June 30, 2014
Successfully meeting the Sweet Bordeaux challenge
Thierry Bos is the third generation of winemakers at Château Bouillerot. He challenged himself to produce a sweet Bordeaux white wine in Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire appellation in 1994. Since then, he has reached for the stars.
“I personally prefer drinking a liquorous wine as an apéritif. On its own. It’s the only wine you can afford to drink outside of meals”, thinks Thierry Bos, winemaker at Château Bouillerot in Gironde-sur-Dropt. The winemaker inherited his domain in the 90s. It is back then that he challenged himself to produce liquorous wines appellation Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire, on a clay-limestone soil. “The first millesime came out in 1994, on only 70 acres of Sémillon cépage”, he says.
Several years of practice
Producing a talented Sweet Bordeaux is a patience learning process. The winemaker’s wines have evolved little by little. “I wanted to show you can make liquorous wine from old vines”, he insists. Thierry Bos had studied at a winemaking school, La Tour Blanche à Bommes, a high school specialised in liquorous wines. So the winemaker knew what to do in theory. But it means nothing without years of practice. “As long as a winemaker hasn’t produced liquorous wine, they know nothing on the matter. I have a lot of respect for producers who do only that. It is the most gratifying work, because you can reach for the stars!”, he says.
Balance found after organic certification
With such ambition, the winemaker believes he only reached his goal starting from 2001. “When he finally found a good balance between sweetness, alcohol, acidity and fruit purity”, he details. In 2003, his Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire was considered one of the year’s best Bordeaux white wines. Then, in 2013, he got an organic farming certificate. “We had already been working in line with this philosophy for a long time: without chemicals toxic for us and for the environment. So we made it official”, the winemaker says. He admits devoting 25% extra manual work compared to conventional farming. “But the most important is the vine. This is what we notice with our visitors. They are very interested in the natural aspect of the wine”, Thierry Bos concludes.