Château de Chambrun & Château Moncets
The French wine growing region of Bordeaux was, is, and always will be the cornerstone of great French wine production
At the crossroads of Pomerol and Saint Émilion appellations in the heart of Bordeaux, France, lie a pair of historic vineyards, Château de Chambrun and Château Moncets, each nestled within the boutique Lalande de Pomerol appellation. Overseen by a young, dynamic and experienced winemaking team, these estates are producing a distinctively ‘new wave’ style of Bordeaux wine, with vigor and freshness of authentic fruit that’s catching the attention and praise of some of the world’s top wine writers and publications.
The first of the estates, Château Moncets, was initially created in 1770 and bears the name of the General Moncets (Napoleon III’s general) who bought it in 1872. Many years later, in 2012, Château Moncets was purchased by a French family who completely renovated and rehabilitated the property.
The second estate, Château de Chambrun was established between the World Wars by the Cholet family, when it was known as ‘Clos de Chambrun,’ a name originating from one of the plots called ‘Champ Brun’ or ‘Brown Field’ in English. The property changed ownership a couple of times until 2015 when it was acquired by that same French family who purchased Château Moncets just three years prior. Integrating Château de Chambrun with Château Moncets marked a new beginning, to elevate both estates to produce world-class fruit and craft premium wines at the top of their Lalande de Pomerol appellation.
The team behind this duo of estates includes Managing Director Julien Noël, Cellar Master Bruno Chaminade, and Vineyard Manager Romuald Hébrard. Together, they are breathing new life into these historic properties, making significant improvements in the winery as well as in the vineyards, including beginning the process of gaining organic farming certification. They are also assisted by the world famous oenologist Michel Rolland.
We are proud to present this award-winning Bordeaux winery to our International Wine Club members. Enjoy!
History of Bordeaux
One of the most important, prestigious, and famous wine regions in the world, and certainly in France, Bordeaux, with its many châteaux and renowned 1855 Classification system, is a leading destination for wine lovers, as well as the bedrock of the fine wine market and a benchmark for winemakers around the world. The history of the Bordeaux wine region dates back to the ancient Romans who were the first people to cultivate, plant vineyards and produce wines here. The Romans took over the Bordeaux area in 60 BC and their influence forever altered the landscape of the incredible Bordeaux we know today.
Early on, it was discovered that Bordeaux was perfect for cultivating grapes and making wine. Not only did the region offer the ideal combination of the right soils and marine climate, but Bordeaux was also located next to the Gironde River, which made transportation and trade of the wines fairly easy. Once Bordeaux wine was discovered (and praised) by British wine lovers, the trade expanded significantly, and when Dutch engineers drained the marshes and swamps that still covered much of Bordeaux, production and exportation increased even more.
By the late 1600’s, specific Bordeaux regions and brands began developing, allowing consumers to start selecting vineyards or appellations that they preferred. Big names including Haut Brion, Margaux, Lafite and Latour were among the first to emerge and are still among the most heralded estates worldwide today. Perhaps the most significant year in Bordeaux history was in 1855 though, when Napoleon III put the 1855 Classification in place, ranking the châteaus by quality and presenting lists of First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Growths. The response immediately increased the demand for consumers to have the very best classified wines. This ranking system still influences the wine market today, and has made Bordeaux wines the most collectible in the world.
Bordeaux naturally evolved to include two main regions - the Left Bank and Right Bank. The Left Bank, located on the southwest side of the Gironde River, and the Right Bank, located on the northeast side. While the Left Bank is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, the Right Bank is more Merlot and Cabernet Franc dominant.
Today’s Bordeaux wines are better than ever (and the top tier wines are more expensive than ever), making them among the most sought-after and popular wines in the world. We are happy to present this historic winegrowing region and country with our International Wine Club members. Enjoy!
Laland de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
This month’s featured French wines come from the Lalande de Pomerol appellation, located on the Right Bank of Bordeaux, France. The esteemed region lies just to the north of Pomerol and west of Saint Émilion, separated by the Barbanne stream. Rivers are of great significance in this part of Bordeaux as they define appellation boundaries, moderating the climate, and dictating the make-up of the region’s soils.
In Lalande de Pomerol, the wines are made predominantly from Merlot, but may also contain Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Lalande de Pomerol’s wines are characteristically approachable, making them very popular in the modern marketplace. The two main villages of the appellation are Lalande de Pomerol and Néac.
The appellation wasn’t officially designated as an AOC until 1954. Today, close to 200 châteaux produce wine in Lalande de Pomerol and about 2,800 acres of vineyards are currently planted here.
France: Fun Facts!
• The French invented the term, ‘terroir’. Defined as ‘the environmental conditions, especially soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give a wine its unique flavor and aroma,’ terroir was coined by the French when they discovered that wine expresses a specific quality relative to its geographical place of growth.
• France produces approximately 8 billion bottles of wine each year, making it the leading producer of wine in the world.
• The major wine regions of France include Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, the Loire Valley, the Rhône Valley, and Alsace.