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Bordeaux Haut Médoc Region Embracing Wine Tourism
Featuring Château Laffitte Carcasset and Château Pédesclaux
Château Pédesclaux Embraces the Very Best of Old and New
The Haut Médoc region of Bordeaux is always identified with the First Growth (Premier Cru) wines of France. In 1855 Napoleon III, emperor of France, held a Universal Exposition in Paris. He asked the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce to arrange an exhibit and rank 58 Châteaus. See attached “A Guide to Bordeaux Classifications by Sub-Region 2023” below. Most wineries came from the Médoc region where wine quality emphasis first took hold in the 19th century. One activity this region was slow to embrace was wine tourism. The Haut Médoc appellation has made great strides during the last two decades. They are making the world understand how truly great the wines are by opening their doors to wine tourists.
Two examples of the best in wine tourism are Château Laffitte Carcasset, a Cru Bourgeois-ranked winery, in the heart of the Saint-Estèphe sub-appellation and Château Pédesclaux, one of the original 1855 5th-Growth Grand Cru Classe-classified wineries, located in the Pauillac sub-appellation of the Haut Médoc, Bordeaux. Each winery offers the wine tourist not only incredible wine choices and values, but unique visual experiences. During our 2023 press tour we enjoyed the tours and tastings at both Châteaus….and we recommend you experience their hospitality on your next Bordeaux visit.
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The château was founded in 1810 by wine broker Pierre Urbain Pédesclaux, who operated it with his wife until 1891, when the estate was sold to the Count de Gastebois. After changing hands 40 times the estate was eventually by Jacky Lorenzetti, who also owns Chateau Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Estèphe and 50% of Château d’Issan in Margaux.
Since 2009 Lorenzetti has taken the original château with added dramatic modern wings, built a state-of-the-art production facility utilizing glass walls and natural light, improved the vineyards through “precision and organic/biodynamic viticulture,” and embracing gravity pump over in wine production along with experimental eyes towards amphora and concrete egg fermentation vessels. The modern tasting room in the glass wing of the chateau still houses the original carrier pigeon house…Old and new intermingling.
In 2015 Washington Post writer, Dave McIntyre, called Ch. Pedesclaux, “The Most Underrated Chateau in Bordeaux Today.”
The wines of Ch. Pédesclaux is now aged in 60% new French oak barrels for an average of 12 months. They produce 9,000 cases of Bordeaux wine per year. They offer a second and third wines, Fleur de Pédesclaux (90% Merlot) and La Rose de Pédesclaux, a Haut Medoc appellation wine. The best vintages of Chateau Pedesclaux are: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010 and 2009.
Château Laffitte Carcasset – Fine Wine and Event Center/B&B
The history of Château Laffitte Carcasset dates back to the early 18th century in the Kingdom of France. Already mentioned on the maps of Cassini, the vineyard was formed in 1759 at Le Carcasset, an area located in the heart of Saint-Estèphe appellation.
This beautiful white-stone Chartreuse is in the tradition of the great mansions of its time, with reception rooms opened on the vineyard and its magnificent century-old trees park. Surrounded by the Classified Growths of Saint-Estèphe, the 35 hectares vineyard are on the gravelous plateau of Saint-Estèphe, where the Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot grapes best express their potential in their powerful wine blend aged in 45% new French oak for 12 months. It has an aging potential for 15-20 years. Wine recommendations are below.
Château Laffitte Carcasset has been Cru bourgeois since 1932 and a family vineyard from its origins which owes its name to owner Jean Laffitte, a court lawyer, and King’s Prosecutor in Bordeaux. Since 2016, it has belonged to Pierre Rousseau and his family.
The white-stone 18th century Chartreuse architecture now sets the stage for a luxury B&B complete with a picnic area, terrace garden views, swimming pool, and a continental breakfast. This location is a perfect staging point to visit many of the areas wineries without having to travel back into Bordeaux city center each day. It also serves as a wonderful place to hold a wedding and reception with seating capacity for 150 people. The grounds feature two-hundred-year-old Magnolia trees that offer a perfect setting for photo shoots, aperitifs, and cocktails.
Download “A Guide to Bordeaux Classifications by Sub-Region 2023”
2018 Chateau Laffitte Carcasset, Saint Estèphe, Bordeaux, France, $33
Decanter Magazine, 91 Points
2016 Chateau Pedesclaux Pauillac, Bordeaux France, $60
Robert Parker, 93 Points, Decanter, 94 Points
2018 Fleur de Pédesclaux, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France $26
Decanter Magazine, 92 Points
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