Everything that I do is about educating, whether it’s teaching or consulting. We look at the entire world of wine – the business end, the viniculture; viticulture and how everything works – not only how it tastes or smells. 

Chateau d’Issan Bordeaux Margaux 2015

‘For the tables of kings and the altars of the Gods’


Chateau d’Issan 2015

3rd Grand Cru Classé





I  was so fortunate to visit this amazing Chateau in 2017 on the annual Master of Wine student trip for first year candidates.  It was the 20th anniversary of this trip, and we saw some amazing properties. It was overwhelmingly amazing for those of us who had never been to this region before.

We actually got to tour the actual Chateau, which is very old,and rarely are people allowed to come inside. It is still inhabited, but is filled with pieces from the 1600’s and it is recognized as a historical landmark by the French Government.


The wine:

60% Cabernet Sauvignon/ 40% Merlot

Very perfumed with violets, black currant ,black berries, black cherries ,cedar box and cloves,. All of this shows up on the palate which  is elegant with integrated velvety tannin. There is a freshness, and although this was a warm vintage, very balanced and structured at 13.5% alcohol. Persistent long finish of black fruits and cloves.


Hand harvested, fermented in stainless steel and raised in French Oak for 18 months; half new. 



Chateau d’Issan has a long and storied history of making fine wine. The wines from this 3rd growth Chateau were served at the wedding of Eleanor d’Aquitaine to Henry Plantagenet back in 1152.It was handed down by generations of one family for 3 centuries, until theEssenault family purchased the property in 1575 and changed the name to Chateau d’Issan. Their family continued here for 5 generations. However after a period of deterioration between the two world wars of the 20thC, it was not producing wines worthy of their 1855 Classification of  3rd Grand Cru Classé,nor their motto! The Chateau was serendipitously  purchased by the Cruse family in 1945 and under the direction of Lionel Cruse, the restoration and resurrection began. Today it continues under his son Emmanual Cruse, who took over in 1998. Since the early 2000’s wine critics agree, that Chateau d’Issan is back to producing amazing wines, worthy of its ranking and accolades. 


This wine was no exception. Being a 2015, which was a rather warm vintage.okay..just hot, it has a freshness and although the fruit is brooding, it is still amazingly fresh and the aromatics and flavours show delineation and complexity,

It’s delicious.:)