Château Taillefer | The History of Claire Moueix, from iron to truffle

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Produced on a unique terroir rich in iron oxide, the 5th generation of the Moueix family continues to produce elegant and precise wines.

Iron worker

The name of Château Taillefer comes from the French words “tailler” and “fer” meaning to cut iron. This comes from the special plough that was needed to work the very unusual soil surrounding the château, rich in iron oxide. We’re grateful for this unique and distinctive character, it’s what give the wine its distinctive aromas of truffle and violet – a source of immense pride for the owners.

This Bordeaux chateau is surrounded by 12 hectares in a single unit, and this surface area, which may seem microscopic to some, is in fact one of the largest properties in Pomerol, which contains 800 hectares in all. Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Franc (25%) mature in the best possible conditions, the vines being worked according to the principles of integrated vineyard management in order to obtain the healthiest possible fruit. Each vine is pampered and handled by hand almost 50 times a year; that’s a lot of TLC!

Now, with Claire Moueix has been at the helm, the chateau has made great strides in sustainability and is now ISO 14001 certified. Once harvested, the sorted grapes are taken to the vat house for vinification.

Claire Moueix, 5th generation in a family of winegrowers

Claire Moueix is the 5th generation of winegrowers in the Moueix family at Taillefer. It was her great-great-grandfather who, in 1923, bought the stately home. Antoine Moueix was a wine merchant at the time, but then became a winegrower himself. As for the château, its history goes back further, appearing on maps made by Pierre de Belleyme, King Louis XV’s geographer.

Moueix took over the property from her father Bernard in 2013, leaving a career in Paris. The first thing she decided to do was carry out a major audit of the vines and the cellar in order to start working based on research. “I wanted to continue the traditions held so dear in winemaking while still being meticulous in everything we do. This audit allowed me to identify what needed to be improved or maintained. Because, here, every decision is taken after several tastings and minute adjustments,” she adds. With her husband Cyril Basteau, she also manages Château Tauzinat l’Hermitage in Saint-Emilion.

Chateau Taillefer Pomerol

The work of Claire Moueix and Cyril Basteau is in keeping with the tradition of the château. The vinifications are carried out on a parcel-by-parcel basis and in accordance with the family and regional heritage. But there is no lack of innovation: every year, decisions are questioned so that the wine is constantly improving and reflects its vintage. For this, there is no need to procrastinate: it must be tasted and re-tasted! “The wine of Château Taillefer is like a musical score. You have to play it with your own talent and soul”, Cyril Basteau likes to illustrate. Eric Boissenot, advisor to many Bordeaux châteaux, has been involved in the blending since 2015. The wine is generally aged for about 12 months in French oak barrels. “It is in the secrecy of the cellar, under the vaults of Taillefer that we sometimes meet. We come to get a vintage to taste it, to listen to what it has to say to us over the years,” Claire Moueix explains.

The wines made are appreciated for their velvety and silky quality, they are dense, smooth, and each vintage is truly unique. Violet and truffle contribute to its harmony and balance the floral and earthy elements. Delicate and structured, these wines evolve perfectly after several years of cellaring.

Château Taillefer, what the experts say

2 stars out of 3 from Bettane et Desseauve

The 12 hectares of Merlot and Cabernet Franc express themselves fully on this terroir where the iron oxides are known to bring complexity to the wine with freshness and aromas of truffle and violet. More delicate than powerful, this wine evolves perfectly.

La Revue du vin de France Magazine

Catherine Moueix reconverted to viticulture to run this beautiful estate she inherited, located on the edge of Libourne. She has accomplished a faultless course, taking care of the cultivation and vinification on a par with the greatest vintages of the sector. The wine is harmonious and complex.

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