Chateau Prieure Lichine is a red Bordeaux wine made in the Margaux wine-growing appellation. It was classified as a 4th Growth (4eme Cru Classe) in the famous Bordeaux Classification of 1855. The Chateau is located in the commune of Margaux-Cantenac on the left bank of the Gironde in the region Haut-Médoc.
Chateau Prieure Lichine can trace its origins back to the priory of Saint-Didier de Cantenac which was established on the site around the year 1000. The wine-growing history can be traced back to 1444 when wine made at the Prieuré de Cantenac were very highly regards, and were taxed by the King at the same rate as the wines of Hermitage and Clos de Vougeot. The estate prospered through the centuries but in the modern era the estate had fallen into severe decline and, when Alexis Lichine bought the property in 1951, the estate had shrunk to just 4 hectares of vineyards. Lichine, who was nicknamed “the Pope of wine”, vinified his first vintage in 1953 and set about rebuilding the estate and its reputation. By the 1970s, the estate had owned 58 hectares of vineyard. Lichine died at the Chateau in 1989 and the estate was run by his son, Sacha (these days best known for Whispering Angel Rose), until 1999 when the estate was sold to the current owners, Groupe Balland.
Today Chateau Prieure Lichine comprises some 75+ hectares of vineyards planted with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. The vineyards are planted on soils essentially composed of gravel, a conglomerate of pebbles, gravel, sands and clay sediments. These poor soils allow the vines to penetrate deeply and offer good drainage. Average vine age is 30 years old.
Grapes are harvested by hand and sorted on vibrating sorting tables with additional manual and optical sorting. The grapes are not crushed, free run juice is used (the grapes juice released under their own weight).
Chateau Prieure Lichine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 30% and Petit Verdot 5% aged for up to 16 months 50% in new and 50% in second fill barrels.