Vigneron Nicholas Thienpont is one of the most interesting men in Bordeaux. Before establishing himself as a winegrower in Bordeaux, Nicholas studied philosophy and law and developed a passion for Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. He taught philosophy in Reims before he assumed ownership of Chateau Puygueraud in the small Bordeaux appellation of Cotes-de-Francs in the 1980s. Since then, the Thienpont portfolio has grown to encompass eight chateaus that he directly owns, manages, or for which he serves as a consultant. Among these is Chateau La Prade, which Nicholas purchased in 2000.
Chateau La Prade is situated on a limestone plateau and hillside in the town of Saint-Cibard. The vineyard is managed in the traditional way with light ploughing and aeration, and the gradual introduction of natural methods of prevention against diseases and pests. Much of the work is done by hand with careful intervention. Additionally, the whole grape is fermented in traditional cement tanks. This 2017 vintage was spared from frost damage that affected much of the region.
This classic Right Bank Bordeaux has a classic ruby red color with red-brick hues around the rim. The prominent aromas are of red fruit, spice, and cocoa. Owing to the limestone, there is a distinctive freshness underlying the dense and predominant notes of black cherry, raspberry, and plum. On the palate it is well structured with a presence of tannins and earth notes to finish. Chateau La Prade will only improve in the cellar but can also be enjoyed young-try decanting this wine before enjoying. This wine will pair well with a simple roast chicken or pasta with a rich fish, such as tuna. In colder months, try matching this wine with a rosemary roasted rack of lamb, or a classic filet mignon with mushroom sauce.