Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A Visit to Château Gruaud-Larose


A Visit to Château Gruaud-Larose St Julien-Beychevelle Bordeaux

Another one of the key visits on our trip to the St Julien Appellation (AOC) in Bordeaux was Château Gruaud-Larose, a 2ème Cru Classé or 'second growth', one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) as classified in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

During our spectacular week in St Julien, we visited Léoville du Marquis de Las Cases, Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, and Léoville-Poyferré, three other second growth St Julien producers, and Fourth Growth  producers Château Beychevelle and Château Branaire-Ducru. As with all the others, we hold or have consumed a selection of Gruaud Larose dating back several decades to the early eighties.

This label is one of the key holdings in our cellar collection consisting of more than a dozen vintages spanning three decades dating back to 1980 including the birth year vintages of each of our kids, 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1990. We hold many vintages in large format bottles including 3 liter double magnums which we served at daughter Erin's and son-in-law Johnny's wedding.

As I've written in these pages, Gruaud Larose was on our small select set of St Julien producers to visit during our trip to the region. As is our custom on wine region trips, learned from many trips over many years, its important to focus and not over schedule. Too many folks try to see areas that turn out to be far apart, and they spend much valuable time in transit, or worse, arrive late for cherished appointments. As such, we learned to focus on just one appellation per trip, set priorities ahead of time, and schedule only key activities based on objectives for the trip.

Château Gruaud Larose is one of the most historic estates in the Médoc dating back to 1725 when Abbot Gruaud bought just under 125 acres of land and planted vineyards. Since then, four families have succeeded one another at the head of Gruaud Larose: the Gruaud and Larose families, the Balguerie and Sarget families, the Cordier family and the Merlaut family.


Abbot Gruaud passed the property to his nephew, Chevalier de Gruaud who passed the estate to his son-in-law, Joseph Sebastian de La Rose who renamed the property Gruaud La Rose or Gruaud Larose. He also gave his name to another massive Bordeaux estate, Chateau Larose Trintaudon.

In 1812, the family was forced to sell Gruaud Larose to retire their debts, the property was sold to Pierre Balguerie, Baron Jean Auguste Sarget and David Verdonnet.

Shortly after the official 1855 Classification of the Medoc, control of the property was split further among their descendants, but remained intact until 1867 when it was split into Château Gruaud-Larose-Sarget (after the Baron Sarget) and Château Gruaud-Larose-Faure (after Adrien Faure, who married one Sophie Bethmann, heiress to a portion of the estate). The wine they produced was bottled and sold as Chateau Gruaud Larose Sarget.



Baron Sarget constructed the château on the property in 1875. The other half of the original vineyard remained with the Bethmann descendants. The wines were bottled and sold as both Chateau Gruaud Larose Faure and Chateau Gruaud Larose-Bethmann at different times.

The two château were reunited by the Cordier family, who purchased the Sarget piece in 1917 and the Faure piece in 1935 and the château became a centerpiece of the Cordier properties along with Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey and Château Talbot. 

The Cordier family had been negotiants since 1886. They acquired the Bethmann family holding in 1935. This allowed the Cordier family to recreate the original estate and the wine was renamed Chateau Gruaud Larose.

In 1983 it was purchased by the Compagnie de Suez, and in 1993 it was sold to the French conglomerate, Alcastel Alstom. In 1997 it was sold to Jacques Merlaut who also owns other Bordeaux properties under the name of the Taillan Group including Chateau La Gurgue, Chateau Haut Bages Liberal, Chateau Citran, Chateau Ferriere and Chateau Chasse Spleen. The Merlaut family introduced sustainable development and organic farming methods in the vineyards.

The notable Georges Pauli is régisseur and winemaker and has been on staff throughout all these changes. Eric Boissenot serves as consulting winemaker to the Chateau.

The Gruaud Larose Chateau and estate sits just outside the village of St Julien-Beychevelle at the southern end of the appellation located on the plateau to the west of Château Beychevelle. on the opposite side of the D2 Route from Ducru Beaucaillou and Leoville Barton.

The vineyards of Gruaud Larose have the highest point of elevation on the Saint Julien plateau and has a distinctive 'tower' which serves visitors a vantage point to view the entire estate.


