Julie and Xavier Gonet-Médeville are, in many ways, the first couple of French wines. Both hail from storied winemaking families: Julie’s family is famous for its incomparable Château Gilette, and Xavier comes from a long line of Champagne growers in Le Mesnil. Leading a new generation of winemakers, they bring their family knowledge, methods and passion to the many wines they now make together.In the 1930s, Julie’s grandfather, René de Médeville, was feeling the effects of the economic slump that had hit the whole area, so he built concrete vats to replace costly barrels. After a few years, he observed that the wines were breathing well, maturing more slowly and developing more complex aromas. For more than half a century, the Médevilles have let their Sauternes age for decades in concrete vats. The wines never see the inside of a wooden barrel; they go directly from vat to bottle. Although Gilette was not included in the 1855 classification, its wines can compete with the best.
A blend of 94% Sémillon, 4% Sauvignon Blanc and 2% Muscadelle, Château Gilette is unique not only in Sauternes but in the world, as wines are aged between 15 and 25 years before release. The 1955 vintage was kept for 29 years.
While Gilette comprises barely nine acres, Château Les Justices is more than 19, just west of the Gironde River in Preignac. Les Justices is a blend of 85% Semillion, 10% Sauvignon Blanc and 5% Muscadelle, aged for two years in oak, stylistically traditional and a fantastic value.