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Château Camensac

Claire Thomas-Chenard

Château de Camensac is a winery in the Haut-Médoc appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château de Camensac is also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of eighteen Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.


Today, Chateau Camensac is perhaps, one of the more obscure, 1855 Classified Growths in the Medoc. The original chateau which is still in use today, was constructed in the 18th century. Chateau Camensac was purchased by the Forner family in 1965. The Forner family first became active in winemaking in Spain, where they own the popular, Marques de Caceres winery. Marques de Caceres is located in the Rioja appellation of Spain. Their experience in the Spanish wine trade proved helpful in knowing what to do next, which was to renovate the estate and replant their vineyards. They also modified the estates name slightly in 1988 when they changed it from, Chateau de Camensac to just Chateau Camensac. They hired the successful wine consultant Michel Rolland. Michel Rolland does not consult Chateau Camensac anymore. In 2005, Chateau Camensac was purchased by Jean Merlaut and his niece, Celine Villars Loubet. In 2014, Claire Thomas-Chenard joined the team as the director of the estate. Claire Thomas-Chenard is well-known for her work at Chateau Soutard and Chateau Larmande in St. Emilion.


The vineyards of Château Camensac are in the commune of Saint-Laurent-Médoc, just beyond the boundary of the Saint-Julien-Beychevelle appellation. As such it is entitled to only the Haut-Médoc appellation for its wines. The estate's 65 hectares of vines (60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot) are planted at a dense 10,000 vines per hectare and have an average age of 35 years. The estate limits yields to 45 hectoliters per hectare and grapes are picked and sorted by hand.


As is common for wineries in the Médoc, Château Camensac produces two wines, its first label, Château Camensac, and a second label, La Closerie de Camensac, into which lesser quality lots are blended. After harvest, the wines undergo primary fermentation in stainless steel vats before being transferred to oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and 17–20 months of aging. In recent years, oenologist Michel Rolland has been a consultant.