Chateau Couhins Pessac Leognan Bordeaux, Complete Guide

Couhins Chateau

Learn everything about Chateau Couhins, Pessac Leognan, Bordeaux with wine tasting notes and wine and food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, a history of the property and information on winemaking and vineyards. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Couhins History, Overview

The name of Chateau Couhins came about in the 17th century. It’s based on an ancient Gascon word, Couhins, meaning borders or limits. Edouard Gasqueton who also owned Chateau Calon Segur in St. Estephe managed Chateau Couhins at the time of the 1959 Graves Classification.

Chateau Couhins is probably the sole Bordeaux estate that was only classified for its white Bordeaux wine. Today, Chateau Couhins is not to be confused with Chateau Couhins-Lurton, owned by the Lurton family, which produces both red and white wine from Pessac Leognan.

In 1968, the original Couhins vineyard was divided into two parts. The Lurton family retained control of half the estate, renaming it Couhins-Lurton. The remaining portion of the property continued as Chateau Couhins which was sold in 1969 to the INRA, National Institute for Agricultural Research.

The INRA is involved in many facets of scientific research related to grape growing. Most recently, the INRA has become a leader in vineyard environmental protections as well as with pest management in the vines.

In 2009, a complete renovation of the chateau was completed, turning the estate into one of the most modern-looking structures in the Bordeaux wine regions. The futuristic, green, energy-efficient building, designed by the architects Lanoire and Courrian is completely covered in what looks like polished mirrors.

The exterior of Chateau Couhins is not the only modernization taking place at the estate. In 2009, Chateau Couhins became one of the first proponents utilizing infra-red readings which allow for the measurement of the polyphenol content found in the grapes.

The following year, in 2010, Chateau Couhins began participating with several other vintners in the EMS approach, Environmental Management System.

In a continuing effort at modernization and testing new technologies, Chateau Couhins became one of the first Bordeaux wine produces to begin using GPS positioning technology in their vineyards allowing them to keep track of the progress of every vine, one at a time.

Chateau Couhins Vineyard, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 25 hectoliter vineyard of Chateau Couhins is planted to 85% Sauvignon Blanc and 15% Semillon for the white wine grapes. For the red wine grapes, the vineyard is planted to 50% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. The terroir is gravel, clay, and limestone soils.

To produce the red wines of Chateau Couhins, the Pessac Leognan estate carries out a pre-fermentation maceration that takes between 4 to 5 days. The major part of the extraction process and the pumping over takes place during the pre-fermentation and fermentation stages. The wine is vinified in traditional vats and aged in French oak barrels.

To produce the white wine of Chateau Couhins, the grapes are placed inside a cold room that is kept between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius overnight. The next day, the berries are either crushed directly or most often they are de-stemmed before vatting takes place and the maceration starts.

Fermentation takes place in a mix of 60% thermoregulated vats and 40%, French oak barrels. Chateau Couhins produces 3,000 cases of red wine and 700 cases of white wine per year. There is a second wine, Couhins La Gravette for both the red and white wine, and a third wine, La Dame de Couhins for the red and white wine as well.

The Best Vintages of Chateau Couhins are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2000. Although it is important to note that vintages can vary as to their quality between the white wine and the reds with as in some years, the reds are markedly better and in other vintages the whites are superior.

When to Drink Chateau Couhins, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Couhins can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 1 hour. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.

Chateau Couhins is usually better with at least 3-6 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Couhins offers its best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 6-12 years of age after the vintage.

Serving Chateau Couhins, with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Couhins is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. The red wine of Chateau Couhins is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes.

Chateau Couhins is a perfect match with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta as well as cheese. The white wine of Chateau Couhins is a perfect wine to serve with shellfish, sashimi, sushi, all types of seafood, chicken, veal, and cheese.

Château Couhins Wine Tasting Notes

17 Vintages 22,001 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2019 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Bright, lifted citrus, green apple and a hint of yellow tropical fruit really pops here. On the palate, it gets even better with all that fresh-squeezed yellow citrus fruit. 91-93 Pts

1,626 Views   Tasted
2019 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Smoked red fruits, barbecue and spice box aromas create a complex perfume. Soft, medium-bodied, elegant, silky and fresh, sweet red fruits in the finish make this a pleasure to taste. 90-92 Pts

1,630 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 93

Creamy, lush, round and fruity, with sweet yellow citrus, pineapple, mango and other tropical nuances. Juicy and refreshing, this is showing really well and should get even better with a few years of age. 93 Points

596 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 92

Ripe, elegant, soft, smoky, medium-bodied fruits with a nice sense of lift and refinement on the palate which carries through to the cigar box tinged finish. This is much nicer in bottle than in barrel. 92 Points

518 Views   Tasted
2018 Château Couhins La Dame de Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 86

Medium-bodied, soft, forward, light, sweet, earthy, cherry filled wine made for early drinking pleasure. 86 Points

1,203 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Bright, crisp, fresh and stony, the wine is packed with a trifecta of lemons, oranges and limes. Equally crisp and refreshing on the palate, this should age nicely, yet if you want a jolt of sweet, juicy citrus, it's nice young too. 91 Points

1,382 Views   Tasted
2017 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

Soft, fresh red fruits, wafts of tobacco and smoke work perfectly with this medium bodied, elegant style. It will not only be enchanting upon release but it can age for a decade as well. 89 Points

1,135 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Medium-bodied, elegant, fresh and juicy, the wine offers smoke, espresso, truffle, tobacco and dark red berries. In the end note, the deep red pit fruits are fresh, sweet and smoky. Give this 3-5 years and it will really show nicely. 91 Points

988 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Orange and yellow citrus are paired together perfectly, serving up a bright splash in your glass. The sweetness in the fruits really shows well here. 90 Points

775 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Medium-bodied, this is already showing accents of truffle, tobacco and dark red berries. The wine is round, fresh and sweet. In the end note, the black cherry and cassis are ripe, round and lush, leaving you with a touch of tobacco in the finish. 91 Points

1,836 Views   Tasted

Medium-bodied with forest scents, clean red fruits, elegant textures and freshness in the refined finish. 88 - 90 Pts

1,735 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 90

Sweet, bright, fresh, crisp and tart lemons, grapefruit, flowers and lime provide the backdrop for this fresh, refreshing, zesty, citrus-filled charmer. 90 Points

2,107 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 91

Fresh, bright, crisp and fruity, with a lemon/lime tone on the nose and palate and a zesty, yellow citrus finish, this is fully ready to go. 91 Points

1,361 Views   Tasted
2013 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 82

Leafy and herbal with hints of fruit, the wine is salty and dry on the finish. 82-84 Pts

1,290 Views   Tasted
2011 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 85

This wine is light, bright and dominated by spicy red berries. 84-87 Pts

1,254 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 83

Starting to decline, you can already sense nut and sherry aromas creeping, this requires drinking as soon as possible. 83 Points

682 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Couhins Blanc  (Pessac-Léognan) 89

You can see the age in the color, but the nose continues delivering flowers, honey and citrus. The fruit leans to the orange and yellow citrus side. There is still freshness and sweet lemons in the finish. This has aged nicely. 89 Points

992 Views   Tasted
2008 Château Couhins  (Pessac-Léognan) 83

Leafy, olive and cedar notes crowd out most of the red fruits. The finish is salty, with bright red berries in the end note. This requires consumption sooner than later. 83 Points

891 Views   Tasted