Château Puygueraud is a 75-acre estate in the Cotes de Francs, which is Bordeaux’s smallest appellation. It is also a relatively new appellation, having been created only in 1967. It is on the slopes of the Gironde east of St.-Emilion. The estate has been owned by the Thienpont family since 1946. The Thienponts, originally from Flanders, are also negociants and they own Vieux Chateau Certain in Pomerol and other estates. Château Puygueraud produces three wines: Château Puygueraud, Lauriol and Cuvee George. The flagship wine has always been a blend of Merlot, primarily, with a relatively high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab Franc. Since 2005, however, the blend has been primarily Merlot and Cab Franc. The Cuvee George is produced in very small quantities and is 35% Malbec, 35% Cab Franc, 20% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Lauriol is the estate’s second wine.
Côtes de Francs is the smallest of Bordeaux’s appellations and includes just three communes. Located six miles east of St.-Emilion, it is home to about 30 estates, each of which, on average, have vineyards of only about 15 acres. Côtes de Francs enjoys a terroir that is a clay plateau, much like its famous neighbor to the west, St.-Emilion. Although about 20 percent of the appellation is planted to the white wine grapes of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, the area’s strength is in red grapes, particularly Merlot. Côtes de Francs was officially recognized as an appellation in 1976, but in recent decades it has attracted innovative, often younger vignerons.