Château Renaissance

Year Established: 1932
Location: St. Emilion, Bordeaux
Size: 7.5 hectares
Varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
Viticulture: Certified Organic (farmed organically since 1954!)
Vinification: Enameled steel, very low sulfur, 100% destemmed

Gérard Descrambes began making wine in the early 1970s, when he and his brother took over their father’s St. Emilion estate, which had been farmed organically since, wait for it…. 1954! In those days, he says, no one cared that the wine was organic. That is, except for his friends at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. “The only people I knew who were into the ecology were at Charlie Hebdo,” he told the Wine Spectator in 2015. For almost 50 years, Gerard has commissioned cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo to design wine labels with themes of bacchanalia, nudity, and sexually explicit humor. In exchange, he supplies their office with a regular flow of his delicious wines. Three of the cartoonists who had drawn labels for Gerard were among the twelve people murdered at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in a terrorist attack on January 7, 2015.
“They were my friends. Their spirit was to laugh at everything and expose the biggest bullshit in the world. And they were killed by the biggest act of bullshit.”
The family’s St. Emilion vineyards were sold in 2008. Now Gerard and his son Olivier produce about 3,300 cases a year under the Bordeaux appellation. The Château Renaissance Compte de Brevoir is a typical Bordelais blend of of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. And while it carries some of the rich flavor of these varieties, it is atypical in its light freshness and lovely undertones of spice. Did we mention the price? This bottle can be found for under $20 on a retail shelf, so you can drink it any day of the week with nary a twinge. Terra Firma is the first to import this wine to the United States beginning in early 2023 with the 2019 vintage.