Sophie Fourcade cares for her tiny vineyard as if it were a vicarage garden - and in fact, that is exactly what it originally was. In this tiny but much-loved environment, Fourcade is attempting to make a Grand Cru in the Burgundy style.
Perched on its headland on the western slope of Saint-Émilion, that famous plateau of fossilised limestone, this smallest of the Grand Cru Classés seems entirely unintimidated by its illustrious neighbours.
Sophie, who trained as an oenologist, is doing everything she can to develop the potential of her 1.3 hectares. Unusually, she ferments a quarter of her wine in terracotta amphorae, while the rest goes into large oak barrels. Her aim is to "preserve the purity of the fruit" - which pretty much sums up her vision of how the wine ought to be.
The initial tasting of the 2018 confirms the success of her methods. Initially lively and spicy, the wine also offers charming notes of red fruits with a linearity that is purely mineral.