Château Moulin Riche

Château Moulin Riche is the second wine of Château Léoville-Poyferré and was once a 19th century Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel estate in its own right. Second wines made by the great classed growths are well worth investigating as they are often made from the same grapes on the same terroir by the same production methods as the Grand Vin – but are a fraction of the cost. For example a bottle of Château Moulin Riche 2006 would cost over £10 whereas a bottle of the Grand Vin from the same year would be in excess of £35. Surprising isn’t it?

Château Moulin Riche wines are concentrated, dense and powerful. They have smoky flavours of spiced black fruits and plum with a voluptuous finish, are tannic and age well. The addition of Petit Verdot to the blend of Château Moulin Riche since 1970 has helped to express the deep backbone of the wine.

The Grand Vin Château Léoville Poyferré is a Second Growth (2ème Cru Classé) and lies in the appellation of Saint Julien. Saint Julien lies on two plateaus between Pauillac and Margaux on the left bank of the Gironde Estuary. I

t is divided into essentially 2 areas – the riverside estates around the village of Saint Julien and the southern estates around the village of Beychevelle where the area’s Cru Bourgeois are also grouped. The vineyards cover 2,200 acres.

Saint Julien has the highest proportion of classified estates of all the regions in Bordeaux – 11 in total. The quality is so good in Saint Julien, that second wines from those châteaux are very attractive.

Château Léoville Poyferré was once part of the Château Léoville estate, owned by Alexandre de Gasq, which was divided into three after the French Revolution. The Château passed into the hands of Baron Poyferré who gave his name to the property. Since the 1920′s, it has been owned by the Medoc wine firm of Cuvelier et Fils.

Léoville Poyferré traditionally produced the softest and most supple wine of the 3 Léovilles (the others being Châteaux Léoville Barton and Léoville Las Cases), yet in the last decade the wines have put on weight and body. Didier Cuvelier has run Léoville Poyferré since 1979 and has taken advice from Professor Emile Peynaud and Michel Rolland. Since the 1990s the quality of its wines has truly been in the ascendant.

Château Moulin Riche was incorporated into the Léoville Poyferré vineyard in 2003 as a second wine and has 49 acres of vines which are planted on the slopes of Gironde glacial gravel and wind-driven sand resting on a limestone plateau. These hilltop moors were cleared in the 19th century to plant the vines. Presumably an ancient windmill stood near the site as Moulin Riche translates as “rich windmill”.

Editions of ” Bordeaux and Its Wines by Order of Merit”, the reference book by Edouard Féret and Charles Cocks in 1850 give an account of Château Moulin Riche’s primacy among the Cru Bourgeois vintages of Saint Julien.

In 1932 Château Moulin Riche was classified as a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel – the only wine out of the 11 Cru Bourgeois Saint Julien wines to be marked out as such. The grapes planted are 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 8% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc. The greatness of its terroir lies in the fact that the soils have been continuously planted with vines over the course of the last centuries.

You can buy Château Moulin Riche from – and I will be posting about other second wines from classed growths which are bargains next week.

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