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ABOUT THE PEOPLE BEHIND CHATEAU LAGRANGE POMEROL
Chateau Lagrange-Pomerol has a history record dated back to the later half of the 19th century when it was managed by the de Jaurias family. The chateau was located on the right bank of the Bordeaux wine producing region, in the commune of Pomerol where the Merlot grape variety thrives due to its preferred water-retaining clay soil and ideal terrior that produces age worthy wines. During the early 1920’s the wines produced were sold under the label of La Grange Tropchaud. “Tropchaud” means “very warm” due to the diurnal temerature of Pomerol where the difference of temperature between very warm daytime and very cold night time is very significant.
During the early 1900s, the Precresse family, who also owned the famous Chateau Trotanoy, took ownership of Chateau Lagrange-Pomerol. And in 1953, it was in turn sold to the legendary Jean-Pierre Moueix, a internationally famed wine producer and negociant, who was credited for remarkably lifting the reputation of the left bank wine producing regions of Bordeaux, such as Pomerol and St-Emilion.
In 1937, Jean-Pierre Moueix founded his negociant house in Libourne of Bordeaux and since then, the family run business invested in several prestigious crus including Chatea La Fleur-Petrus, Chateau Trotanoy, Chateau Hossanna, and also branching out to Napa Vallay in California USA, establishing the internationally acclaimed Dominus Estate and Ulysses. Before 1950s, Pomerol and St-Emilion was not very significant on the worldwide stage. Jean-Pierre intially wanted to set up his business in Bordeaux City, on the left bank of the iconic Gironde River where the demand for wines from the Medoc area, especially Margaux and Paulliac, were significantly higher. However, he also realised the heavy saturation of other negociant houses to compete with and hence decided to settle himself across the other side of the river, into the city of Libournais.
After the victory of the allies in World War Two, the demand for French wines in the markets of England and America rose exponentially. Jean-Pierre cleverly secured the exclusive distribution rights of Petrus (Pomerol) in 1945 and went on to build the wine’s reputation as one of the finest in the world and the most expensive in Bordeaux. Almost 20 years later, he bought over the majority share of the chateau in 1964 after the death of its owner Mme Loubat , and eventually took full ownership after the remaining share’s of Loubat’s niece, Mme Lily Lacoste, was bought over. Another watershed moment for the family-run business came when highly influential American wine critic, Rober Parker Jr, constantly highly praised the brilliance of Pomerol and St-Emilion wines in the 1980s, which brought even greater worldwide attention to the region, including Chateau Lagrange-Pomerol.
ABOUT POMEROL PRODUCING REGION
Pomerol is the smallest of the Bordeaux major wine producing appellation (protected designation of origin). Despite having only about 150 producers in the region, it is widely recognized that it has the best vineyards, with the best geographical conditions, to produce world finest wines. Currently the area’s most planted grapes are the Merlot variety which is the major blend, if not only variety, in all of their wines produced.
The viticulture of Pomerol dated back to the Roman times. The Roman settlers then, cultivated a diverse variety of fruits in the region, hence the Pomerol name is likely to derive from the latin word “Poma” which means fruit. After the English founded the city of Libourne near Pomerol in 1270, the demand for their wines grew significantly. Furthermore, the area was also along one of the major pilgrimage routes for the crusaders which encouraged the development of the region as a stopover and even a settling place for many of the returning knights who increased the creation of vineyards.
With the arrival of the Dutch who had overwhelming influence of the Bordeaux market in the 16th and 17th century, Pomerol and most of the Bordeaux’s right bank regions were focused on producing white wines for the Dutch market. Hence white grape varieties like the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon were very dominant then. The current most planted variety, the red Merlot, was only documented in 1760, planted by Louis-Leonard Fontemong, which set the vines for the famous Chateau Rouget. The late 19th century saw the Dutch market declining and hence the Pomerol region swiftly switched to more red grape varieties production. With Pomerol received its “protected designation of origin”, Pomerol AOC, in 1936, the rules forbid any planting of white grape variety in the region.
Unlike the wine producing regions located on the left bank of Bordeaux, where they received maritime climate due to the proximity of the temperature moderating sea, Pomerol’s further inland distance from the ocean resulted in more continental climate influence. Hence the region sees more diurnal temperature variation, daytime high temperature and night time low. This presented an excellent environmental situation for the grapes to be ripened faster yet maintaining refreshing acidity, therefore producing powerful Merlot yet well-balanced.
ABOUT THE CHATEAU LAGRANGE POMEROL AOC
This powerful red wine is a blend of 95% Merlot with 5% Cabernet Franc, and aged for 18 months in French oak barrel, 40% of which were new. It displays intensely rich flavours of plums, prunes, blackberries, with complex layers of juicy fruits, herbal aromas, tobacco leaves, toasted oak and vanilla. Remarkable firm structure, well-balanced, with delicious lasting finishing.