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No Chateau Tears


As I started on the bottle As Mentioned In Weekend Drinking Thread last night, suddenly a dark cloud descended: I had remembered something of great significance & thought I’d share it with my loving friends & family. ‘It’s all good but we mustn’t forget that Hortevie is not allowed to put the word ‘Chateau’ on their bottles’ said I.

‘Hmmm why so?’ - asked the loving friends & family rather indifferently.

‘You see, there is no building associated with that vineyard …’ - I proceeded, - so they can’t call it Chateau Hortevie, so they just say Hortevie instead’

‘And?’ - the loving friends & family were clearly failing to see the significance of this.

‘How can you not feel for them?’ - exclaimed I in disbelief, ‘Every One Has a Chateau & They Don’t!’ I nearly had tears in my eyes as I painted in my mind the bleak picture of the orphaned vineyard that is not allowed to say ‘Chateau’.

‘Fiddlesticks’ - said the loving friends & family ‘& you are beginning to show signs of triviality countinuously coming up with nonsense like this’

Perhaps so. But I still feel so sorry for Hortevie. I will just have to order some more, to help me to heal the emotional scars that this story has left on me. Perhaps another 48 bottles would be enough in the short term.


I don’t think that’s the reason.

‘Chateau’ was dropped from the name when Hortevie was bought by the owner of Ducru-Beaucaillou where Hortevie is now made, or in the words of TWS

the small 3.5-hectare vineyard was bought by the taltented Bruno Borie of Ducru-Beaucaillou and absorbed into his other Saint-Julien estates.

I think - guessing here - either that the grapes from the Hortevie vineyards are vinified with those from other properties and Hortevie is a now brand name rather than a wine made from one property as a Chateau wine should be,

or the new owner wants to reserve the prestigious (?) Chateau name for the one top wine, i.e. Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou.


Siding with the underdog is the British way, hence it would be a positive for Hortevie. However, 2012 was the final vintage of Hortevie, Chateau or otherwise according to TWCI.

Whilst the dropping of “Chateau” occurred as Peterm states above immediately following the change of ownership in 2005…

The joys of Bordeaux wine laws! Historical prejudice, self-interest, protectionism or just marketing, take your pick. Imagine if the rest of the World was as odd/parochial as Bordeaux when it came to wine nomenclature :dizzy_face:


‘Final’ vintage?? Oh no :crying_cat_face:


Curious, @Rowley_Birkin_II , that the 2004 Chateau Hortevie shows an image of a grand building because my understanding of Bdx AoC labelling law is that any building pictured on a wine named Chateau xxx must be present on the property, and yet @Alexandra says there was no such building…


Hence my last paragraph, sometimes I cease trying to understand Bordeaux AOC regs and just pull another cork :heart_eyes:


Well, they are French :slight_smile:

However they do try. I think their appellation laws make sense, and that if you buy Chateau xxx it is a wine from a defined vineyard.

Compare that with, say, the USA where chateau in a wine’s name means nothing