Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Led by Annette Schiller, the Bordeaux Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours took place from September 6 to 15, 2016. The group comprised 14 wine lovers from the United States and Switzerland, including Annette and Christian Schiller.
I already provided an overview about the whole tour: Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
This posting covers our visit of Château Le Bon Pasteur. We toured Château Le Bon Pasteur and had a fabulous wine lunch at the estate. Dany Rolland and Benoit Prévot, General Manager and Winemaker, were our hosts for the tour and for the lunch.
Château Le Bon Pasteur was acquired by the Rolland family around 1920. The grandson of the original owner, Michel Rolland, well known around the world as “flying winemaker” and wine consultant, and his wife Dany, a highly regarded oenologist in her own right, created a model vineyard and produce outstanding wines.The Rolland family recently sold the winery to a Chinese investor.
Change of Ownership
Château Le Bon Pasteur was acquired by the Rolland family around 1920. The grandson of the original owner, Michel Rolland, well known around the world as “flying winemaker” and wine consultant, and his wife Dany, also an oenologist, created a model vineyard and produce outstanding wines. Not so long ago, they sold it to Pan Sutong, a Hong Kong businessman and entrepreneur.
According to Forbes 2015 World Billionaire's list published in March 2015, Sutong was placed at number 153 with an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion. Pan Sutong is a wine lover. In 2011, his Goldin Group bought the Sloan Estate in the Napa Valley. The Sloan 2002 and 2007 vintages were awarded 100 points by Robert Parker.
In 2013, the Group purchased three châteaux in Bordeaux, namely Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol, Château Rolland-Maillet in Saint-Émilion and Château Bertineau St-Vincent in Lalande-de-Pomerol. As Goldin Financial’s long-term working partner, Michel Rolland facilitated this acquisition. Similar to Sloan, despite the transfer of ownership, nothing changed in terms of wine-making procedures and staff.
Pomerol is remarkable for being unremarkable. It is not a long-established area. There are no beautiful chateaux. There is no real town center, just roads connecting the lands and small, farmhouse style wineries. Pomerol has no classification system. With 800 hectares, it is a small area, with small domains. By contrast: The vineyards of St. Emilion cover more than 5000 hectares; the production of Petrus is just 10% of that of Lafite.
Nevertheless, Pomerol has managed to earn itself a place among the region's most-respected names. The list of the Pomerol’s best properties includes Le Pin, one of the precursors of the Garagistes style, Petrus and Lafleur, with all three of them regarded as "hors classe" growths, and: Eglise-Clinet, Trotanoy, Vieux-Château Certan, L´Evangile, Certan-de-May, La Fleur-Pétrus, Clinet, Bon Pasteur, Le Gay, Rouget, Clos l'Eglise, Nénin, Petit-Village, Lagrange and Gazin. Pomerol, with the wines of Chateau Petrus and Chateau Le Pen, now commands higher prices than those of the long-established Medoc.
Pomerol has the highest Merlot share in Bordeaux, with Merlot accounting for 80% and Cabernet Franc for the rest. Vines are old and yields are extremely low.
Over the centuries, Pomerol had always been in the shadow of Medoc, Graves and even St. Emilion. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, things changed when Belgians and primarily Dutchmen were more and more interested in the red Pomerol wines. It was not until the 1950s that British merchants woke up to the wines and began to import them into the UK.
Château Le Bon Pasteur
Château Le Bon Pasteur was acquired by the Rolland family - Joseph and Hermine Dupuy - in 1920. The grandson of the original owner, Michel Rolland, well known around the world as “flying winemaker” and wine consultant, and his wife Dany, also an oenologist, created a model vineyard and produce outstanding wines. In May, 2013, Le Bon Pasteur (including the two affiliated properties) was sold to Sutong Pan, the first Asian investor to buy a truly legendary Pomerol estate. Dany and Michel Rolland continue to manage the estate and make the wine.
In the beginning, the owners grew the grapes, but sold the harvest in bulk to negociants. The Dupony family later passed Le Bon Pasteur on to their children, Serge and Geneviève Rolland. In 1978, the Rolland family continued the tradition and gave Chateau Le Bon Pasteur to their children Michel and Jean-Daniel Rolland. This gave birth to the modern era for Le Bon Pasteur and the start of the career for Michel Rolland.
The property Le Bon Pasteur originally consisted of vineyards in the three communes of Pomerol, Saint-Émilion and Néac, the last one in the appellation Lalande-de-Pomerol. Originally all three wines were called Le Bon Pasteur, with the respective appellation indicated. From 1978, the wine from Saint-Émilion has been called Château Rolland-Maillet and that from Lalande-de-Pomerol called Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent. They are all produced at Le Bon Pasteur.
