Unusually, Château Grand-Puy Ducasse is located within the town of Pauillac; most other châteaux are situated within the vineyard areas surrounding it. The château is currently a construction site, part of an ambitious project known as “Renaissance”. Construction has faced considerable starts and stops – not least because of a family of house martins that forced workers to down tools for six months. Winemaker and director Anne Le Naour (pictured) hopes to be finished in time for the 2023 vintage.
The vineyard is broken up into different plots scattered throughout the appellation, making the estate “the most representative of the diversity of Pauillac’s soils”, Anne believes. There is a new label here since the 2020 vintage, part of a concerted effort to signify a new era, and perhaps to shake off old associations. Much of the production was once sold to French supermarkets. “The focus was on quantity, not quality,” Anne says.
To turn things around, she focused first on restoring and improving the vineyard. It took her almost a decade to convince the shareholders to make the necessary investment in the winery, but the work is now well underway. This is something of an untouched Pauillac property, still flying under the radar – for now.