Courtesy of Gregory + Vine

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Real Women, Hard Work, Delicious Wine

Strong Women of Bordeaux have captured the artistry of winemaking.

If you’re lucky, the next time you are dining out in Dallas and order a glass of wine, you’ll be sipping on a vintage from one of the Strong Women of Bordeaux. For the first time in Texas, the women winemakers who comprise the Strong Women of Bordeaux are showcasing their collective talents throughout November with a special pouring of three-liter bottles. Their featured wines will be available by the glass in several restaurants and wine bars throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as in Houston and Austin. Offered in a rare, double magnum size, you’ll be able to taste wines that are delicious, sustainable, and hand-filled in Bordeaux, France.

These highly respected women winemakers of Bordeaux are proud to capture the artistry and depth of various Bordeaux appellations from many perspectives, including family-owned chateaux and relative newcomers. This campaign marks the second annual tasting tour for the women winemakers of Bordeaux—but it’s a first for Texas.

Courtesy of Gregory + Vine, photo by Natalie Goff

The influence of these particular female winemakers has led to some very approachable wines that pull double duty, as they can be enjoyed aged, of course, but are also stellar quite young. The women of Bordeaux have prioritized sustainability along their journey while making wines that can compete with the benchmark Bordeaux everyone knows and loves. All the wines featured on the Strong Women of Bordeaux tour are made exclusively by women winemakers in Bordeaux, France. They have put in the hours, effort, hard work, and passion to make these wines on family vineyards—many that have been in operation for at least eight generations. These leaders in winemaking are at the forefront of sustainability in their industry and are always looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprint and combat climate change, which will ultimately affect their vineyards. If you want to feel good about the wine you enjoy, consider their Bordeaux varietals. In fact, 75% of Bordeaux producers hold environmental certifications and uphold a collective commitment to sustainable winemaking.

Just as bold as their wines are the bottles that contain their vintages. A 3L, or double magnum bottle, holds four standard bottles of wine. A rarity in production due to cost, large-format bottles are better suited to prolonged aging due to the smaller surface-to-air ratio between the wine and the bottom of the cork. This event features an exclusive opportunity to savor your own glass from one of these rare bottles throughout the month of November.

Courtesy of Gregory + Vine, photo by Natalie Goff

Recently, the bottles made by the Strong Women of Bordeaux were featured at CRU Food & Wine Bar in Dallas for an intimate wine tasting launch event with female social media influencers and local wine enthusiasts. The event showcased the brilliant women behind the vines; winery representatives shared the 3L releases while highlighting sustainability, the virtues of big bottles, and their partnership with Lift Collective to raise scholarship funds for women in the wine industry. The Dallas influencers are known for being powerful female voices with blogs that feature their lives as fashion enthusiasts, moms, grandmothers, and examples on how women can look and feel fabulous at any age. Yasmina Chalhoub @dresswelltraveloften, Heather Anderson @soheatherblog, Jaclyn Ram @myviewinheels, and Cathy Williamson @themiddlepageblog mingled with the winemakers and the crowd at the sleek event, which featured chic, cozy seating, floor-to-ceiling walls of Cru’s wine, and a soft, candle-lit atmosphere. Each wine had a notecard next to it describing its flavor plus a brief introduction of the winemaker behind the vintage. The crowd paired each wine with bites from a decadent charcuterie board and passed hors d’oeuvre that paired well with each vintage.

Missed the event? No problem. There’s still a glass of Bordeaux waiting for you at some of the best restaurants and wine bars throughout Dallas-Fort Worth. Until then, you can meet these women winemakers and their wines here.

Courtesy of Gregory + Vine, photo by Natalie Goff

The maker: Youmna Asseily – Château Biac

Youmna, a painter and former ice cream maker, has made winemaking her life’s work. She believes wine is “a living thing” and feels that women often bring versatility and an ability to look at things from different angles, a much-needed skill as each harvest brings new expectations and questions about the future. She believes that as Bordeaux adapts to the forces of climate change and market demand, vision is needed to maintain tradition while also moving forward with new ideas. Stemming from a Mediterranean background, she loves to pair Bordeaux with delicious Lebanese recipes. And when it comes to big bottles, Youmna believes “the more the merrier” is a philosophy to embrace.

