how keeping wines stylistically true to
the region is a priority
After an in-depth conversation on Médoc, we discuss Château la
- Magali explains why she vinifies each lot separately – plot by
plot. We discuss how important it is for a vigneron to be in charge
of both vineyards and winemaking. We talk about the use of oak and
how it is viewed in Bordeaux (as a way to provide controlled
oxidation and tannin stabilization, NOT as a “spice rack” as it is
in the New World) and why many vigneron are trading barrels for
- Château La
Cardonne ages the wines before release in their famous
“Cathedral” . It is 2020 at the time of the show and they are just
releasing their 2010 wine
Vins du Médoc
- We discuss the “caste system” of Bordeaux and how frustrating
it is that the classification systems suppress the reputation and
excellent wines of places not included in these old rankings. On
the positive side, we discuss how that translates to value for us
as wine lovers (La
Cardonne is a mere US$25)
We wrap with a brief discussion of women in Bordeaux, the benefit
of foreign investment in Bordeaux (Château La
Cardonne is owned by a Hong Kong-based company), and how the
future for Bordeaux is exciting and full of possibilities.
The show is a great new way to look at Bordeaux. Forget
chateaux: look at the land!
*Unless specified otherwise all photos from the Instagram feed of
Chateau La Cardonne
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