Château des Laurets
(by Edmond de Rothschild)

Bordeaux, France

Overview

Built circa 1860, Château des Laurets features an octagonal tower overlooking the grounds. The vineyards are planted on south-facing slopes with limestone outcrops. The excellent clay-limestone soil gives this Merlot-based Saint-Émilion wine its distinctive taste. Baron Benjamin de Rothschild acquired this superb property in 2008, aiming from the beginning to achieve its fine potential.

About Edmond de Rothschild

The passion for wine that runs in the French branch of the Rothschild family was born in 1868 when James de Rothschild purchased Château Lafite. After more than a century of family history tied to the world of wine, Baron Edmond de Rothschild (great-grandson of James) took the adventure further in 1973 by acquiring two Cru Bourgeois wines in Listrac and Moulis-en-Médoc: Château Clarke and Château Malmaison. He then founded the Compagnie Vinicole Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and has taken the business worldwide.

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History

Until 2003, Château des Laurets was an underachieving winery. Its wine – mostly sold in bulk to Bordeaux wine sellers – did not leverage the possibilities of this exceptional terroir atop the extension of the Saint- Émilion limestone plateaus. This was the situation when Benjamin de Rothschild bought the property. A firm believer in the potential of the site and its 95 hectares, he knew that Château des Laurets could produce great wines. The Baron was also won over by the estate’s visual treasures. From the magnificent 19th-century chateau with its unusual architecture and octagonal central tower to the old stables, sheep house, lake and slopes with full southern exposure that stretch out in a single band around the grounds, the Baron had plans to showcase it all.

Major work began as soon as the Compagnie Vinicole acquired the property. While conditions throughout much of the vineyard made it possible to operate without changes, significant investments were made in the wine storehouses to fit the estate with modern, high-performance equipment. The fermentation room was overhauled in 2004. Smaller wood and stainless steel tanks enable vinification by plot for a quality-driven approach that has transformed the estate’s wines. Yields were also reduced to improve the quality of the grapes harvested. Benjamin de Rothschild’s policy was clear: the goal was no longer to sell in bulk, but to give the vineyard the means to produce great wines bottled at the estate under the winery’s label. His gamble paid off: the output from Château des Laurets now ranks among the most promising young wines of Saint-Émilion.

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