Château la Gorce
AOC Médoc Cru Bourgeois
The Fabre family are pieds-noirs, one of the French colonial families who returned to France en masse in the 1950’s and 1960’s as Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria won their independence. In Africa they had established business interests, many in farming, which they had to relinquish when they left, and some lost a great deal in the transition. When they arrived in France they sought to use their knowledge and experience to establish new businesses and there are quite a few such families in the Bordeaux region, most of whom had been involved in some form of agriculture in the colonies. (At that time wine was regarded very much more a part of general agriculture than it is today.)
In the north of the Médoc, the bleak landscape appealed to the Fabres because of its harsh beauty that reminded them of North Africa, and also because the land was very cheap. They bought considerable tracts which they regard absolutely as their family’s patrimoine, a valuable resource that will sustain them for future generations.
This unsentimental approach to wine as a business doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the quality of the wine they are making, quite the opposite in fact. It helps them realise that in order to maintain their situation they must ensure that they produce what the wine-drinking public wants today, and to follow those trends as they develop. What is more, Denis Fabre who currently runs the estate, is the first generation to have grown up in the wine world since childhood, so he naturally combines the shrewd business acumen of his parents with a deep-seated love of his terroir and his wine.
In practical terms this means that Château La Gorce strives for typicity, regularity and continuity. They may not be the flashiest of wines, they may not get huge Parker points, but they will always have good stocks of well-made claret in a deep range of vintages at prices that won’t shock. In short, an excellent workhorse.