The tall tower stands out as a landmark and can be seen from across the region. Interestingly, while the toward provides a view of the entire estate, little can be seen of the village or beyond or of the neighboring Chateau due to the trees.




The tower sits atop a modern contemporary hospitality center that overlooks the property. It includes a welcome center, gift shop, wine bar and tasting center. 





On display is a vertical collection of Gruaud Larose in magnums spanning thirty-three vintages.


The vineyard has not changed much since it was created in 1781 and is the same today as it was when it was classified as a Second Growth in the 1855 Classification of the Medoc. The Chateau has a culture as a family organization with employees working at the chateau from father to son and from mother to daughter.

The 200 acres of vineyards are planted in the Bordeaux sanctioned varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (2%). The vineyards are adjacent to those of Chateau Talbot and Chateau Branaire Ducru which have smaller parcels. The property is divided into 110 parcels with the best terroir found in the 2 sections that surround the chateau and that adjacent to the park.



Chateau Gruaud Larose has a terroir of the St Julien legendary gravelly soil with quartz and a higher proportion of clay than that closer to the river, with more sand and limestone down deeper below.


The average age of the Gruaud Larose vines is 46 years with some of the Cabernet Sauvignon dating back more than 80 years.

Chateau Gruaud Larose is one of the few Bordeaux estates with a hail reduction canon, a high tech system system with radar that fires when hail is detected. The canon fired shock waves serve to break up the oncoming hail thereby protecting the delicate grape vines. We heard the canons firing in the the night  during a thunderstorm passed through the area.

Chateau Gruaud Larose vinifies the wine in a combination of 30 oak vats ranging in size from 55 to 115 hectoliters and 32 concrete vats that hold 50-100 hectoliters. The malolactic fermentation takes in place in cement vats and oak tanks.



The wine is then aged in an average of 85% new, French oak barrels for about 18 months with the duration and percentage and treatment of new oak determined based on the characteristics of the specific vintage.




Chateau Gruaud Larose on average produces close to 18,000 cases of Saint Julien wine each year.

Like most quality Bordeaux labels, like all boats rising with the tide, Gruaud Larose releases it best wines in the great Bordeaux vintages such as 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2000, 1990, 1986, 1982, 1961, 1959 and 1945. Gruaud Larose produced exceptional releases in 1961, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 2000 that were considered some of the best representations of the vintage.

Gruaud Larose maintains a library in the cellars that contains the leading vintages as well as age-worthy vintages that date back as early as the middle of the 19th century.



Chateau Gruaud Larose is known for wines that are concentrated, complex, full-bodied and long-lived, best consumed after several years of aging, typically at least 12 years or more, and often reach their peak maturity and optimal drinking window after 15 years and often last 35 years or more after the vintage release.

When young they tend to be tannic, tight and closed and should be decanted for 2 to 4 hours to soften and open. Older vintages might only need decanting so as to remove the sediment.

Mature, Gruaud-Larose with proper bottle ageing becomes more integrated and elegant with characteristics of complex concentrated black fruits, cedar, spices and licorice.

As part of our tasting and tour we were served a vintage 1999 release of Chateau Gruaud Larose, and a  Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2012.


Chateau Gruaud Larose produces a second wine, Sarget de Gruaud Larose that was introduced starting with the 1981 vintage. The wine is named for the Sarget family, previous owners of the estate who sold their interests to the Cordier family in 1917.


The second wine is comprised of grapes not deemed worthy of or suitable for the grand vin and is produced to be more approachable and at a more affordable price point. Reserving and dedicating the best prime grapes for the flagship label results in the highest possible quality achievable from the estate vintage release.

https://www.gruaud-larose.com/en/

A visit to Château Branaire-Ducru

A visit to Château Branaire-Ducru St Julien Beychevelle Bordeaux

During our trip to the St-Julien Bordeaux appellation we visited Château Branaire-Ducru which lies just across the D2 Route du Medoc from Château Beychevelle on the southern edge of the St-Julien appellation on the outskirts of the village St Julien Beychevelle.

Branaire Ducru vineyards - Chateau Beychevelle in distance

Our visit and tour of the historic estate was another one of the key visits on our trip to the St Julien Appellation (AOC) in Bordeaux, Château Branaire-Ducru was one of ten Quatrièmes Crus (Fourth Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Like Léoville du Marquis de Las Cases, Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, Gruaud Larose, Léoville-Poyferré, and adjacent Château Beychevelle, the other St Julien producers that we also visited, we hold or have consumed a selection of Château Branaire-Ducru dating back several decades to the early eighties. 

