Vineyard of 67 hectares, Château d'Issan is located in the heart of the Margaux appellation. Owned by the Cruse family since 1945, it is also owned by Jacky and Françoise Lorenzetti since 2012. Third Classified Growth of 1855, the estate produces expressive wines, with all the aromas typical of Margaux: elegant texture, suppleness and excellent ageing potential.
The history of Château d'Issan goes back to the 12th century. At that time, a fortified castle stood on the ancient lordship of La Mothe-Cantenac. 5 centuries later, the baron of Essenault acquired the estate and destroyed the castle. In its place he built the present castle, keeping some medieval touches.
In the meantime, the property passed through various families such as the Noailhan, the Meyrac, the Ségur, the Salignac, the De La Vergne, and the Escodeca de Boisse... It was from 1575 onwards that the property was renamed Château d'Issan by the Essenault family.
The 19th century marked a turning point, the château acquired the rank of Third Grand Cru Classé in 1855 and regained a certain notoriety, since its wine became the favourite of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. This inspired the motto of the estate: "Regum mensis aris que Deorum", which means: "For the table of Kings and the altar of Gods".
The vineyard was neglected during the inter-war period but was reborn thanks to the Cruse family who acquired the estate in 1945. Under the management of Lionel Cruse, the château was restored, the infrastructure was modernized and the vineyard was replanted. These investments allow the wines to reflect more than ever the authenticity of the terroir. In 2012, Françoise and Jacky Lorenzetti joined the Cruse family to continue to make the wines of Château d'Issan stand out.
château d'issan, The PROPERTY
A 67-hectare vineyard located in the heart of the Margaux appellation, Château d'Issan benefits from an exceptional terroir allowing the exceptional quality of its wines. The temperate climate due to the proximity of the estuary and the ocean, offers ideal conditions for the development and excellent quality of the grapes. As for the soil, the property is planted on gravel and alluvial hillsides accumulating at more than 15 meters. This type of soil allows for rapid water drainage, pushing the vine to root deeply to draw the nutritional elements it needs to produce great wines. The vineyards are about 35 years old and are mainly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, the king of Medoc grapes, which gives the wine its structure and ageing potential. The rest is made up of Merlot, which brings roundness and suppleness to the blends.
REGUM MENSIS ARIS QUE DEORUM
For the table of Kings and the altar of Gods
Motto of château d'Issan
the know-how of château d'issan
The vineyard benefits from permanent attention and care from the teams, allowing the grapes to reach a perfect maturity to produce great wines. In winter, a particular knowledge of the vine is required for the pruning, which is of the Médoc type. In spring, the ploughing is done in the traditional way, offering a better circulation of air and water. As for the phytosanitary treatments, they are applied in a reasoned way. During this period, the pruning and the splitting of the vines are also carried out, which favors the maturation of the branches. Then during the summer, these stages are relayed by the green harvest. Finally, the time of the harvest arrives, carried out manually with double selective sorting.
Once the harvest is finished, the grapes are received in the vat room. They undergo a first sorting on bunches, then a second on a vibrating table. The berries are then placed by gravity in separate vats to preserve the identity of each parcel. The vat room has 37 thermo-regulated stainless steel vats with a capacity ranging from 70 to 200 hectoliters. The winemaking process then begins, combining tradition and innovation. The vatting period varies according to the year and lasts about 18 to 24 days with several pump-overs and temperature control. Fermentation then takes place in two vats, adapted to the parcel-based vinification. Finally, the wines are taken down into barrels in temperature-controlled cellars, where the blending takes place with the selection of the best vats that will make the great wine. The maturation phase will be slow, about 18 months, in French oak barrels with regular racking in the traditional way by candle.
the Cuvées of château d'issan
The Grand Vin of the estate, Château d'Issan, is made from the old vines of the property's enclosure. This wine, composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, is distinguished by its suppleness, its elegance, its finesse and its exceptional ageing potential. It is aged in barrels, 50% of which are new wood, for 16 to 18 months. The second wine of the château, Blason d'Issan, was created in 1995. Made from the youngest vines in the vineyard, it is aged with the same care as the Grand Vin, offering a round, greedy fruit that can be enjoyed earlier.
The estate also has two other cuvées: Haut-Médoc d'Issan, from parcels located 5km west of the property in the commune of Arsac in the Haut Médoc AOC. Moulin d'Issan, marketed since 1988, is made from parcels in the Bordeaux Supérieur appellation, closer to the estuary, where Merlot is more dominant. It is a rich, supple and fruity wine.