Chateau Haut Bailly has recently purchased Chateau Le Pape which is this near neighbour. Le Pape is located at the highest point of the Pessac Leognan appellation and has 7 hectares of vines planted ith Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with an average production of 33,000 bottles. Domaine de Carsin is the Second Wine.
The chateau at Le Pape is an 18th century chartreuse style building but some reports say that the estate dates back to the 12th century and was once owned by the Bishop of Bazas, who would later became Pope Clement V, whom Chateau Pape Clement is named after. I’m hoping to learn more about Le Pape’s history.
Le Pape has been owned by Patrick Monjanel since 1998 and prior to that it was owned by Anthony Perrin between 1983 – 1997. Perrin helped his family build up a portfolio of estates, rediscovering chateaux and restoring them to their former glory. The family owned Chateaux Carbonnieux, Le Sartre, Haut Vigneau, Bois Martin, Tour Leognan and Lafont Menaut. He was also President of the Union des Grands Crus from 1992 -1994 and was instrumental in the creation of the Pessac Leognan appellation as a subregion of the Graves appellation, in 1987.
Chateau Haut Bailly have said in a press release that Managing Director Veronique Sanders would now run both properties, while technical director Gabriel Vialar – who has worked at both Chateaux Mouton Rothschild and Smith Haut Lafitte – will be in charge of technical decisions at Le Pape:
“We plan in the near future to begin an investment programme which will allow the Château to be counted among the best in the appellation.”
There are no plans to integrate the vines of Le Pape into Haut Bailly and Veronique Sanders has confirmed to Decanter.com that they “intend to conserve the identity of this beautiful estate.”
According to Haut Bailly’s website:
“Planned investments in the near future should give Château Le Pape a strong identity and elevate it among the best of the appellation. “We will start with an in-depth soil survey in the vineyard”, explains Gabriel Vialard, Technical Manager of Château Haut-Bailly. “Then we would like to renovate the cellars and the château.”
The transaction should provide the promising terroir of Château Le Pape with all the experience and expertise of a Grand Cru Classé.”
Having met Veronique, Gabriel and their teams at Haut Bailly I am very sure that their dexterity, passion and tenacity will turn Chateau Le Pape into a more highly recognised Chateau and one to look out for in the future. I wish them well and at some point in time I look forward to tasting wines from their new acquisition.