Our chateaux in the Médoc

Château Chasse Spleen, Moulis-en-Médoc appellation
Château Chasse Spleen, Moulis-en-Médoc appellation

Some people attribute the name of this château to Lord Byron who visited the estate in 1821, some others to Charles Baudelaire whose friend, Odilon Redon, was a neighbor of the château and illustrated a famous cycle of the poet:” Spleen et Idéal”.

For the past thirty years, it has always been a woman who has been running the estate. The first one was Bernadette Villars in 1976, followed by her daughter Claire in 1992. Nowadays, Céline Villars-Foubet, Claire’s sister is the head of the estate, continuing a family tradition.

 

The vineyard is located in the Moulis-en-Médoc appellation, the smallest one in the Médoc region. Situated just off the châteaux route and half way between Margaux and Saint Julien, it has a fantastic variety of terroirs, from pure Garonne and Pyreneans gravels to the iconic alliance of limestone and clay.

Thanks to this diversity, Chasse Spleen shows the best of its appellation with the fresh and mineral qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon, grown on a thick layer of gravels, and the roundness and smoothness of Merlot, planted on limestone and clay soils.

Château du Tertre, Margaux appellation, Bordeaux
Château du Tertre, Margaux appellation, Bordeaux

Created in the 18th century by Pierre Mitchell, an important Irish negociant after falling in love with the Bordeaux region and its wines, the estate has always produced very fine wines.

Following the criteria of the founder, the different owners kept on seeking for quality and all of those efforts were awarded in 1855, when Château du Tertre was classified as a Margaux “Grand Cru Classé” or Classified Growth.

Since then, the 52 hectares of vines have stayed the same.

The actual owner, Eric Albada Jelgersma, bought the estate in 1997 and invested a lot to return to its historical glory and express its elegant personality year after year.

 

Located on one of the highest gravel hills of the region, the vines are in the best conditions to express the Margaux terroir.

Cabernet Sauvignon is king and gives to the wine the structure we expect from a Médoc wine whereas Merlot brings its suppleness and Cabernet Franc spices the blend which is completed with Petit Verdot, a typical grape variety from the Bordeaux region.

Château Giscours, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Giscours, Medoc, Bordeaux

At first, Château Giscours was a tower, meant to protect the area against potential invaders but the real birth of the estate dates from 1552, when Pierre de Lhomme, a wealthy Bordeaux draper bought the property and its house called “Guyscoutz”.

This is when the first vines were planted and the wine production began.

However, the building we know today was designed in the 19th century, thanks to wealthy and influential owners such as the Cruse family who also decided to build modern production facilities like the “Ferme Suzanne”.

In 1995, Eric Albada Jelgersma took over the estate and decided to restore the prestige of this Margaux Classified Growth of the 1855 Classification.

 

The gravel hilltops, heritage from the Quaternary Period are key features of Château Giscours’ terroir.

Those gravels have a central role in the vines’ life as they maintain a stable temperature during the nights, giving back to the plant the sun heat they stored during the day, thereby providing ideal conditions to mature the grapes.

Château Kirwan, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Kirwan, Medoc, Bordeaux

Built in the late 18th century in a classical style by Mark Kirwan, an Irish businessman.

He brought together two small vineyards in the village of Cantenac: Ganet and Lasalle in order to create Kirwan.

Thomas Jefferson mentions the wine in his book. Chateau Kirwan was ranked first of the classified third growths of the Medoc in the 1855 classification that was created for the Universal Exhibition organized by Napoleon IIIIn 1926 the family bought the estate Schÿler.

Today, the property is in the hands of Sophie, Natalie and Yann Schÿler.

Château Lagrange, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Lagrange, Medoc, Bordeaux

We can assert that back in Gallo-Roman times, agriculture was the central activity of the area but it is thanks to the Templars that Lagrange began to produce wine.

They put two estates together to form the biggest wine estate in the Médoc region.

After the Templars, different owners ran the estate without letting any trace until 1631.

Between 1631 and 1983, three charismatic owners improved and sublimated the estate, building the Tuscan-style tower in 1820 for instance, which has become Château Lagrange’s emblem.

In 1983, Suntory, the leading Japanese group in the beverage industry, purchased the estate.  This new ownership gave to Château Lagrange the means to make the most of its unique terroir.

With its vineyard all in one piece and within the Saint-Julien appellation, the estate takes advantage of the complexity of its soil, combining gravels, sand and iron-rich clay.

Château Lynch-Bages, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Lynch-Bages, Medoc, Bordeaux

Situé aux portes de Pauillac et dominant l'estuaire de la Gironde, le vignoble de Lynch-Bages s'étend sur le plateau de Bages, l'une des plus belles croupes de graves de la commune. Autrefois propriété de l'illustre famille Lynch, d'origine irlandaise, le domaine fut racheté en 1934 par Jean-Charles Cazes.


Ses descendants, André, Jean-Michel, Sylvie, et Jean-Charles Cazes oeuvrent successivement au développement et au renom de ce cru classé en 1855. Dès 1980, Jean-Michel entreprend la modernisation de Lynch-Bages tout en conservant l'ancien cuvier témoin du XIXe siècle et du prestige retrouvé de ce cru d'exception... Persuadé que le vin appartient à un vaste univers culturel, un art de vivre, une manière d'être et de partager, il crée le Château Cordeillan Bages, un Relais & Châteaux qui accueille aujourd'hui les visiteurs du monde entier et propose une table illustre sous la baguette de Jean-Luc Rocha.

