Château du Cayrou
Château du Cayrou sits at the bottom of one the Lot river's deep bends near the town of Puy l'Évèque. This is storied terroir that has produced some of the most compelling Cahors wines of the past decades.
Until 2009, the estate was owned by the Jouffreau family (of Clos de Gamot). They had bought the place in the 1970s, recognizing the tremendous potential of the site, and replanted 30 hectares of vines.
They eventually realized that they were unable to keep up with Cayrou and their other estates at the same time, and in 2009 they sold the château to Georges Douin, a former Renault executive. George Douin brought in his son in law, Julien Goursaud, to take care of the estate. Julien started his career in finance, but changed gears at a young age to pursue winemaking.
One of the first things Julien did upon taking over was cut the production hectarage in half. The wines are currently being made with the 15 hectares that constitute the best parcels of the estate. It's all about the rocks: Julien estimates that some of the parcels are simply not gravelly enough to make top level wine.
Some of the other changes Julien instituted include the conversion organic practices, and for the 2012 vintage the wines are certified. He is also cutting all the Merlot out of the blend, and starting with the 2014 vintage the wines will be 100% Cot.
As for the winemaking, the philosophy is quite clear: Julien is looking to make wines that are light-framed and elegant. In practice, this means a careful control of the temperature during maceration and fermentation. It also means – and this is probably the most radical thing he does – no wood at all in the winery. The goal is pure, transparent expression of the site.