Chateau Amanieu d’Albret
Tim from Chateau Amanieu d’Albret has pink walls on both sides of his house. When we visited the house, I simply thought it was a quirk, an odd paint choice previously that had faded. In fact, the pink colouring on the outside of the walls is actually evaporation through the walls from the red wine that was stored and aged inside for hundreds of years. And quite literally he now lives and breathes the wine!
It was the Romans who first planted vines on his perfect hillsides. Several centuries later, the English got involved. Sir Amanieu VII owned the land between 1228 and 1326. This powerful Gascon Lord was a member of the court of both King Edward I and King Edward II of England. He was the first in a long line of Gascon Lords allied to the English to benefit from royal favour.
With the property nestling on the hillsides overlooking the right bank of the Garonne River, they grow mainly Malbec and Merlot on a domaine spreading 10 hectares of vines classified as Bordeaux & Bordeaux Superieur.
As per their ethos of organic, sustainable farming, Tim uses the lowest levels of intervention to keep the wine as natural as possible. That means both (1) cultivation to favour a natural habitat between insects and predators around the vines and (2) using the lowest possible levels of sulphites during vinification to ensure that the wine is conserved in its powerful and concentrated state.