This super Claret is typical of the full bodied, powerful and complex wines of Fronsac and deserves discovering. Long famous for its wines in the past, Fronsac’s rich and darkly coloured wines are starting to command global attention once more. Haut Gaussens’ home, Verac, sits high on a limestone plateau. This was once the seat of the Lords of Fronsac, the Pommiers, who held court here right up until the French revolution.
Newly awarded the Macon Bronze Medal, Haut Gaussens is a newcomer to the UK, having been recently introduced by Bordeaux-Undiscovered. Chateau Haut Gaussens is a tiny petit chateau, restored in the 19th century that has been owned by the Lhuillier family since 1941. It has been in the hands of Stephane Lhuillier, who represents the third generation of this wine making family, since 2000. Having undertaken a substantial restructuring of the property, including the winery, wine tasting room and vines, Stephane is now seeing the rise in fortunes of the little chateau.
Merlot does well here and Fronsac wines are more bold than those produced in neighbouring Saint Emilion and Pomerol. Fronsac regularly produces better balanced wines than more famous AOCs but Fronsac producers have to work hard to stand out against their peers over the border. Because of this, quality is paramount. Fronsac wine producers have to set a high standard in order to get their wines discovered. Therefore, wine lovers in the UK benefit from fantastic Fronsac wines at great value for money.
Haut Gaussens is a formidable match for beef and steak, roasted, barbecued or pan fried. It also pairs beautifully with game such as venison, duck, pigeon, pheasant and wild boar sausages. Being heavier than most Clarets it is great with richly flavoured dishes, garlicky pates and terrines, nutty or fruit infused cheese and hearty vegetarian fare (especially nut cutlets).