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Château Ferrière

Ferriere is the tiniest estate of all crus classes with only 16 hectares, mostly located close to the village of Margaux, planted with 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot and 5% cabernet franc, the latter replacing petit verdot in the blends these days. Total output is only about 4000 cases. Claire Villars-Lurton has been in charge of winemaking here since 1992 and has done much to restore a reputation that had drifted somewhat over the previous few decades. The soils are classic Médoc gravels with limestone marl. The grapes are all handpicked and the must is fermented in concrete and wooden vats, each proportional to the size of the parcel of fruit vinified in it.

The resulting wine is aged in barrique, 40% new, for 18 months. Before the Taillan group (controlled by Jacques Merlaut, Claire Villar-Lurton's grandfather) bought the property the wine was made at Château Lascombes and sold to a French restaurant chain. A second wine, Les Remparts de Ferrières is also made.

Château Ferrière takes its name from one Gabriel Ferrière, who in the middle of the 18th century rejoiced in the role of the King's hunting officer, who passed it on to his cousin Gabriel in 1777. This second Gabriel was imprisoned during the Reign of Terror that ignited during the French Revolution, only to be released on the fall of Robespierre. Having kept his head in more ways than one he rose phoenix-like to be elected mayor of Bordeaux in 1795. Since the wine has been made by Claire Villars-Lurton the recovery of this estate's reputation might not have been quite as remarkable as that of Monsieur Ferrière himself but it is nonetheless delightful to see.

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