Château Thénac could be said to be its own town. Or at least that’s what it feels like when you find yourself in the village of Thénac, where there are precisely three buildings in its centre – the Château, the Marie (Mayor’s office) and the church.
The Château itself is split up into the house and the winery.
Although built entirely in the traditional style, almost everything is new – even the vines. Not all the vines, mind.
It’s evident that big changes have been made since the property was bought by a Russian oligarch; that oligarch is none other than Eugene Shvidler, friend and business partner of Roman Abromavich. At the same time, many things have stayed the same. The staff, for example, have been retained.
The estate is a sizeable 200 hectares though only around 50 are under vine. Majority of the wines are your average Bergerac blends though a few odd ball varieties, like Ondenc have been thrown in.
The resident chef at the Château is really rather excellent but pining for his food did detract from writing down tasting notes.
It is, however, worth noting that with the changes in the ownership came a change in the style of wine produced. Experimentations are made with the blends as well as the winemaking itself so we should see some more interesting samples coming out in the future. But the downside of being one to watch is that the odd vintage is still experiencing some youthful imbalance.