One of the oldest estates in the Medoc, Chateau Citran can trace its history over 600 years, to the 15th century. Today, the estate is owned by the Merlaut Family, who also own Chateau...Read More
Home to a fairytale chateau and meticulously manicured grounds surrounded by a moat, Chateau Citran is one of the most picturesque properties on the banks of the Garonne. Its history can be traced back to the 13th century, when the estate served as a seigneury and fortress belonging to the Marquis de Donissan, whose family remained at the helm for over six centuries. Today, the historic chateau is owned by the Merlaut family of Bordeaux wine specialists, who have elevated the chateau’s wines to the height of their potential.
Like the graceful blue peacock embossed on the estate’s one-of-a-kind label, the wines of Chateau Citran combine a certain generosity and powerful with remarkable elegance and finesse. These Cru Bourgeois wines from the Haut-Medoc appellation are sought after not only for their classic Left Bank Bordeaux style but also for their consistent quality for price.
One of the oldest Bordeaux chateaux in the Medoc region, the history of Château Citran can be traced back to the 13th century. The château is mentioned in records that date back to 1235, at which time it served as a seigneury and fortress belonging to the Marquis de Donissan. The Donissan de Citran family remained at the helm of the château for the six centuries that followed, until 1832. In that year, the descendants of the family sold the estate to a wealthy businessman named Monsieur Clauzel, who rebuilt the chateau that we see on the property today between 1862 and 1864, and elevated the reputation of Citran wines to the forefront of the Medoc. Clauzel also restructured the vineyard to reflect the full potential of the terroir.
In 1945, the Mialhe family of Bordeaux wine merchants acquired Chateau Citran. Between 1945 and 1987, they conducted an extensive renovation of the facilities and restored the vineyards that had been neglected due to wars and economic hardship. The Japanese holding company Fujimoto acquired the chateau next and made further investments into its facilities.
In 1996, the chateau began a new chapter of its history when it was purchased by the Merlaut family, who already have a shining reputation and plenty of experience in the Bordeaux wine industry. Operating under Groupe Taillan, which owns several other chateaux in the region (including Chateau Gruaud Larose in St-Julien and Chateau Chasse Spleen in the Haut-Medoc), the Merlaut family dedicated themselves to further enhancing the quality of Citran wines. In 2010, Chateau Citran was classified a Cru Bourgeois of the Haut-Medoc appellation. Since 2012, the property is listed as a historic monument and its beautiful grounds attract visitors year-round.
Situated in the commune of Avensan in the Haut-Médoc appellation on the Left Bank of the Bordeaux wine region of France, the Chateau Citran vineyard stretches over more than 247 acres (100 hectares) of vines. The vineyard area is divided into two major parcels, one of which surrounds the historic chateau and the other surrounding the village. The vineyard is planted with 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc grape varieties, relying on principles of sustainable viticulture. The vines, which are aged 35 years on average, are planted in gravel and sandy soils upon a subsoil of asteriated limestone and clay-limestone.
At Citran, the vineyard work is adapted to each plot of vines, depending on the specific character of its terroir. While some plots are cultivated in a traditional way with mechanical soil work and phytosanitary treatments, others are covered with vegetation in order to enhance the biodiversity of the soil. Around one-third of the total vineyard area is organically cultivated.
Following a manual harvest, the fruit arrives to the winery and is carefully sorted on a sorting table before being destemmed and crushed. The vinification of the fruit is conducted traditionally at a temperature of 28°C in a combination of stainless steel, oak and cement vats, which are thermoregulated. Malolactic fermentation follows in barrels, of which roughly 35% are new French oak. The wines stay in these barrels for an aging that takes 15 months.
The Chateau Citran winemaking team is very exacting when it comes to the selection of barrels, working only with a handful of trusted local coopers. The barrels are racked quarterly and the wines are fined with egg whites, following Bordeaux tradition, before being bottled at the chateau. The typical blend for the Chateau Citran First Wine is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, although the specific proportions of each grape will change from one vintage to the next. Chateau Citran also produced a second wine named Moulins de Citran and a rosé called La Rosée de Citran.
Perfectly symbolized by the graceful peacock embossed on the label of each bottle, the wines of Chateau Citran are known for their remarkable balance of generosity and power with elegance and finesse. The Chateau Citran Haut Medoc Grand Vin reveals a deep ruby red color with dark purple reflections. On the nose, a core of intense red and black fruit aromas are complemented by nuances of roasted coffee beans. The palate reveals a powerful attack, followed by great volume, concentration and freshness, with layers of red and black fruit flavors on a harmonious structure.
While some vintages of Citran wine are already quite approachable in their youth, these wines can also age beautifully for 8 to 12 years in the bottle. We recommend serving these wines at 60° F or at “cellar temperature.” The wines of Chateau Citran pair effortlessly with a wide range of dishes, especially simple and hearty fare. Try it with a classic lasagna, a beef stroganoff, eggplant parmesan or classic bacon cheeseburger.