Created by André Durancau, the estate was acquired by Elizabeth Prost in 1759. She extended the vineyard by buying neighboring plots before selling the château to Elysée Nairac 18 years later. Nicole Tari and Tom Heeter purchased Château Nairac in 1972 and gradually restored its good reputation. Nicole Tari-Heeter has been the sole owner since 1993, and her son Nicolas Heeter-Tari now manages the estate with the help of other family members.
Château Nairac has a limestone subsoil typical of this part of the Barsac appellation. Certain plots have gravelly soil and others marl limestone soil. The vineyard has very good sun exposure as well as excellent natural drainage. Nicolas Heeter-Tari avoids chaptalization (the addition of sugar), cryoextraction, and acidification, all of which can give a flattering impression but, in fact, denature the wine.
The grapes are rigorously sorted during picking. Since 2003, they are transferred to a new horizontal pneumatic winepress as soon as they arrive in the cellar. The must is transferred into small underground vats and left to concentrate overnight in order to reach 20° potential alcohol in an entirely natural way. The juice is then put into French stavewood oak barrels to ferment. This takes rarely less than a month and stops automatically when the alcohol level reaches approximately 14°. The wine is regularly racked and the barrels topped up to avoid oxidation. Château Nairac is barrel aged for 24 to 36 months.
The end result is a rich, expressive sweet white wine, and recent vintages clearly show greater finesse.
Until the 1990s, Nairac was sometimes criticized for being opulent, but lacking in elegance. Recent vintages show that this is clearly no longer the case.
The 2007, 2005, 2003, 2004, and 1997 Nairac are magnificent wines, the epitome of Barsac. Nicolas Heeter-Tari's enthusiasm is contagious, and we are sure that he will bring Château Nairac to the very top level of the appellation in the coming years. Nairac represents good value for money, especially for vintages prior to 2003. This is undoubtedly a wine worth following and enjoying!
Nairac, L'Esquisse de Nairac (second wine)