This is the story of a castle with a moat, drawbridge and a courtyard that served the wine for a Royal wedding between Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry 11 in 1152.
At that time the castle was known as Chateau Lamothe-Cantenac and it is one of the oldest wine producing properties in the Medoc and in the Bordeaux.
In the late 1400’s the vineyards were known as Teobon and the chateau was named Theobon Manor, when a female heir married a lord with the same name.
Over a period of three centuries the estate was passed down to a long line of various families but it eventually got into the hands of the Essenault family in the 1500’s.
They renamed the estate to D’issan which was an earlier spelling of their surname, D’Essenault.
D’Essenault was a member of parliament and a knight who renovated and redesigned the property that included a new castle.
He continued to do this until the French revolution when the estate was confiscated and given to Gustav Roy until it was sold on auction.
The estate was handed over so many times that it was in a state of disrepair.
Chateau D’issan was eventually purchased by the Cruse family at the end of World War Two in 1945 and they are the proud owners of this estate today.
Emmanuel Cruse, an oenologist took over the management of the left bank of the property in 1998 and made it one of the most successful estates in the Margaux appellation and sold a 50% share to Jacky Lorenzetti in 2013.
They have worked closely together and Cruse modernised the estate by increasing the barrels, adding a pneumatic press and making the reception room bigger and they have a wider variety of grapes to increase their production.
… Fit for Kings and Queens
The property is 120 hectares with 41 hectares under vine and they were given an extra 10 hectares that were previously classified as Haut – Medoc and now fall into the Margaux appellation.
The terroir is of gravel and clay based soils with 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot.
Most of the vines are over 35 years of age but you will find many that are 65 years old.
The grapes are vinified in temperature controlled, stainless steel vats and malolactic fermentation is done in tanks and barrels.
The Merlot is the only wine that goes through fermentation in the barrels and ageing is in 50% new French oak barrels for 18 months, depending on the vintage.
This estate did not need the 1855 classification as it was already established as wine, “fit for a king and queen” in the early 1200’s with the Royal wedding.
Wine Fit for Royalty
With an annual production of over 100 000 bottles, the 2015 vintage is the most special to the Cruse family as it was the 70th anniversary of their procurement of the estate in 1945.
The estate has various vintages of Chateau D’Issan and also has a second wine, Blason D’Issan which was only produced from 1995 onwards and they use fruits from their youngest vines for this wine.
The annual production for this wine is 120 000 bottles and it is aged for 13 to 16 months in oak barrels old and new.
Le Haut – Medoc D’Issan has an annual production of about 18000 bottles and is made from the vines that are 5 kilometres west of the estate.
Moulin D’Issan is taken from their Bordeaux Superior plots near to the Gironde estuary which is known for the limestone and clay soil. The wine gets its name from the 17th century windmill that can be seen in the middle of the vineyard today.
2014 Chateau D’Issan is a full bodied wine with aromas of flowers, liquorice, cherries and black raspberries ending on a silky cherry note.
1990 Chateau D’Issan has the aromas of liquorice, truffles and earth ending on a fennel and roasted dark berry flavour.
2008 Blasson D’Issan has fresh black fruit, cedar and minty notes, medium bodied with a crisp balance of acidity.
2006 Blasson D’Issan Margaux is an elegant, restrained and pure wine with black fruits, cedar and smoky tobacco notes.
Visit Château D’Issan
Lionel Cruse, with the help of his son Emmanuel and the invested interests of Francoise and Jacky Lorenzetti have established Chateau D’ issan into a passion filled and successful estate.
In a fairy tale setting with towers, moats and the medieval features that have been included in the French complimentary list of historical buildings.
Chateau D’Issan has a rich history and their wines are produced with passion and ambition but this can only be experienced once you have tried and tested it for yourself.
This is also a good way to feel like a royal as you drive down to the estate, roads surrounded by trees and a gate that opens up into a medieval time that will take you back centuries, making you feel as though you have been transported back in time to a place that is filled with splendour and riches that you can already see in the vineyards.
Lieu-dit Château d’Issan
33460 Cantenac Bordeaux, France
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