The château is situated north-west of Margaux, in the commune of Moulis in the Medoc. The curious name Chasse-Spleen is attributed to a quip of Lord Byron’s to the effect that the wine chased away “spleen” ( ill humor or melancholy).
The vineyards of Chasse-Spleen stretch across more than 55 hectares of gravel crests judiciously and harmoniously chosen, and planted with premium grape varieties. The very greatest care is taken over the cultivation of the vines and nothing is spared at the cost of heavy sacrifice, to ensure perfect vinification of wines-aged in an extremely elegant cellar.
Chasse-Spleen has for a long time been recognized as the leading cru of Moulis. It is generally accepted that this château is underrated and that if there was a reclassification it would be rated as a third growth. The person largely responsible for the quality of the wine is Madame Bernadette Villars, who also makes the wine at La Gurgue in Margaux and Haut-Bages-Liberal in Pauillac. It was she who introduced the second label l’Ermitage de Chasse-Spleen along with increasing the percentage of new barrels up to 50%.
In 1932, when an attempt was made to classify the Cru Bourgeois, this was one of six growths in the whole Médoc which was accorded the status of Cru Exceptionnel.
This is a property that still adheres to very traditional practices. It is one of only a handful in the Medoc that does not filter either after the malolactic fermentation or before bottling. In fact the only compromise toward modern-day wine making technology is that part of the crop gets harvested by machine
<< I have more memories than if I were a thousand years old. >> Spleen, Charles Baudelaire
Area under vines: 75ha.(R)
Av. prod.: 25,000 cases.
Distr. of vines.: 4 parcels.
55% Cabernet Sauvignon
7% Petit Verdot
2% Cabernet Franc.
100% Sauvignon (W).
Second label: l’Ermitage de Chasse-Spleen.
Harvesting: Hand & mechanically picked.
Soil: Deep gravelly soil.
Added yeasts: No.
Length of maceration: 16-30 days.
Temp. of ferm.: 28-30°C.
Control of fermentation: Pump over.
Type of ferm vessel : Stainless steel/cement.
Age of casks: 50% new each vintage.
Time in cask: 18-24 months.
Fining: Fresh egg whites.
Type of bottle: Bordelaise.
Bottled at the chateau: 100%.
Vines per ha.: 10,000.
Average age: 35 years.
Av. yield per ha.: 40hl
STORAGE: 5-18 years.
SERVICE TEMPERATURE: 17°C.
FOOD / CONSUMPTION: They are a perfect complement to lamb, veal, poultry and delicate game.