Telephone: +33 (0)5 56 58 02 37
Visits: By appointment only
Details: Pauillac, 5ème cru classé, 28ha, gravel on limestone
Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon 80%, Merlot Noir 17%, Petit Verdot 3%
Haut-Bages-Libéral lies on Pauillac’s deep gravel ‘Bages’ plateau between Pauillac village and Saint-Julien-Beychevelle – close to First Growth Château Latour, near the plateau’s highest point (hence the prefix ‘Haut’). The Libéral comes from the name of the wine-broking family who built up the estate during the 18th century to ensure successful ranking in 1855. The following century brought nothing but decline, and the property the Cruse family acquired in 1960 was depleted by vineyard diseases, war, and economic depression. The Cruses (after selling a small parcel to Château Pontet-Canet), set out to invest heavily and brought new life to Haut-Bages-Libéral. Rejuvenation continues today under the tenure of the Taillan Group – here, by Claire Villars, wife of Gonzague Lurton (of another Bordeaux wine dynasty), and granddaughter of Taillan director Jacques Merlaut.