Château Gazin Rocquencourt
I suspect every corner of Bordeaux has its hidden gems, although sometimes I wonder if the vineyards of Pessac-Léognan and Graves don’t have a few more than their fair share. During the past few years the search for wines that offer good-value drinking has proved particularly fruitful in these appellations, with the added advantage that there are some attractive white wines made here, as well as red.
Not for the first time I have found a number of the most noteworthy domaines to have some association with other well-known and successful Bordeaux names and châteaux. In this I am reminded of the hunt for good-value drinking in Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux, where there are any number of wines worth getting to know, but more often than not whenever I found a particularly worthwhile one it turned out the domaine in question was run by Stéphane Derenoncourt, or Denis Durantou, or Louis Mitjavile, or Stephan von Neipperg. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Château Gazin Rocquencourt (pictured above) is an estate that seems to have spent much of the 20th century in decline, at least until it was acquired by a local doctor during the 1960s. He and his sister managed to stop the rot, but never lifted the domaine to any great heights, and they eventually sold the property four decades later. The owners today are the Bonnie family, of Château Malartic-Lagravière. Sadly, while the property pumped out good-value drinkers for more than a decade under their direction, the Bonnie family eventually called it a day with this estate; to find out more, read on.