This 21-hectare Saint-Julien estate has been part of the Cuvelier family’s vineyards since 1920, and for many years this was effectively the second wine of its second-growth property, Léoville Poyferré, but it has been officially independent in its own right since 2009.
The wine is fermented in stainless-steel tanks before being transferred into oak barrels for aging 18 and 20 months. Moulin Riche is a rich, velvety wine suitable for earlier term drinking, and can be enjoyed for up to 10 years after the vintage.
The history of Chateau Moulin Riche in the modern era has its beginnings in 1920, when the estate was purchased by the Cuvelier family. By 1920, the Cuvelier family were already well-established in Bordeaux as chateau owners and negociants.
In fact, the Cuvelier family had over 100 years of history in the region by that time, as they got their start in Bordeaux the same way numerous other future chateau owners did, as negociants, or wine merchants. They date back all the way to 1804.
By the time they purchased Chateau Moulin Riche in the Saint Julien appellation, they already owned vineyards in the Medoc including, Chateau Le Crock in St. Estephe, which they purchased in 1903. They were also the owners of Chateau Camensac in the Haut Medoc appellation and Chateau Leoville Poyferre.
While Chateau Moulin Riche is bottled and sold as its own, unique brand, until quite recently, that was not the case. The wine was really thought of as the unofficial second wine of Chateau Leoville Poyferre. That changed with the already, legendary 2009 vintage.
In that year, it was decided that Moulin Riche would be produced from its own specific vineyard parcels. Today, the second wine of Chateau Leoville Poyferre is Pavillon de Leoville Poyferre.
The Moulin Riche logo continues to look quite similar to Leoville Poyferre. This is by design. The similarity to their other wines helps customers identify with the Cuvelier family wines. Since the sublime 2009 vintage, Chateau Moulin Riche has continued to gain popularity as its own brand and distinctive wine.
VINEYARDS AND WINEMAKING
The 20 hectare Left Bank vineyard of Chateau Moulin Riche is planted to 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 30% Petit Verdot. It is important to note that there are occasions when the Petit Verdot is very ripe, and can also be used for Leoville Poyferre. The terroir is gravel with limestone soils.
To produce the wine of Chateau Moulin Riche, vinification takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Malolactic fermentation occurs in vat.
The wine is then aged in a combination of new and used, French oak barrels for between 18 to 20 months before bottling. The same technical team that produces Leoville Poyferre is in charge of Moulin Riche. On average, close to 10,000 cases of Moulin Riche are produced each vintage.