Situated in Malepère, the most westerly region of the Languedoc, Château Guilhem was built in 1791.
Then the property of the Marquis de Auberjon, it was bought by the Guilhem family in 1878. Bertrand is the fifth generation of his family to run the estate. The 85 acres of vineyards are planted mainly to Bordeaux varieties— Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc— with some Chardonnay.
Despite the vineyards’ proximity to the Mediterranean, the climate here actually sees quite a bit of influence from the Atlantic; in addition, the soil here is atypical of the rest of the region, with a high proportion of calcareous sandstones. These stones help the soils to retain moisture over the winter so that the vines can flourish in the summer. The grapes are grown organically, with some biodynamic parcels as well, out of respect for both the vines and for the people who work them. The cellar was built in the late 19th century; old casks and concrete tanks stand next to modern stainless steel vats. Bertrand pulls both from older traditions and modern ideas in order to produce fresh, aromatic wines.
In 2015, chateau owner Bertrand Gourdou was searching through an old desk when he came across a label that his grandfather had made in the early 1970’s; that wine was called “Le pot-de-vin” which, in French, translates to “the bribe”, which for that era was an audacious play on words for a wine label!
This label inspired Bertrand to make a simple, natural wine: biodynamically grown fruit, fermented with native yeast and with a negligible dose of SO2, made in concrete tanks built by his grandfather. The word “pot” also references the old-style bottle shape!
100% Merlot from the IGP Pays d’Oc, made with no oak in a light-to-medium-bodied style with gloriously fruit, freshness and length. It is, simply put, the quintessential French bistro red.