The archetypal image of a Médoc château is engrained on our mind’s eye; at the most basic level it has walls of pale stone topped off with slate, but there can be many complexities of course, perhaps the occasional turret leading up to a dark and yet decorative witch’s hat roof, or – depending on the era of construction – perhaps a mansard roof to match those on the great boulevards of Paris. There are plenty in the Pauillac appellation to choose from, with Château Latour (so often ignored – I suppose the dovecot is slightly more photogenic), Château Pichon-Baron, Château Pontet-Canet and Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste being some very obvious examples.
Head south-west out of Pauillac on the D206 and you will soon encounter another fairly typical example, that of Château Batailley. But then take a left, and before long you will catch sight of a very atypical Médoc château. It will appear on the right, and is notable for its rendered finish detailed with red brick and white stone, and along one side there is a huge wooden veranda. This was once painted red and this, in combination with the earthy, terracotta-brown of the roof tiles, gave the property a rustic appearance more akin to an outbuilding at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte than a Médoc grand cru classé estate. These days the veranda is painted a gleaming white, and now I can’t help think the building would not look out of place on a Kenyan game reserve. Sun-downers on the veranda, anybody?Please log in to continue reading: