The surprise :
As concentrated as 2009, with more power and freshness. A miracle as in 1990.
Thank you Mother Nature !
Jean Guyon's determination to succeed in everything that he undertakes is just as deeply rooted as his vines at Begadan, in a clayey limestone hilltops. With his usual straightforwardness, Jean Guyon clearly acknowledges to have taken all the necessary financial and human steps to make Rollan de By a reference point in the Medoc.
His ambitions, as a vine-grower
are very precise : to increase the
standing of this appellation with
the help of the owners in this
sector of the northern Medoc, far
too often underestimated, and let
people discover the riches of this
Since then, Chateau Haut Condissas (in 1995), Chateau Tour Seran (in 2000) and Chateau La Clare (in 2001) have come along. These estates together with Château Rollan de By form a viticultural unity of very high quality in the Medoc appellation.
In 1989, at the beginning of this challenge, Rollan de By only had a surface area of two hectares.
Today, after the arrival of Haut Condissas, Tour Seran and La Clare, the estates account for a total of more than 85 hectares under production. Always trained with the greatest care, the vineyard is in an irreproachable state. As soon as he arrived, Jean Guyon initiated a rationalised cultivation policy. He respects the environment and returns to a traditional vine growing while taking the advantage of new technologies. In order to recover a natural ecosystem, the vines are replanted and active natural fertilizers are chosen. Grassing and regular soil analyses are carried out in order to compensate for eventual deficiencies. Green harvest is practised on the most productive plots to control the yield and obtain an optimal maturity. The harvest marks a decisive period for Rollan de By .
The search for phenolic maturity is the watchword, the quantity of sugar alone is not a sufficient criteria to appreciate the maturity of the grape. Hand picking, collecting in small crates, strict sorting at the cellar and de-stemming : everything is done to protect the berries of Rollan de By until they reach the vat.
The vinification takes place with the greatest respect for the grape. The wines are elaborated with particular care in stain- less steel vats with a total capacity of 6 800 hectolitres. They have the advantage of an accurate temperature control system in order to vinify at a low temperature and obtain perfect extraction. For the same reason, the malolactic fermentation is achieved, partly in new barrels.
In the best tradition, the wines are put early on into barrels, made of wood from a carefully chosen origin. A perfectly insulated ageing cellar, with a capacity of 1 400 barrels, is home to the harvest during the 16 month-long ageing, which is punctuated by regular rackings. Each harvest is bottled entirely at the chateau under the best possible hygienic conditions. The average annual production of the estates is 500 000 bottles.
Since 1989, Rollan de By has found its style. On one hand, the terroir allows it to obtain well-bred and subtle wines and on the other hand, the work carried out in the vineyard and on the wines takes place with the greatest respect for the practices of the Medoc. The grape varieties planted are dominated by Merlot, providing wines with a fat and rounded character and the meticulous ageing magnifies all of their complexity. Jean Guyon, surrounded with well-known consultants as Alain Raynaud, continues the work he star- ted when he bought this domain, in order to stay at the heart of the Bordeaux elite.