The wine: B de Biac, 2015 is generous and lively with well-integrated tannins and roundness, giving the wine length and harmony.

 The maker: Gwen Core, Château Haut Mazieres

Gwen began working in the wine industry 10 years ago with her work at Caves de Rauzan. Chateau Haut Mazieres prioritizes sustainability by proudly representing four pillars—preserve the environment, guarantee quality from the vine to glass, support regions and local heritage, and offer a fair price to the consumer and the producer. To Gwen, place is the key to wine and ultimately makes Bordeaux so special.

The wine: Château Haut Mazieres 2019 Bordeaux Rouge – Cabernet Franc. After the harvest, the grapes are pressed and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged in French oak barrels for seven to 12 months before bottling.

The maker: Veronique Barthe, Château La Freynelle

Veronique represents the seventh generation of winemakers in her family crafting Château La Freynelle. She spent time working in the U.S. before returning to her family’s French estate to take over winemaking. She finds adventure in every vintage and embraces the challenge of meeting the evolving needs of the land and Château La Freynelle’s consumers.

The wine: Château La Freynelle 2020 Bordeaux Blanc and Château La Freynelle 2020 Bordeaux Rouge. The Bordeaux Blanc is a beautiful pale gold color with green tints and shows the freshness and finesse of Sauvignon Blanc and the delicacy of Muscadelle. The Bordeaux Rouge is a brilliant garnet robe with violet reflections. A benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon with expressive nose of red fruits, spices, and vanilla.

Courtesy of Gregory + Vine, photo by Natalie Goff

The maker: Angelique Armand, Château La Rame

Angelique grew up at Château La Rame and after managing the winery for nearly two decades, she became the winemaker in 2009. Her passion is to make wines driven by finesse, elegance, and subtlety, which she attributes to her feminine character. She is fiercely committed to representing the terroir of Bordeaux and sees her work as an art, interwoven with her passion for creating artisanal, authentic, and original wines that have soul.

The wine: Château La Rame Bordeaux Rouge features nots of tart blackberry and mocha with round and fine tannins. Château La Rame Bordeaux Blanc is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and mineral-driven with notes of citrus fruit and a round mid-palate.

The maker: Berangere Tesseron, Château Larrivaux

Berangere Tesseron grew up at Château Larrivaux and always knew she wanted to remain in the wine industry. In college, she studied Vineyard Wine and Wine Law and returned to the Château to run the vineyard with her mother and her aunt. To date, Château Larrivaux has been exclusively owned and operated by women in the family. Although the estate covers 80 hectares, only 20ha are dedicated to viticulture. The rest is comprised of woods, meadows, forests, and fields—plus nine beehives! The owners never use herbicides, insecticides, or anti-rot treatments. The result is refined, harmonious wine that is pleasant to drink young with great aging capacity.

The wine: Château Larrivaux 2014, Haut-Medoc and Château Larrivaux 2016 Haut-Medoc. The 2014 vintage is rich in ripe black fruits with notes of violets. Opulent, fine tannins and a fruity, generous finish. The 2016 vintage has strong black fruit notes while remaining fresh with well-integrated tannins.

The maker: Alexandra Robin, Château Rol Valentin

Alexandra has fond memories of running through the vines of her family’s vineyard, which started her own passion for winemaking. She has a love of sustainable viticulture, and the wines at Château Rol Valentin have adapted to changes in climate and are vegan and HVE Level 3 Certified. She loves the big bottles of wine because they enhance the aging potential of wines and can easily be shared with friends for any occasion. When she’s not making Bordeaux, Alexandra can be found racing cars!

The wine: Les Valentines 2018 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru has flavors of concentrated red fruits with aromas of vanilla and leather due to aging in barrels. Les Valentines 2018 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2016 has notes of plum, blackberry, black cherry, and pencil shavings. It’s luscious, round, and ready to drink.

The maker: Pauline Dufour, Château Simon

Pauline began her career in the wine industry working as a sales manager for a larger exporter of Bordeaux wines, but quickly decided her expertise would be best suited working alongside her sister at their family vineyard. She has worked in organic vineyards in California and other vineyards around the world, giving her a wide range or experience, which has given her a respect for the human and environmental impact of the business, while protecting nature and reducing her winery’s carbon footprint. Her favorite time of year in Bordeaux is when the sunrise hits the dewy vines during springtime.

