Château Le Thil

France, Bordeaux

A very pretty little Château set in parkland, with 11 hectares of vines attached, on the top and south-facing slope of a clay-limestone hillock. The clay soil has prompted the planting of a high proportion of Merlot, and Florence Cathiard calls this 'the Pomerol of Pessac-Leognan'. The Cathiards of Smith Haut Lafitte bought the property in 2012, reuniting it with Smith, as it has previously been under the same ownership in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the two Châteaux were linked by a long drive. Viticulture is done in the same way as at Smith, using the Cathiards system of 'bio-precision'. This is a wine at a modest price which benefits from all the expertise of its great neighbour, and is excellent value.