Champagne Roederer’s Bordeaux Estates

The wine press is reporting that Chateau Pichon Lalande has appointed Philippe Moreau as its new technical director following Thomas Do Chi Nam’s move to Chateau Margaux as technical director.

(Margaux’s Technical Director Philippe Bascaules has left to work in Napa as Francis Ford Coppola’s estate manager and winemaker).

Moreau is currently technical director of Chateau de Pez and Chateau Bernadotte, both owned by the Champagne Louis Roederer group.

He will retain responsibility for both those properties in his new role. In February this year Sylvie Cazes, (recently re-elected as Managing Director of the Union des Grand Crus de Bordeaux) became Managing Director of all Louis Roederer properties in Bordeaux, replacing Gildas d’Ollone (nephew of May-Eliane de Lencquesaing).

Cazes will continue to play a supervisory role with the Cazes family estates, including Chateau Lynch Bages and Chateau Ormes de Pez.

The Rouzaud Family (Champagne House Louis Roederer) of Chateau Pichon Lalande also own Chateau Haut Beauséjour and Château Réaut la Gravière (AOC Cotes de Bordeaux).

I can find little information about the lesser known Réaut la Gravière but I did taste Haut Beauséjour 2010 at En Primeur along with Bernadotte and de Pez.

As with most of the wines I tasted from Saint Estephe this year I thought de Pez was a lovely example of this appellation, as was Haut Beauséjour. These should be good value wines if they are released at a reasonable price.

Chateau Haut Beauséjour was purchased in 1992 by Louis Rouzard from the Brossard family and its wines were previously known as both Beauséjour and Picard. The chateau lies to the east of Pez, near the village of Saint Estephe.

Bernadotte (Cru Bourgeois, Pauillac) lies in the commune of Saint Sauveur which borders the Pauillac appellation to the west, close to a number of classified growths and only a few kilometres away from Pichon Lalande itself.

Chateau Bernadotte was purchased in 1997 by May-Eliane de Lencquesaing, the then owner of Pichon Lalande from the Swedish industrialist Curt Eklund. In 1973 Eklund had bought Chateau Fournas and 10 hectares of vines in Pauillac.

Mde de Lencquesaing changed the name of Fournas to Bernadotte and added the 10 hectares of vines to Pichon Lalande’s vineyards. The chateau was named Bernadotte in honour of Marshal Bernadotte who became King Charles XIV John of Sweden in 1818. He did not use Bernadotte in Sweden but founded the royal dynasty there by that name.

He was elected King of Sweden partly because a large part of the Swedish Army, in view of future complications with Russia, were in favour of electing a soldier, and partly because Bernadotte was also very popular in Sweden, owing to the kindness he had shown to the Swedish prisoners during the recent war with Denmark. Bernadotte was sold to Champagne House Louis Roederer in 2007.

Chateau de Pez is the oldest domaine in Saint Estephe (1542) and the Pontac family, owners of Chateau Haut Brion, planted the vines at Pez in 1585. The property remained in the hands of their descendants – the Marquis d’Aulède and Count de Fumel, Commander of the Province of Guyenne – until the French Revolution. It was purchased in June 1995 by Champagne Louis Roederer.

May-Eliane de Lencquesaing continues to make wine at her Glenelly Estate in the Idas Valley, located in Stellenbosch, on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain.

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