Until 2003, Château des Laurets was an underachieving winery. Its wine – mostly sold in bulk to Bordeaux wine sellers – did not leverage the possibilities of this exceptional terroir atop the extension of the Saint- Émilion limestone plateaus. This was the situation when Benjamin de Rothschild bought the property. A firm believer in the potential of the site and its 95 hectares, he knew that Château des Laurets could produce great wines. The Baron was also won over by the estate’s visual treasures. From the magnificent 19th-century chateau with its unusual architecture and octagonal central tower to the old stables, sheep house, lake and slopes with full southern exposure that stretch out in a single band around the grounds, the Baron had plans to showcase it all.
Major work began as soon as the Compagnie Vinicole acquired the property. While conditions throughout much of the vineyard made it possible to operate without changes, significant investments were made in the wine storehouses to fit the estate with modern, high-performance equipment. The fermentation room was overhauled in 2004. Smaller wood and stainless steel tanks enable vinification by plot for a quality-driven approach that has transformed the estate’s wines. Yields were also reduced to improve the quality of the grapes harvested. Benjamin de Rothschild’s policy was clear: the goal was no longer to sell in bulk, but to give the vineyard the means to produce great wines bottled at the estate under the winery’s label. His gamble paid off: the output from Château des Laurets now ranks among the most promising young wines of Saint-Émilion.