Château Branaire is a winery in the Saint-Julien appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Branaire is the name of the main red wine produced by this property and, classified as one of the ten'Fourth Growths' in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Although the actual château is located on the southern border of the appellation, across from Château Beychevelle, the vineyards of the estate are spread throughout Saint-Julien. In total, the vineyards cover 50 hectares; the majority of plantings are devoted to Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The vines are harvested by hand. Château Branaire produces two wines: The grand vin Château Branaire averages about 15,000 cases per year. Branaire uses a novel gravity-flow style winery to minimize damage to the grapes as they are processed; the wines go through primary fermentation for about three weeks in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats. About 1/3 of the production undergoes malolactic fermentation in new oak barrels.
Once fermentation is complete the wines are transferred into oak barrels for 18–24 months of aging. The estate produces about 7,000 cases of its second wine, Duluc de Branaire-Ducru. French wine Bordeaux wine Château Website
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Château Cos d'Estournel
Château Cos d'Estournel is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. It is the name of the red wine produced by this property; the wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Château Cos d'Estournel produces the eponymous grand vin, the second wine since the 1994 vintage, Les Pagodes de Cos from the estate's younger vines, as well as Château Marbuzet from fruit of nearby plots; the property is adjacent to Château Lafite-Rothschild in the neighboring commune of Pauillac. The name Cos refers to a "hill of pebbles" in Gascon dialect and the name Cos d'Estournel was given in 1810 by Louis-Gaspard d'Estournel; the estate has changed hands several times during its history, starting in 1852 when it was purchased by the English banker Charles Cecil Martyns. In 1869, it was sold to the Spanish Errazu family only to be sold again 20 years in 1889 to the Bordeaux-based Hostein family. Through his marriage to Marie-Thérèse Hostein, Louis-Victor Charmolue, who owned Château Montrose, gained control of Cos d'Estournel in 1894.
In Finally in 1917, it was sold to Fernand Ginestet. The château has remained in the Ginestet family since becoming in 1970 part of Domaines Prats, the combined holdings of the Ginestet and Prats families, controlled by Bruno Prats. In June 2008 it was announced that Michel Reybier, current owner of Cos d'Estournel, purchased Napa winery Chateau Montelena for an undisclosed sum. By November 2008, this agreement was cancelled, the termination of the transaction by Chateau Montelena stated to be due to that Reybier Investments had been "unable to meet its obligations". From a 100 hectare estate, the vineyard area extends 70 hectares, divided into 30 parcels composed of the grape varieties of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, with minor cultivation of Cabernet Franc and Petit verdot that appears to participate little in the modern production; the annual production is 32,000 cases. Cos wines tend to have a higher blend of Merlot than other classified Left Bank wines. Château Cos d'Estournel official site
Wine fraud relates to the commercial aspects of wine. The most prevalent type of fraud is one where wines are adulterated with the addition of cheaper products and sometimes with harmful chemicals and sweeteners. Counterfeiting and the relabelling of inferior and cheaper wines to more expensive brands is another common type of wine fraud. A third category of wine fraud relates to the investment wine industry. An example of this is when wines are offered to investors at excessively high prices by a company who go into planned liquidation. In some cases the wine is never bought for the investor. Losses in the UK have been high, Police to act. In the US, investors have been duped by fraudulent investment wine firms. Independent guidelines to potential wine investors are now available. In wine production, as wine is technically defined as fermented grape juice, the term "wine fraud" can be used to describe the adulteration of wine by substances that are not related to grapes. In the retailing of wine, as wine is comparable with any other commodity, the term "wine fraud" can be used to describe the mis-selling of wine in general.
