Château Ramage La Batisse
Château Ramage La Batisse provided one of my earliest encounters with Bordeaux, during the early 1990s. A local wine merchant had shelves stocked with what were just beginning to seem like familiar names, and there are one or two which stick in my memory. An old vintage of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, from the time before the Cathiard revitalisation, was certainly one that stood there. I also recall some fairly dodgy-looking négociant bottlings of Burgundy, from large crus such as Corton and Clos de Vougeot, on the shelf below. And of course there was Château Ramage La Batisse, just waiting to be plucked from the shelves. I can’t remember the vintage off the top of my head though. Knowing my luck, it was probably the 1987, or maybe the 1984.
Little did I realise that thirty years later I would be appreciating more recent vintages of Château Ramage La Batisse. While this may not be the most famous estate on the Médoc peninsula, the wines have developed a reputation for attractive fruit, charming texture and also consistency of style and quality. I was not surprised to see, when the new Cru Bourgeois classification was announced in early 2020, that this property had been elevated to the position of Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.
The history of the estate is rather sketchy. Some authors have stated that it was created from scratch during the 1960s, but this is not strictly true. It would be more accurate to say that the property was formed from an amalgamation of preexisting vineyards, some of which have their origins in at least the early 19th century, if not earlier.
The man who created the estate in 1961 was François Monnoyer. Acting under doctor’s orders, his physician having advised that his health would benefit from an increased consumption of Bordeaux wines (this is the kind of medical advice I suspect we can all get on board with), Monnoyer decided to invest in the region. He thus acquired four neighbouring parcels of vines in Saint-Saveur named Ramage, La Batisse, Tourteran and Duteillier.