In a recent visit to Chateau de Cérons, it wasn’t only the wines that bowled us over. It was the charm of husband and wife team, Xavier and Caroline that really captivated us.
They own one of the oldest cellars in all of Bordeaux. It was in Xavier’s family for centuries until 2012 when Xavier and Caroline bought it from the family. In doing so, they accepted the challenge of producing wines of the highest quality in one of the least-known, but oldest appellations in Bordeaux: Cérons. Built in the 17th Century as a holiday retreat, Chateau Cérons is also listed as a historic monument. It’s easy to see why.
Their mission is to develop the village of Cérons and put it back on the map. They’re achieving this through the production of three different wines on their 30 hectares of vines: red Graves, dry white Graves and Cérons sweet wine. With drier soils and less humidity than neighbouring Sauternes, their sweet wines are never as sweet as Sauternes thanks to later botrytis and a later harvest.
They don’t use Sauvignon Blanc in sweet wines as unlike most Sauternes they can achieve freshness without it. It’s almost exclusively Semillon used in Chateau Cérons which results in a palate of grapefruit and honey and strikes a very fine balance of bright acidity and residual sugar (approx. 70g/l).
Chateau de Cérons have also just been certified HVE (Haut Valuer Envinromental). This is a relatively new certification in France. They are ahead of the curve here as this will become a more important certification as it takes into consideration a holistic view of the environmental impacts of making wine.
To see this place is to believe in it, failing that, to taste their wines will have you believing too.