Descended from the high lords of Landas, whose crest they bear, the Bailliencourt dit Courcols belong to the one of the oldest families of the Artois (north of France). The addition of “known as Courcol” goes back to 1214, when Philippe-Auguste, the King of France, congratulated one of the members of the family for his exploits during the Battle of Bouvines, calling him “court col” (literally “short neck” or of compact build). The family motto became: “fut par vertu Courcol” (Courcol through virtue).
At the beginning of the 20th century, Louis Soualle, great-grandfather of the current owners, acquired Château GAZIN, the management of which his descendants now provide all their care. The descendants of Louis Soualle represent the 5th generation of vineyard owners both on the paternal and maternal side.
The terroir of Château Gazin
Château GAZIN’s vineyard covers an area of 26 hectares, in a single holding, on the upper terrace of the Pomerol terroir.The terroir at Château Gazin consists of Gunzian gravel on the surface and a subsoil of blue and green clay with iron oxides (iron residues).As is characteristic of great terroirs, these clays (smectites) ensure that the vines have a reasonably stable supply of water.Château GAZIN’s terroir essentially consists of the clay-gravel subsoil of the Pomerol plateau.
The vines are cultivated using traditional growing methods and an environmentally-friendly approach with ploughing, organic fertilizers, minimum use of pesticides (including mating disruption).
The harvests are carried out by hand, as each plot reaches perfect ripeness.The grapes undergo an initial sorting in the vineyard, carried out by the pickers.Two further sorting stages take place in the vat room, before and after removal of the stalks,to optimize the quality of the fruit.
The château Gazin
The vineyards of Pomerol gradually developed between the 12th century andthe French Revolution under the aegis of the knights of Saint-Jean of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta.Château GAZIN, which was a hamlet in the 18th century, is probably located on the site of the “Hospital of Pomeyrols”,built by the knights to receive pilgrims on the Santiago de Compostela route.This was the inspiration for the name of the property’s second wine “l’Hospitalet de Gazin”.
Winemaking in the cellars
Alcoholic fermentation takes place in small concrete vats, separated by grape variety and plot,the juice and skins are then left to macerate for two to three weeks. The free-run wine is then drawn off and kept separate from the wine obtained by pressing the residue (“marc”).The second fermentation, or malolactic fermentation, is then carried out, each grape variety being kept separate,either in barrels or vats, depending on the quality of the batches.
The wines are then transferred to oak barrels (50% new barrels).They mature for eighteen months, during which the wines are progressively blendedduring meticulous rackings approximately every three months.
The contact with the fine lees and the oak tannins gradually adds structure and complexity,enabling the production of wines that can be laid down and that will improve over time.