Chateau Le Breuil Renaissance
Château Le Breuil Renaissance is located in Bégadan, one of Medoc’s most northerly hamlets. Bégadan is home to many of Medoc’s best chateaux. The Medoc peninsula is very narrow at the northern end and the vineyard's proximity to the Gironde esturary and the Altantic Ocean, which is buffeted by pine forests, creates a very favorable climate for the Bordeaux grape varieities. Many ancient coins and even a statue have been found on the property indicating that it was once part of a Gallo-Roman village. The original part of the property known as "Les Bernedes" has been owned by the Bérard family since 1908 but in 1985 they purchased their neighbor, Chateau Le Bana, a property classified as a Cru Bourgeois in 1932. The property was renamed Le Breuil Renaissance and Philippe Berard began estate bottling his wine with the 1990 vintage.
When Philippe was a boy, his family raised cattle and Philippe has fond memories of riding horses through the pastures. Today, the cattle are gone and full attention is given to growing grapes and producing wine. The vineyard is planted with 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon on a calcareous clay soil. The average age of the vines is 30 years with a small plot of vines more than 100 years old. Harvesting is done for the most part mechanically, although a few plots are hand harvested. A sorting of the grape bunches is made before they enter the vat house. Fermentation is done in stainless steel vats and the wine is matured in two and three year old barrels for twelve months. The aromas and flavors are classic Medoc, but because of the unusually high proportion of Merlot, the wine is particularly soft on the palate.