User login

Château Lascombes : La dream team de Dominique Befve

Winegrower Margaux In 2001, Sébastien Bazin, representing the private international real estate investment firm Colony Capital, became a major shareholder in Chateau Lascombes with the aim of restoring nobility to Château Lascombes Second Cru Classé. In choosing Dominique Befve and his long-term colleagues, Delphine Barboux and Michel Rolland, the owners knew how to put together the ideal team. They are now reaping the fruits of a challenge brilliantly met - a grand second cru worthy of the Margaux appellation.

Left to rignt : Michel Rolland, Delphine Barboux, Dominique Befve et Miguel Da Fonseca.

Dominique Befve, whose career started in the field of agronomics, was the obvious choice when selecting a managing director for Chateau Lascombes. His 10-years experience as technical director at the Chateaux Lafite Rothschild and Duhart-Milon followed by Château l’Evangile in Pomérol, combined with his exacting standards and passion made him the man for the job. In return, he was won over by the quality of the new owners’ project and the means at his disposal. Quickly rallying his former colleagues, his very first job was to renovate all the facilities.

Optimizing facilities

First things first, the quality of a wine depends primarily on the quality of the grapes. On the advice of renowned oenologist, Michel Rolland, Dominique Befve began by carrying out a pedological survey on each parcel. Twelve hectares of vineyard were redefined as clay-limestone and clay-gravel, more favourable to a Merlot. This was immediately followed by a restructuring of the vineyard in order to obtain the perfect match between soil, sub-soil, grape variety and rootstock across the vineyard.

Next came modernization of the cellar. Adorned with blue lights, it never fails to delight visitors and the Oxoline racks were a technological revolution. These racks rotate the barrels keeping the lees in suspension, thus reducing oxidation and giving a fatter, rounder wine.

The fermenting room, now over four levels, has a pre-fermentation cold maceration system. This system cools the grapes to around 5°C for a week, which increases tannins, colour, stability and gives greater aromatic complexity. The wine is gravity fed into barrels where malolactic fermentation takes places at a temperature of 21°C. 80-100% of the barrels - solely in French oak - are renewed each year.

Compass rose

Delphine Barboux, in charge of quality control, has established a series of charters to regulate the work of the 40-strong team. The results of an optimization of facilities and working methods were apparent from the very first vintages.....
The tasting room of the manor was recreated. The table, designed by Dominique Befve, is in glass and features a compass rose which has since become the emblem of the Chateau. “The compass rose symbolizes the Chateau’s wine exports to all four corners of the world,” says Dominique Befve. For, of the 280 000 bottles of Château Lascombes and the 70 000 bottles of Chevalier de Lascombes produced annually, 70 to 80% are destined for export. And for a new wine, a new label, more sober and more modern.
The 400 years-old manor has been refurbished and improved by ten generations of owners, often influential people in history. The earliest known owner is the knight Antoine de Lascombes, born in 1625. The manor is available for meetings, seminars and stays and ‘tasting’ menus are available on request.

Hélène Geisler

Some figures

Area: 84 ha

Average age of the vine: 35 years

Rootstock: 101-14, Riparia and 3309C

Pruning : double guyot

Soil and sub-soil : clay-limestone and clay-gravel

Grape Variety: Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (45%)
and Petit Verdot (5%)

Second grand cru in the Bordeaux wine
official classification of 1855

Château Lascombes

A wine that keeps well, concentrated, intense,
tannic with the elegance and finesse of a great Margaux.

Chevalier de Lascombes

The Chateau’s second wine, fruitier, more supple. Best drunk 5 to 10 years after bottling.

Château Lascombes
1, cours de Verdun
33460 Margaux
Tél. 05 57 88 70 66
Fax. 05 57 88 72 17