Puisseguin-Saint-Émilion AOC is a single commune AOC dating from 1936. It is located on the right bank of the Bordeaux region for red wine only, one of four Saint-Émilion satellite AOCs. The name Puisseguin translates as the ‘Puy’ or hill of the Duc de Seguin, of which more below.
Early history: Neolithic hunters lived here. Market gardeners lived here under the Gallo-Romans. Warriors lived here during Charlemagne’s reign when the summit or ‘puy’ from which Puisseguin gets its name was given by the Emperor to one of his lieutenants, Seguin (hence ‘puy-seguin’ although others claim that the name is etymologically derived from ‘Segwin’ or “strong wine”). Seguin built a fortress castle. In 1453 three centuries of English rule (when the region was part of what was then known as Guyenne) ended. In 1762 Pierre Combret de la Nauze pioneered wine growing here, introducing noble grape varieties.
Communes (1): Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion.
Terroir: Hilly relief. Elevation up to 89 metres above sea level, one of the highest points in the Bordeaux region. The vines slope down gently towards the Barbanne stream from a summit or ‘puy’. Mainly south and south east aspect. The soil is clay limestone over stony subsoil; more homogeneous than Montagne and Lussac (true?), free draining limestone, with the area towards Montagne having a top soil of red clay. Conditions are dry and bright enough for evergreen oak trees (les chênes verts) to grow.
Wine style: Puisseguin St Émilion has marked colour, powerful red fruit aroma and unobtrusive yet firm and muscular tannin. ‘Fairly solid, attractive chunky fruit, drink at 3–5 years,’ suggests Oz Clarke (2015, p.214).
Vintages: 1998 730ha. 130 producers, of which 40 take their grapes to the local cooperative. | 2002 33,783 hl from 745 hectares (CIVB).
Syndicat Viticole de Puisseguin St Émilion (Maison du Vin).