Clos Manou

France, Bordeaux

"We turned our garage into a makeshift wine cellar and made our first wine in 1998.” Françoise and Stéphane Dief. Sounds impossibly idyllic. In a region of grand estates with long complicated histories the arrivistes of Clos Manou are a refreshing change. Starting with just .12ha of vines, the Diefs have patiently spent 15 years building their holding up to 18ha, along the way absorbing the obscure Cru Bourgeois of Château Cantegrive. The estate may be new but amongst their holdings are Bordeaux’s oldest vines – they have a small pre-phylloxera parcel from the 1850’s. The estate is centred on the village of Saint-Christoly de Médoc in the increasingly popular area of the Haut-Médoc to the north of Saint Estèphe. All of Clos Manou’s vineyards are high-density plantings – some 10 000 vines per hectare – and all are converted to organic farming as soon as is practical. Grape variety proportions are 45% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with 6% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. The first wine is aged in 100% new wood. The second wine is called Petit Manou.