Fraud in wine production refers to the use of additives. This may include colouring agents such as elderberry juice, flavourings such as cinnamon at best, or less desirable additives at worst; some varieties of wine have sought after characteristics. For example some wines have a deep, dark color and flavor notes of spices due to the presence of various phenolic compounds found in the skin of the grapes. Fraudsters will use additives to artificially create these characteristics. Fraud in the selling of wine, has seen much attention focused on label fraud and the investment wine market. Counterfeit labelling of rare and cult wines, unregulated investment wine firms characterise this type of fraud. Wine Spectator noted as much as 5% of the wine sold in secondary markets could be counterfeit and the DTI believes losses by investors to rogue wine investment firms amount to hundreds of millions of pounds. For as long as wine has been made, it has been manipulated and counterfeited. In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder complained about the abundance of fraudulent Roman wine, so great that the nobility could not be assured that the wine they were pouring on their table was genuine.
For the poor and middle class of Rome, local bar establishments seemed to have an unlimited supply of the prestigious Falernian wine for unusually low prices. During the Middle Ages, wines from questionable origins were passed off as wines from more prestigious regions. In London, local authorities established laws for tavern owners prohibiting French and German wines from being cellared together so as to prevent the potential for mixing the wines or falsely representing them to the consumer. If a producer or merchant was found selling fraudulent or "corrupt wine", they were forced to drink all of it. In medieval Germany, the penalty for selling fraudulent wine ranged from branding to beating to death by hanging. During the Age of Enlightenment, advancements in science ushered in a new occupation of "wine doctors" who could fashion examples of wines from obscure items and chemicals. Writers like Joseph Addison wrote of this "fraternity of chymical operators" who would use apples to make Champagne and sloe to make Bordeaux and sell these wines fraudulently on the market.
Following the Phylloxera epidemic, when true wine was scarce, wine fraud rose. Some merchants would take dried raisins grown from other species of grapevines and make wine that they passed off as being from a more prestigious provenance such as the more well known wines from France or Italy. In the early 19th century, several European writers wrote about the risk and prevalence of wine fraud. In 1820, German chemist Friedrich Accum noted that wine was one of the commodities most at risk for being fraudulently manipulated and misrepresented. In 1833, the British wine writer Cyrus Redding echoed the alarm over the unchecked operations of these "wine doctors"; the concern over wine fraud grew enough that provisions against the adulteration and misrepresentation of wine was included in British Parliament's Adulteration of Food and Drink Act 1860. Several European governments enacted legislation defining what constitutes "wine" so as to distinguish authentic winemaking from the workings of these wine counterfeiters.
The French government first defined wine as the product of fermented grape juice in 1889, followed by the German government in 1892 and the Italian government in 1904. Fraud of a different nature occurred during prohibition in the United States, when wine production was illegal, as grape merchants would sell "bricks" of grape concentrate across the United States along with a packet of dried yeast; the bricks would come with a "warning label" cautioning people not to mix the contents of the brick, yeast and sugar in a pot and seal such pot for seven days, or else "an illegal alcoholic beverage will result". The practice of adding grape spirits to wine was once considered manipulative and fraudulent but today is accepted practice for the production of all fortified wines, like Port. Over the years, winemaking techniques have evolved; the first, primitive "natural wine" or "authentic wine" was most the result of crushed grapes being forgotten while stored in a container. The process of allowing wild yeast found on the surface of the grape conduct fermentation in an uncontrolled environment creates a crude style of wine that may not be palatable to many people
Château Lascombes is a winery in the Margaux appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Seconds Crus in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. In the 1950s, the estate was purchased by French wine writer Alexis Lichine who continued to own part of the estate till 1971 when Bass Charrington took over principal ownership. In 2001 it was purchased by Yves Vatelot and US-based Colony Capital, who in 2011 sold it to the French insurance group MACSF. In addition to its premier cuvee, a second wine is produced, under the name Chevalier de Lascombes. Additional brands are Château Segonnes, Rosé de Lascombes, Vin Sec Chevalier de Lascombes and Gombaud. In the 17th century the estate belonged to Antoine, chevalier de Lascombes, has kept his name; some locals suggest the estate, situated on the highest knoll of Margaux, takes its name from "la côte" via "lascote" to "lascombes". Antoine de Lascombes inherited or had possession of the estate from the Durfort de Duras family, with whose properties in the Bordeaux it remained at first integrated.