À partir de 2001, il fait revivre le village de Bages directement adossé à la propriété et pas à pas, confie les rênes du domaine à son fils Jean-Charles. Les vins de Lynch Bages sont les témoins de cette générosité et de cette excellence.

Aujourd'hui, le désir de toute la famille Cazes est de vous accueillir à Lynch Bages pour partager sa passion.

Château Paloumey, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Paloumey, Medoc, Bordeaux

Paloumey is from a Gascon word refering to the wood pigeon.

At the beginning of the XIXth century Paloumey's wines had acquired an indisputable reputation. The 35 hectares estate belonged then to Octave Dupuy, a wine merchant who entirely renovated it. The wine soon ranked among the best.

Crus bourgeois as it is attested b y Féret's rating in 1868. Alas! In the 1950s, after the dark years of war and phylloxera, the vineyards had suffered too much and had to be uprooted. When Martine Cazeneuve bet on Paloumey, she decided to restore the estate's image in 1989.

The reward for her determination was in 2003 when Paloumey was classified as a Cru Bourgeois supérieur.

Château Camensac, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château Camensac, Medoc, Bordeaux

We know for sure that Château Camensac already had a wine history in the 18th century as the “chartreuse” house dates from this era. However, our archives go back to 1964 only, when the Forner family bought the estate and decided to renovate it.


Thanks to brand new production facilities, they made sure the property would still deserve its ranking in the 1855 Classification.
Since 2005, Château Camensac belongs to Céline Villars-Foubet, also owning Château Chasse Spleen, and her uncle. Always seeking for quality and excellence, they kept the same philosophy as the previous owners.

 

Château Camensac’s vineyard is situated in the Haut-Médoc appellation, at the border of the prestigious Saint-Julien appellation.
Planted with 60% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% of Merlot, it is cultivated to express the complex terroir composed of gravels but also limestone and clay.


The yield is limited to harvest concentrated grapes, the owners preferring quality to quantity.

Château du Taillan, Medoc, Bordeaux
Château du Taillan, Medoc, Bordeaux

The chateau du Taillan, is located at the doors of Bordeaux, in the area of Medoc. This family owned property is nowadays run exclusively by women. Since Henri Cruse bought the estate in 1896, 4 generations had been at the head of the property until the five sisters started to take care of the vineyard. The chateau du Taillan is one of the most beautiful properties in Gironde for its chateau dating back from the 18th century but also for its unique underground caves protected on the French Historical Monuments list.

The chateau has a gorgeous park filled with hundred year-old trees and magnificent statues that are welcoming you for a walk. The vineyard is spread out on 30 hectares to produce a Cru Bourgeois of high quality as well as a white wine, a rare production for a Medoc estate, especially made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc. The vineyard for the red varietals is planted with the classical Bordeaux grapes counting a majority of Merlot (70%) due to a large proportion of clay, but also 20% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc.

 

Château Siran, Margaux appellation, Bordeaux
Château Siran, Margaux appellation, Bordeaux

Château Siran, located in the Margaux appellation, was named after its first owner, Guilhem de Siran, who bought the property in 1480. But the production of wine really began in the Château at the end of the 17th, when the Médoc became a well-known wine region.

This is when the Miailhe family settled down in Bordeaux as wine brokers and then took over the estate in the second half of the 18th century.

Since then, Château Siran has been run by the same family. Today, Edouard Miailhe represents the fifth generation at the head of the estate.

 

Nowadays, Château Siran has a 25 hectares vineyard in the Margaux appellation which has been all renovated, like the production facilities.

The particular soil on the property, composed of sand, gravels and clay led to an unusual grape planting: 46% of Merlot, 41% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% of Petit Verdot and 2% of Cabernet Franc.

Château Siran is today recognized for its high quality wines.

Château Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien appellation, B
Château Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien appellation, B

At first, Joseph Stanislas Gruaud used to own three different vineyards and decided to unify them under one name in the middle of the 18th century. This is how “Gruaud” was born.

When he died, the property went to a relative, Monsieur de Larose who decided to add his name to Gruaud and the wine estate became Gruaud-Larose. Those two generations worked hard to reach a high quality and to gain a good reputation for the property. Thanks to that work, the property was classified in the 1855 Classification.

After Monsieur de Larose’s death, the estate was divided between two families, Balguerie and Sarget who split it to have one property each:  Gruaud Larose-Bethmann and Gruaud Larose-Sarget.

The vineyard was reunified by Désiré Cordier who purchased the different shares between 1917 and 1935 and put the 68 hectares of vines together again.

Between 1983 and 1997, Château Gruaud Larose belonged to different French groups and is now run by the Merlaut family, well-known in the wine sector of Bordeaux.

 

The vineyard of Château Gruaud Larose is exceptional as some of the vines are almost a hundred years old.

A perfect knowledge of the different terroirs of the property led to plant 60% of Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% of Merlot and the rest divided between Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Those grape varieties are vinified in new and innovative production facilities, implemented by the Alcatel-Alsthom group when it used to own the estate.

Château de Lamarque, Médoc, Bordeaux
Château de Lamarque, Médoc, Bordeaux

The château's history started in the 11th century. The foundations are from that time. This is the oldest château of the Medoc region. The donjon is the first thing you can see when you get to the château. The latter and the wall walks etc are from the 14th century and built in the middle of the Hundred Years' War. After that war, many French Lords used to live there.

The château has been in the same family since 7 generations. He became one of the estate of Monsieur Gromand's family in 1841, already owner of other châteaux like Haut-Brion or Château Margaux, both of them First Growth classified.

The outbuildings where are situated the cellars are from the 17th century.

It has been a vineyard since the 15th century.