Château Clément-Pichon

The name of Château Clément-Pichon raises an immediate and very obvious question. How is this château related, if at all, to those more famous properties that also carry the name of Pichon, Château Pichon-Lalande and Château Pichon-Baron? The commonality is indeed no coincidence, the property having once been in possession of a branch of the same family, cousins to those Pichons who lived on the outskirts of Pauillac. Indeed, this estate was no less prestigious, many of its residents holding influential positions in the Bordeaux parliament, and one even hosted the French king Louis XIV when he was on his travels to and from Spain.

Château Clément-Pichon

In more recent times, however, the properties have certainly drifted apart. This estate has experienced dereliction, and the vineyard disappeared altogether for a while. It was only in the late-20th century that the property was revitalised by a newcomer to the region, Clément Fayat. The style of wine now made here, after he established the vineyards anew, could also not be more different. Responding to the largely sandy terroir, this is a cru bourgeois estate that almost exclusively features Merlot, with just a soupçon of Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaking would appear to be sound though, and having encountered the wine at a number of tastings it holds up well against some more famous cru bourgeois peers. Château Clément-Pichon is back on the Bordeaux map.

Before coming to this modern-day renaissance, however, I have first detailed the history of the estate. And there is a lot of history to cover, the property dating to at least the 16th century, with no less than three different châteaux having graced the grounds during the last five hundred years. I begin here with Guillaume d’Alesme, resident of the Château de la Motte Caupène in 1574.

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