Jean-François de Lascombes was a councillor at the parlement of Bordeaux, king's procureur at the Admiralty and a member of the Académie de Bordeaux. The vineyard remained the property of the Lascombes family for three generations until after the French Revolution; until 1860 the estate bore the name Domaine de Lascombes. Through sales and inheritance the estate passed through a succession of owners, until it was formed into a company in 1926, with the Ginestet family owners of Château Margaux, as major shareholders. During the stages of World War II the country house served as a headquarters for the Allied forces. Château Lascombes was purchased by Alexis Lichine and a syndicate of American investors that included David Rockefeller, in 1952. Shortly before, Lichine purchased another Margaux estate, Château Prieuré-Lichine. Lichine improved the vineyards through his commitment. In 1971 the backing company was taken over by the British brewing company Bass Charrington, bringing the Lichine era to an end.
Following the acquisition by the Bass Group, winemaker René Vanatelle was recruited as the winemaker. Vanatelle carried out extensive evaluation of the terroir, now extended to 84 hectares of Lascombes' vineyards and found that only 50 hectares produced wines of Deuxièmes Crus quality. In the 1980s, he began isolating these different segments of the vineyard and used the lesser quality terroir to produce a second wine known as Château Segonnes. In 1997, prior to his retirement, Vanatelle introduced a second wine of higher quality, Chevalier de Lascombes, matured in oak barrels for 14–20 months. Château Segonnes is still being now as a third wine. Following Vanatelle's retirement, Bruno Lemoine of Château Montrose, was named new winemaker. In 2001, the estate was purchased for $67 million by US-based Colony Capital with the entrepreneur Yves Vatelot; the new owners invested in modernizing Lascombes, considered an underperformer in relation to its classification. While Lascombes has been awarded high notes for its wines by many wine critics and managed to increase the price of its Grand vin since the investment, the US owners made the château available for sale in late 2007.
In 2011, Lascombes was sold to the French insurance group MACSF for 200 million euro, of which 50 million euro was its stock of wine. Lascombes employs Michel Rolland as consultant of oenology; the vineyard area comprises 84 hectares with a grape variety distribution of 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. The château annually produces 250,000 bottles of the Grand vin and 70,000 bottles of the second wine Chevalier de Lascombes. In 2008, it was reported that Lascombes had rented vineyards that belong to Château Martinens, a former Cru Bourgeois, which had 28 hectares of vineyards within AOC Margaux plus 25 hectares of Haut-Médoc AOC. Classified growths are allowed to expand their vineyard holdings without losing their classification, but only with vineyards of the same appellation as their own, which makes it uncertain to which purpose the Haut-Médoc vineyards would be put. For most vintages, the composition of the Grand vin is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot.
The second wine, Chevalier de Lascombes, will have a higher composition of Merlot. Château Lascombes is rich and full bodied with a concentration of ripe fruit and underlying aromas of cedar. Like many Margaux wines, the tannins can be supple; the wines are ready for drinking after eight years and can last up to thirty. Château Lascombes official site
Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines that were to be on display for visitors from around the world. Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price, which at that time was directly related to quality; the wines were ranked in importance from first to fifth growths. All of the red wines that made it on the list came from the Médoc region except for one: Château Haut-Brion from Graves; the white wines of much less importance than red wine, were limited to the sweet varieties of Sauternes and Barsac and were ranked only from superior first growth to second growth. Within each category, the various châteaux are ranked in order of quality and only twice since the 1855 classification has there been a change: first when in 1856 Cantemerle was added as a fifth growth and, more in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated from a second growth to a first growth vineyard after decades of intense lobbying by the powerful Philippe de Rothschild.
A third, but less known "change", is the removal of Château Dubignon, a third growth from Margaux, absorbed into the estate Château Malescot St. Exupéry. A superficial change is that since 1855, when only five of the estates were styled with the word "château" in their name, most Bordeaux wine estates now use this nomenclature; as a classification of châteaux, the actual vineyards owned by some wineries have expanded and been divided without any reclassification, considerable plots of valued terroir have changed ownership. Indeed, it is a peculiarity of Bordeaux that as long as a vineyard parcel lies within the boundaries of the wine commune, it is eligible to be used by any chateau, independent of the quality of the parcel itself. Many wine critics have argued that the 1855 Classification became outdated and does not provide an accurate guide to the quality of the wines being made on each estate. Several proposals have been made for changes to the classification, a bid for a revision was unsuccessfully attempted in 1960.
Alexis Lichine, a member of the 1960 revision panel, launched a campaign to implement changes that lasted over thirty years, in the process publishing several editions of his own unofficial classification and the Alexis Lichine's Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France, in which he devoted a chapter to the subject. In support of his argument, Lichine cited the case of Chateau Lynch-Bages, the Pauillac Fifth Growth that, through good management and by patiently collecting the best parcels as they come on the market, makes wine that in his view are worthy of a much higher classification. Conversely, poor management can result in a significant decline in quality, as the example of Chateau Margaux shows—the wines it made in the 1960s and 1970s are regarded as far below what's expected of a First Growth. Other critics have followed a similar suit, including Robert Parker who published a top 100 Bordeaux estates in 1985 and L'histoire de la vigne & du vin by Bernard and Henri Enjalbert in 1989, as well as efforts made by Clive Coates and David Peppercorn.
Nothing has come of them. In March 2009, the British wine exchange Liv-ex released The Liv-ex Bordeaux Classification, a modern re-calculation of the 1855 classification, with an aim to apply the original method to the contemporary economical context. Many of the leading estates from the Médoc appellation that were not included in the 1855 classification are classified as Cru Bourgeois, a classification system, updated on a regular basis since 1932, banned in 2007, but reinstated in 2010. In French Les Grands Crus classés en 1855; the estates are listed with their commune, their AOC in parenthesis, if different from the commune. The 19th-century names appear as listed by the brokers on April 18, 1855, followed by the modern names, as the use of "second cru" for red wines and "deuxième cru" for white wines. Château Lafite, now Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac Château Latour, Pauillac Château Margaux, Margaux Haut-Brion, now Château Haut-Brion, Graves Mouton, now Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac Rauzan-Ségla, now Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux Rauzan-Gassies, now Château Rauzan-Gassies, Margaux Léoville, now Château Léoville-Las Cases, St.-Julien Château Léoville-Poyferré, St.-Julien Château Léoville-Barton, St.-Julien Vivens Durfort, now Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux Gruaud-Laroze, now Château Gruaud-Larose, St.-Julien Lascombes, now Château Lascombes, Margaux Brane, now Château Brane-Cantenac, Cantenac-Margaux Pichon Longueville, now Château Pichon Longueville Baron, Pauillac Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac Ducru Beau Caillou, now Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, St.-Julien Cos Destournel, now Château Cos d'Estournel, St.-Estèphe Montrose, now Château Montrose, St.-Estèphe Kirwan, now Château Kirwan, Cantenac-Margaux Château d'Issan, Cantenac-Margaux Lagrange, Château Lagrange, St.-Julien Langoa, now Château Langoa-Barton, St.-Julien Giscours, now Château Giscours, Labarde-Margaux St.-Exupéry, now Château Malescot St. Exupéry, Margaux Boyd, now Château Cantenac-Brown, Cantenac-Margaux Château Boyd-Cantenac, Margaux Palmer, now Château Palmer, Cantenac-Margaux Lalagune, no
Clarification and stabilization of wine
In winemaking and stabilization are the processes by which insoluble matter suspended in the wine is removed before bottling. This matter may include dead yeast cells, tartrates, pectins, various tannins and other phenolic compounds, as well as pieces of grape skin, pulp and gums. Clarification and stabilization may involve fining, centrifugation, refrigeration, and/or barrel maturation and racking. In wine tasting, a wine is considered "clear" when there are no visible particles suspended in the liquid and in the case of white wines, when there is some degree of transparency. A wine with too much suspended matter will appear cloudy and dull if its aroma and flavor are unaffected. Before fermentation, pectin-splitting enzymes and, for white wine, fining agents such as bentonite may be added to the must in order to promote the eventual agglomeration and settling of colloids. Pectins are structural molecules in the cell walls of fruits which have the important function of'gumming' plant cells together.
The pectin content of grapes increases throughout ripening, reaching levels of about 1 g/l, although it varies by varietal and pre-fermentation handling processes. Large pectin molecules can affect the amount of juice yielded at pressing, ease of filtration and clarification, extraction of tannins. Grapes contain natural pectolytic enzymes responsible for softening the grape berries during ripening, but these are not active under wine-making conditions Therefore, fungal pectolytic enzymes are added to white must to break up pectins, decrease the viscosity of the juice, speed up settling. In red musts, this increases tannin extraction. After fermentation, the force of gravity may cause the wine to "fall bright" or clarify as the larger suspended particles settle to the bottom of the storage vessel; the wine can be siphoned or "racked" off the compact solids into a new container. But this process may take many months, or years, as well as several rackings, in order to produce a clear wine. Producers can accelerate the process by using filtration and/or flotation.
In winemaking, fining is the process where a substance is added to the wine to create an adsorbent, enzymatic or ionic bond with the suspended particles, producing larger molecules and larger particles that will precipitate out of the wine more and rapidly. Unlike filtration, which can only remove particulates, fining can remove soluble substances such as polymerized tannins, coloring phenols and proteins; the reduction of tannin can reduce astringency in red wines intended for early drinking. Many substances have been used as fining agents, including dried blood powder, but today there are two general types of fining agents — organic compounds and solid/mineral materials. Organic compounds used as fining agents are animal based, a possible cause of concern to vegans; the most common organic compounds used include egg whites, casein derived from milk and isinglass obtained from the bladders of fish. Pulverized minerals and solid materials can be used, with bentonite clay being one of the most common, thanks to its effectiveness in absorbing proteins and some bacteria.
Activated carbon from charcoal is used to remove some phenols that contribute to browning as well as some particles that produce "off-odors" in the wine. In a process known as blue fining, potassium ferrocyanide is sometimes used to remove any copper and iron particles that have entered the wine from bentonite, metal winery and vineyard equipment, or vineyard sprays such as Bordeaux mixture; because potassium ferrocyanide may form hydrogen cyanide its use is regulated and, in many wine producing countries, illegal. Silica and kaolin are sometimes used; some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, have wine labeling laws that require the use of fining agents that may be an allergenic substance to appear on the wine label. A study conducted by the University of California, Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, found that no detectable amount of inorganic fining agents, only trace quantities of proteinaceous agents, are left in the wine. There is the risk of valuable aromatic molecules being precipitated out along with the less desirable matter.
Some producers of premium wine avoid fining, or delay it in order to leach more flavor and aroma from the phenols before they are removed. While fining clarifies wine by binding to suspended particles and precipitating out as larger particles, filtration works by passing the wine through a filter medium that captures particles larger than the medium's holes. Complete filtration may require a series of filtering through progressively finer filters. Many white wines require the removal of all active yeast and/or lactic acid bacteria if they are to remain reliably stable in bottle, this is now achieved by fine filtration. Most filtration in a winery can be classified as either the coarser depth filtration or the finer surface filtration. In depth filtration done after fermentation, the wine is pushed through a thick layer of pads made from cellulose fibers, diatomaceous earth, or perlite. In surface filtration, the wine passes through a thin membrane. Running the wine parallel to the filter surface, known as cross-flow filtration, will minimize the filter clogging.
The finest surface filtration, can sterilize the wine by trapping all yeast and, optionally