Maison Le Star

Plenty of laurels, but no rest


Château Guillaume Blanc – the home of Maison Le Star wines – is located in the heart of Foyen, on the edge of the Périgord region, and named for its illustrious original owner Guillaume Blanc, the consul of the bastide of Sainte-Foy La Grande. It was built in the 16th century, when France was struggling to recover from the privations caused by the Hundred Years’ War. Through his Bordeaux négociant business and, in particular, through his eponymous château, Guillaume Blanc was able to help this corner of the region rise from the ashes. 

Skip forward several centuries to 1972, and the magnificent château was taken over by the Guiraud family. Today it is run by Frédéric Guiraud who works hand in glove with cellar master, Olivier Goubie, to craft exceptional wines, conscious of the wonderful legacy left to them by Guillaume Blanc.

The Château’s vineyards cover 65 hectares, with a complex and unique terroir including gravelly soil planted with Cabernet, and clay-limestone hillsides with Merlot. Around 10 years ago, Frédéric also planted 10 hectares of Malbec which, although it is not very well known in France, is often used as a supporting varietal in the Grand Cru wines.

Frédéric Guiraud says: “The vineyards of Château Guillaume Blanc enjoy a mild climate, where the benevolence of Mother Nature can be felt all around you. In summer you can almost see the sun’s rays kissing the bunches of grapes and in winter, the cold putting the vines to sleep! You could say our wines are a combination of the work of man and Mother Nature, whom we venerate every day and to whose will we must bend!

“We are in love with our land and everything it gives us. It is therefore only natural that we should have opted for sustainable viticulture, minimising the use of chemical inputs. This decision has been reflected in our High Environmental Value certification.”

There is a culture of constant improvement and challenge at the winery; practices are kept under regular review and the team experiments with new techniques, both in the vineyards and winery. This includes working with supporting varietals, to enable the development of new blends with new aromatic profiles.

“Our credo is a balance between tradition and innovation,” says Frédéric. “Olivier Goubie, in particular, is the best guarantor of this credo; every morning, the first thing he does is check on his vats and monitor their progress. He is a man passionate about his craft, who artfully vinifies and blends the different grape varieties grown on the estate, in our quest for well-balanced, full-bodied and well-built wines.”

Jolie Libellule, the red in this month’s box, boasts a deep colour with purple tints. The nose reveals elegant notes of red fruit, pepper and cloves, while the palate is round and well-balanced with silky tannins, stretching out over a nice length. “When you drink Jolie Libellule, you will discover some of the history of the Gironde in a necessarily innovative wine. This grape variety offers us an expressive and generous aromatic palette,” says Frédéric.

With a heavy nod to its Bordeaux heritage, Frédéric recommends pairing it with some lamprey à la bordelaise, or a good entrecote steak. As a fabulously fruity 100% Malbec though, it also works well with chicken pie, cheeses or even chocolate desserts.

“It is no coincidence that Bordeaux is one of the best known and most recognised appellations in the world. We are fortunate to possess an exceptional terroir, conducive to the production of a wide range of wines of unparalleled quality. However, we must never tire in our efforts and always go further in our quest to draw out our vineyards’ deepest secrets, while remaining respectful of the land and preserving it as best we can for the generations to come,” Frédéric concludes.

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