Every winemaker from their first introduction to the beautiful world of wines dreams of seeing their wine lighting up the eyes of people all over the world. A select few get close to doing so and even fewer of those actually manage to capture the hearts of all those who taste the wine. At the 2021 Paris Wine Cup, the criteria are even tougher. Yes, the end goal is to help consumers find the best wines to drink but to get there a wine has to please industry experts who have dedicated their lives to bringing the best wines to everyone.
This year there were many amazing wines on the show but a select few from these stood out and stole the limelight. Among these was the Château Barrail Tapon from Vignobles Gabriel & Co which took home six medals including the gold medal, Best in Show by Country, Best in Show by Varietal, Bordeaux of the Year, Best Wine by Value, and Best in Show by Regions of France.
Nicole Tapon was introduced to organic farming very early on in her life by her parents Raymond and Dédée Tapon. It was natural that once she finished her course in business studies and a course in oenology from the Bordeaux Faculty of Oenology, she found her place at the family estate amidst the land she had grown up on. Two years later in 2001, her husband, Jean-Christophe Renault, a sommelier in Paris, left his job and joined Nicole at the vineyard. Together they embarked on this journey, combining Nicole’s technical know-how and her experience with the land and Jean-Christophe’s experience in the industry to create fine organic wines.
The 35-hectare land situated in the terroir of Saint-Emilion for Château Lafleur Tapon, Montagne Saint-Emilion for Château Barrail Tapon, Saint-Georges Saint-Emilion and Lalande de Pomerol is where the magic happens. In 2012, the Vignobles Gabriel & Co was certified as an organic winery by the Ecocert organization. Fast forward to nine years later and it is their Château Barrail Tapon that was among the biggest winners at the Paris Wine Cup in 2021.
Produced in Montagne using grapes produced across 22-hectares of land, the Château Barrail Tapon has a very intense red colour. The nose opens to notes of pine and blackberry and a slight hint of underwood coming in. Juicy and driven by powerful, fine tannins this is a truly outstanding wine with no frills. A candied and tender piece of beef or stuffed veal cutlets with girolles will be the ideal food pairing option for this award-winning wine.
The Château Barrail Tapon, a blend of merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon blanc, was a true representative of the diverse and truly beautiful wine culture of Bordeaux. Nicole Tapon joined the Vignobles Gabriel & Co in 2020 and the win at the Paris Wine Cup is a victory for both, Nicole and the collective.
Families uniting over wine
The story of Vignobles Gabriel & Co began at the end of the 1990s but the seeds were planted a century ago by Mr. Gabriel Bruneteau. After four generations, the estate was inherited by Jean-François Reaud in 1985. At the same time, he also became the owner of the seven remaining hectares of vineyard. In 2011, Jean-François Reaud decided to turn to organic farming and took up the name of Château Les Aubiers, one that belonged to his family.
His relentless work increased the area of Château Le Grand Moulin to 81 hectares. He also bought the treasured vineyard of Blaye, the Château Haut Sociondo, which added a further 155 hectares of land. The increase in demand made him take the business even further. Convinced of the benefits of mutual assistance in the winegrowing business, Jean-François joined forces with several neighbouring estates. This was the birth of Vignobles Gabriel & Co. signifying the coming of age of Gabriel Bruneteau’s enterprise and the rise of a new winemaking family.
Vignobles Gabriel & Co, Source Facebook
The Right Bank and its treasures
A movement that came to be because of ethical winegrowing and Jean-François Reaud’s vision got the ball rolling. For the past twenty years, the adventure has picked up speed with all those involved committed to three common values: mutual support, quality, and the environment. Operating under one banner, that of Vignobles Gabriel & Co, each of them has a separate identity.
Fair remuneration regardless of the economic conditions or the climate risks has allowed everyone to concentrate their efforts completely on improving the quality of wines. The testament to this oneness and unity among those associated with Vignobles Gabriel & Co was Nicole Tapon’s Château Barrail Tapon getting recognized as the best wine to come from Bordeaux at the 2021 Paris Wine Cup. This award-winning wine is available on Vivino.