Château Branaire-Ducru was originally part of the greater estate that comprised Chateau Beychevelle and adjacent Ducru Beaucaillou. It became a separate vineyard from the Beychevelle estate after the death of Bernard de la Valette, Duke of Epernon, in the mid 17th century, when his assets were turned over to the French Crown to pay off his debts.

In 1680, Jean-Baptiste Braneyre bought the property from the Duc d’Epernon’s vast Beychevelle estate, which had been broken up on his death in 1642. His descendant, Marie Braneyre married Pierre Du Luc, and the property becomes known as Branaire Duluc.

The first winery was established in a small house that Marie de Chillaud, granddaughter of Marie and Pierre Braneyre, bought in Bourdieu, a hamlet close to Château Beychevelle. The oldest parts of the building date back to 1730.

Marie de Chillaud’s children of the Duluc family had the current Château built around 1824. It consisted of a country manor house and an orangerie in the directoire style designed by architects Rieutord and Laciotte. The chateau was expanded further in 1836. The estate was eventually sold to a relative, Gustave Ducru.

Historic Chateau Branaire Ducru

Branaire-Ducru orangerie

In 1855 it was classified as a fourth growth under the name Branaire Duluc.  Ducru, a distant relative of the Duluc family, added his name to the brand and label, and it become Château Branaire-Ducru which has remained to this day.

In 1879, Gustave died and the estate was passed to his sister, the Countessa Duluc. In 1899, the château was bequeathed to three nephews, the Marquis de Carbonnier de Marzac, Comte Ravez and Comte du Perrier de Larsan. Their aunt, the Countessa, and the three nephews are represented today by the four crowns on the Branaire-Ducru logo and label.



In 1919, Branaire was taken over by Jean-Michel Tapie who held the property until the Tari-Tapie family sold out to Patrick Maroteaux in 1988, who remains owner to this day.

We've had the pleasure of meeting Mr Maroteaux during his travels with the UGCB to America - (UGC Bordeaux' (Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGCB)), promoting their wines. We have served several St Julien producers' wines during the annual release tour over the years standing in for producers who could not attend or who were disrupted by winter weather travel disruptions. 

Branaire Ducru modern chai production facility

The French family group lead by chairman Patrick Maroteaux has invested heavily in upgrading and renovating the estate. They have planted new vineyards, built a new cuvier and ultra-modern chai and upgraded the technical operations. 


As part of efforts to upgrade the brand and quality of the grand vin flagship label, they added a second label wine, Duluc de Branaire-Ducru. Duluc is produced from the youngest vines and fruit not considered suitable for the grand vin. Like other producers across the region, the second label provides consumers earlier drinking gratification at a more affordable price point, all the while improving the value of the flagship signature label by selecting only the finest lots for the grand vin. All these efforts have resulted in improving the reputation and standing of Château Branaire-Ducru as one of the elite Bordeaux wines - classified and recognized as a Grand Cru Classe.


Branaire-Ducru has nearly 150 acres of vineyards planted with the St Julien appellation sanctioned varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon (70%), Merlot (22%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Petit Verdot (3%).

The vineyards of Branaire Ducru are composed of the legendary gravelly soil of the St Julien appellation.  Although the estate is located on the southern border of the appellation, across from Château Beychevelle, several of the the vineyards are spread across the Saint-Julien appellation.

Branaire Ducru vineyards gravelly soil -
St Julien Beychevelle village in distance
The wines are matured in oak barriques (65% new). The proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can be higher than that in the vineyards - 80-85% in some years, which is one of the highest in the Médoc.

The average age of the vineyard is 35 years and they are harvested by hand.

The wine is made in the most practical method that is least disturbing to the grapes using gravity rather than pumps to move and circulate the harvested fruit and the wine. The new viticulture building has a wide range of tanks of different sizes that can be matched to the different batches based on careful selection based on the varying characteristics of the different vineyard plots. The wines are aged traditionally in barrels made from French oak. They are always fined with fresh egg whites.


