Margaux - The Lurton Family
Château Desmirail is a winery in the Margaux appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of fourteen Troisièmes Crus (Third Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
The name Desmirail has been associated with wine production in the Médoc region since the end of the seventeenth century. Jean Desmirail, a lawyer in Bordeaux's parliament, gave his name to the property when he received it as part of his wife’s, Demoiselle Rausan du Ribail dowry.
The château belonged to the Desmirail family until just before the 1855 classification, when it was purchased by Monsieur Sipière, the estate manager at Château Margaux. It was under his ownership that Desmirail was classified as a Troisième Grand Cru Classé (third growth).
At the beginning of the twentieth century the property was briefly owned by Robert de Mendelssohn, the nephew of the famous composer, before being acquired by Martial Michel, a glove maker from the north of France. Michel went on to sell the château shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War to Château Palmer.
The Château Palmer company owned the property for several years before selling it to Lucien Lurton, an iconic figure in the Bordeaux wine world, in 1980.
In 1992, Lucien Lurton passed on his properties to each of his ten children. Denis, one of the older children and a lawyer by profession, took over the management of Château Desmirail. Today Denis is taking his father's work even further, modernizing the wine making facilities and putting all of his energy into the development of this Grand Cru Classé.
Internationally renowned for its Grand Cru production, the Margaux appellation, on the left bank in Bordeaux offers wines that are characterized by finesse and elegance.
The outstanding quality of Margaux’s wines can be explained by both the unique microclimate created by its position between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde estuary, and the exceptional terroir. Approximately 2.5 million years ago, at the beginning of the quaternary era, various rivers carried gravel to the region and it is this gravel that is key to the successfull cultivation of exceptional vines. The gravel stones store the sun’s heat, and then radiate it back into the soil, helping to guard against frosts and encourage sugars to be produced by the vine ; it also regulates the vines' water supply.
At the property, these pebbles create an ideal terroir for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 70% of the vines, with the rest of the plantings being made up of Merlot (29%) and Petit Verdot (1%).
These grape varieties are grown using sustainable and environmentally friendly techniques on an area of about forty hectares with minimum use of pesticides. The soil is worked in various traditional ways (ploughing into mounds around the base of the vines in the winter, returning of the soil into space between the vines in the spring, etc.) and treatments are adapted to the weather conditions.