In times past, present-day Château Seguin was a traditional
stopover for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims still
wend their way past the estate today, under the benevolent eye of the
Seguin Cross overlooking the vines. In the early 20th century, this
ancient estate belonged to the Pascal family. It produced 3,500 cases of
wine at the time, which was already much-appreciated. Féret (“Bordeaux
and its Wines”) describes Seguin as follows: “the highest point in the
village with magnificent gravel rises producing generous, very refined
wines reminiscent Haut Brion”.Nestled in the Eau Bourde valley in
the northern part of the Pessac-Léognan appellation, the vineyard is
split into two sections, each slightly over 15 hectares in size: Seguin
and Petit Bordeaux.
fallen into obscurity during the 1950s, Seguin is an excellent example
of a chateau that underwent a renaissance. Since 1987, the present
owners, the Darriet family, have worked hard to renovate the vineyard
and their winemaking facilities in a modern, rational way. Thanks to
support from a group of three enthusiastic wine lovers originally from
the LOTICIS group starting in 1999, a number of investments were made to
give Château Séguin all the care and attention of a grand cru:
sustainable viticultural practices paying careful attention to the
environment, hand picking into small crates, double sorting in the
cellar, temperature-controlled fermentation, and ageing in stave oak
barrels (50% of which are new every year), accompanied by regular
Château Seguin’s excellent terroir in the heart of Pessac-Léognan produces a powerful, tannic, well-balanced, and elegant wine.
The new appellation’s rapid
rise is due to the fact that it encompasses all the estates that were
designated Crus Classés de Graves in 1959, and it is entitled to two
names: both Graves and Pessac-Léognan. The Pessac-Léognan appellation
covers 1,300 hectares in the villages of Cadaujac, Canéjan, Gradignan,
Léognan, Martillac, Mérignac, Pessac, Saint-Médard d’Eyrans, Talence and
Villenave d’Ornon. Three quarters of the wines are red and one quarter
Cabernet Sauvignon comprises just under 60% of the area under
vine. What makes Pessac-Léognan’s terroir so special is that it dates
back to the late Tertiary/early Quaternary periods, when the former
mouth of the Garonne river left behind river stones and gravel of
various kinds mixed with clay, sand, hardpan, limestone and shell marl.
These form the soil of the famous Graves de Bordeaux.
graves (meaning ‘gravel’) takes on special meaning here because the
unique terroir also includes white, red, pink, and ochre-coloured
quartzite and quartz, as well as jasper, flint, lydite, and more. The
variable thickness of the soil (often from 20 cm to 3 metres, but over 7
metres at Seguin) and non-uniform occurrence of gravel in the subsoil
offers a wealth of possibilities and options that account for the
diversity, character, and nuances of Pessac-Léognan’s fine wines..
vines still need nourishment. The gravel deposits in Pessac-Léognan
form the appellation’s hilly topography, with rises that provide
excellent natural drainage. This drainage is enhanced by a
well-developed hydrographic network of small waterways, tributaries of
the Garonne (the Peugue, Eau Bourde, Eau Blanche, Breyra, and Saucats).
The vines are never drowned, and their roots sink deep into the subsoil
for the water they need.
River stones, pebbles, and gravel on the
surface soak up heat during the daytime and slowly release it at night.
This contributes to slow, even ripening.
In addition, influenced
by the nearby ocean and benefiting from the protection of the large
Landes pine forest to the west, Pessac-Léognan has a mild, temperate
microclimate with regular rainfall. This microclimate is conducive to
producing exceptional wines.
order to obtain the maximum of this exceptionnal potential, the estate
own a very passionate team that walk around the vineyard each day to
listen the nature, and then to make the necessary work at the perfect
has ultra-modern facilities and has been able to adapt to the best
current techniques in order to advance its wines from year to year for
more than ten years. The maceration is preferment cold (8 ° C) and the
alcoholic fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks. Finally, the
final vatting is done hot (28 ° C) over a period of 10 to 15 days, and
is followed by a malo-lactic fermentation in barrels and stainless steel
The great know-how of these different stages makes possible to extract the best result from an exceptional base.
aging is traditional, and every year, a particular attention is gave to
the choice of the barrels, the percentage ofnew barrels, as well as the
aging period which must beperfectly adapted to the vintage.