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Essence de Dourthe

The ultimate blend of our finest parcels.

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

The ultimate blend of our finest parcels

Once consumed by the taste and passion for wine, the desire to always do better and ultimately achieve the ideal, becomes an obsession. Here at DOURTHE, we often dreamt of this ideal wine, made from the best grapes from the finest terroirs in Bordeaux: the ultimate in the art of blending.

I’m running out of superlatives for this wine: it’s a blockbuster with everything, complexity, depth, length and finesse.Natalie McLean

Key facts


James Suckling


24 Barrels




Dourthe vineyards

4 prestigious châteaux:

Château Belgrave in Haut-Médoc
Château Le Boscq in Saint-Estèphe
Château La Garde in Pessac-Léognan
Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac in Saint-Emilion Grand Cru


While “good” was insufficient, “better” wasn’t quite good enough.


Dourthe Lab

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

A sublime wine

Essence de Dourthe is the dream of the devoted and dedicated. A unique blend of the finest grape varieties on the finest plots. Essentially, the ‘ultimate Bordeaux wine’.

How the project came about

While vines have always played an important role in Dourthe’s history, our real foray in viticulture began in 1979, with the take-over of Château Belgrave. As further properties have joined the fold over the years, our implication has gone from strength to strength.
Having acquired an increasingly in-depth knowledge of the terroir on each estate, we firmly believe we have a number of extremely high quality plots for each of the major grape varieties in Bordeaux.

In the case of Essence de Dourthe, we wanted to take this even further and create a wine that would illustrate our vision of great Bordeaux wines.


To see our ambition come to fruition, we needed to step out of our comfort zone. We wanted to create something unique, and what makes a great wine is its inimitable nature. We asked the managers at our key properties to identify their finest parcels, and to channel their absolute all into the task. There were no limits in order to harness the very best of the soils.

We wanted to create something unique, since what constitutes a truly great wine is not how much better it is than another, but that being inimitable is the ultimate aim.Patrick Jestin

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

The 4 vineyards of Essence de Dourthe

From the eight estates in Bordeaux that make up Dourthe Vineyards, four prestigious châteaux located on Bordeaux’s most iconic terroirs also play their part in the creation of Essence.

Château Belgrave, AOC Haut-Médoc

In Haut-Médoc, Château Belgrave, granted Grand Cru Classé status in 1855, is an extensive, classic estate, comprising 59 hectares of magnificent gravel soils of varying depths. Here Cabernet Sauvignon thrives on the deep gravel plots, while Merlot is ideally suited to the clay-rich soils.
Further north in Saint-Estèphe, Château Le Boscq is an 18-hectare, tiny gem of a vineyard, overlooking the Gironde estuary from the top of one of the appellation’s finest gravel outcrops, and known predominantly for its Petit Verdot of remarkable finesse.
To the south in Pessac-Léognan at Château La Garde, 54 hectares of vines stretch majestically along one of the most remarkable veins of gravel in the upper reaches of the appellation. The plot located on the Plateau is one of the finest terroirs imaginable for Cabernet Sauvignon.
An integral part of Dourthe’s portfolio since the 2005 vintage, Château Grand Barrail Lamarzelle Figeac, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, is set in 15 hectares of outstanding soils, intersected by a seam of green clay. Here Cabernet Franc naturally flourishes and reveals its true depth of character.

In the vineyards

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

Essence de Dourthe vines currently account for 14 hectares selected by virtue of their unique profile; whether the ideal varietal-soil mix, or for vines that are in their prime.

In this way, the vineyard is managed on a strictly vine by vine basis. Each plant is effectively considered as a specific entity, benefiting from a highly individualised regime in a bid to produce grapes of the finest quality. Over the course of the year, a single vine may see as many as fifty inteventions completed in the vineyard before harvest time.

In order to pick the grapes at optimum ripeness, their advancement is constantly monitored through analyses, tastings, and careful scrutiny. This extremely rigorous process means that harvesting is painstakingly managed, in successive passages through the vines.

In the cellars

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

In the cellars

After the harvest, the grapes are destemmed, sorted and then transferred by hand to small-capacity oak or stainless-steel tanks for a period of pre-fermentation cold maceration. The winemaking process is handled with the utmost care in order to attain absolute purity in the wines and the finest expression of the terroir.

The wine is then left to mature for 12 months in new oak barrels in the cellars of each property.


From the initial 280 barrels, only 24 are retained. To explain why so few, the answer lies in our objective to limit production to only 6,000 bottles and retain only a taste of each estate. To hone the wine to perfection, the final blend is aged for a further 10 months in one-year-old barrels in Dourthe’s cellars.

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

The art of blending

A fundamental stage in the creation of Essence de Dourthe, the Art of Blending resides in the complementary qualities and perfect balance of the various components, to create a wine where the whole is infinitely superior to the sum of its parts.

Essence de Dourthe - Dourthe

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