Girolate, Rauzan Despagne, Bordeaux Superieur, Complete Guide

Rauzan Despagne

Learn everything about Girolate abnd Chateau Rauzan Despagne Bordeaux Superieur, with wine tasting notes, wine, and food pairings, best vintages, a history of the property, information on the vineyards, and winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles

Chateau Rauzan Despagne, History, Overview

In the 17th Century, before Chateau Rauzan Despagne earned fame as a Bordeaux vineyard, the chateau was used as a hunting lodge. Another owner who was a well-known Bordeaux wine trader converted it into a summer residence. Today, that is clearly not the case. Located not far from the Bordeaux city center, Rauzan Despagne produces white and red Bordeaux wine.

Chateau Rauzan Despagne Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking

The 27.5-hectare vineyard of Chateau Rauzan Despagne is planted for red and white wine grapes. For the red wine grapes, the vineyard is planted to 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc.

For the white wine grape varieties, the vineyards are planted to 50% Semillon and 50% Sauvignon Blanc. The best of their white wine is labeled as from Entre Deux Mers. For the generic AOC Bordeaux wine, the vines are planted to 100% Sauvignon Blanc.

On average the vines are planted to a density of 6,000 vines per hectare. The white wine of Rauzan Despagne comes from the Entre Deux Mers appellation. For the white wine, the vineyards are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle.


The Despagane family also produces a small amount of wine made from 100% old vine Merlot called Girolate, which comes from their best parcels of old vine Merlot. The terroir is clay and limestone soil in the Entre Deux Mers appellation.

Not only are the vines old, but the fruit used for Girolate comes from vines planted to a very high density of 10,000 vines hectare, which is a much higher density than you find with the vines used to produce Chateau Rauzan Despagne.

The vine density was changed in 1999 and the new wine, Girolate, made its debut in 2001. Girolate is fermented in small oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation also takes place in 100% new, French oak barrels.

The wine is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for about 16 months, prior to bottling. About 150 cases are produced of Girolate. For the reasons mentioned here, Girolate is probably the most expensive wine in its class.

When to Drink Chateau Rauzan Despagne, Girolate, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time

Chateau Rauzan Despagne and Girolate are better with at least 2-3 years of aging in good vintages. Young vintages can be decanted for up to 1 hour, helping the wine soften to help develop the aromatic character.

Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Chateau Rauzan Despagne and Girolate offer their best drinking and should reach peak maturity between 3-9 years of age after the vintage.

The best vintages of Chateau Rauzan Despagne and Girolate are: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009 and 2005.

Serving Chateau Rauzan Despagne with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips

Chateau Rauzan Despagne is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Chateau Rauzan Despagne is best paired with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Chateau Rauzan Despagne is also good when matched with Asian dishes, rich fish courses like tuna, mushrooms, and pasta.

There is also a white wine version of Girolate made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Not much Girolate is made, making the wine quite difficult to find.

In addition, the owners of Chateau Rauzan Despagne also produce a few other Bordeaux value wines: Tour de Mirambeau, Bel Air Perponcher, Lion Beailieu, and Mont Perat make both red and white Bordeaux wine.

All told, Chateau Rauzan Despagne produces over 40,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year.

Chateau Rauzan Despagne is a fine Bordeaux Superieur value Bordeaux wine made in a crowd-pleasing style that drinks well on release and remains fairly priced.

Château Rauzan Despagne Wine Tasting Notes

18 Vintages 38,986 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating

2020 Girolate Blanc  (Bordeaux) 88

Pomelo and fresh green apples with lemon peel on the nose and crispy zesty palate. This is ready to go for near-term drinking. 88 Pts

2,064 Views   Tasted
2019 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 90

Flowers, cherries, espresso and mint create the aromatics. On the palate, the medium-bodied wine offers a soft, polished, fruity, cherry dominated profile with a silky fresh finish. Drink it young, or give it a few years of age for more earthiness. Drink from 2022-2032. 90 Points

1,034 Views   Tasted
2019 Girolate Blanc  (Bordeaux) 90

Showing a bit more exuberance on the palate than the nose for the moment, the wine is loaded with sweet fresh, creamy green apples, yellow citrus, yellow plums and white peach. Lush, a touch oily and fresh, you can enjoy this on release. Drink from 2022-2027. 90 Points

600 Views   Tasted
2018 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 92

Deeply colored, with a nose of chocolate covered cherries, espresso, licorice, thyme, cinnamon and smoke, the wine is full-bodied, rich, round and lush with a chocolate covered, black cherry, espresso and licorice filled finish. 92 Points

