Contrary to the persistent rumours that I was baptised with a dab of the 1961 Château Latour on my forehead, one of my earliest encounters with the wines of the Pauillac appellation was in fact through Château Peyrabon. The label featured a drawing of the château, which has a fairly distinctive design, one that must have lodged itself firmly in the deepest recesses of my brain. I say that because many years later, exploring the vineyards west of Pauillac (quite possibly after a visit to Château Latour, although I doubt there was any forehead-dabbing involved) I came across the property quite by chance, sitting next to another old favourite, Château Liversan. Despite having not looked at those labels for more than a few years, I recognised it instantly.
The first records concerning Château Peyrabon date to the late-18th century, when the property passed from the hands of Marie Castaigne to Jean Antoine de Warre, who subsequently handed it down to his son in 1818. From him it came in 1821 into the possession of François Badimon (born 1775), a local judge. In 1845 his presence as proprietor was recorded by Wilhelm Franck, writing in Traité sur les vins du Médoc (second edition, Chaumas, 1845), who tells us the property was already turning out 50 to 60 tonneaux of wine (the equivalent of 200 to 240 modern-day barrels) per annum.
Badimon stayed at Château Peyrabon for a couple of decades, his presence also noted in the first edition of Cocks et Féret published in 1850, but in 1855 he sold the property to Jean-Alexandre Labat. He then passed it on to Jean Hyacinthe Roux in 1860, who subsequently gave it to Arnaud Armand Roux, presumably his son, in 1865. In the years that followed production faltered, falling as low as 25 tonneaux per annum in 1868, before it began to climb once more.Please log in to continue reading: