As an Onologue from the Institute of Bordeaux, I discovered the Côtes de Castillon soon after graduating in Business Administration in 1989. Well-known Spanish vintners, J.M. Raventos I Blanc SA, brought me in to expand their range in the Bordelais.
It was when I took the reins of the prestigious Château d’Aiguilhe that I met my future wife, a young Catalane oenologue, Pilar Albà, with whom I share my passion for wines with character and exceptional depth of flavour.
The discovery of the appelation Côtes de Castillon vineyards next to Saint Emilion was a revelation for us both. Its plateau, which faces south-by-south west, forms the north eastern tip of the Gironde. It is founded on clay-limestone soils which have been respected for centuries as the source of some of the most renowned wines in the Bordeaux region.
When our daughter was born, Pilar and I sought a new challenge. I had, by this point, worked 15 years at the head of this vineyard, during the last 5 years of which it was a flag-ship vineyard of one of the best known wine producers in Europe.
The opportunity for us to make our first bottles came with our purchase in 2003 of a small plot of vines of 25 acres (2,500m2) - and our house - in Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe.
Our wine was very well received during the primeur tasting 2003 and we decided to expand. As I was a viticultural consultant and oenologue throughout the Libourne area, we had the golden opportunity to seek “that rare pearl”. Pilar and I sought the Taj Mahal of terroir, where we could make wines that we loved, together.
In 2006 our choice settled on a number of plots that formed a group of 7 hectares on the plateau of Saint Philippe d’Aiguilhe.
The history of Château Albà could begin...