Le Bon Pasteur consists of 7 hectares with 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Production averages 2,500 cases.
Starting with the 2010 vintage, the grapes are fermented in barrel, with the barrels being regularly turned during the maceration period. Also, in 2010, Michel and Dany Rolland started to include about 1/3 whole clusters in the fermentation. The wines are aged for 15 to 18 months in 100% new French oak barrels and then bottled without fining and filtering.
The closest neighbor is Château l’Evangile, and possibly some parts of the next neighbor Château La Conseillante are also visible.
Michel and Dany Rolland
Michel Rolland grew up on Château Le Bon Pasteur. He studied at the prestigious Bordeaux Oenology Institute, where he met his wife and fellow oenologist, Dany Rolland, and graduated as part of the class of 1972. In 1973, Michel Rolland and his wife bought into an oenology lab in Libourne. They took over full control of the lab in 1976 and expanded it to include tasting rooms. Michel and Dany Rolland's two daughters, Stéphanie and Marie, also work at the lab.
After having sold Château Le Bon Pasteur, Château Bertineau Saint-Vincent in Lalande de Pomerol and Château Rolland-Maillet in Saint-Émilion, the Rollands still own several properties in Bordeaux, including Château Fontenil in Fronsac, and Château La Grande Clotte in Lussac-Saint-Émilion. In addition, they are joint venture partnerships with Bonne Nouvelle in South Africa, Val de Flores in Argentina, Campo Eliseo in Spain and Yacochuya and Clos de los Siete in Argentina.
In addition, Michel Rolland consults for many pasting lunchroducers in Bordeaux, in Argentina, South Africa (Simonsberg Stellenbosch), and Spain (Toro).
Wine Tasting Lunch
Following the tour, we had a fun wine tasting lunch with Dany Rolland and Benoit Prévot. This will be covered in a separate posting.
Postings on the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France (Posted and Forthcoming)
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France
Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy
Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics
Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction
How Does the Negociant System in Bordeaux Work? Tour and Tasting at Millésima - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting from Barrel at Domaine de Chevalier, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Adrien Bernard - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Dinner with a View: At Restaurant L’Estacade in Bordeaux City - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Bordeaux City, France
Schiller's Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France
Saint Emilion Wines and their Classification, Bordeaux, France
Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France
The Wine Empire of the von Neipperg Family in France, Bulgaria and Germany
Tour and Tasting at Château Canon La Gaffelière, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Château Beauséjour, Appellation Puisseguin Saint-Emilion, with Owner/ Winemaker Gérard Dupuis - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Figeac, Premier Grand Cru Classé B, in Saint-Émilion – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour and Tasting at Château Beauregard, Appellation Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France
Tour at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland
Wine Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland
Tasting were it all Started: At the "Garage" of Jean-Luc Thunevin, Owner and Winermaker of Château Valandraud, Premier Grand Cru Classé since 2012
Tour and Tasting at Château de Fargues, Sauternes, with Prince Eudes d’Orléans
Wine Pairing Lunch at the 1-star Michelin Restaurant Claude Darozze, with Marie-Hélène Lévêque, Owner of Châteaux Chantegrive
Tour of Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave
Tour and Tasting at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé.
Wine Pairing Lunch at the 2-star Michelin Restaurant La Grande Vigne (at Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte)
Tour of the new Musee du Vin in Bordeaux City
Seafood lunch at Pinasse Cafe in Cap Ferret
Tour of the Earl Ostrea Chanca Oyster Farm and Oyster Tasting in Grand-Piquey, with Oyster Farmer Ralph Doerfler
The 5 Premiers Grands Crus Chateaux en 1855 of Bordeaux, France
What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France
Tourt and tasting at Château Palmer, Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé
Wine Lunch at Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron, Pauillac, 2ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Michel Tesseron
At the Invitation of Owner Michel Tesseron: Private Dinner at Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, 4ième Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Sociando Mallet, Appellation Haut-Médoc
How a Barrel is Made: Visit of the Cooperage Berger & Fils in Vertheuil
Lunch were the Locals eat: At Le Peyrat in Saint-Estèphe in Saint Estephe
Tour and Tasting at Château Léoville Poyferré, Saint-Julien, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, with Anne Cuvelier
Tour and Tasting at Château Margaux, Appellation Margaux, 1ière Grand Cru Classé
Tour and Tasting at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Picnic Lunch at Château Kirwan, Appellation Margaux, 3ième Grand Cru Classé, with Owner Nathalie Schyler
Tour and Wine Dinner at Château Haut-Bailly, Graves, Appellation Pessac-Léognan, Grand Cru Classé, with Daina Paulin