D’Issan has a long history even by the standards of Bordeaux. In 1152, its wine was served at the marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England. At present, Chateau D’Issan richly aromatic and silky-textured clarets are amongst the best of the Margaux appellation.

Located just to the south of Chateau Margaux, D’Issan is regarded as one of the most picturesque chateaus in all of Bordeaux. The property has seen multiple owners throughout the centuries, being handed down by inheritance and marriage. From 1575 onwards, the Chateau was owned by five generations of the Essenault family, who gave their name to the estate, contracting Essenault to “Issan”. By 19th century the Chateau had firmly established its reputation producing wines of exceptional quality, perfect expressions of the superb terroir. This reputation was reaffirmed during the official Bordeaux Classification of 1855, when D’Issan was rated as a third growth.

During the period between the two World Wars, the estate was unfortunately left to deteriorate, but was reawakened by the Cruse family, owners since 1945. Under the management of Lionel Cruse, the Chateau has been restored, the installations modified, and the vineyard replanted. In 2012, Françoise and Jacky Lorenzetti, who also own Chateau Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Estèphe and Chateau Pedesclaux in Pauillac, joined forces with the Cruse family. With tenacity, passion and courage, the different generations have worked to achieve the renewal of Chateau d’Issan, which has regained its former glory.

Today the Chateau holds 67 hectares of vineyards, around 70% of which are under Cabernet Sauvignon, the rest being planted with Merlot. The soil is made up of mounds of gravel and 15-metre high alluvial hills, rounded by erosion. This ground drains well, forcing the vines to develop deep root systems in search of the special ingredients that make Château d’Issan wines so distinctive. Today’s vines are 35 years old on average and result mainly from the Cruse family’s restoration efforts after 1945.

The grapes are hand-harvested, he bunches are manually sorted, screened for the second time on a vibrating table and then gravity-fed into separate tanks to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the different plots. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks which have been installed in two recently renovated vathouses. Once made, the wines are transferred to barrels in the cellars, where again, temperatures are carefully controlled. Blending takes place between January and February under the supervision of Éric Boissenot, the consultant oenologist. The wines are aged in barrels made of French oak for 18 months. The grand vin is typically bottled without filtration.

Château d’Issan expresses the exquisite bouquet characteristic of Margaux, and stands out with its suppleness, subtlety, elegance and long keeping potential that come from its unique terroir. Annual production is around 100,000 bottles. Blason d’Issan, the second wine, is sourced from younger vines and is typically ready to drink earlier.