The winemaking occurs in 28 stainless temperature controlled steel tanks whose size is matched to vineyard plot size, 60hl to 230hl. Blending of the batches occurs early in the year, before the end of February following the harvest.  The wines go through primary fermentation for about three weeks in the temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats. About 1/3 of the production undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels. Once fermentation is complete the wines are transferred into oak barrels (50% new oak) for 18–24 months of aging.

The grand vin Château Branaire Ducru averages about 15,000 cases per year. The estate also produces about 7,000 cases of its second wine, Duluc de Branaire-Ducru.


 

Branaire-Ducru and Duluc de Branaire-Ducru wines are characteristically complex and have long ageing potential. They are best consumed five to eight years after release but can often age for several decades depending on the vintage. Every effort is made to bring out the purity of the fruit and reflect the terrior of the vineyards.

Branaire-Ducru typifies classic St Julien terroir characteristics - nicely structured, elegantly balanced - bright vibrant fruits accented by notes of cassis, mocha, minerals and floral with approachable tannins on a lingering finish.

The 2012 vintage release we were served in our tasting was rated 93-95 points by Wine Enthusiast and 90-93 points by Wine Spectator.


Branaire Ducru tank facility and production operations center.
Our hostess Cindy, a longtime member of the staff conducted our tour. She did a creative and imaginative job showing videos that she produced on her IPAD of the harvest, the grape selection and sorting, the vinification in the tanks, filling and racking the barrels, and bottling processes.


She took us through the chai, vinification building, the barrel aging room and then hosted us in the tasting room overlooking the production facility. She served us a recent vintage of both the flagship Château Branaire-Ducru from the 2012 vintage, and the second label Duluc de Branaire-Ducru from the 2014 vintage.

While Patrick Maroteaux have improved the quality of the wines, they have maintained the price point such that Branaire Ducru represents good value compared to some of the other higher priced St Julien labels. This is especially true in top rated excellent vintages where 'all boats rise with the tide' and have high quality product resulting from a great vintage. Look for Branaire Ducru for good QPR, (Quality Price Ratio) in a Grand Cru Classe Left Bank Bordeaux.

A Visit to Château Léoville Poyferré


A visit to Château Léoville Poyferré, St Julien-Beychevelle Bordeaux

Another one of the key visits on our trip to the St Julien Appellation (AOC) in Bordeaux was Château Léoville Poyferré, another second growth, one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) as classified in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Like Léoville du Marquis de Las Cases, Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, and Gruaud Larose (blogpost coming), three other second growth St Julien producers that we also visited, we hold or have consumed a selection of Léoville Poyferré dating back several decades to the early eighties.


The Léoville-Poyferré Chateau and estate sits on the edge of the village of St Julien-Beychevelle as you exit north heading towards Pauillac, the next town and AOC adjacent to the north. The Chateau and facilities sit immediately across the D2 - Route du Medoc opposite the old church which sits adjacent to the Leoville Las Cases Chateau and gardens.


The historic Léoville estate dates back to 1638 when the greater property was the largest domain in the Médoc. 

Back before the 19th century, Léoville-Poyferré was once part of the much larger Léoville estate that used to include Château Léoville-Las Cases and Château Léoville-Barton until the time of the French Revolution. Léoville was one of the biggest vineyards in Bordeaux at just under 500 acres. 

In 1840, the St Julien Léoville estate was divided. Château Léoville-Las Cases was divided again forming Château Léoville-Poyferré which went to Baron de Poyferré when he married the daughter of Jean de Las-Cases. Pierre Jean de Las Cases, the oldest son received a share, which became Château Leoville Las Cases. His sister, Jeanne, passed on her share to her daughter, wife of Baron Jean-Marie Poyferre de Ceres. That was the genesis of what today is known as Léoville-Poyferré. In those early days, the Léoville-Poyferré wines were sold under the label and brand Baron de Poyferré. 

While the vineyards were separated, the buildings were connected and remain that way to this day. The parking lot for Château Léoville Las Cases also serves the vinification production building of Léoville Poyferre. And, while the Léoville vineyards were divided into 3 different Léoville estates, Léoville Las Cases, Léoville Barton and Léoville Poyferré, many of the vineyards are adjacent to each other and intermingled, making harvesting a bit chaotic at times.

