At the very beginning, there was a fortress in the seigneury of La Mothe-Cantenac. The 12th century building was demolished five hundred years later by Baron d’Essenault when he inherited the estate.
In its place he had the present property built, which today still has some beautiful medieval features, such as its imposing gateway, its towers and its moat, relics of its former defences. A wall built in 1644 still surrounds the vineyard.
During the period between the two World Wars, the estate was unfortunately left to deteriorate, but was reawakened by the Cruse family, owners since 1945. Under the management of Lionel Cruse, the chateau has been restored, the installations modified and the vineyard replanted. Since 1998, as a result of investments made by Lionel’s son Emmanuel Cruse in the vines and cellars, Château d’Issan wines have become even more a faithful reflection of their exclusive terroir. In 2012, Françoise and Jacky Lorenzetti, who also own Château Lilian Ladouys in Saint-Estèphe and Château Pedesclaux in Pauillac, joined forces with the Cruse family.
Château d’Issan is in the middle of the Margaux appellation, a truly privileged location, which explains the outstanding quality of its wines. The mild weather, regulated by being close to the sea and the Gironde Estuary, provides ideal conditions for vine growth. The vines at Château d’Issan benefit from close, on-going care designed to produce perfectly ripe grapes. Everything is organized so that each individual plot can be tended independently in order to get the very best out of its fruit.
Château d’Issan is a Third Growth of the 1855 Imperial Classification. The wine is made from the old vines in the Château d’Issan enclosure in the middle of the Margaux appellation. The soil here is mainly made up of surface gravel on top of a clay subsoil, which contributes to optimal ripeness and freshness in our two grape varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Château d’Issan expresses the exquisite bouquet so characteristic of Margaux, and stands out with its suppleness, subtlety, elegance and long keeping potential that come from its unique terroir. Château d’Issan is aged in barrels for 16 to 18 months, half of which are new.