Château Moulin Riche, 2016 Update

I come now to my eleventh instalment in this series of Bordeaux Quartets, taking another look at the 2015 vintage, tasted from barrel, directly alongside the 2014 vintage also just taken from the barrel, and then 2013 and 2012, both from bottle. This time the focus is on Château Moulin Riche, an estate in the western reaches of the St Julien appellation, and currently in the ownership of the Cuvelier family of Château Léoville-Poyferré. As I have explained in my recently published profile of this estate, the label was used by Didier Cuvelier for the second wine of Château Léoville-Poyferré up until the 2009 vintage. This was rather a sad end for a château with a history that stretches back well into the early 19th century, when these vineyards were being tended by the Cadillon family.

Château Moulin Riche

Happily the domaine has in recent years received more of the attention and investment I feel it probably deserves. Starting from a 1979 nadir, at which moment the vineyard had shrunk to just 4 hectares, the estate has seen a new level of interest and investment. Most notably a huge programme of replanting began in 1990, and today there are 22 hectares of vineyards planted on these gravelly St Julien soils (pictured below). As these new vines gradually reach a greater maturity, Didier Cuvelier and his team decided the estate should go it alone, rather than acting as a mere understudy. Thus, from the 2009 vintage any wine bearing the Château Moulin Riche label can be accepted as the grand vin of this estate, not the deuxième vin of Château Léoville-Poyferré.

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