Situated on the limestone plateau above the town, this is one of the most beautifully placed vineyards of the Saint-Emilion first growths, and has been part of the Moueix family's stable since 1952. In 2011 it became absorbed into Bélair-Monange, its neighbouring property, and another of the Moueix family estates.
Jean-Pierre Moueix came to Bordeaux with his family in 1929 and settled in Libourne, a town just west of Saint-Emilion and just south of Pomerol, where he founded his négociant business in 1937. Throughout the 1950s he bought several well-known properties nearby. As well as Magdelaine, the family properties now include Bélair-Monange in Saint-Emilion, and Pétrus, La Fleur-Pétrus, Lagrange, Trotanoy and Hosanna in Pomerol.
Jean-Pierre's son, Christian - who is also responsible for the exquisite Bordeaux-blend reds at Dominus Estate in California's Napa Valley - became president of the company in 1991, and since 2003 Christian has run the family properties with his own son, Edouard.
Being u-shaped, the 11-hectare vineyard benefits from plenty of sunshine, and the vines (which have an average age of 30 years) are meticulously managed. Magdelaine stood out from its neighbours by containing 90% merlot (the remaining 10% was cabernet franc), the highest of Saint-Emilion's first growths, and yet it always managed to be elegant and intense. The wine generally spent 18 months in oak.
Magdelaine always needs at least a decade to show its quality - with the potential to age for up to 25 years - which explains why it has often wrongly been underrated by wine critics who taste it only en primeur.
The Moueix family also bulk-buys grapes from various producers which they age themselves and bottle under their own name, as well as being the source of The Society's Saint-Emilion and our Exhibition Pomerol.