This worthy premier grand cru estate has one of Saint-Emilion's most celebrated terroirs. It is situated on top of the famous limestone plateau right next to Saint-Emilion itself - its single 18.5-hectare block of vines acting almost as a path into the village - and the property's stunning cellars are carved into the limestone beneath.
Nevertheless, while it was owned by Bordeaux négociants during much of the last century, it did not really live up to its potential. In 2001 Clos Fourtet was bought by a businessman, Philippe Cuvelier, who provided much-needed investment and direction, replanting an important part of the vineyard the following year. The two hectare vineyard of Château Les Grandes Murailles, with its iconic Benedictine abbey ruins from which the property took its name and which abutted the Clos Fourtet vineyard, was purchased in 2013 and has subsequently been incorporated into Clos Fourtet. The Cuvelier family also now owns Château Poujeaux in the Médoc, and both properties are now managed by Philippe's son Matthieu.
As the vines grow older, this has become very much a wine to watch, with full, spicy flavour and considerable complexity. The vineyard is planted 85% merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon and 5% cabernet franc, the wine ages for 16 to 18 months with around 65% new oak, and can age comfortably for between eight and 20 years.