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At one point, Gazin even sold land to Pétrus – provenance therefore assured. Gazin, at 26 hectares, is the largest of the top Pomerol estates. The soil is clay-gravel, a happy home to 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc - average age 35 years. This property was a domain of the Knights Hospitaliers of St Jean, Rhodes and Malta. The present site is built where there was once a hospital, provided by the Knights for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. It has been owned by successive generations of the de Baillencourt dit Courcol family and now, steered by Nicolas, Christophe, Laure and Inès de Baillencourt is right at the top of its game.
Viticultural practices and winemaking combine the best of traditional practices with modern methods to produce wines of considerable international renown. Pruning, crop-thinning, sorting and temperature regulation are the norm. With such a large estate, some parcels produce more powerful wines than others. L’Hospitalet is selected from cuvées which provide a much more upfront, approachable style than the more muscular Gazin, requiring much less ageing, and offering rather decadent, seductive charm.