Chateau Haut Manoir is the Second Wine of Chateau La Commanderie in Pomerol. Second Wines are usually the second labels of the Grand Cu Classes and are highly sought after by those ‘in the know’. The reason behind this is that they are made with the all same wine making expertise that goes into the top label; hail from the same high quality vineyard and mirror the characteristics of the Grand Vin . . . and being less expensive, they offer a lot more bang for your buck. Bordeaux is the only wine region in the world to legally define and regulate second labels, so quality is second to none.
Most Second Wines do not have the word ‘chateau’ in their label but in a few instances you will see some Second Wines that do. These are typically tiny chateau owned by the estate that have terroir good enough to be qualified to make a wine in its own right (the collectable Chateau Moulin Riche, made by Chateau Leoville Poyferre is an example of this). Chateau Haut Manoir is also a case in point.
Haut Manoir’s vineyard is small, covering only 6 hectares, and sits in the same pocket of land as top performing estates: Chateau Nenin is its nearest neighbour, Chateau La Conseillante sits to the east and Premier Cru Chateau Cheval Blanc is less than half a mile away. Haut Manoir lies on lies on lands owned by the Knight Hospitallers of Saint John (precursors of the Knights of Malta and contemporaries of the Knights Templar). It’s parent, Chateau La Commanderie, takes its name from the 12th century Hospitaller Commandry that was once situated there. In the grounds of the chateau there stands a Maltese cross carved in low relief on a marker stone set by the Knights which gives the adorns the labels of the wines.
Haut Manoir bears all the hallmarks of a good Pomerol and being fuller bodied, sensuous and deeply flavoured it is perfect with game, roast lamb, duck and beef. It’s particularly good with venison, pigeon and wild boar sausages as well as Chinese dishes with Hoisin sauce, braised steak, hearty casseroles, truffle and mushroom based pastas, liver or kidneys.
Lear more about Second Wines on Nicks Blog: Inspire your inner winner – Successful Second Wines and why they are worth it