Nicole is the 16th generation of the Tapon family to make wine on Bordeaux’s iconic Right Bank.
Despite the region’s reputation for red wines, Nicole is best known for her ‘Clairet de Bordeaux’ -a rare style of deeply coloured, ageworthy, dry Rosé. During our visit in 2021, we tasted the 2018, 2013, 2010 and 2006 each wine provided a compelling, gastronomic experience that combined the best of mature Claret with a fragrant, fresh lift.
Nicole’s Red wines are diverse in style and geography and she follows a distinctly Burgundian structure to reflect the diversity of terroir, featuring her own name first rather than the multiple châteaux and parcels that she works with. Our first parcel from Nicole focuses on her Saint-Georges-Saint-Émilion which was inherited from her uncle Renau with the 2015 vintage, then her Lalande de Pomerol from Château La Croix Saint Jean, with the under-rated 2008 and 2016 vintages, and her 2014 Saint Emilion Grand Cru from Chateau Raymond-Tapon. We also have secured a small quantity of 2002 Saint Emilion.
Her White wine, the ‘Blanc de Sirene’, from Château Bellevue, is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Sémillon and Muscadelle, the oldest vines dating back to 1933. Following fermentation, the wine is aged for 18 months in barrique and is unfined, unfiltered and I have the pleasure of presenting her 2018 and her 2009. Her white is dry with a very floral, ripe citrus and vanilla aroma, on the palate a ripe, full bodied, yet crisp white wine.
Alongside the classic Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc, Nicole works with Bouchet, Pressac and a range of ‘unauthorised’ varieties from vines planted before appellation laws restricted their planting.
Nicole’s 14 year old daughter, Aliénor, is already testing her hand at winemaking. Alongside school, she is involved in pruning, tasting and fermenting the wines. She also makes a special selection of Saint-Émilion musts that become an unfined, unfiltered, zero SO2, single-vintage grape juice: Hypp One.
Nicole Tapon wines are all certified organic from the 2016 vintage, and she guarantees a minimum of 25 years ageing on all her wines. See if you can wait that long!