Chateau Les Grands Chenes, located in the Medoc appellation of Bordeaux has been producing wine since 1880. Prior to its use as a vineyard, Les Grands Chenes was originally used as a fort during the 16th century.
The estate was purchased in 1981 by Jacqueline Gauzy Darricade who spent both time and money on improving the property before it was sold to Bernard Magrez in 1998. From 1998 until to 2002, the estate produced a high end cuvee, but that special wine was discontinued in 2002. Those vines were placed back into the Grand Vin, to improve the quality of the main wine.
Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 38 hectare Les Grands Chenes Left Bank vineyard is planted to 70% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Cabernet Franc. Situated in the northern part of the Bordeaux appellation, the vineyard has a terroir of gravel, limestone deposits and a bit of clay in the soil.
This is one of the better terroirs in located this far north in the Haut Medoc, as they have elevations and a view of the Gironde, which creates a micro-climate. On average, the vines are kept at 30 years of age. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 8,000 vines per hectare.
To produce the wine of Chateau Les Grands Chenes, the grapes are whole berry fermented. Vinification takes place in a combination of large wood vats and stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. The wine of Les Grands Chenes is aged in 50% new, French oak barrels for 18 months before bottling.
On average, 15,000 cases of Les Grands Chenes wine are produced every year. There is a second wine, which was known as Le Chenes Noir. That recently changed names to Temperance de Grands Chenes.
The estate is owned by Bernard Magrez who spared no expense in turning this into one of the top Cru Bourgeois properties in the Medoc. The wine is ripe, rich and modern in style, and the oak can remain part of its personality.