, previously Château La Prieuré
and Château Prieuré-Cantenac
, is a winery
in the Margaux appellation
of the Bordeaux
region of France
, in the commune of Cantenac
. The wine produced here was classified as one of ten Quatrièmes Crus
(Fourth Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
The château produces a second wine under the label Château de Clairefont.
Originally a priory
monks who cultivated grapes for service at dinner and at religious ceremonies, practices gradually evolved by the 18th century to establish sales of the wine under the name Le Prieur de Cantenac. As a consequence of the French Revolution
, the property was seized, divided and sold in 1789 to several surrounding estates, including Château Palmer
. A portion was bought by Monsieur Pagès who passed on the estate to his widow, when due to its reputation and broker prices received a fourth growth classification in 1855. Several changes in ownership resulted in changes to the name, such as La Prieuré and, Prieuré-Cantenac, and when the late wine writer and authority Alexis Lichine
arrived to buy the estate it consisted of 11 hectares of neglected vines.
Lichine and a consortium bought the vineyard in 1951 (and shortly after, the Margaux estate Château Lascombes) and work began to group and reconstitute the property on the ideal slightly-rising ground. The estate was renamed in 1953, and the following year Cantenac wineries were entitled to use the appellation of Margaux.
Sacrificing quantity for quality, trades in portions of desirable land at a loss of two to one were made with third growth neighbours Palmer, Ferrière, Kirwan, Giscours, Issan, Boyd-Cantenac and second growth neighbours Durfort-Vivens and Brane-Cantenac, adding up to 47 acres of vineyards by the mid-1960s. With an aim to produce a wine well beyond its classification, extensive replanting and repairs and investments were made to the equipment, and by the 1970s the estate amounted to 58 hectares dispersed across the communes Cantenac and Margaux.
After Lichine's death in 1989, the estate was run by his son Sacha for several years, with oenologist Michel Rolland acting as consultant, until the estate was sold to the Groupe Ballande in 1999. The winery currently employs Stéphane Derenoncourt as its consulting oenologist.
Château Prieuré-Lichine currently consists of about 70 hectares planted with 54% Cabernet Sauvignon
, 40% Merlot
, 5% Petit verdot
and 1% Cabernet Franc
. After fermenting in concrete and stainless steel vats, the wine is aged for up to 16 months in 55 percent new oak barrels.
- Note: Lichine described the consortium simply as "the author and a group of American friends".Footnotes