The Period of the Grands Crus

Le Temps des Grands CrusThe European aristocracy and the large bourgeois houses become infatuated with the ‘Muscat’ of Monbazillac (made with the Muscadelle grape). King Frederick II of Prussia swore by it. To such an extent that in 1734 the Intendant of Guyenne was seriously worried about it: ‘the wines of this region are so recognized in Holland by the respective religionists that they have entirely demolished our market for the white wines of Langon’.

At the end of the eighteenth century the concept of a cru emerged, embodied by the famous Marques Hollandaises in reference to their first consumers: the barrels destined for export were marked with the name of the owner or vineyard – a guarantee of origin ahead of its time. At that time the brand of Tirecul La Graviere had the image of a pine tree, for the vineyard was crowned by a maritime pine wood.

Nobody knows today at what date Noble Rot was discovered. What is certain is that from the eighteenth century onwards the best vintages of Monbazillac were sweet wines, perfumed with the muscat aromas.