Chateau Couhins is first found in archives from the 18th century. This property originally brought together two former Graves wine estates. An integral part of the INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research) network, Chateau Couhins has dedicated its know-how and vineyard to viticultural research and innovation.
Today, the Chateau Couhins vineyard covers 22 hectares planted around the town of Villenave D'Ornon at the gates of Bordeaux, on the Pessac-Leognan appellation. The vines are planted in a mosaic of terroirs, formed by a low outcropping, a clay-limestone base and sandy-gravelly soils. The Merlot represents 50% of the area of the vineyard and is balanced with the Cabernet Sauvignon, which occupies 41% of the estate. The Cabernet France is present at up to 5% and the Petit Verdot at 4%. To preserve this precious terroir, the estate uses environmentally friendly viticulture and is certified as a High Environmental Value operation. Chateau Couhins is currently converting to organic farming.
The 2020 vintage was a vintage which will remain etched in everyone’s memory. The year opened with a particularly rainy and very mild winter, followed by a hot and humid spring. This led to an early budding as well as a flowering which was also somewhat ahead of time. As in the previous year, the end of the spring season reversed the trend with dry and cool weather until mid-July. The following summer was well above the seasonal average. Water stress caused berries to decrease in size. To harvest the grapes at the best possible time, the harvest at Chateau Couhins began on August 24 with the Sauvignon and ended on September 29.
The winemaking and ageing
After manual harvesting by successive sorting in crates, the grapes are taken to the cellar to be destemmed. Then, a densimetric sorting is carried out. The berries macerate in the vats for 21 to 28 days in average with punch-downs, sensible pour-overs and shedding. Finally, the wine ages for 12 months in stainless steel vats and in French oak barrels.
Chateau Couhins 2020 showcases a beautiful, very dense purple color.
The aromatic bouquet is marked by floral notes typical of Cabernet Sauvignon cultivated on gravelly soils. Then, fragrances of ripe black fruits harmonize with sweet spices.
Chateau Couhins 2020 is a very abundant wine with a velvety texture and a surprising freshness. It also offers a wonderful length in the mouth.