Over four centuries of history
According to current research, Château Monbousquet’s origins date back to 1540. At this time the estate belonged to a gentleman named François de Lescours, about whom the archives tell us little.
The following century, in 1682, Monbousquet became the property of Henri de Gères, and two years later he gave the estate a pleasant residence situated some 500 meters from the Saint-Emilion hill. Over the following centuries a long succession of owners left their mark on the property.
In 1750 Jean de Gères inherited the vineyard, then was succeeded by Jean-Jacques de Gères, who in turn left it to his daughter, Jeanne; she wed François de Carles, whose family settled in the Bordeaux region from their native Lorraine in the 14th century.
Under the guidance of the illustrious de Carles family, between 1682 and 1826 the domain enjoyed a long period of improvements during which Monbousquet developed a remarkable heritage and history. In 1779, General de Carles, the son of Jeanne and François, inherited the property and built the main residence which dominates Monbousquet today. The vineyard was still rather small, but its production was renowned. The general married Marie-Rosalie Vacher in 1795, and in 1826 she ceded Monbousquet to her sister-in-law Marie Gabrielle Desaigues in exchange for one-half of Château de Sale.
In 1835 the property was purchased by Pierre Saujon for 90,000 francs, and in 1855 he sold it on to Monsieur and Madame Lacombe for 200,000 francs.
During the second half of the 19th century the estate prospered and achieved great fame under the brief (1858 to 1877) but inspired direction of the Comte de Vassal-Montviel. He enlarged the vineyard, bringing it to its present size—making it one of the largest estates around Saint-Emilion. All this and more earned the property great praise in the 1865 edition of “Cocks and Féret”: “Today, 32 hectares of vines…cultivated with the greatest of care, make the vineyard of Monbousquet one of the most important in the Saint-Emilion region, producing a wine that is remarkable in its delicacy, its finesse, and its bouquet.”
Monbousquet stood out among the wines of Saint-Emilion and became much sought after on the market. But in 1877, unable to repay his debts, the Comte de Vassal-Montviel put the property up for sale and it was acquired by Monsieur Bellanger. The 7th edition of “Cocks and Féret” showed Monbousquet as a “Cru Bourgeois”, and Monsieur Bellanger’s production stood at 75 tuns. Highly regarded throughout the 1800s, by the beginning of the 20th century Monbousquet had lost its renown and for several decades belonged to a succession of owners.
It was not until the end of the Second World War and the arrival of the Querre family in 1945 that the estate began to recover its former reputation. Daniel Querre, master winemaker and œnologist, dedicated 30 years of his life to rebuilding the vineyard, and his heirs continued his work until 1992.
In 1993 Chantal and Gérard Perse came to Monbousquet to begin a new chapter in the château’s story, ushering in a veritable “leap in quality”. A golden opportunity for this great terroir so rich in history, situated just 500 meters from Saint-Emilion’s southern slopes…
In the months after Gérard Perse’s arrival, production standards at Monbousquet were completely revised both in the vineyard (entirely restructured and drained) and in the cellars, with state-of-the-art installations and the creation of an aging cellar suitable for producing a great wine. The residence was also completely renovated. A self-taught visionary, Gérard Perse also planted the first white vines in Saint-Emilion. His efforts were soon recognized and in 2006 Monbousquet was promoted to the rank of a Grand Cru Classé.
In just a few years under the direction of its new owner, this growth which has always been well-respected among Saint-Emilion’s great wines has become one of the appellation’s stars, leading Robert Parker to declare: “Château Monbousquet under Gérard Perse’s guidance is exceptional. Right now this growth is probably the most exotic and most sensual wine in Saint-Emilion, if not in all of Bordeaux.”