Jean Noel Fourmeaux

By Liz Thach, MW

For wine lovers, getting a chance to attend the famous Napa Valley Wine Auction is often a bucket list item. The festive atmosphere, music, delicious food and wine, and the chance to rub elbows with celebrities is part of the allure, but also being first on the scene to discovery which Napa Valley winery lot achieves the highest bid. This year the winning winery was a bit of a surprise for many people, because it is considered to be a “hidden winery” of Napa Valley, according to owner Jean-Noel Fourmeaux.

“Though Chateau Potelle has been in Napa Valley for over 30 years,” he said, “we are a ‘hidden winery.’ We only sell direct to consumer and very rarely advertise.”

So when his 2016 VGS Chateau Potelle Fourmeaux red blend wine, made from 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec, achieved the top bid of $114,300, everyone was curious about the winery.

FOURMEAUX RED 3 pack (1)

Originally established high on Mt. Veeder, hidden away from the crowds, VGS Chateau Potelle now has a tasting room in downtown St. Helena, where visitors can make a reservation for a wine and food pairing. Thought it may not be possible to taste the winning wine (you may email matthew@chateaupotelle.com to inquire) there are many other delicious options, such as the VGS Riviera Rose, made from 100% Cinsault, the VGS Zinfandel, and several Chardonnays.

“I believe that wine should bring pleasure,” states Jean-Noel, a French native who trained as a professional wine taster in Bordeaux. “We are pleased that the proceeds from the sale of our auction wine will go to support many charity organizations in Napa Valley.”

So the next time you are in Napa Valley, consider discovering a “hidden winery” that is now basking in the limelight.


Braised Pork Cheeks by Chef Girard Hirigoyen of Piperade

Jean-Noel Fourmeaux,  winemaker Kale Anderson and Vice President Matthew Regan invited a group of journalists for the first time ever to a tasting of upcoming releases at Girard Hirigoyen’s lovely Basque restaurant, Piperade, in San Francisco last week. Chef Hirigoyen, known for San Francisco classics Pastis and Fringale, and the more casual Bocadillos, skillfully paired Jean-Noel’s wines with a delicious and artfully-prepared six-course tasting menu, including the pictured Braised Beef Cheeks with Tempranillo, Dried Plums, Cipollini Onions and Carrots with the record-setting Fourmeaux Red.

Read reviews of VGS Chateau Potelle wines by panelists Liz Thach, Deborah Parker Wong and

Catherine Fallis here:








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