The Larrat family own this excellent, award winning estate and gave it their name. The chateau and vineyards lie in the ancient Domaine de Grillet in Pugnac, in Cotes de Blaye, slightly inland from the confluence of the Rivers Garonne and Dordogne, opposite the AOC of Margaux. The family renamed Domaine de Grillet ‘Chateau Larrat’ to avoid confusion with the appellation Chateau Grillet in the Rhone in 1972.
The vineyards lie on the slopes of the hill where a great standing stone once stood, the Menhir La Grosse Pierre. Legend has it that the stone leapt into the air every time the Angelus bell rang out calling the vineyard workers to prayer. The point of the stone was broken in 1865 and lies scattered amongst the vines – perhaps it’s this that adds something a little special to the wine, or perhaps it is that the winemaker has a magical touch. Whatever the case this is a wine that any Claret lover will really appreciate.
The Cotes de Blaye is named for the ancient Citadel of Blaye situated on the Right Bank of the Gironde. The Citadel was built during the reign of Louis XIV by Vauban and was listed in 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Blaye is the northernmost AOC on the Right Bank and produces deeply flavoured reds that tend to be sensuous, aromatic wines with intense colour. As they age, they develop musky and spicy overtones. The AOC has attracted the attention of well known Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe Chateaux owners looking to expand into characterful rural estates – including Bernard Magrez who also owns prestigious Chateau Pape Clement in Pessac Leognan.
Chateau Larrat is a lovely example of a good Cotes de Blaye and is very versatile with food. It’s exceptionally good with poultry such as goose, chicken and guinea fowl but also pairs well with pork, lamb and beef. It’s one of the few red wines you can drink with salmon – you’ll find that its soft body and lush flavours really enhance the meal.
Learn more about Blaye on our Bordeaux AOCs page: Cotes de Blaye