Château Haut-Lagrange

VigneronFrançois Boutemy
LocationPessac (Gironde)
Size of Domaine8.5 ha
TerroirAtlantic climate. Gravelly soil on a clay-limestone base. 45m altitude.
ViticultureLutte raisonnée
View Château Haut-Lagrange wines ↓

The Boutemy family has been at the heart of the Pessac-Léognan AC for four generations, with grandparents owning Ch Larrivet Haut-Brion and Ch Haut-Bailly for some time.

Francis Boutemy used to manage Larrivet Haut-Brion and the St Emilion Grand Cru Classé Ch Les Grandes Murailles until 1987, he then purchased the two parcels of fallow land that now constitute Ch Haut-Lagrange. The vineyards had not been replanted since phylloxera, and Francis carried out the gargantuan work (from 1989) of cutting down the woods, preparing the soils and replanting the land with 20ha of vines. Forced to sell on 11ha for financial reasons (of which 3.5ha became Ch Pont St-Martin with whom we used to work) Francis brought the estate down to a more manageable 9ha.

The estate’s vineyards are superbly located adjacent to Smith Haut-Lafitte and planted from a qualitative massal selection on low yielding rootstock. His son Ghislain has now taken over, managing the vineyard and winemaking alongside a dedicated team of three who are working hard to farm sustainably in this prestigious appellation.

They use no chemicals in the vineyards and have drastically reduced the level of sulphites in the wines to capture all the potential of their excellent terroir - deep, quick-draining gravels overlying limestone and clay. The wines are mostly aged in concrete and stainless-steel vats (60% for the red and 80% for the white) complemented by new oak barrels, the point being to preserve fruit and drinkability.

Château Haut-Lagrange Wines

50% Sauvignon, 50% Sémillon
50% Sauvignon, 50% Sémillon (12.5% alc.)
(12.5% alc.)

This is a very thoughtfully made white, 90% aged in cuve and the balance in two new barrels. A pale gold colour, it has peach flesh on the nose, citrus fruits on the palate, and is very harmonious with a subtle stamp from the complex terroir, which leaves stony, saline notes on the finish. At its best after five years from vintage according to Ghislain Boutemy.

55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot
55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot (13% alc.)
(13% alc.)

This is made from 2.7ha of superbly sited vines just below Haut-Bailly, where the topsoil is gravelly with limestone-clay beneath, and a 5.75ha parcel next to Rochemorin where there are also deep gravels but a touch more clay. The vines are planted on very good rootstock and yields are lower than average for the appellation. Aged 60% in cuve and 40% in new barrels for 18 months, there is a quality to the fruit that only the best terroirs give; it is very harmonious again, and nothing is out of place or exaggerated. The black fruits, blackcurrants and ripe plums have a touch of pepper, all the time relieved by a perfect acidity.