31 May 2011

The almost abstract beauty of Bordeaux wine architecture

A couple of recent visits to Bordeaux impressed me, once again, with the care and attention to detail that has been taken, over recent years, in terms of archicture, its details and its restoration, and the art works that are now part of the decor of so many Bordeaux châteaux that you visit. Sure they have the money to do this. But they also have the taste to do things right, and this doesn't happen everywhere. There is something that seemes to have always linked top Bordeaux wines to architecture. This aspect is part and parcel of their brand image, and one only has to look at a few labels to see this. In this case, the 5 first growths, only one doesn't have a building on its label (Mouton Rothschild).

Over recent years, considerable investments have been made to pursue this connection between art, architecture, and the wine estates of Bordeaux. Here are a few images to prove my point, and there are so many more examples...

This is a secondary building on the estate of Château Labegorce, in Margaux

This a a painting by the Spanish artist Tapies, hung in the old winery at Château Lynch Bages, Pauillac. The hanging of this exhibition is perfect and fits in so well with the place.
And below are a couple of details from the same place...

The ones below were taken at Château La Louvière, in the Graves region (Pessac-Leognan)

Visiting top Bordeaux châteaux these days can be likened to visiting an art gallery, and the wines are usually very good too. Only problem is I cannot afford them any more !

all photos by David Cobbold


  1. One will find me overcensorious again, but hadn’t they better invest a bit more in their wines and/or flog them at a more affordable price, rather than spending fortunes in “bling-bling”, appearance and pretence ? And couldn’t they pay their workers a bit more as well ?
    The happy few will be astonished when this “fin de règne” will turn sour for them.

  2. I have Lynch Bages 1985 to share with you sir, when you'll come with your Norton!

  3. Luc, you are of course quite right in most respects. I am not sure that they need to invest more in their wines, but they should indeed halve the selling prices and pay the workers more. They will still have enough profit left over to keep investing.

  4. Vincent, tell me where and when! Hopefully the Norton will be ready soon. The Ducati is ready to go anytime.

  5. David and Vincent, what about Elephant Man, Dune or Blue Velvet? It would also bring Lynch back to 1985 (or just about).