The wine: The 2015 Château Simon Sauternes has aromas of sweet melon and exotic fruits and dried apricot. The botrytized grapes are cold-soaked and aged in oak barrels for 18 months.

Courtesy of Gregory + Vine, photo by Natalie Goff

The maker: Marie Courselle, Château Thieuley

Marie was born at Château Thieuley and learned to be a winemaker from her father by participating in every activity from vineyard to cellar and tasting. She inherited the family passion for winemaking and shares ownership of Château Thieuley with her sister. They actively participate in Bordeaux Oxygene, an association for 18 winemakers who promote family-owned vineyards. Her winemaking style is juicy, approachable, affordable, and made to enjoy, especially with good cooking—another favorite pursuit.

The wine: Château Thieuley 2019 Bordeaux Blanc has notes of white blossoms and exotic fruits. The palate is round and balanced by bright acidity. The 2015 Bordeaux Rouge has flavors of dark red fruits and notes of dark chocolate with firm, yet integrated tannins.

The maker: Erika Smatana, Clarence Dillon/Clarendelle

Erika is a native of Slovakia. Her path to the wine industry started at the age of 10 when her family emigrated to Canada through Vienna, Austria. After completing a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting in New York, she later completed wine studies, which is when wine became her passion. She traveled to Bordeaux in 2020 to fulfill a dream and work harvest with Famille Barton in Sant-Julien, Château Langoa -Barton and Château Leoville-Barton. She looks forward to a future where Bordeaux wines go back to basics with a modern twist.

The wine: Clarendelle Bordeaux Blanc 2020 is fresh and creamy with notes of peach and hints of celery. It is medium-bodied with a light, round texture and a fruity finish. The Clarendelle Bordeaux Rouge 2015 has a fresh nose with berries and chocolate with hints of hazelnuts and Sandalwood. Medium-bodied, linear, and focused with fine tannins and a delicious finish.

The maker: Valerie Gosselin Conche, Les Vignerons Reunis de Monsegur

Valerie works as the sales director of Les Vignerons Reunis de Monsegur. She began her career in the wine industry in 2006 after studying international business, followed by working in various regions of production, such as the South of France. She is enthusiastic about the wines that Bordeaux has to offer. She loves the innovation, affordability, approachable nature of Bordeaux wines and that all her winery’s offerings are vegan. She is also enthusiastic about women gaining prominence in the wine industry because they bring rigor, patience, and intuition to the table.

The wine: M De Monsegur 2016 Bordeaux Rouge has a deep magenta-purple rim. The nose is an enticing mix of fresh, black raspberry, forest floor, violet, and licorice. It is grown on clay and limestone soils to nurture the Cabernet Franc grapes to peak aromatics.

The maker: Sophia Sanchez, Citran

Sophia is general manager of Citran, which has origins that date back to the historic Citran family estate in the 13th Century. It is a storied property and one of the great growths of Médoc. With a vine legacy of more than 100 hectares, the winery places high focus on sustainability. The winemakers are endowed with ancestral knowledge but also keep themselves up to date with the latest innovation in viticulture. The result—wines that are classically rich, fruity, structured, and well-balanced. When Sophia isn’t busy running the winery, she is likely getting away from it all climbing mountains!

The wine: Citran 2016 features notes of roasted coffee that intermingle with blue and red berries. On the palate, the wine is powerful and refined. It is fined with egg whites and aged 15 months with racking every three months.

Sample the Strong Women of Bordeaux’s wines at fine wine bars and restaurants throughout Dallas-Fort Worth throughout November, including Adelmos, Bambu Asian Cuisine in Richardson, Bearcreek Spirits and Wine, Cru Food and Wine Bar Dallas, Dallas Fine Wines, Lavendou Bistro Provencal, Mason & Dixie, Meridian at the Village Dallas, Monarch Restaurant, Off the Vine Grapevine, Put a Cork in It, Saint-Emilion Restaurant, Salum, Sushi Rock Dallas, Trova Wine + Market, Veritas Wine Room, Winetasatic, and Yardbird. For more information, visit #bordeauxbigbottles #strongwomenbordeaux


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