This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Bordeaux Left Bank over £15 went to Château Brown, Pessac-Léognan 2011 (13%)

Tasted against:

  • Château Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien 2011


As with many Bordeaux châteaux, Château Brown’s roots lie in the UK. In this case its name belongs to a Scottish wine merchant, John Lewis Brown, who moved to Bordeaux in the 1700s.

The property has since passed through a variety of hands, until owner Bernard Barthe sold it to the négociant Yvon Mau (a company that has been involved in the Bordeaux wine trade since the end of the 19th century) and the Dutch Dirkzwager family in 2004.

Today Yvon Mau is under the stewardship of Jean-Christophe Mau, who trained and worked as an accountant before returning to the family trade. In 1998 he took over the management of Château Preuillac, a property his father had bought in the northern Médoc, then six years later he took over at Château Brown.

When vineyards are acquired by new owners, the tale is of them having to plough substantial sums into renovating the cellars and vineyards, although Mau admits that in the case of Château Brown, both were in such excellent condition that there was little he needed to alter. His only desire is to help the famous terroir realise its full potential: ‘Château Brown is not a cru classé,’ he explains. ‘But we aim to make wines of cru classé standard and our work in the vineyards and the cellar is managed accordingly.’

Written by Decanter