The heart of Château D’Issan's rich heritage beats within the ancient seigneury of La Mothe-Cantenac. Its origins trace back to the 12th century when a formidable fortress stood proudly upon the land. Five centuries later, Baron D’Essenault, the inheritor of the estate, decided to replace the aging fortress with the magnificent structure that graces the property today. This present-day chateau retains vestiges of its medieval past, including an imposing gateway, majestic towers, and remnants of its moat—a testament to its former defensive fortifications. Encircling the vineyard, a protective wall, constructed in 1644, still stands. Château D’Issan's history is a tapestry woven from the legacies of numerous families. Through inheritance and matrimony, the estate passed from one proprietor to the next, each contributing to its renown and cultivating its unique character.
In 1824, Jean-Baptiste Duluc took charge, initiating significant improvements to the vineyard before passing the reins to the Blanchy family. Château D’Issan's reputation precedes it, earning acclaim well before the 1855 classification, which designated it as a 3rd Grand Cru Classé. In 1866, Gustave Roy assumed leadership and implemented crucial innovations, including the construction of the first gravity-fed cellars and the restoration of the vineyard following the phylloxera devastation. Between the two World Wars, Château D’Issan endured a period of neglect but was rekindled under the ownership of the Cruse family, who acquired the estate in 1945. Lionel Cruse, at the helm, embarked on a mission of restoration. The chateau was meticulously refurbished, installations modernized, and the vineyard rejuvenated. In 1970, the Cruse family had initiated refurbishment efforts, leading to the inclusion of the chateau on the French complementary list of historical buildings. In 1998, investments by Lionel's son, Emmanuel Cruse, in both the vines and cellars elevated Château D’Issan wines to become an even truer reflection of their unique terroir.
In the present day, Château D’Issan's 2018 is one of the high scoring vintages. Robert Parker rates the wine 94-96 points, which is made of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot and aged in 50% new and 50% second year barrels.Read more