A Classic Revived
In 1997 Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande acquired Château Bernadotte in the commune of Saint Sauveur, which borders the Pauillac appellation, close to a number of classified growths and only a few kilometres away from Pichon itself.
This property particularly interested Madame de Lencquesaing, the former owner of Pichon, primarily because her family have always enjoyed managing Bourgeois growths with great enthusiasm. She was also attracted by the quality of the soil made up of a very fine plateau of gravel on clay, by its close position to Pauillac and by its proximity to prestigious classified growths. Finally this enabled her to offer a more extensive selection of wines with a wider price range, but always with reference to and under the signature of Pichon. In 2006 Pichon and Bernadotte were both acquired by Champagne Louis Roederer.
The name Bernadotte was given to this growth in honour of Marshal Bernadotte, appointed Sovereign Prince of Sweden by Napoleon I and plebiscited in 1818 by the Swedish people to succeed their King Charles XIII, who died without an heir.
The château is a stunning residence in the style of the Restoration built in 1860 and renovated in 1989 by the previous owner, Curt Eklund, a Swedish industrialist.
In 1998 May-Eliane de Lencquesaing and her team made important investments not only in the château, vat room and cellars but also in the vineyard (a study was made of the soil, vine-stock was replaced and parcels replanted). New buildings for storage have been built and the property today is fully equipped with all the facilities necessary for the production of a great wine.
At the time of purchase the vineyard was parceled out and in a bad state. It has now been consolidated to group the parcels together on the best soils of the commune. Following this an accurate study of the soils and sub-soils of the various parcels has led to the replacing of vine-plants and the progressive replanting of several parcels.
The soils in the main are gravelly/sandy and naturally well drained with an important degree of clay in depth, permitting resistance to drought and moderate water stress during the maturation period of the grapes. The vineyard covers 35 hectares planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
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