Château Cotes de Rol Red Bordeaux Blend St. Émilion 2001
Château Côtes de Rol:
At the time of his birth in 1925, Robert Giraud was the last of a long line of winegrowers from Saint-Andre-de Cubzac on his mother's side, a line which can be traced back to the mid 18th century in the family archives. The Giraud family were forced to leave their native Vendee due to the poverty that followed the French Revolution and the Chouan uprising. They settled in the Saint Andre de Cub... Read more
At the time of his birth in 1925, Robert Giraud was the last of a long line of winegrowers from Saint-Andre-de Cubzac on his mother's side, a line which can be traced back to the mid 18th century in the family archives. The Giraud family were forced to leave their native Vendee due to the poverty that followed the French Revolution and the Chouan uprising. They settled in the Saint Andre de Cubzac area less than a century later, part of a large-scale migration to the northern Gironde. Henri GIRAUD At that time, winegrowing in the region was limited to a multitude of small holdings, no more than a few hectares for the most part. The tiny Domaine de Peyreau (five hectares), bought by the Giraud family in 1850 (where Robert Giraud was later born), is typical of this type of farm. Much of the land on such estates was set aside for food crops to ensure virtual self-sufficiency to families of winegrowers. The fragile local economy was badly hit by oidium and phylloxera, veritable scourges of the wine industry during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and then by the first overproduction crisis. All this was followed by two world wars... After the First World War, the little Domaine de Peyreau, like all other Bordeaux vineyards, was far from flourishing. The postwar period was, however, to be more favorable. Working relentlessly, Raoul Giraud, Robert's father, managed to build up the size of his vineyard holdings significantly, to a total area of around thirty hectares. "In those days, there was nothing beyond work and the family holidays were non-existent and, very often, my parents worked throughout the weekend. They never took any time off, and until they were quite elderly they never traveled further away than Bordeaux ... The land was not generous and you had to work hard, with no second thoughts ... For the entire length of the 1914- I 8 war, without the help of her husband and her son, who were both away in the army, my grandmother ran the family estate unaided. She did all the work in the vineyard herself, including carrying the sulphate on her back for the spraying, as was the practice at the time", recalls Robert Giraud. Real expansion came after the second world war, when Raoul Giraud bought Château Timberlay. Added to the existing area under vine, Timberlay's 35 hectares brought the family vineyard holdings up to an economically viable 65 hectares of uniformly high standard (today, Château Timberlay has 125 hectares of vines). In 1946, returning from volunteer service at the front, where he had won the Croix de Guerre, Robert Giraud rejoined his father at Timberlay. From then on he was to make use of his legendary dynamism to hone his skills as a winegrower, the career he had always wanted. Read less
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Food Pairings for Château Cotes de Rol Red Bordeaux Blend St. Émilion
'Delicious red with blackberries, currants and vanilla character, medium to full body and a silky, cool fruit finish. Very fine indeed. Rol Valentin is a serious small producer now...90" WS 3/04.
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