La Famille Courselle
How do you make wine that captures all the joy and innocence of childhood?
To begin with, you would need to be a truly gifted winemaker. You should also have spent your own childhood in “a magic place among the vines”. Lastly, investing the wine with an exuberant and carefree character would be helpful. Sylvie and Marie Courselle have done this to create these wines; both red and white called Le Petit Courselle.
Sylvie and Marie Courselle are sisters and oenologists from Bordeaux. Together, they run Chateau Thieuley, their family estate near La Sauve in Entre-Deux-Mers, Bordeaux. Chateau Thieuley was bought by their grandfather in 1950, but it was their father, Francis Courselle, who made the estate famous. A renowned expert in white wines and oenological educator at Bordeaux University, Francis Courselle earned Chateau Thieuley’s reputation by making outstanding white wines that rival the great white wines of Burgundy.
Marie and Sylvie Courselle were raised on vineyards and wineries, steeped in the practice and culture of winemaking, they inherited their father’s passion for wine. So it’s no surprise that they’ve grown up to make fantastic wine. Having taken responsibility for Chateau Thieuley and cemented the Chateau’s reputation, Sylvie and Marie Courselle wanted to make wines they could call their own. They created Le Petit Courselle.
Le Petit Courselle is more than wine; it’s a character that embodies the spirit of an imaginary little brother. Like this character, Le Petit Courselle Blanc and Le Petit Courselle Rouge are innocent, carefree and fun-loving. It’s a really lovely idea. But more importantly, both the red and white are worthy of attention for a lot more than the character of Le Petit Courselle.
Le Petit Courselle Blanc – Les Copines
Le Petit Courselle Blanc, named Les Copines (or The Friends, in a French feminine form), is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Chardonnay. Les Copines lives up to its name with inviting and accessible aromas of anise and flowers, followed by exuberant freshness with citrus and exotic fruit flavours. It’s a wonderfully uncomplicated and enjoyable wine.
Le Petit Courselle Blanc would complement shellfish and oysters in particular. Sushi would also be a fantastic match, as would a firmer bloomy rinded cheese (like Saint-Nectaire) and goats cheeses.
Le Petit Courselle Rouge – Les Copains
Like the other Petit Courselle, the Petit Courselle Rouge is called The Friends, this time in the French masculine form. Whatever about perpetuating stereotypes, the blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah is delicious. Beyond the vibrant ruby colour, there are flavours of fresh red fruits and red bell peppers. Similar to Le Petit Courselle Blanc, this is an unapologetically simple wine that’s a joy to drink. And that’s not to say it’s one-dimensional, just that all its dimensions are aligned for easy enjoyment.
The directness of Le Petit Courselle Rouge makes it perfect to enjoy with homemade family classics like roast chicken, spaghetti bolognese or lasagne.
The Courselle sisters encapsulate the charming concept behind their Le Petit Courselle Cuvée:
“Le Petit Courselle is the brother we had never had when we were young so, instead, we brought him to life in our imagination to share our adventures, our silliness and our magical childhood moments. these two wines, Les Copains and Les Copines (friends!) reflect who we are – they’re happy wines, full of generosity for bringing people together and sharing.”
Marie and Sylvie remind us that “empty glasses are full of memories”, and at Wines Direct we couldn’t agree more. If you want more enjoyment from simpler pleasures (and why wouldn’t you?), drop into Wines Direct at Arnotts or Mullingar from Monday the 4th of September and have a taste of Le Petit Courselle!