Map compliments Léoville Poyferré

Léoville Poyferré was purchased in 1920 by the Cuvelier family from the Lalande family. The Cuvelier family had been well establish in Bordeaux as negociants, or wine merchants, dating back over a hundred years to 1804. 

The Cuveliers first purchased vineyards in the Medoc starting with Château Le Crock in St. Estephe, purchased in 1903, then Château Camensac in the Haut Medoc appellation. They then acquired Château Léoville Poyferré and Château Moulin Riche in the Saint Julien appellation. 

Didier Cuvelier took over the château and surrounding vineyard properties in 1979 and set upon a program of improvement. Initially trained as an accountant, Didier Cuvelier also brought in Emile Peynaud as an advisor. They set upon modernization of the winemaking facilities. They also replanted 50 acres of vines. The vineyards were nearly doubled in size, from 120 to the current size of almost 200 acres. 

In 1995, he enlisted the assistance of legendary Michel Rolland, noted winemaker as a technical advisor. Together, they have turned Léoville-Poyferré into one of St-Julien's finest estates. 

Château Léoville Poyferré was long considered an innovator in the Médoc. They first introduced trellising the vines using pine stakes, which is now common practice. They were one of the first Bordeaux producers to rinse their barrels with sulfur to help protect their wines from spoiling during the shipping and aging process. 

In 2014, the new Léoville Poyferré facility was constructed, the modernized building taking on the design of the historic estate with a long rectangle with a small tower at each end. 

Didier Cuvelier retired after the 2017 vintage, turning over management of the estate to his niece, Sara Lecompte Cuvelier, the sister of Anne Cuvelier. 

Didier Cuvelier, "Since 1979, our family has been dedicated to a vision that leaves no room for improvisation. Every decision, every investment, is a step towards ultimate quality, one that makes a simple wine an exceptional one, recognized as a Second Classified Growth in 1855." 

The evening of our visit, we dined at Le Saint Julien restaurant, the fine dining establishment in the village, just across the street from the estate and the small village square.

St Julien-Beychevelle village centre, Leoville Poyferre
in distance across route D2
Le Saint Julien restaurant on Route D2 in
St Julien-Beychevelle, opposite Leoville Poyferre,
down the street from Leoville Las Cases

With dinner we drank the Léoville-Poyferré 2008, a perfect complement to the daily special, cote de boeuf and pomme frites. 





The staff talked with reverence about Didier Cuvelier, and he being there for lunch just the previous day, and how attentive and careful he was to the serving of the wine. This was in response to our mentioning our visit to the estate, and our acknowledgement of the wine service and the attention they gave to the proper serving temperature, chilling our bottle of red wine. We enjoy our red wines slightly chilled and keep our home cellar cooler than what might be normal. We're often frustrated by the service of our wines, even in the finest restaurants that supposedly are serious about their wine service.


The Léoville-Poyferré estate and surrounding vineyards sit on the D2, the arterial route of the Médoc, across the road from former 'sibling' Léoville Las Cases. Adjacent to the property, across the appellation boundary in the Pauillac appellation is Château Pichon Baron, and across the road adjacent to Las Cases is the First Growth Château Latour, and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Nearby is the other former 'sibling' Château Leoville Barton.

Leoville Poyferre vineyard, Pichon Baron in distance,
across road, Leoville Las Cases, Chateau Latour in distance
The vineyards of Château Léoville Poyferré and its prestigious neighbors sit along the Gironde River estuary. The terroir of the area is famous for its gravelly, well drained soils, covered with pebbles that are the result of sedimentary deposits by the Garonne in the Quaternary period (about 700,000 years ago).

The rocky soil serves to naturally regulate soil temperature, holding the warmth of the sun into the night, and reflecting the sun upon the grapevines during the day. The terroir is enhanced by the moderating effect of the nearby river which tempers extreme weather and protects the riverside vineyards from frosts.


The Léoville Poyferré vineyards cover 198 acres planted with traditional Bordeaux, appellation sanctioned varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%), Petit Verdot (8%) and Cabernet Franc (2%).

Léoville Poyferré is known to traditionally produce soft supple wines but in the recent years the wines have developed increased weight and body, largely due to the grapes being harvested riper and later, and because of increased exposure to new oak in the maturation process. 

