Château La Grave à Pomerol dates back to the 19th century, when it was owned by the Trigant de Boisset family – hence its name, until 1992, being La Grave Trigant de Boisset.
This rather lovely property, on the western side of the Pomerol plateau, is owned by Christian Moueix personally and is home to Laurent Navarre, managing director of Ets. J-P Moueix so it gets more than its fair share of scrutiny. The vineyard, some 9.5 hectares, is planted on almost exclusively gravel soils, with some clay, with vines of an average age of 20 years.
The terroir makes for wines with an elegance and lightness of touch – less of the more obvious power and structure seen in other wines from the plateau. Gravel makes for ease of access in the wines here. The vineyard is planted with a seductive mix of 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc – so far so easy but this is far from plump ebullience. Through very rigorous crop thinning and selection, the Moueix team introduce some classicism and rigor into what ultimately are rather hedonistic wines, with charm and finesse.
Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix, or JP Moueix, is a Bordeaux négociant house founded by Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1937, situated on the Quai du Priourat in Libourne, in the Bordeaux wine region of France. While dealing in wholesale distribution of numerous Right Bank wines, the company also acts as a bulk grape merchant, operates exclusive distribution for select châteaux, and manages its own portfolio of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion estates. The company has 120 employees.
Since Jean-Pierre Moueix began investing in properties of the region in the early 1950s, the company grew to become highly influential in the French wine market, and was instrumental in the rise of the reputation of the Pomerol region. The early purchase of the Saint-Émilion estate Château Magdelainein 1952 and the acquisitions of Pomerol La Fleur-Pétrus in 1950 and châteaux Trotanoy, Lagrangein 1953, while the gradual acquisition of Pétruswas begun in 1961, followed by the assuming the farming of Château Latourà Pomerol in 1962. In 1930 his father, Jean Moueix, had already bought the Saint-Émilion property, Château Fonroque. Later additions to the Moueix portfolio include the Napa valley property Dominus Estate, the Pomerol châteaux Hosannaand Providence, and complete ownership of the Saint-Émilion estate Château Belairthen renamed Chateau Bélair-Monange.
Jean-Pierre Moueix retired in 1978 and died in 2003. In 1991 his son Christian Moueix became president of JP Moueix, while the grandson Edouard Moueix in the company since 2003 is today Deputy General Manager .
We had the pleasure to meet Christian Moueix in an extraordinary vertical tasting of La Fleur-Pétrus organized by WSET Greece. One word is engraved in my mind after that session: “Balance”.
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