Sainte Croix du Mont is a little appellation which lies next to Loupiac, facing Sauternes and Barsac, that makes sweet wine. The wines are not as well known as Sauternes but Saint Croix du Mont is endowed with one of nature’s strange wonders.
It lies upon a panoramic plateau comprised of vast fossilised oyster beds which give it an exceptional terroir. Two chateaux have been bought by Chinese investors recently and this could be a very wise move on their part.
We already know that China has a taste for sweet wines as Ice Wine is popular there. It seems Sauternes is catching up after a late entry. Chateau D’Yquem‘s parent company LVMH has a good business network firmly established in China – as does Chateau Rieussec with Domaines de Baron Rothschild.
Chateau La Tour Blanche is to open a Wine School in Beijing and Chateau Guiraud has opened storage cellars in Hong Kong and Shenzen, China to give Chinese wine merchants and distributors access to authenticated, landed stock that can be delivered quickly.
Chateau Bertranon in Peyrat, Saint Croix du Mont was bought by Meng Gao and produces a wide variety of wines under various AOCs: Saint Croix du Mont, Loupiac, Bordeaux Superieur, Bordeaux. Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux, Bordeaux Blanc Sec, Rosé and Cremant de Bordeaux.
The grapes grown on the 12 hectare vineyard are Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.
Bertranon is a beautiful neo-classical 18th century chateau, 45 minutes from Bordeaux and was owned by Noella and Guillame de la Tullaye. It was built in 1727 by architects Jean and Etienne Laclotte (father and son) who were responsible for some of the city of Bordeaux’s stunning buildings.
They designed the Hôtel de Lalande, constructed about 1780, for a member of Parliament, Pierre de Raymond de Lalande. The hotel is now a designated historic monument and is used as the Museum of Decorative Arts of Bordeaux. Jean Laclotte also built Chateau Picque Caillou, Psac Leognan, in 1756 which Etienne used as his summer residence.
Bertranon has been renovated carefully by Noella de la Tullaye who is a graduate of the Ecole de Louvre and passionate about Italian Renaissance.
Chateau Laurette has been purchased by Cheng Qu and was owned by Francois Pons who also makes a red Bordeaux Chateau Bertric.
Cheng Qu’s portfolio of chateau now numbers 4 (possibly 5) and he is reported to be involved in the construction of a wine theme park in Dalian which will have vineyards, chateaux, a Bordeaux wine museum, a hotel, a French wine school and a China-French Wine Cultural Exchange Centre. Laurette has 43 hectares of old vines, of which 26 are in the Saint Croix du Mont appellation.
Obviously those in Saint Croix du Mont are considerably cheaper than the more well known sweet Bordeaux appellations and it will be interesting to see if any more chateaux in the appellations surrounding Sauternes are snapped up.