Ranked as a Fourth Growth at the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, Chateau Lafon-Rochet, located in the commune of Saint-Estèphe, features 45 hectares of gravel, clay and sand soils used for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. While the wines are normally Cabernet Sauvignon dominant, they have recently been blended with a touch more Merlot, making the final product less tannic and gentler to the palate. The property dates back to the 17th century, but centuries later, it found itself in a state of utter neglect. That was turned around in the 1960s, when the Cognac-producing Tesseron family took control of the Château and began major restorations, including the replanting of the vines which, they came to find, were totally misplaced: the Merlot was planted in gravel and the Cabernet Sauvignon in clay. Now corrected, the harvests are more consistent and the wine a better quality. The Tesserons also renovated the buildings on the property, which now showcases a distinctively bright yellow main house. Most of the fruit from the older vines found planted among Lafon-Rochet’s nearly 40 parcels are dedicated to the Grand Vin, with the younger saved for the Château’s second wines, Les Pélerins de Lafon-Rochet and Les Secrets de Lafon Rochet. The two second wines are essentially the same, with the latter produced exclusively for export.