The limestone scarp of Castillon runs east from that of St Emilion, meandering its way down to Castillon-la-Bataille, before turning north towards the Côtes de Francs, its expanse broken here by La Lidoire. This is not a grand river, draining unceremoniously into the Dordogne once off the plateau, but over many millennia its network of tributaries have eaten away at the limestone, forcing an end to the plateau. It is here, as the scarp turns away from the Lidoire, that Château Montlandrie is to be found, situated on the edge of the plateau and looking out across the rooftops of Castillon-la-Bataille. This estate is of particular interest as since 2009 the property has been in the ownership of the Durantou family, and until his untimely passing under the skilled direction of the late Denis Durantou (pictured below), best known of course for his tenure of one of the very best estates in Pomerol, Château L’Église-Clinet.
The property was, until very recently, off the radar. Looking back though old editions of Cocks et Féret from the late-19th and early-20th centuries I can find no mention of Château Montlandrie. This is despite the fact that it was said to have been established by an Italian family around this time, and it is disappointing as a number of other Castillon châteaux, such as Château d’Aiguilhe, are certainly listed. It is possible that viticulture was not a major activity on the property; although rich in vines today, the presence of an abandoned windmill (pictured on the next page) at the very crest of the slope suggests that the cultivation of wheat, and the production of flour, may have been just as if not more important.Please log in to continue reading: