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Château Hannetot

An iconoclast in Pessac-Leognan

Xavier Beaumartin took over the reins of Château Hannetot in 2006. He chose to give a new impetus to the 4-hectare estate, with one desire: to offer its letters of nobility to the estate where he grew up.

Paolo Basso et Xavier Beaumartin

In the Beaumartin family, having a chateau is not a choice, it is written in the DNA. After a career in the wood industry, Xavier, from the third generation, first participated in the revival of Chateau Laroque in Saint-Emilion and in parallel in 2006, he took over Hannetot, a small property in Pessac-Léognan. The 4-hectare estate inspires Xavier Beaumartin to get off the beaten tracks. He replanted the entire vineyard in 2008 with the 3 emblematic grape varieties on the 3 different terroirs, clay, gravel and limestone, each of which brings different nuances, and a vision: that of hoisting Hannetot to the rank of the treasures of the appellation. “When I arrived, Hannetot was a modest wine that was not marketed. I want to make Hannetot not an insider's wine but a fair wine, which expresses its terroir and its purity. This requires respect and understanding of its environment.”

The turn in quality comes with a strategy of life sciences. The property, recently certified High Environmental Value (HEV), totals 8 hectares but there is no question of abandoning hedges, forest, hedgerow, bees in favor of additional vines. Respecting the balance, working the soil, holding specific behaviors, adapting the grape varieties, bringing the grapes to maturity: this is the guideline.

Hannetot represent Xavier Beaumartin's roots, this is the place where he spent his childhood. His father has been the mayor of Léognan for 14 years: “I have affection for this place. I am not there to distort it but to ensure continuity and make a wine that tells a story with an emotional resonance. The interest of having only 4 hectares is to be able to maintain the vineyard like a garden and to play on the iconoclast side.”

Investments in the winery now allow to provide more precision to the wine with an automatic pumping over system for softer extractions, fermentations at low temperatures, a redesigned vat house including the purchase of large 20-hectoliter containers. “We make less woody wines, I do not try to make these over-oaky and opaque wines praised by Robert Parker, I wish less artifice, more natural elegance,” says Xavier Beaumartin who works in close collaboration with enologist Serge Charritte, disciple of Emile Peynaud.
27,000 bottles are produced on average every year. The rise in quality allows a more strategic commercial distribution. “Since 2016 we have been building relationships with the Bordeaux trade with some well-selected merchants for a more French distribution, rather in the restaurants. I believe in the virtue of the product. There was a first turning point in 2014”. And according to Paolo Basso, Best Sommelier of the World, who came to taste the wines at the property, a second turn in 2018, a vintage which he qualifies as
"remarkable" at Hannetot.

Bénédicte Chapard