Chateau Pradeau Mazeau sits on a hilly tump of limestone adjoining Chateau Toutigeac and its estate. Toutigeac is a very old domaine dating way back to the 12th century that was once a village. The abandoned estate was bought in 1928 by Charles Mallet, one time owner of the prestigious Second Growth Chateau Lascombes in Margaux. Toutigeac entered a golden age under the guidance of wine maker Rene Mazeau who married into the Mallet family. Rene was a qualified oenologist, physicist and chemist who graduated from the faculty of Bordeaux. He devoted his research to improve the quality of the wine and viticulture in the vineyards. He was a pioneer of his day and much respected – his research is now standard throughout Bordeaux. His drive to continually improve wine making techniques lead to him being awarded the Cross of Agricultural Merit in 1977, Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1999 and Officer of the Order of Agricultural Merit in 2006.
When Rene took over Toutigeac after Charles Mallet’s sudden death he was forced to sell Chateau Lascombes due to death duties and taxes. At that time it only produced white wine, the vineyards were only partly restored and the chateau was in poor condition. The estate only had two pairs of oxen and six horses to work the vineyard and Rene found himself responsible for 25 households of workers all housed on the farm. He had quite a task ahead of him! Thanks to his tireless pursuit of excellence Toutigeac was transformed.
His grand daughter Oriane carries on his legacy and regularly adds to the chateau’s impressive list of awards and medals. Chateau Pradeau Mazeau Grand Reserve is one of her flagship wines and is only made in the best vintages at the chateau . . . so it is not made every year. Oriane’s aim is to capture the delicate balance between the Merlot and Cabernet and bring out their characteristics in harmony together. This Grand Reserve certainly succeeds – it’s a singularly good Claret. Oriane recommends it with guinea fowl, chicken, turkey, goose and hard cheeses. We’d add that it marries well with roast pork, duck, game pie and roast glazed ham.