- Monday 13 July 2009
Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 88 36 28
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Margaux, 4ème cru classé, 70ha, gravelly & gravel-marl-clay
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Merlot Noir 38%, Petit Verdot 6%, Cabernet Franc 2%
Several of Cantenac's fine vineyards were in the Middle Ages cultivated by monks at the commune's Benedictine Priory. The forerunner of this property - variously named 'Le Prieuré' or 'Prieuré-Cantenac' - was one of them. After the Revolution, and the Church stripped of its assets, Le Prieuré was purchased by M Durand, then by a M Pagès (his widow witnessed its ranking in the 1855 classification). Then, the all too familiar scourges of disease, war, and economic downturn - and a string of owners unable to reverse the estate's fortunes. A 1951 bargain for famed wine writer Alexis-Lichine; he rapidly converted a sorry-looking 11 hectares to 58ha of prime vineyard - and renovated the chai and restored much of the château on the site of the old priory site. Son Sacha oversaw more expansion from the 1990s (the vines lie all over the region), but today Preiuré-Lichine is owned by international business group Ballande.