The history of La Tour Carnet is inextricably linked with that of France. The name of the property, for instance, comes from the name of the estate’s horseman who unfailingly aided his master to fight off French royalty at the end of the One Hundred Years War. Then, after having played a major role in the revolution of the Médoc vineyard, La Tour Carnet was duly recognised for the quality of its wine, when the estate was ranked in the 1855 classification of Grands Crus. The diversity of its terroir on the one hand, and the constant search for perfection on the other, have made this Haut-Médoc an outstanding growth.
A little bit of history
On the road to Saint-Julien Beychevelle, within crossbow arrow range of the church, the quadrangular tower of Château La Tour Carnet stands imposingly opposite its grand iron gate.
Over the years, the stone walls surrounding this real feudal château have witnessed a great number of events and stories.
From the 12th century to the present day, from the One Hundred Years’ War to the great phylloxera epidemic, La Tour Carnet has survived with dignity the turmoil brought by man and time. Since the 16th century, great care and attention have been lavished on the vines and the wines.
These efforts were rewarded in 1855, during the Paris Universal Exhibition, when Château La Tour Carnet entered into the very select circle of the Grands Crus Classés.
With characteristic passion and rigour, Bernard Magrez has sought to take his Grand Cru Classé Haut-Médoc to even loftier heights.
To appreciate what gives the wines of La Tour Carnet their richness and unique character, an understanding is required of the exceptional nature of its terroir and the excellence of its vine-growing and winemaking methods.
The terroir of Château La Tour Carnet is a veritable patchwork of terrains comprising great diversity.
Using a drone (one of the latest techniques acquired by Bernard Magrez) to analyse the vineyard plots from the air, has led to an enhanced understanding of which grape varieties are most suited to each plot. The terroir of La Butte, for example, is more conducive to Merlot, while the slopes are better-suited to Cabernet.
However, achieving the highest quality grapes is of little use without meticulous winemaking to exploit their potential.
This is why, for several years now, Château La Tour Carnet has returned to traditional methods based largely on work done by hand.
The 75 grape variety collection
According to current climate change forecasts, temperatures should increase over the next years by 2°C to 4°C. By 2050, the Bordeaux wine-growing region could be facing extreme climatic conditions that would have repercussions on grape ripening (lower acidity and an increase in sugar levels and alcoholic degrees). The question facing us is whether the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc will still be the best-suited grape varieties for the production of Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé wines. To address this issue, Mr Bernard Magrez created in 2013 a private collection of 75 different grape varieties. The purpose of this collection is to identify the “grape varieties of tomorrow” which would cope well with the future hazards of climate change.