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Indeed famous people had appreciated it: the wine was served at the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry Plantagenêt; it was also the favorite wine of Emperor Franz Joseph. The motto of the estate "Regum mensis aris that deorum" means “for the table of kings and the altar of the gods”.
The family Cruse, who has been established in the Médoc for 150 years, now owns the castle. The château d'Issan is made of 120 hectares, of which 50 are dedicated to the culture of the vines. The grapes used to produce the great wine of the château (ranked third in 1855’s classification) and the second wine, Blason d'Issan, are the cabernet sauvignon and the merlot. The use of these varieties allows the château d'Issan to propose typical wines of Margaux with the strength of a Pauillac.
The first in a trio of great vintages and one that has been rather overshadowed by the 89s and 90s.Definitely the most "classic" of the trio, with many of the wines not being overtly fruit-driven but having levels of extract and concentration that that make them perfect candidates for extended cellaring.
The first half of the year was unusually cold and wet and the vintage was saved by a long, dry, warm summer. Harvesting began in mid September and some of the Cabernets were not picked until the 3rd week of October. Most of the wines are now approaching their plateau of maturity with the pick of the bunch being the Cabernet-dominated Médocs and Graves. Pauillac was particularly successful.