Whether you’re looking for an interesting wine tasting experience, or you’re there for a holiday in one of their stunning rooms or gites, you’re certainly in for a fun time with Peter and Karina – two very fine hosts.
Peter and Karina bought Château Rieutort, and half the vines a couple of years ago. At the time, the chateau was pretty run down, since the previous owners had invested all their money in the vines and the wine production.
The French ex-owner, a winemaker with a passion and a vision, was only too happy for someone to take over the chateau, leaving him to continue running the wine production at Rieutort.
Restoration of the chateau was not without its problems. It’s built on a flood plain, so strengthening of the flood barriers was the first priority.
You can safely say that Peter and Karina haven’t cut any corners in restoring the chateau – from a five month project of painstakingly repairing a beautiful mosaic floor, to sensitively creating en-suite rooms and beautiful gites, it’s been a labour of love.
While Peter regularly travels to and from the UK for his work, it’s Karina who has project managed all the building work and refurbishment, and she runs the chateau with a stylish but firm hand.
The end result is a beautiful chateau, with five en-suite guest rooms, and five gites of various sizes. The biggest gite is a lovely four bedroomed apartment, with a huge private terrace overlooking the vines.
On to the wine…..
There are a mind-boggling 17 wines available to taste. We tasted 8 of them, and there was one clear outright winner.
The CLOS DES LEGENDES 2009, 100% syrah, aged for 18 months in oak barrels. At €34.20 list price, it’s not cheap, but if your day needs cheering up, or if you have a really special occasion, it’s an exceptional wine. Smooth, heavy and velvety, starting with dark red cherries, and moving into plums and figs at the end. A good tournados, or duck with spiced cherries would be an exceedingly good match.
Other highlights were:-
DOMAINE BLANC 2012, Sauvignon, white Grenache, chardonnay, viognier. Golden colour, honey nose with a taste of citrus and exotic fruits.
CLOS DES PASSIONS 2005, 100% carignan, aged for 18 months in oak barrels. €18.60.
CUVEE DES CLOS, CIRCE 2004, white Grenache, aged 24 months in oak barrels. €21.10. Sweet but not too syrupy, and ideal for a dessert or foie gras.
CLOS DE LA PLEINITUDE 2008, black Grenache, aged for 18 months in oak barrels. €22.60. Complex, with delicate flavours of orange peel and cocoa.
They say on their website ‘Come as strangers and leave the château as friends’, and that was definitely the experience we had.
Route de Gignac (D32)?
34230 Saint Pargoire
04 67 89 38 20