Château Petit Bocq

France, Bordeaux

The Lagneaux family have really gripped this little property, expanding it from 1.3 hectares when they took over in 1993, to nearly 20 today, mostly by buying up the plots of retiring co-operative vignerons. The force behind this was Dr Gaëtan Lagneaux, but he sadly died young (aged fifty) in 2012, and his father took up the reins, fine-tuning what his son had started. The winery is in Pez, but the vineyards, consisting of 50% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, are scattered all over the Saint Estèphe appellation with blocks adjacent to Montrose, Haut Marbuzet and Cos, but also a little further back from the estuary in Houissant, Carcasset, la Grave and Pomys. The vineyard is conducted under lutte raisonnee, minimising pesticides and herbicides with ploughing for weed control, and is certified by Terra Vitis for sustainable and environmentally friendly viticultural practices, as well as having HVE certification. Laurent Savovitch, who was previously maitre du chai (cellar master) at Montrose for over ten years, is now in charge of the winemaking, which is parcel by parcel in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Thi is followed but an eighteen-month élevage in barrels from twelve different coopers, with 40% new wood.