Château Lagrézette is the oldest winemaking property in Cahors, an appellation 100 miles east of Bordeaux celebrated for its Malbec wines. Cahors is the birthplace of Malbec, also known as côt (“coat”) and was one of the first regions in France to produce wine. Château Lagrézette’s first written records of harvest date back to 1503, the oldest recorded harvest in the appellation.
Today, this estate covers 90 acres of vines including: 85% Malbec; 13% Merlot; and, 2% Tannat.
In the 1970s, the abandoned vineyard was purchased by visionary Alain Perrin, former CEO of Cartier International, who fully restored the 16th-century estate. As a labor of love, Perrin has spent decades rehabilitating the winery.
Monsieur Perrin, alongside world-renowned oenologist Michel Rolland, and their team, spent tireless hours tearing out the old vines and replacing them with Malbec.
Together, this dream team has spent more than 40 years elevating Château Lagrézette and its wine to the most elegant, sophisticated expression of Malbec in France. They have studied and cultivated each parcel separately, building a modern gravity-flow winery, and have worked tirelessly to produce world-class wines.
Over the years, the estate has expanded its production to three locations - 60 acres around the castle in Caillac (gravels and clay soils), 20 acres at Landiech, where there are five plots with different soils, but all with a Kimmerdidgian limestone base, and 10 acres at Rocamadour, with limestone soils.
In 2007, esteemed winemaker Cedric Blanc joined Château Lagrézette. Since then, the winery has produced some of the most highly rated Malbec wines in France. Vintages of the estate’s highest expression, Le Pigeonnier, produced from the single best parcel of the estate, located near the Château itself, have earned 94-plus points from Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, and Wine Enthusiast. Jeb Dunnuck rated the 2016 vintage 97 points.
Malbec grapes require immense attention and the rows and branches of the vines must be well ventilated to protect the grapes from a humid climate. The grapes require a delicate hand harvest, sometime late in the harvest season - Château Lagrézette is one of few to practice this. The clay-limestone and siliceous terroir give the wines their assertive quality and authenticity.
As Monsieur Perrin, also a renowned art collector known as one of the first patrons of contemporary art in France, says, “Wine is an arte de vivre, it’s an elegance, it’s about taste.” –Alain Perrin