1,129 Views   Tasted
2018 Girolate Blanc  (Bordeaux) 88

Creamy green apples with touches of lemon peel and grapefruit that is ready for near-term drinking. 88 Points

1,072 Views   Tasted

Light, fresh, easy drinking, yellow citrus oriented wine for early drinking consumption. 88 Points

1,537 Views   Tasted
2017 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 88

Dark in color with black cherry, flowers and chocolate, the wine is medium bodied, soft and forward with a polished finish. 88 Points

1,863 Views   Tasted
2017 Girolate Blanc  (Bordeaux) 87

Easy quaffing white wine with a straight forward, fun already tasty bright, citrus personality. 87 Points

1,156 Views   Tasted
2016 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 90

Dark in color, the wine is rich, deep, powerful and intense. The fruit, herbs, and freshness are all there in the right place. The lift in the finish keeps it interesting. 90 Points

1,440 Views   Tasted

Deep in color, with an oaky, dark chocolate, fennel, blackberry, and plummy character. The wine is round, lush and shows a strong oak/espresso component along with its sweet, red and black fruit profile. 90 Points

2,165 Views   Tasted
2016 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 85

Medium-bodied, bright, crisp, savory and chewy, this is showing more earth, herbs, leaf, and peppery spice than fruit. 85 Points

1,695 Views   Tasted
2015 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 90

Forest aromas along with chocolate covered cherries, licorice and vanilla with a hint of mint to open the wine. On the palate, the wine is soft, approachable, round and loaded with sweet, ripe, juicy, dark red fruits. Drink it now, or age it for a bit. 90 Points

1,456 Views   Tasted

Produced from 100% Merlot, the wine is dark in color, with an oaky, blackberry, cocoa, licorice and chocolate character. Concentrated, round and lush, there is a definitive oak profile that is not going to please everyone. 89 Points

1,248 Views   Tasted
2015 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 86

Medium bodied, forward, soft, bright and fresh, with a red berry character and hints of thyme, this is best for early drinking, well priced pleasure. 85-87 Pts

1,610 Views   Tasted
2014 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 84

Medium bodied, with an oaky, cherry center, forward, round textured and an espresso, cocoa and red berry finish. 83-85 Pts

1,962 Views   Tasted
2012 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 87

Produced from 100% Merlot, the wine offers, black raspberry, cocoa, thyme, chocolate and herbal notes on the nose, finishing with a lushly textured, cherry, espresso bean and vanilla finish, made for early consumption. 87 Points

1,428 Views   Tasted
2012 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 86

Forward, easy drinking, round textured, cherry, cocoa, licorice and black raspberry filled, medium bodied, well priced, daily drinker is ready to go. 86 Points

1,588 Views   Tasted
2010 Château Rauzan Despagne Blanc  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 86

Light, forward, simple, fresh, bright citrus flavors denote a wine made for early, uncomplicated drinking. 86 Points

1,458 Views   Tasted
2009 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 88

A solid example of a Bordeaux value wine with soft textures, sweet, fresh blackberries, licorice and an easy going, crowd pleasing, uncomplicated finish. This will drink best on the young side. 88 Points

2,234 Views   Tasted
2005 Girolate  (Bordeaux) 92

Licorice, coffee bean, blackberry jam, blue fruit, black cherry, truffle, earth and smoke get you going. On the palate, the wine is rich, round, fat, deep, long and with low acidity, finishing with sweet, lush, silky, black cherry liqueur sensations. If you can find a bottle, this would show better than many wines with a much higher level of classification. On the one hand, this could be the best example of a of very good wine made from a humble terroir I've ever tasted. On the other hand, it's a lot of money for a generic Bordeaux. 92 Points

3,708 Views   Tasted
2005 Château Rauzan Despagne  (Bordeaux Supérieur) 89

2005 Rauzan Despagne is another wonderful unheralded, small Bordeaux wine that delivers the goods and gets you change for a $20. Blackberry, cassis, chocolate and oak aromas are coupled with a supple, blackberry jam and licorice infused palate. This offers a lot of bang for the buck. Wines like this are best enjoyed young for their upfront charms. 89 Points

3,543 Views   Tasted

Round, ripe, opulent textures, blackberry and licorice notes, with an elegant mouth feel are what you can expect from this wine. What you won't get are high prices. Selling for under twenty dollars, this is a steal for the money! I bet this does better than more expensive wines in a blind tastings. This is a wine to drink in its first decade of life. 90 Points

2,996 Views   Tasted