Léoville Poyferré often ranks with the best of the premier St-Julien producers, but often is priced at more modest approachable prices. The 2009 vintage Léoville Poyferré was awarded 100 points by legendary wine critic Robert Parker, one of five Bordeaux labels to earn the distinction in that vintage.  

Château Léoville Poyferré also produces a 'second wine, Pavillon de Léoville Poyferré, from grapes not deemed suitable for selection for the flagship label.

We were hosted on our tour by Claire of the hospitality team. We toured the vinification building which sits across the street adjacent to Léoville Las Cases, then the barrel storage building beneath the château, and finally the hospitality center and tasting room across the courtyard.




The grape bunches when harvested are brought in in small crates and first sorted by hand on tables before destemming, then a second time by new high tech optical sorting machines before crushing.

Here is the vinification room where each vineyard plot is vinified individually in one of the fifty-six stainless steel vats.


The vinification process creates the wine from the grapes and is where the character and profile is developed with the accent and extent to which the tannins will be revealed. Care is taken to maintain the consistency of the process established over decades of practice and research, and applying the technical innovation to maintain the qualitative tradition and lineage of the style of Léoville Poyferré. 

In 2010, the vat rooms were completely renovated, replacing 10 large vats with 20 new stainless steel, double skinned vats with a capacity increased from 60 hectoliters to 165 hectoliters, for a total of 56 vats in all. This provided for very precise vinification of the batch on a parcel by parcel basis. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barrel. 



There are 27 double-walled tanks that are used for cold pre-fermentation macerations for 6 days. The extraction of color occurs gradually and pure fruit aromas are revealed. 

Léoville Poyferré uses an ingenious system to move the wine from the tanks to the barrels from the facility across the road. They created a system of underground pipes to move the wine safely from vats to barrels. Prior to the underground pipes, the wine was moved by hand in steel tanks using tractors.


 


The batch is transferred to the barrel aging facility where the wine is aged in 75% new oak barrels for 18-20 months. Particular care is taken in the selection of barrels, the type of oak, and the preparation of the oak, in order to complement and harmonize with the character of the vintage, and the signature style that is Léoville Poyferré. The notable Michel Rolland serves as advisor to provide guidance in the vinification and the blending. 

The hospitality tasting room sits across from the barrel building overlooking the courtyard, opposite the Château.



Château Léoville Poyferré wines are known for their character and style of ripe concentrated fruit with a powerful but pure plush style of supple, silky textures. Flavors of black fruits are accented by tones of cassis and spice with truffle and tobacco aromatics.


We were served for our tasting Léoville Poyferré from the 2005 and 2012 vintage releases, and the barrel sample of the upcoming 2018 release. The wine flight is carefully selected and paired with artisan chocolates to complement the vintage. A chocolatier advises the blend and source of each chocolate to be paired with each wine.




We also tasted the Léoville Poyferré Moulin Riche 2015. Chateau Moulin Riche is bottled and sold as its own, unique label and brand. The wine was historically thought of as the unofficial second wine of Château Léoville Poyferré. It was classified exceptional bourgeois in 1932. 

Starting with the legendary 2009 vintage, when the flagship Léoville Poyferré received 100 points, Moulin Riche started being produced from its own specific vineyard parcels as its own label and brand. It is produced by the same technical team that produces Léoville Poyferré. On average, close to 10,000 cases of Moulin Riche are produced each vintage. 

The Moulin Riche logo is designed as part of the branding of the flagship signature label Léoville Poyferré with the Château and its two towers, and colours. This is done by design to identify with the Cuvelier family wines, but to differentiate from the first label. Since the 2009 vintage, Château Moulin Riche has also gained notoriety as its own brand and distinctive wine.Château Moulin Riche is sourced from its own 50 acre Left Bank vineyard of Château Moulin Riche. It is planted in traditional, sanctioned Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (32%), and Petit Verdot (30%). They also represent the same St Julien terroir with gravel and limestone soils. 

In vintages when the Petit Verdot is very ripe, it is also included in the grand vin, Léoville Poyferré. 

The Moulin Riche wine is aged in a combination of new and used, French oak barrels for between 18 to 20 months before bottling.



Pavillon De Léoville Poyferré is the second wine of both Châteaux Léoville Poyferré and Moulin Riche. Made from younger vines, it is produced to be more more affordable and to be balanced, fruity and easy to drink, approachable at an earlier age.