"One of my top five most improved estates on the Right Bank in 2011."
James Lawther, Decanter (May 2012)
The winery’s philosophy is that great wine is made in the vineyard, and understands that the team working in the vines plays just as critical a role as that of the winemaker. Clos Cantenac’s vineyard team tends to the vines on a block-by-block basis, according to age, condition and seasonal requirements of the estate’s gently sloping, south-facing vineyards. They have re-introduced grass seeding within the rows and manage the estate using only sustainable products and techniques. Careful canopy management, de-budding, crop thinning and de-leafing protect and enhance fruit quality. Rather than working to a set timetable, the vineyard team observes and reacts to the ever-changing climate, the development of the vines and the maturity of the fruit, often visiting individual blocks several times before harvesting.
When Martin Krajewski & Marcus Le Grice purchased the Clos Cantenac property, it was just an old shed and a forgotten brand; the wine had been last bottled in 1982. While it had been in the same family for more than 100 years, the property had been split up by inheritance over many generations. In 2008 the new owners built a new, modern cellar, adding new equipment to the fruit receival hall in 2010. In 2010 they also updated the winery’s cooling and heating systems. 2013 saw the completion of a brand new barrel hall, as well as a laboratory, office and tasting room. Today, the wines are made in a vibrantly textured and approachable style. After the grapes are hand harvested, they immediately undergo a cold maceration for five to seven days to develop fruit aromas prior to fermentation. After fermentation is complete, the wines undergo a ten day maceration period to refine the tannins, followed by malolactic fermentation before transferring to French oak barrels for 18 months of aging before bottling. In 2014, the winery will complete the rebuilding of a stone wall around the cellar, barrel hall and vineyards that sit immediately by the cellar, creating a proper ‘clos’ once again.