Although most of those estates ranked in the 1855 classification lie within the famous communes of St Estèphe, St Julien, Pauillac and Margaux, there are five (discounting the obvious exception of Château Haut-Brion) that do not. Perhaps most notable of these is Château La Lagune, the highest ranked of the handful, and the southernmost classed growth estate of all the Médoc. Then comes Château La Tour Carnet, a quatrième cru, another property which has been turning out some interesting wines in recent years. Down at the level of the fifth growths, however, there are three; the frequently good value Château Cantemerle, the less frequently sighted Château Belgrave, and lastly Château Camensac. Although not the most furtive of wines, for many years (looking back a long time) Château Camensac had the dubious honour of being the cru classé châteaux with which I was least familiar. A reputation that was less than exciting, together with an isolated location west of St Julien set back from the road (unlike nearby Château Belgrave and Château La Tour Carnet, which both occupy more prominent positions), have both helped to keep Château Camensac in relative obscurity.
Over the past ten years my frequent trips to Bordeaux for the primeurs and to taste other vintages, or to check out the harvest have since increased my exposure to the wines of this château. They certainly merit discussion. Before I come to them, however, we should take a look at the history of this domaine. Although the modern era really only began in the 1960s, its position in the 1855 classification tells us that this vineyard has been in production for many years, indeed for centuries. The history is somewhat obscure, but I have done my best to elucidate it.Please log in to continue reading: